Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Off Season

It has been almost 2 months since IMFL and I am finding myself in a new place, I struggle daily to go out for a run, a bike or even a swim (actually haven’t swam since race day so this one is not something that has even crossed my mind yet).

I took the first four weeks after the race as a ‘decompression time’, I always like to take time off at the end of the season and catch up on quality family time, friends and anything else I feel as I have missed while in training. Every year I deal with different demons in the off season. In the past it has always been around the fact that I go through ‘triathlon/racing withdrawals’, this year though is quite different.

While training for IMFL I kept feeling guilty, especially once I started working, about the time I was spending away from the kiddos, but I knew this was just temporary and in my mind I did not want to do a second IM so it was a once in a life time kind of thing. Now that I have no races close by I feel even worse to spend any time away since during the week they spend more time with the nanny than they do with me.

 Unfortunately after getting sick and having three thousand things going through my mind I kept finding myself asking the question ‘is it really worth it putting all the eggs in one basket?’. So at first I just decided that going forward when I’d plan for the tri season I would just do the races I wanted to do that year, forget about having an A race because at the end of the day this is not swimming where all conditions are always constant. The pool doesn’t change, the weather is not a variable that affects your training and lets be real above all I am a grown up woman, I have a career, a husband and a family so triathlon is just a hobby.

Those that know me would not hesitate to say that one of my ‘strengths’ is my consistency, I am one that thinks that success does not come without a price. I believe consistency and hard work take you far and yes one of the things that makes you stronger is how you learn from your experiences and keep going at it, there is always a goal to train for and at the end of the day is all worth it.

I have been racing triathlons for four years now, my first year was with TNT and I have been working with my coach Jeremy Sipos since my second season, in those four years I can count with one hand the workouts I have skipped in that period of time and it has always been for health issues, I have never skipped a workout because I couldn’t get motivated, I didn’t feel like it or just because… well that was up until two weeks a go, I have officially been back on a ‘training plan’ for two weeks now and have not completed a whole week as of yet.

I love triathlon and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE racing, otherwise I would have never gotten started on this crazy world of endurance sport. Even more now that I work, now that my ‘ME’ time does essentially not exist. While I was still training for IMFL, I loved my morning runs (by myself, without music or kids screaming, or TVs.. I know I am weird!) I loved my morning rides on the trainer, having coffee while the house was still ‘asleep’ and enjoy the peace and quiet knowing I had already had time for myself and had done something good, I craved the sense of accomplishment every time I’d get out of the pool feeling as if I had gotten a good workout (or a ‘swimmers high’ like some people like to call it). And as much as I know that I USED to LOVE all those things I am still struggling to get back to it.

So, for the next month my goal is to find myself again. To keep up with my training and enjoy my ‘ME’ time.