Back from a year of continuous training. Well almost a year. I began swimming with earnest in December of last year and then got back on my bike in January after a six month hiatus (with the exception of the Longhorn half '07 and two training rides preceding the race) followed by running from which I had suffered months of horrid shin splints.
During this intense year, I completed two half iron distance races and two full ironman races. I PR'd them all. I am happy with the results, save one. Oh, and don't tell me "you PR'd, you should be happy" or "you still did sub-13"...I've already heard that from everyone, including myself and you're not going to change my mind. Not yet, anyway.
Now I'm in my "off-season" and back in the "real world". But it seems to me the line between the real world and training world have been blurred. I've been in training mode so long that it has become my real world and the real world is so far removed that re-entering it feels unreal.
Sleeping in, going out, exercising without a purpose all feels so incredibly bizarre. I feel listless and a bit out of sync.
Yesterday I went for a run. I know I'm still recovering and shouldn't run at all, but it was a crisp, overcast morning just teasing and taunting me to come and play. I only ran for 25 minutes with no goal in mind - awkward. Then I went to breakfast. Then to yoga. Then for coffee. Then to watch friends run the Beer Mile. Then to dinner. Then to a friend's. Then downtown to meet Ed1 and Ed2. Home at midnight.
Seriously, is this what I used to do all the time? How?
I must confess, there is something kind of nice about not being on a schedule but I don't think I can do this for long. I need the structure. I need the discipline. I guess the only thing that eases my concern for having all this free time is that it won't last. I want to get back to training as soon as possible but I know that I need this break for my mental health more than anything. So in the meantime, I have a finite amount of free time which I am scheduling with various projects that I know won't get done one training returns to full stride.
So while I sit here pondering my existence I will enjoy my coffee and not a recovery drink, I will wear jeans (which I now fit into b/c of training) and not workout garb and I will fight every urge to put my hair into a ponytail...at least for now.
I realize that this post may seem like a rambling hodge-podge of words and thoughts...but it is off-season and I'm giving my brain a break too!