It’s December, which means the last month of real “offseason” and slacking… ;) Ok, not slacking, but having such focused recovery time.
Shawn keeps emphasizing I am just supposed to stay fit. It’s about recovery. He has also reiterated on multiple occasions that, come January, it’s time to WORK. Aweosme ;) I am both ecstatic, but sad, because I am totally getting lazy and this whole 7-hours-a-week thing is feeling pretty nice….
Just kidding. It’s not. I mean it is, but it only feels good because I know it’s temporary and I get to start the hard stuff again soon!
It’s been interesting. I have definitely gained weight. Only a few pounds, really, but I just FEEL like it. I also read a really interesting article which essentially said “athletes can gain u to 8% of their race weight during the off-season, and it actually provides benefits once the real training starts again”…I’m well below that 8% weight gain soooo I guess it makes me feel better knowing, for real, it’s ok :)
I have also proven to myself that I’m not actually just getting fat and lazy. Well, I AM getting lazy, but I am fully capable of still pushing it hard! We have kept 1 or 2 intense workouts per week, focusing on running right now, and I am THRILLED that my run speed is coming back! 6 months post-ironman and I am FINALLY seeing some paces that tell me maybe I’m not super slow, after all! It’s also a great feeling to be feeling fat and off-season-y, but still able to hit those hard workouts. So, I know it’s all ok afterall. Last week, Shawn put this (what I thought was) crazy treadmill workout on my schedule. I HATE treadmills, but…FINE. It was an hour run, with 3x11:00 intervals…to be done at 6:55, 6:45, 6:35. Let’s back up a second: by 5k PR is at a 6:54/mi average (granted that was somehow eked out 2 weeks after IMCDA, and I’ve only done a couple 5ks so not much to base that off of, but STILL). I figured I could do the 6:55. I figured the 6:45 would be tough, but ok. I was NOT sure about that 6:35…especially AFTER the previous two intervals. But I did it and…it was…ok???!! I mean it wasn’t awesome, not exactly looking forward to it again ;) but I did it, I didn’t have to bail (I was seriously concerned, and I do NOT often get worried that I may not physically be able to complete a workout..I’m kind of full of myself). It was hard, but it was hard in a “man I need to get used to pushing my body this hard” kind of a way, not in a “my legs can’t do this!” kind of way. So, a good kind of hard. I was pleased!
Then yesterday I had the worst run ever, slower intervals but I just COULD NOT do them and...gave up. Trying to move past that and not dwell. :(
Speaking of running, we are focusing it now because I’m running a 12k on the 20th. It’s a fun Christmas run, so obviously I’ll be dressed up and wearing a tutu…but I have been instructed to race it so I guess I’m racing in a tutu (not like that’s the first time). I have also been instructed to “win it” but uhhh yeah that’s not happening. But, I will race it as hard as I can J So that’s exciting, but kind of scary. This weekend I’m supposed to run a 10k (on my own) essentially as if I were racing, to kind of get a baseline I guess. We’ll see how that goes. It’s always hard to push yourself when you’re just running alone as a training run..but we will see.
Other than that, swim is slowly coming back (although “coming back” really just means coming back from being SUPER awful to being regular Rosanne-level awful, so that’s kind of sad), and biking is…fine. It’s so hard to tell on the trainer, I mean I’m following my workouts and having some fun mountain biking, but it’s never the same as going for a ride outside and really knowing how you’re doing. But, it’s been good. Especially after feeling like I was able to bring my biking back up in the fall, I’m confident that my bike is fine, and will just continue to improve in the upcoming months.