Alright folks, I know that I've been slacking. It's been pointed out to me on several occasions, in fact.
The thing is, after that last race of the season (an excellent half-marathon, photos from which pepper this post), I decided to take the off-season seriously for a little while. Or at least I tried to. I have not been in the pool or on my bike since early November. I took a little over a week off from running after the half marathon to give my legs a bit of a break. And I also thought that if I didn't feel like writing a blog post for a while, that was OK too.
That isn't to say, however, that I've been sitting on my off-season-sized tushy. Erin and I took up rock climbing a few months ago, and I've been going 1-2 times/week since then. I've also been heavily invested in my weekly yoga classes and have begun to do at-home crossfit workouts that my friend Matt turned me on to. This is all part of a gradual plan to turn the "off-season" into "strength season". For the rest of this month, until Erin and I leave with my family for 10 days in the tropics for the holidays (I know, we're pretty damn lucky), climbing, yoga and crossfit, with a bit of running on the side, is the plan. I've been taking 1 or 2 scenic trail runs every week, just for 3 or so miles, and then on Sundays I run with my friend Matt who's trying to jump back on the running wagon. Once January rolls around and we're settled back in, I will be continuing to climb and go to yoga, but will also get into some more serious lifting for a bit. For the four weeks before I start my first training block (undecided when that begins, but probably late February?) I will be following Matt Fitzgerald's "Quick Start" program to gain base fitness and lose the off-season weight. And then I will begin the training program, hopefully stronger, leaner and meaner than last year.
Looking ahead to the season, though, I need to start considering what races I am planning on attempting. I know that I am doing Eagleman 70.3 for sure (race entry is already in!) but I am still struggling with the decision to attempt a full ironman. I have to weigh several factors including the fact that this may be the last season I have time to do the training justice, but also the disaster that was my last half-ironman and the fact that I'll likely have to pay to enter the race before I will get to test my training at Eagleman. Oh and did I mention the race fee? yeah. NO IDEA how I will afford that.
I also need to see if I can somehow make coaching happen. I can't afford it, but I really think I will need it.
Speaking of my blown-up half last September, I went to the cardiologist this week. The good news is he doesn't think I should stop training and triathlons. There wasn't really much bad news, unless I continue to have problems when I ramp my training up in the Spring.
Backing up to my last race this season, which was a half marathon in Annapolis MD, I set a new PR on the innaugural course. My best friend from childhood and her roommate came down to race as well. The short version of the story is that because of traffic and poor planning on both our part and that of the race organizers, we ended up starting the race 45 minutes after the gun went off. Thank goodness for timing chips! We had the course nearly to ourselves for large parts of the race. Unfortunately I caught up with the slower pace groups just as I hit a very narrow bike path section of the course and had to dodge considerable, two-way traffic. Again, it was this race's first year and there were some improvements needed. There were not enough water stations, there were no mile markers and the parking situation left a lot to be desired. However, the two-way heavy traffic of 2,000 runners on a narrow bike path in the woods was definitely the worst-planned element. Still, we had a great time and there was free beer after the race (even if they did run out of post-race water...).
NOW for the Triathlete Gift List!! I was going to just type up my wish list (and for those of you who are curious about my triathlon needs, arm warmers, knee warmers, bike shoe booties, a bike headlight, a new running case for my iphone, and a winter riding jersey are all good bets!) but triathletemag.com has an awesome list of adorable goodies for those who still need presents for their favorite triathletes. Check it out here:
Triathlete Magazine Gift Ideas
Now I will leave you with my jock xmas picture of the year. Here is our "Christmas Tree." There is no room in our apartment for a real one...