I realize I've been remiss in reporting on the Baldwin Park race. I haven't even updated my stats until today. This is because, from the week of the race right up until this very moment, life has been extremely, somewhat unexpectedly, filled with major changes.
I guess I shouldn't call them unexpected. I've never been a fan of the saying "hindsight's 20/20." And we all know that we would have done things differently "if we knew then what we know now." I can see some use for those dogged cliches now that the past few weeks have carried me forward rapidly and effortlessly to conclusions and decisions I hadn't expected to reach previously, but now seem so simple and obvious. It is one of those times in my life where seemingly innocuous and unrelated events of previous weeks, years and months come together like puzzle pieces, and, in one or two moments, expose their purpose and meaning with perfect clarity. I'm not a Taylor Swift fan, but there's a line in her song The Story of Us that really sums up my past month: I don't know what to say since the twist of fate when it all broke down . . .
The Sunday of the race was absolutely perfect. It was, in fact, the best race I have ever had. I hoped to match or beat my Sprint PR of 1:35 and beat my Baldwin Park course record of 1:48. Instead, I crossed the finish line in 1:25, scorching every Sprint PR I've made on any course, placing #2 Athena overall, and coming in the top 40 on the bike out of 236 men and women (and top 60 on the swim.) My paces were a sub-2-minute/100 swim, an 18+mph bike, and a 9:35 minute/mile.
Later that day, a series of events set in motion weeks (even months) before came to a conclusion, and I put in my place my decision to move out on my own after spending over 2.5 years with the B. None of this belongs in a blog about my training and racing, but it affects my training and racing directly. Because of the move, emotional turmoil, lack of sleep, etc., training has been slowed. Not stopped - and I am very proud that I haven't stopped altogether - just slowed a bit. My coaching and training strategy has also altered. I must find more affordable methods of accomplishing those goals now that I'm on my own.
I've been spending a lot of time with friends, and my sleep has been sketchy. A typically exhausted, 8- to 10-hour sleeper, I've been averaging 5-7 a night. Positive as it is, there are still a lot of life changes, major alterations in my routine.
Last night was a great example. I found myself awake past 2 a.m. trying unsuccessfully to disengage three of my favorite necklaces which had been knotted together in my move. This wouldn't be remarkable unless I mention to you that I'd already spent an entire afternoon cursing, breaking one of them, and pulling apart the other 3 that were originally part of the 6-string fracas. Finally, exhausted to the point of physical illness, I asked myself why the hell am I spending so much time trying to untangle these last 3 necklaces? Obviously, they were of some sentimental value, but of way less monetary value than warrants 8 hours of effort.
That was when it hit me that the necklaces symbolized my newfound independence. Instead of asking my mom, or B - both of whom were excellent de-knotters and problem-solvers - to help me fix this situation, I was determined I was going to fix it myself, no matter what it took. After all, I am an INDEPENDENT WOMAN now! I CAN DO THIS ON MY OWN!
In the end, I was unable to get the last 3 chains apart, although I did salvage one of the charms. I realized that, like many parts of my previous life, there are just some things too broken or messy to fix - and, sometimes, when it gets to the point that the repair attempts are causing you physical or emotional turmoil, it is simply time to accept that you have done your best and move on.
While I'm really missing a few things about my old situation (like my cats and coaches), I feel as if this is one of the best things that's happened in my entire life. I feel like I'm standing on the edge of a fabulous, adventurous, open, amazing, beautiful world filled with limitless potential. It is astonishing how, instead of sad and helpless, releasing those beliefs that anything can be fixed or solved can fill you with so much freedom and hope.
Something else the necklace fiasco made me realize is how much I *do* have. I mean, I had 6 necklaces before I took the 3 apart. And, despite the 3 left, I still saved 50% of them. And that's the way I feel about my move. I had to give up a lot. I'm sure I'll have to give up more. But what's left still feels extremely plentiful.
I don't remember feeling this blessed for a long time, if ever.
I put those 3 necklaces gently into a box that is now sitting atop my jewelry armoire. Like the last few years of my life, I am not sure that I will ever fix them, or even attempt to, but I've found a safe place for them where they will not be forgotten.