I had my turkey trot race recap all ready to go this morning, but I'm going to save it for tomorrow and instead talk about what's going on today. I think I'm just a tiny bit burned out. Or suffering from some pretty serious post-race blues.
My plan after Waterman's was to basically shut down the bike and concentrate on the run for the 5 weeks leading up to Richmond. After Richmond, I was planning on taking two weeks almost completely off to get rested and ready to jump in with my new coach on December 1. But then things went a bit screwy. I got sick, and I took 3 days off, but I spent those 3 days a) sick and b) stressing out about what to do about the race. Once I decided to bag Richmond and run Philly, I jumped back in - probably just a hair too soon - to squeeze in a few runs before race day. I'm completely happy with the decisions I made going into the race, but I definitely didn't consider the ramifications of pushing back the race on my recovery.
I ran Philly on Sunday. On Monday I did 20 no-resistance minutes on the spin bike and then maybe as many as 6 laps of kicking in the pool to shake my legs out and help flush out the crap - this is my pretty standard day-after-a-race routine. Tuesday, completely off. Wednesday, a not-short-but-not-long-and-definitely-not-hard swim, but one that set my funky shoulder twanging and it's been irritating me more than a little ever since. Thursday, 40 easy no-resistance minutes on the trainer (latest House episode to watch). Friday was the first day I did a "regular" workout, and it was a fairly short ride with some intervals just to get my HR up a bit. I was thrilled to be back on the bike, which was a good feeling because I've been dreading it lately, and the ride didn't tire me at all, but by Friday night I was feeling pretty blah. Blah enough to be in bed before 9 on a night when I didn't have to get up until 8 the next morning. I ran the turkey trot Saturday morning and was thrilled to be running, but once that race itch was satisfied, I was back in the dumps. Sunday was a gorgeous and unseasonably warm day, and I had no plans other than Christmas tree decorating. Saturday night I started considering what I'd like to do on Sunday afternoon - a medium-long ride and a swim - and I just felt drained and flat.
So instead, I watched some movies, I read a book, I went Christmas shopping with the poet, and we made spaghetti for dinner. I didn't get on the bike or in the pool, and I definitely didn't even think about running. I don't think this is a long-term blah - after walking around outside and being out of the house for a while, I started to feel a bit more chipper. But I think that I need some more recovery time before jumping into IM training. I'm hoping to pow-wow with my brand-new coach once she's done recovering from the very serious ass she kicked yesterday at Ironman Cozumel (and hopefully before she reads this.....), but I think I need another week off to recharge my batteries a bit. And then to ease back in instead of doing a header straight into 15-20 hours a week of swim/bike/run.
We're going to Key West this weekend to defend our relay title from last year. I'm hoping that lots of recovering this week - good recovering, with healthy eating and vegetables and lots of sleep and maybe some light yoga and not too much beer - plus a vacation trip that includes a fun, no-pressure triathlon will get me pumped to jump into IM training. I do know that if I get started down the path that is going to end up in Idaho next June with anything less than "ridiculously excited" as my mojo, it's going to be a long and tough cycle and I'm not going to make it.
And more importantly - I'm trying to remember that I do this for fun. I'm not a pro, and I never will be. It's not my job, it's something I do because I'm absolutely in love with the sport, and I want to make sure that I keep loving it. When I was training for Waterman's, I was so pumped to get my workouts every day, and to go out and execute them perfectly, to a T, to the heart beat. I couldn't wait to bust ass and then rush home and upload my workouts to my coach with a note that said, "completed perfectly as described!" I'm not excited like that right now. Instead, I don't even want to look. I'm dreading it all, and that's not okay. But I'm hoping that by recognizing it, like I did the last time I was feeling burned out, will be a big step towards being excited about it all again, being ready to work my ass off, being hungry and ready to eat all this fat aerobic training right up. Because I want to rock this cycle hard, but right now my fire is out. I see that, and I'm listening, and I just need to figure out how to find my way back.