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