It is hard to believe that Kona was over two months ago, and now seems like an almost distant memory and I am deep into the offseason. In the weeks leading up to Kona, and other occasions throughout the season, there were times where I was so exhausted from training that I looked longingly past October 11 to the offseason and the opportunities I would be presented with given the fact I would have more free time. As it turns out, the grass isn't always greener in the offseason.
I have appreciated the reprieve from the daily grind of training, especially not trekking to the pool for swim practice at 7pm. While it now seems as if everyone else is back training doing big rides, long runs, and monster swim sets, I am not yet ready to see that excel spreadsheet from Brian in my inbox for a number of reasons. One of the biggest reasons being my time limitations right now, as my current clinical rotation has been a 70+ hour/week gig including a week of working nights, which in my opinion makes doing an Ironman look easy. Although how I felt that last night was comparable to how I felt after and Ironman.
I also feel like my body isn't quite ready to go back to the rigors of training on a formal schedule. I took a solid month off from any training; I biked once and maybe ran twice before November 11. My body needed the break, as did my mind. I missed the endorphins, but I did not feel guilty about taking this break because it is a necessary part of the training cycle. I have always benefited from a prolonged period of time off after the season is over and I felt no reason to do any differently as I gear up for my first season as a professional. In fact, I felt even more compelled to rest and make sure my body was in full working order before using the ante.
I slowly got back into the swing of things and started biking or running most everyday, but avoided the pool until about a week ago, ignoring all advice saying I should be swimming more. I was feeling ready to roll again and even worked out more than 7 straight days the week of Thanksgving! But then my left knee started bothering me so I sat out a few days, then got back in the pool only to still be sore after getting out of the water; and also feeling disappointed that the one activity I thought would not bother it did. So then I took a few more days off. Now almost two weeks later after many, many days of absutely nothing (except traipsing around the hospital, which is basically all-day stair master) I am still in pain even while laying in bed.
I have my moments of freaking out, probably several times a day. I really should avoid social media because almost nothing makes my stomach churn and my heart drop more than seeing everyone else enjoying their "offseason" training. But I have faith because I have done this before and I built up an amazing amount of fitness this past year that I will not be able to capitalize on for next season unless my body and my brain are rested and ready to go.
My reprieve will continue for now. I am keeping calm and off-seasoning on and making preparations for what will be an awesome and exciting debut professional season. I will have some great news to share in the coming weeks regarding new sponsorships and some potential 2015 races! Stayed tuned because this journey is about to get even better!