Sunday, October 25, 2015

Off Season Adventure

We each approach our off season a little differently. It's a time to rest, a time to build strength and address weaknesses, and a time to recharge. I tend to have a few phases to my off season.

Immediately after my last triathlon wraps, I find myself eager for adventure and change and different outlets for my fitness. I'm happy to let go of paces and watts and prescribed intensity. In the four weeks since my last race, I've enjoyed the following:

112 miles (Iron distance bike) on the bike trainer - split between 64 miles on Saturday and 48 on Sunday. This was the weekend the hurricane blew through the east coast making it too rainy to do my prescribed double-ride weekend safely outside. I rode on the trainer on Zwift (the virtual reality multi-cyclist riding community that is awesome). I decided to knock out a metric century (and then some) on Saturday, and then get to a total of 112 on Sunday. I watched a bunch of movies and made it a fun challenge!

Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival Century Ride - This was my first ever century ride that was part of an organized ride. I was not nervous about handling the 100 miles and 6000' of climbing, I was nervous that I'd miss a turn and get lost! I did not miss a turn, and I did not get lost, however, something went glitchy on my Garmin and the mileage count was way off. I knew something was not adding up quite right but didn't fully realize it until I asked a fellow century rider how far in were were and he replied "65" to my reading of "49.5". It felt like I had time-travelled!! What a surprise that was! (I think the glitch came because I had loaded the course on my Garmin and didn't remember to activate it until about 15 miles into the ride.) Anyway, I had an awesome time out there!!

Brush Mountain Breakdown 12 Mile Trail Race - It's been a few years since I've done this small local favorite race. My goal was only to run happy and safely as the trail is very rocky in places and covered with leaves. I like the mental challenge of trail running. I told Coach Jim that my brain is so busy concentrating on where to put my feet (especially downhills where I am very slow/conservative) that there is no room for doubt, judgement, or negative self talk. You can't be anywhere but in the moment or you risk a fall. On the second half of the run I connected up with three young women runners and we had a great time running together. We traded leads some, but mainly I followed their springy and sure-footed steps. We separated in the final miles and I finished third overall, happy and healthy! That was the most fun I have had running in a long time!

nice elevation profile

Photo by Kristen Chang of

I am glad to have had some different fun this month but I'm ready to chill out a bit and start thinking about the holidays. I plan to step up my gym workouts and re-establish that routine, along with adding more consistent stretching and flexibility work.

Today, though, is a rest day for sure. I am happily enjoying the appropriate amount of full-body soreness!!