09 December 2012

AND the 2012 off-season comes to a close

This morning I received my FIRST Training Peaks auto-email since mid-October.  A return to structured training, and not a moment too soon.  When you find yourself eating chocolate chip cookies for breakfast with your three-year-old goddaughter (Erin, pretend you didn't read that!  Reagan is obviously better at keeping secrets than I am!), that's when you know you've hit the off-season jackpot and there is simply nothing else you can do to top that during your break from training.  I ended my off-season this weekend with a bang, visiting my college roommate Erin and her 3-year old daughter (my goddaughter Reagan) down in Tennessee.  The most taxing thing I tried (and failed) to do was put together toddler sippy cups (I swear those things are made by rocket scientists and you need a PhD to figure them out).  It was a dreary weekend and it was so nice to curl up in the house and watch Christmas movies, bake cookies, and enjoy time with two very important people in my life.

Enjoying some quality time together.
This has been, by far, the longest (and laziest) off-season I've ever taken.  Yes, I've worked out.  And yes, I've raced.  But I've not really trained for any of the races this fall and I've not had a structured workout on my plate since before my last triathlon of the season.  If I felt like running, I ran.  If I felt like being a lump on a log, I was a lump on a log.  Guilt-free, might I add.  I've been to the pool twice and I've ridden my bike outside a few times and a handful of additional times on the trainer.  I've eaten chocolate almost every day.  I've simply not thought a ton about racing or training and just enjoyed the extra free time I've had and the freedom from setting an alarm clock.

I'm wondering how I'm going to feel getting back into the swing of things.  There are days that I've asked myself lately, how did I find the time to do all that swimbikerun??  And what is it going to be like to not each chocolate at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacktime?  You know, the important questions in life.  It's not that I'm worried about being slow (I already know I'm going to be slow and that swimming is going to su-uuck those first few times).  It's just that I've not missed training the way I figured I would miss it - the way I've missed it in the past.  But then I remind myself that taking a big break like this, getting soft and lazy, it could actually mean good things for 2013.  I've given my body and mind a long break, and that will hopefully both stave off early burnout in 2013 AND help me get faster and stronger.  I also remind myself of my "normal" 10 months out of the year - a more disciplined lifestyle, Saturdays and Sundays filled with lots of miles on the bike and in the run shoes, and early morning visits to the pool.  And every year, I LOVE ALL OF IT and I remember always thinking, I can't imagine NOT spending my days doing the sports I love.

SO... Cheers to 2013!

This is what cookies for breakfast will do to you.  Don't try this at home, kids.


beingcat.com said...

Great post, Caroline! I love the pictures!

chitoandkgo.com said...

A solid off-season is a key ingredient to a successful next season. Woot Woot!

Em said...

I think chocolate is a necessary training aid btw :-) And I cannot wait to see what you accomplish in 2013!

Katie said...

Can we swim this week? I'd love to have my ass kicked in the pool for a while.

B.o.B. said...

I feel like I wrote this post. I haven't really been doing a whole lot of training. I basically just slogged my way through a half marathon and the only reason I'm running so much is for Ragnar. Otherwise....pass me the cookies. ;)

P.S. My godson is named Regan. But it's pronounced Ree-gan, not Ray-gan. It was my dad's name. :)