Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Off-Season

Here we are at the end of November and the only race I have on my schedule is the xMas City 5 Mile Run on December 8. And by race, I mean I paid some money to get a shirt and run the same route, at the same time, as 4-500 other people. I promise you I won't be fast and have little if any chance of placing in my age group ... even if nobody shows up. My "A" race (Augusta 70.3) of the season was on September 30 and my attempt at a late-season marathon didn't pan out as I expected. It's the off-season and I have embraced it.

From January through my last big race of the season there is a plan in place. Week in and week out my training is about a series of goals throughout the year. Some are training goals and some are racing goals. There are good weeks, there are not-so-good weeks. Occasionally there are really, really good workouts and really, really crappy workout. All of this happens within the confines of a larger plan.

After that last race everything changes. The end of the year, for me, has become about training for the enjoyment of swim/bike/run. I do what I want to do when I want to do it. Generally, this has translated into more running ... but easy running. I swim enough, but not too much. If the weather is better than average on a Saturday or a Sunday I am out on the road bike. Because riding a bike is awesome, and riding without "having" to ride hills, or intervals, is even better.

The off-season is also about healing the body. With training volume at a low level and training intensity pretty much non-existent, I make sure the legs get the rest they need. I also make sure I get to the massage therapist to work out any lingering issues from the hard months of training and racing. There was a time, many years ago at a much younger age, where this was unnecessary because the body always felt good. While I am not old, I am no longer young.

Back to the xMas City 5 Mile Run. This is a race I have been doing for so long I cannot remember how many times I have done it. In past years we have gone fast and we have gone slow. Every time we have raced it we have had a good time. What's not to like about running with friends for the sake of running, followed by breakfast at a favorite local diner? In the off-season, that is the only thing that matters.

Last year The Queen joined me here for the first time. It was her first go at a race distance beyond the 5k. She ran the hill at mile four like a champ. I know this because a group of us backtracked and ran her in, distracting her from the work she was doing. She'll be back at it next weekend as well.

Gotta love the off-season.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I've (Finally) Started a Blog

Sooooooooooo....... this is something I have thought about doing for a long time. To be more precise, January 1, 2010 was when I initially planned on starting. Yes, that's right, one of my New Year's Resolutions almost two years ago was to start blogging. Better late than never.

Over the years I have chronicled my training for marathons, then triathlons, in a series of training logs that all of about one person will ever get to see. This will continue as I find it to be important. But there are also the stories - some good, some not so good - about training, racing, and life, that get shared with training partners. In part, this blog will be about the story (and stories) of my training and racing. The other part will be things that I find of interest.

I honestly do not know where this will go. I have some general ideas but nothing is set in stone. Inevitably, my initial thoughts on The Complex Triathlete are just that - initial thoughts. I look forward to seeing what becomes of my little space on the internet.