I have enjoyed this off-season more than any other in the past. I think that is because this year I really worked hard and pushed all year. I know that I left it all out there on the courses throughout the year. I did all the hard work, and now, I deserved the rest. I earned it. And I was tired.

I had worked so hard the past 2 years. 2012 was filled with work, work, work, and as a result of a very disappointing DNF at my “A” race at the end of the season, I finished the year feeling discouraged, let down, and that my all that time was for nothing. Obviously, that’s not true since I grew so much mentally and physically during that year, but I didn’t realize it at the time. I had about 5 weeks “off” but couldn’t enjoy them. I wanted to get back into training and fight those demons asap. I was so worried the whole time about losing my fitness and gaining weight, and it resulted in me not enjoying my time off. Then 2013 came around and I got to work. I worked so, so hard all year and it paid off! In 2013 I PR’d my: 10k, 10 mile, half marathon, 70.3, and finished a Full. 

I took a week off after Cedar Point and then got back into a more run focused training for the Columbus half marathon (which I ran with a few friends) and was able to run the whole thing with Ray and cross the finish line with him for his first Half Marathon. A few weeks after that, in early November I PR’d the 10 mile distance, and then I was finally done. I ended the season so proud. I was happy and satisfied and ready to soak it all in. And this time around, I have enjoyed every second.

First, I slept for about a week straight. And then there was lots of celebrating: 

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And BRUNCH! Brunch is one thing that I missed so much during training. With training for a full, there’s really no time for brunch since your weekends are full of swimming, biking, and running and there’s just no time for a leisurely morning of stuffing your face with pancakes and bacon and bloody mary’s 😉

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 We also traveled a lot, which again, was hard to do during the season. 7 hour bike rides are tough to “squeeze” in. 

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 It hasn’t all been boozing and sleeping though. I have been exercising but in a much more relaxed way. LOTS of yoga, strength training, and running with no watch, and sometimes dressed like an elf….

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It’s been great to stay up past 9pm, eat and drink what I want, catch up with friends and family to whom I owe SO MUCH for their support throughout this crazy journey, cook and clean, not do laundry 3 times a week, wear real-people clothes on the weekend, etc.

That said though, the itch to train and race is coming back right on schedule. Official training with Coach Kim is starting January 1 and I am SO excited about next year. I’m starting to think about the race schedule and the goals and finally getting that sub-2:00 half marathon (PLEASE!) 2013 will definitely be a tough year to beat, but I have a great feeling that 2014 will do it!

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