Saturday, July 28, 2007

Ode to silence... and other stuff

I was contemplating how much I enjoy the sound of quiet. Its probably because I'm a mother of two boys ages 5 (as of Thursday) and 3.5. Quiet is a rare thing around my household - sure, but I enjoyed silence before I was a mother. I think maybe its because I'm always talking to myself in my head. Always - about everything, the normal stuff - what to cook for supper, the running grocery list, how to solve the most recent problem(s) at work.... I work through everything - read the entire menu and then rationalize my top three choices and try to narrow it down to the best depending on a number of circumstances - I second guess myself all the time about what I wear, what I say, did I do the right parenting move there or why did I lose my cool there, or... I talk through phone conversations before I actually make the call. I do the same thing before an important meeting or confrontation. I do not handle confrontation well, without preparation. I relive the confrontation, meeting, important discussion in my head after its done - over and over. I could go on, but i think you get the point.

I don't care if this is normal or not - because its just me and I'm used to it. There are times when I get fed up with myself and yell at myself to just shut up, but I forgive myself pretty easily and start chatting in my head again.

I live out in "the country" and there is probably 1/4 of a mile or more between me and my next neighbor - still too close sometimes, but for the most part its pretty quiet out here. The wind blows most of the time, typical of New Mexico, but there are times when it is just still. If the boys are not here or they are asleep or at least quiet for a few seconds... you can here a bird chirp, or just nothing. I crave those moments. My mind is still for that moment, and my whole body, mind and all just stops and tries to absorb as much of the peace out of the quiet moment as possible.

As a teen I was fortunate enough to get to go backpacking in the wonderful wilderness of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. Many trips were with my church's' youth group. Lots of good memories there, lots of good times, but there were times when I would get away from the group and find a spot to just sit and listen to the quiet. I miss those days (just some not all of those days).

Training is not quiet. When I'm running or swimming, my constant conversation ceases as I'm concentrating on the activity, but my breathing is so noisy. Sometimes the sound of my breathing in either activity just bugs me. Not too often just every now and then. On my long runs I try to have music, which is a nice distraction, but most of the time its just me and the pavement and my breath. I make it a rhythm, breath in two, breath out, two ,three, in two, out two three. In swimming if I'm not hearing and feeling my bubbles, it is a big indicator that I'm holding my breath. I find when I'm concentrating on a particular drill or trying to focus on one motion, I'll involuntarily hold my breath.

Cycling is different - probably why I enjoy it so much because the conversation is welcomed and its just a good time to think.

Anyway - just pondering silence a bit today....

Heart rate zones... I'm scrapping trying to run in zone 1, It was bothering me and I was worried that I wasn't getting any real benefit out of it and worried that I'd pickup some weird gait that would set my running back even further. Now when my plan says zone 1, I read it as Zone 2. That means my swimming has got to pick it up a notch. This coming week is a tough week, and I already have to figure out how to change it around to work with my schedule. So much for best laid plans... I haven't signed up for the F-1 yet, and I'm using the excuse that "we might be moving." Well - maybe, but probably not - so I'll admit that I'm a little scared. Its the running, kind of the swimming, but mostly the running. Its five miles, broken up but still five miles, and its going to be hot, very hot. I'm sure I can do it, well maybe not yet, but its going to hurt regardless. Geekgirl's going to be doing an Ironman in like a month, Dread Pirate is going to be doing La Luz Trail Run in like a week. Well - okay so Geekgirl is kind of my nemesis cause I beat her once, so I figure if she can do an Ironman ( and I know she can and will finish), then I too can do an Ironman someday when my parenting obligations are as light as hers and I can take a summer off, and [enter more excuses or qualifiers here], but Dread Pirate is like my idol, I mean La Luz - give me a freaking break - I'd be lucky to walk the trail without hitting my max heart rate.... Anyway so maybe I can do 5 miles split in half with a bike ride in-between. I'll be last - as slow as I swim and we're talking 800m this time, and even though my bike leg is decent, its not awesome enough to gain me enough ground not to be passed in the first run, and definitely the second run. But being last is not what's bothering me the most, its the run - will I be able to do it and not want to cry the whole time. Or.... am I making more of this than it is, something I'm known for...

Anyway just rambling -


the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

aw shucks!

La Luz is so beautiful you actually sorta forget that there is no oxygen left to breathe. OK, maybe the oxygen deprivation has a narcotic effect...

On my training runs, my HR goes into the stratosphere in the first 50 yards on the trail, and then it kind of mellows down to something in Zone 5. It's like Greg LeMond says - it never gets easier, you just get faster. Or at least that's what I hope.

It's an all-comers friendly trail. I'm completely serious when I say you'd be surprised what you can do up there!

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

p.s. - fear not the F1 - go do a few training runs in the heat, get yourself acclimatized and you'll be ready. Go you!

Herself, the GeekGirl said...

>Sniff< I'm not an idol? I'm a nasty nemesis?

yeah, I know. She's my idol too. I'm hoping to do La Luz in 08.

When I lived in the country, I used to get up an hour before the kids and just sit on the porch sipping coffee, enjoying the peace and quiet. Ahhh.

Unknown said...

Interesting. I work things out on my long SLOW Sunday runs. I spend too much time thinking about what gear I should be in and dodging stuff when I'm on the bike.

I know what you mean about quiet though, you do get that on the bike.