It's Finals Time! That means fewer and more scatter-brained posts, lots of stress and not so much sleep, and my poor husband really being awesome about making sure I still take care of myself. Well, usually - he finally wised up and this time, scheduled an international business trip during my reading week. Only took him three years, but he has finally fled the country during my exam time. Smart guy :)
Going along with the 'review and evaluate' theme of finals, and possibly taking it too far, I thought it would be good for me to re-visit the goals that I posted back in October, right around when I first started blogging. At the time, I was dealing with a fairly severe foot injury, but looking back at my goals, I think I did a good job of making them realistic for where I was physically and mentally at the time. But since then a lot has changed. My foot is 99% healed and no longer limits my activity in any way, and I am training way more than I thought I would be right now.
Here's how it's played out so far:
1. Get healthy. Without this, none of the others are possible. Done and done.
2. Rebuild the huge base that I had before I was injured. I think this has been achieved. My training volume right now is far above where it was last year.
3. Continue swimming regularly (though not the 5-6 days a week I am doing now) This one has sort of been met. As per my coach, I am only swimming 3 days per week, but I am doing 2500-3000 yards per session, so I think my weekly yardage is probably the same. That said, I think I benefit a lot more from frequent shorter swims than I do from fewer but longer swims.
4. Do Spinervals at least once a week until January, and then at least twice per week. This one went out the window the minute I got a coach. I haven't done a Spinerval since January, and in fact I haven't done much skill work at all, so it will be interesting to see how things play out. If I had my druthers, I'd be doing lots more one-leg drills and such, but for now I'm going with what my coach tells me.
5. Start doing running speedwork. I am the queen of the base-building aerobic run, but it's time I face the fact that that won't help me get faster. Oh, how I love my long slow distance runs. My coach, on the other hand, thinks I should only do them once a week. :) He's added in some tempo and interval work, and it is already paying dividends.
6. (maybe) Get a coach to help me achieve these goals. Well, yeah, this one happened, and it turned out to be a great idea. I lovelovelove not having to create my training schedule, and when something goes wrong or I need to change things around, it's not the giant stressor that it once was.
It's time for new goals. I think I need more specific time goals this time around, for starters. I've got nothing specific yet, though; that will come. Some goals will be public and some will be private, more of the "goal that dare not speak its name" type, the kind that I only whisper to myself during my hardest training sessions.
The public goals are well and good, and I like the accountability of putting my goal of 1:xx/100 (whatever that number will be) out there for all to see (and the excitement and confidence that comes with meeting the goal), but I find it's the private ones that really get me going.
They're also the ones that really scare me - in fact, they terrify me. Sometimes they make me think I'd be better off curling up on the couch than racing, because what if I don't meet it? Or worse, what if my goal was so unrealistic that had I told anyone about it, I'd look like a fool? But that hasn't stopped me. I set some of those goals for myself for things in law school, and have met almost all of them.
And really, the feeling of meeting those private, unspeakably bold goals is so deliciously satisfying that I want to feel it again and again. No matter how terrifying it seems right now.