Monday, October 13, 2008

Taking Control

I have to say that writing about my Goon did help me clarify some of my frustrations and allowed me to pick myself up and start moving in a more constructive direction – so thanks for letting me take a blog to clarify inner-turmoil.

This past week I have decided to take control back from the Goons – the Work Goon, and the Athlete Goon, at least. Before I get into how I’ve managed this feat, just know that I am extremely superstitious (I was the kid who had to stay in the bathroom for the rest of the game if our Patriots scored a touchdown while I was in there) so I will be trying hard not to jinx myself with regards to possible future opportunities. :)

First the Work Goon –
For the last six months, I have been waiting along with everyone else to see how the new org structure will be put into place to determine how and where I wanted to fit within it. There were many reasons for my forceful patience (not one of my natural virtues). Basically, when you know that there’s going to be a reduction in force, you don’t want to be the big mouth that keeps asking questions. Also, I’ve never worked with the new director of my group and I thought it would be kind of obvious if I started talking her ear off, and all of my questions were about this new planned org that we knew nothing about. Furthermore, I believed that many if not all of the positions would be posted (don’t you love having to apply for your own job?) so I didn’t think there was a need to stir up the waters before the postings came out.

However, once it was determined that some positions would map, and others would post, and it was also announced that people who work on new world work today (me) could be mapped, I decided that I needed to take matters into my own hands.

I set up a meeting with my director, and nicely told her that although I have successfully done work in all of the 5 silos, I was most passionate about the Strategy workstream. I also told her that I saw this re-organization as a good opportunity for my title to reflect my work, and that I would be eyeing strategy manager positions. I believe that the meeting went well (knocking on wood). At least now I know that they know what I want, and can make a decision based on that, rather than just continuing to sit on my hands and hope they can read my mind. Take that Goon! Since I set up the meeting, my director has actually asked me to attend a strategic planning conference in Laguna Beach, and it’s going to be a fascinating meeting. I just bet that I wouldn’t have been asked to attend had I not had the gumption to ask for the initial meeting.

I also decided to not just wait and see what the future would hold, and applied for a Strategic Planning Manager position for a different department – the newly created Customer Experience team. The fact that one of the projects that I’ve spent the last year working on is going to be transitioned to this new position was one of the main reasons that I applied. The posting closes today, so we’ll see if there’s any traction on it in the next few days. Haiiiii yah (karate chop) Goon!

It seems that things are starting to move quickly with the org changes, so we’ll see what the future holds on the work front, but for now I’ve knocked the Work Goon out!

Now to the Athlete Goon –
One of the interesting things about keeping a ridiculously complex training log is that you begin to see patterns where you wouldn’t necessarily have seen them otherwise. I have mentioned that I’ve been struggling with a tired body and a tired mind, and after writing my Goon Blog, I decided to take a look at my log, and see if there was any pattern in when the tiredness (is this a word?) cropped up.

Well low and behold, it’s like freaking clockwork – every 12 weeks I either get sick, or start to fade significantly, and need to take the better part of a week off to recharge my batteries. Makes you realize that all of those “12 week plans” are 12 weeks for a reason. Other than realizing that I may need to make every 3rd recovery week a REAL recovery week, I’m not sure what I’m going to do about it. I did mark it in my future logs, so that I know to be aware of it. I think sometimes just being aware that your body will feel a certain way during a part of the cycle helps combat the Goon, because you have expectations for how you should feel, and how and when to fight your battles with him.

Another way to beat the Goon is to practice race day situations. With the upcoming Mission Bay Tri (this is actually called the U.S. Women’s Triathlon Series San Diego – which is too much to type every time, and it’s taking place at Mission Bay) just a week away, Lilac and I decided to do a time trial to get a feel for putting the race together, practicing transitions, and having me spew out rule after rule to Lilac, which bless her heart, she just accepts and goes with. Since this will be her first race, I wanted her to talk through the process with her as we were doing it, so that on race day we wouldn’t have a meltdown somewhere because I hadn’t discussed why you needed to leave the bike transition with your bike in easy gears even though you don’t feel comfortable in them… etc.

We rode our bikes to the gym, nice and easy. (Wow was is beautiful this weekend? I swear the temperature dropped 40 degrees overnight, and it was absolutely gorgeous out! Still, it was a little chilly in the morning, so we got in the indoor pool.) This is the part of the race that we are both most nervous about – for separate reasons. Lilac is concerned because she thinks she’s not a very good swimmer (she’s made HUGE progress this year) and I’m afraid of getting my goggles kicked off because I cannot see without contacts in, and if the salty sea brine gets into my contacts, well I’ll need to be tethered to Lilac for the remainder of the race because I’ll be blind. We did our 375 meters, and she felt better because she wasn’t even half a lap behind me. We also practiced “beach entrance” because Lilac isn’t the kind of person who normally dives into cold water to get the shock over. She felt much better about the swim afterward, so it was worth it to get in there. She also had about 13 skin products that she decided she needs to bring to transition. (Momo – you’re not the only one who apparently needs to brush your hair in transition – and this for a sprint!)

Our time trial for the bike would be interesting, because we were going to be making 2 ½ loops (6.2 miles) of the paved portion of the Orchid Canal, to see where we were timewise on mountain bikes. Lo and behold, I am actually faster on my mountain bike than I am on my road bike. It’s probably because I’m not frantically trying not to fall off of my bike the whole time – and maybe being able to sit comfortably helps as well. I think I pushed it a little bit too hard on the bike, because my legs were not cooperating when we locked the bikes to a sign, and started the run portion. Good practice though – now I know how hard not to push it.

The run was more of a shuffle, stop, shuffle, stop, but 1.58 miles goes by quickly. We were actually chatting about wedding plans (for her) when all of a sudden our stop line came up on us. I was totally unprepared for it. I guess that means I can tell the Goon that it will be shorter than I think it will, and that might give my legs some extra juice.

Overall, I feel completely confident in our ability to get out there on a beautiful SD morning, and have a great time. So take that Goon!!

1 comment:

  1. When is the event? I want to be sure to think good thoughts on that day for you!! Cheers to a great week and way to takle those goons!!