Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Off Season

I am not very good at the Off season. It just isn't my personality. I admit this fully. I am Not good at rest.
This past summer was super intense however. It was intense physically and mentally. I had to keep my head together for a long long long time. I think I did this fairly well. I staggered a few times. I was down and mopey and sick of some of the training, but I held it together.
While out for my final 110 mile training ride before Lake Placid, I dreamt of the off season. June and July were cold rainy months here in Maine. Despite summer on the calendar, I was dressed in coats and gloves while riding for hours in the freezing rain. I had HAD it. But I showered, ate some good recovery food, and got overly excited for my first Ironman. Off to New york and Score! I hit a home run. The day went beautifully. (we'll skip all the stories of pain and suffering that day. Because in the end it Was a homerun! )
The next season did not begin my off season as I had expected.
Instead, I was off to Kona. For this, I was grateful. And thrilled. And ...nervous of course.
The next 10 weeks were tricky. First, I had to recover from said first Ironman. That was not easy. It took time. A lot more time than I wanted. But the body needed to be nurtured and respected. So I was patient.
After a few weeks of very little, I started again.
I pushed and pushed and kept my head in the game. And once again, on that final 100 mile ride, I was done. I didn't want to do it anymore. It was time to shower and pack for Hawaii. No more training.
My Kona experience was fabulous. Indescribable. Unforgettable. So tough. I am a stronger person now.
Once again, I wished for the off season. I was ready. I needed to lose the structure. To run when I wanted or not at all. To leave the bike at the shop and pick it up...later. I ate when and what I wanted. I stayed up late. I didn't set the alarm for 4:33.It was fun. For about a week or two.
It wasn't that I missed my 5 hour bricks or the rush to drop the kids off and immediately hop on the bike.
I just missed Moving. I missed feeling fit and strong and trim.
However, I behaved and didn't push it. I stayed true to myself and took the break.
And then....the foot. The foot had to go and break. I have no idea why, how or exactly When this happened. I am guessing it's my body's way of saying, BACK OFF! I was ready to go go go again.
Triathletes tend to be very motivated and always ready for what's next. We must respect the fact that our bodies need to heal and rest and think about other things. Perhaps for more than 3 weeks/ year. perhaps 3 little weeks just wasn't' long enough for me this year.
I will be ok. I am feeling unfit and less than trim. I feel weak and slow and lazy. yes, I am swimming. And biking. And Lifting. HOwever, for some reason, missing that run piece leaves a hole in my week. I miss it to the core.
I love to go for runs. Not always to train....just to run.
Sometime I write my posts to convince myself of something.
This season has been a huge learning experience for me. And now the off season is a learning experience again. We must step back, move away, take it easy, sleep in, and sometimes just skip it. If it's not in your heart...November is the month to let it go and know it's ok.

8 comments:

endurancegirl said...

ugh...I feel your pain and relate in every sense to the frustration of rest! I have plantar fasciitis and despite swimming and biking, nothing takes the place of running! Here's to a dose of patience for our poor type A selves... :) And at least it's during winter and not right before race season!

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Hang in there Ange - I know EXACTLY what you mean about movement and feeling trim and fit and everything! I've been sick for so long after the race... that I feel very different from one month ago. But we WILL get through this. What about walking or hiking??? I've been doing a lot of both - even though I feel winded and out of shape at any incline... (so sad)...but its something.

It is so weird - this Ironman thing. Heck, this 2 IMs in one year - thing... Go with the flow and everything that you're feeling is totally normal. Hang in there with your foot - I KNOW how tough it is... I'm thinking of you. :)

Pedergraham said...

Ange, are you going to be able to ski with your boys with the foot issue? I hope so. I am not going to the swimmeet at BU---out of shape and Lelia's violin concerts are that weekend---but I will be cheering from here for Elaine and Mary and you, if you do it.

Kim said...

what a fantastic season you had ange. you know your little ass will be back training in no time :) unlike you, i REALLY cant wait to do absolutely nothing but get fat in my off-season :)

IronMatron said...

WEll, of course you know I feel the same way... But I feel so much for you b/c of the foot. I'm am loving the running right now--it's the one thing that makes me feel like I am getting fitter at a time when I feel like a load and a slowpoke.
That said, you're right. It's time to heal. If you started Jan. 1 you'd still have so much time... you know?

Judi said...

ange, hope the foot heals up fast! heal, rest, and be ok with it!

Melissa said...

Hi Ange, I know.. there is nothing like running and it's a killer to have to live without it. But, you will bounce back so quickly because you are in such great shape.

Marni said...

The off-season can be really tricky but it is always a time of the year that I look forward to. I really appreciate the beauty of exercising even if it is an hour walk on an incline on the treadmill or 20 min. of weight training. While you may be limited in what you can do right now, just find healthy ways to keep your body healthy and in shape and when your body is ready you will be able to train again :)
Hang in there.
-marn