"Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” ~Hermann HesseThis past week was all about recovery, both physically and mentally. How often do we get a chance to take a break from responsibility and come back to ourselves? To refocus and recharge? I had the week off from work and hoped to get some cleaning done and maybe organize my closet and drawers. I wanted to run, of course. Catch up on some sleep. Other than that, I had no big plans.
Running-wise, I tried to take it easy. The day after the race, I went out to do an "easy" 3, to shake out the legs. The weather was gorgeous and I hated to pass up a perfect day for a run. The legs were stiff and sore from pushing it so hard the day before. The rest of the week, for my runs, I ran my usual 6. And that
I also was able to take out my bike. I'm a fair weather cyclist, and at 55 degrees, I was at the edge of my comfort zone. The air feels a lot colder when you're zipping along at 14 miles/hour! Initially, I forgot how to unclip my shoes and almost fell over the first time I tried to stop. But you know what they say about riding a bike...I took this one to my bike path and the forest preserve. I had a loose goal of 20 miles, because the 17 miles that this route takes me isn't an even number. I'm OCD like that. Part of the forest preserve path is a 3 mile loop and I had planned to repeat that, to get my 20 miles, but the workers were doing a "controlled burn". In other words, they were burning the grass in the center of the loop. I had to ride through thick smoke, and that wasn't pleasant at all. In lieu of doing an extra loop, I headed back home, past the guys backed into the parking spots looking for dates, and looped around my neighborhood to get my extra 3 miles in. Dare I say that I love riding my bike almost, yes, almost as much as I love to run?
For the first time in weeks, I went back to the yoga studio for a class. About 6 weeks ago, I had severe vertigo during a yoga class, and I was a little nervous to return. Once the vertigo passed, I was close to race day, and decided to postpone a studio class until after the race. I was so happy to be back in class. This instructor is creative and has an amazing positive aura about her. I always leave her class feeling happy. This class was no exception. She had us put our mats up against the wall, and we did all our poses against the wall. This is a great way to properly align yourself into the poses. Do you think you're getting deeply into a pose? Try it against the wall. Humbling. There were a lot of deep stretches and it was as if she knew what I needed.
Being able to focus on my workouts and not rush to get them in before work was really helpful with bringing me back to center. What does it mean, to come back to center? To me, being able to step out of my everyday life, where I feel so overwhelmed, to be able to step back, refocus and gain perspective...that is coming back to center, and to myself. We don't often get a chance to do this in our daily life, do we?
I also spent more time than I should have on the great time waster, the internet. I did a lot of reading and research. I also did a lot of writing, publishing a blog post every day. Writing is a great outlet for me, and I had fun writing some humorous blog posts. I connected with some new bloggers, and worked on some new opportunities to help grow my blog.
Not everything this week was about fitness, though. I had lunch with an old friend. And by old, I don't mean elderly. She's my age. She's not a runner but we've known each other for years. As I get older, I really value these long standing friendships. I love these friends, who accept me for who I am, without judgment. And vice versa. Maintaining these friendships is tough, time-wise, and I was so happy we were able to make it happen.
And even though I didn't have to think about work at all this week, I drove to the city, to UIC, to accept an award. In my life outside of running, my real life, I am a pediatric nurse practitioner. Besides taking care of kids, I train nurse practitioner students in my clinic, and was given this award in recognition for my efforts. I love teaching and mentoring student. I keep in touch with almost every student I've worked with over the years. It's fun to see what they're doing with their lives both in the profession and outside of it too. The award was a surprise, and I was honored to be chosen. After this ceremony, I was also able to reconnect with some colleagues that I've known for years.
|Cleo is not impressed!|
Finally, and most importantly, I was around to focus on my family. Since I normally work most of the week, my husband does the cooking. This week was my turn. I planned some new meals for the week. One of them, Southwestern Pork and Sweet Potatoes, was a win. Another, Moroccan Chicken Stew, not so much. Win some, lose some, I guess! I was sad about that, because I hate throwing out food. Plus I felt bad for picking such a turd of a recipe. It sounded good on paper! We celebrated my youngest son's achievements at his gymnastics meet this week. As for my oldest son, we had a little drama again towards the end of the week, and life with him continues to be a challenge.
But for now, I'm going to spend this time with them, enjoying their company, and yes, coming back to center. And then, I can move forward.
I never did get that closet organized....
What do you do to come back to center? Do you take time off for yourself, to regroup?
I'm linking this post with Tara at RunningNReading for her Weekend Update! Be sure to head over to her page and see what everyone else is up to!