Monday, May 17, 2010

WAS: time to play; NOW: time to walk

I hit another wall. Sometimes I'm surprised I have anything left to hit with - recently, anyway. I'm mostly recovered from the long-lasting sickness; I don't normally get the long-play versions but I did get this one. Now that I'm mostly over it, there are some residual symptoms that are mostly minor, until I work-out.

The issues?

One is that the dragon boat races are only four weeks away. Truthfully - I will be fine for the races, although maybe a little sore at the end. I'm the tiller and that takes the ability to stand despite wind and current and the rhythm of the paddlers - it can get a little straining on my low back near the end of the hour on the water, but bearable (and the soreness resolves quickly and is a direct result of being below fitness level due to two months of sickness). Tilling also requires a different type of strength and different muscles than the paddlers use; and those muscles are still strong since I've been able to keep up with the strength training (thanks, Nikki!). The warm-ups can get me breathing harder than I should be as the last strands of this illness linger - but for the actual tilling, I'll be okay with a little Advil.

Two is a biggie: the Cascade Lakes Relay is two and a half months away.

Oops - no, let me back up. The Grand Canyon Rafting trip is just over a month away! Yikes. I'll be fine, I guess. At least it's rafting and not kayaking! Not that I would kayak the Grand Canyon/Colorado River - a little too ambitious for me and I'm not that big of a thrill seeker. So, I will ride the giant raft, help load and off-load my grocery-sized bag of belongings which will contain everything I need for a week (hear me laughing? still haven't quite figured that one out), with a couple extra things stored in an ammo can - I plan to have a book to read, a waterproof notebook and/or sketch pad or two and probably thin sharpies or special pens, a camera... Then, if I'm still not up to par with my lung capacity, I can skip a hike or two. Be technically disconnected and fully immersed in being present. Relax. Nap. Look at the scenery. But I may have to moderate my hiking a bit more than I'd like. I'm okay with that; I think I'll be fine being there.

Then the Cascade Lakes Relay. I've started back to training. Though barely. My pace is about 1.5 minutes slower than it was and my hill walking ability is diminished. I'm trying to not be frustrated. I'm trying to find that balance between not pushing my lungs too much and pushing my fitness level just a bit; it feels like a tightrope of which way is too much or too little. Saturday I did my first deliberate hill walk in over two months. I survived and I cut it a little short when my lungs started to hurt; not just out of breath, but hurt a little. I recovered quickly - which is good.

A couple months after that is Portland's first half marathon - on 10/10/10. I'll see how the relay goes at the very end of July to know if I will be able to get up to half marathon status. I think the answer is yes - but I'm obviously in a period of doubt. And I hope that means it's just a bit of the illness remaining, which I've heard from other people can cause this feeling of hopelessness about getting back to full normal activity.

I didn't plan to write about this when I started writing. It was going to be about play and dreaming and time; something profound and energetic, with a bit of humor.

But this is where my mind and fingers went. So this is what I have.

Another time of one step. One breath. One hill. One mile.

Recovery. Being present and knowing when and how much to push, to try, to back off, to let go. To move on. To not give up hope.

To know that a few years in the future I will look back at this time - if I even remember it - and think how short is was in the overall picture of my life.