Thursday, January 5, 2017

2 months off

I am good at coaching my athletes to take a proper end of the season break- even encouraging them to take a break from me, as much as they love the daily dose of Dunkle. It is good to take a solid break from swim/bike/run and a mental break from waking up to a Training Peak's email with your workout of the day.  But me personally..... I am not so good at losing fitness or taking that break, that is until 2016. The last few years have been do as I say not as I do. 

By the time we crawled, okay walked, out of the Grand Canyon after R2R2 I was so ready for a break, not "I want to quit kind of break" just a proper unstructured few months.  So I hit the pause button with my coach and just chilled out.   I am not a sedentary person so I was active most days,and with 2 Vizslas you cannot be sedendary. Prior to our trip to HK and Myanmar I was cruising the coast on my bike and taking some fitness classes.  My glute was seriously aggravated from, well a LONG season of 2x70.3's, 3 Ironman's and R2R2R, so I needed some time off running.  Then they closed the pool renovation and Alga is cold and well....really I wanted to take a break from swimming too.

When I landed back in the US on 12/4 I was eager to get on my bike, but more so because that is my social time, girl time and I was jonesing to catch up with everyone.  I logged quite a few miles in Dec on the bike but it was casual and slow, as in 40watts under IM slow, it was tooling around, chatting, being annoyed with traffic as it was cutting into my "chat " time. It was also logging miles to allow for holiday sweets and beverages.  Yes gaining a few lbs is okay but I was not looking go gain in the double digits. 

Sure we did some good rides, GWL + Descanso, Rice and Couser etc but the ride times were way way off.... so far off that I nearly missed an appointment.  I plan ride times within 5 min 90% of the time, that is until now and I was off 15-30 min off.  Off season pace.   To say it did not bother me would be a tiny lie, or a huge one as I HATE losing fitness.  Rationally I know needed to lose fitness, not care about watts etc, but when you see your Average Power and ride time for a ride you regularly do and it is shockingly off, it makes me pause and think the climb back up is not going to be pretty.  

The pool reopened mid December and well 4 weeks out of the water + 3 weeks of 1-2 swims a week takes it toll.   I refused to drop down a lane because I am a swim snob  so I suffered at the back of my lane until I had to put on paddles and when that was not working I got out.  Petulant? maybe.....but well it's December I was on my own plan.

The idea of hitting the gym hard in December is good in theory, but did not happen for me.  I went a few times, enough to feel it, but I was operating on do what I want to do. I hopped around to a few strength classes but resolved I know what I need to do and how to do it.  While clinching my cheeks for 20+ min in barre class may give my rear a boost I am not so sure it will help me in the back 1/2 of the marathon in an Ironman.  Functional vs vanity. 

And just like that Jan 1 rolled around and I woke up that familiar email from Michael Ricci:  Schedule for Sunday 01/01/2017 to Monday 01/02/2017.  And I am once again a "follower", although probably not as good of a follower as Coach Mike would like.  I still question, challenge and push a bit or a lot....but the plan is in place.  I dusted off the WahooKickr and reacquainted myself with the suffering on the trainer, can I remind you all how much I DISLIKE that beast.... OUr runs have a purpose again and the weight room is not optional. Biking changes too....as much as riding is my social life I want to "follow the plan" which may mean riding shorter than my friends are, doing intervals when I'd like to be chatting it up...yes this is a hobby but I have big goals for 2017!  So it's striking a balance of fun/socializing and following the place that was written by someone I trust and who knows me and what it will take to tick off the goals.  Got that Mike? 

Here's to 2017 and collecting hardware!