Monday, October 29, 2012

deep rest

I really feel as if Cedar Point was my season-ending race, and everything that came after was just a bunch of half-assed training shenanigans.
I wrestled hard with my bicycle motivation in particular throughout October, and last Saturday was thrilled to unpack it from the car and back into the basement, where it has lain, still in pieces and covered with mud, for the past week.  

I decided a few days before B2B that I was going to take a solid week off after the race.  I've read a pile of articles/blog posts/chapters in books recently about rest following a long season, and it appealed to me quite strongly.  Last year I felt the same drop in motivation, although it didn't show up until after I ran a half in late November and was staring down a long winter of trainer workouts and time in the pool.  From my training log, I can see that I took off four days in a row, and that was enough.  Poking back through my log even further, I don't think I've taken more than a day or two off in a row for over three years now, with the exception of that rest last November and the week Graham was sick post-CdA in June.  And while I did not exercise, that week was certainly not restful.  
I also decided that I would do this because I had enough little niggles in my body that I wanted to give everything time to just chill out.  My AC joint in my shoulder was really inflamed, and after a few weeks of rotator cuff strengthening and the usual home remedies were not working, I got a cortisone shot in it to really attack the inflammation.  I had a "massage" but I would actually call it a "serious deep tissue work OMG THAT HURTS" appointment on Thursday, and then just let everything heal and wash away.


So a solid week off it was.  No bike dates, no running, no "I'll rest except lift and take a yoga class," no swimming, even walking quickly was banned.  In an unfortunate twist of timing, I ended up traveling for part of the week which detracted from my laying around and eating cookies, but I still managed to stuff in quite a bit of laziness and gain at least 3lbs in the remaining days.

So how do I feel, a week later?  Well, fat, for one thing, but not in a panicky way, more of in a laughing "wow look how quickly I got soft" way.  Most of my niggles feel much better or are gone entirely.  Spending hours in a plane crunched up didn't help, but even that has washed away.  I think allowing myself to take a lot of time off was a really good mental reset, as well.  I'm ready to run again, lots of little stuff, I'm ready to be in the pool again, I'm ready to get moving again.  Motivation is sneaking back.  

For the rest of the month, I'll be on the "doing things I want to do with friends and no watch" plan.  I've gone out for two short runs, one a chatty loop and one a solitary loop, neither with any kind of electronics attached to me.  I'm going to take a couple of yoga classes.  I'm going to do lots of short little runs in all my favorite places before I pack up and move to CO.  I am NOT looking forward to the altitude adjustment period that comes along with a move to Boulder, so I'm even happier to be keeping everything short and social for a while.  I'm going to do a little bit of lifting, but nothing with any real weights, mostly injury prevention type stretchy band work.  I am going to do swims that I love and ignore my bike.  I might jump in a half marathon just for the joy of running.  And when December 1 rolls around again, I know that I'll be ready to put the wheels back on my bike and settle into a winter full of solid aerobic work, which I am already looking forward to almost as much as I was looking forward to a week off.  I had a great season of triathlon, albeit a long season, and now it's time to rest and put down deep roots for next year.  

Tell me, friendly friends.  Do you take deep rest at the end of your season, or am I just making up crap so I can be lazy?

18 comments:

  1. And now you get to plan your race schedule around a whole new area!!! Scout out the local races for me now so I can learn from you :)

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  2. Can I just say I like the word "niggles". Haha :)
    Oh, and enjoy having some fun workouts with friends that you want to do!

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  3. I like it. Glad you are going to get to plan new adventures. Relaxing months are always nice though! Have a great week!

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  4. I'm all for some lazy at the end of the season. I didn't do it last year and crashed and burned. In two weeks when I finish the marathon, week 1 is nothing (walking maybe if I get stir crazy), and until the new year, I'm on the "whatever the eff I feel like" plan and keeping it on the short side. Enjoy Boulder! :)

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  5. I'm already looking forward to my post-marathon lazy week, even though I'll be in the car for a lot of it! ;) Or maybe because I'll be in the car for a lot of it?

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  6. Looks like we're on the same schedule! Taking November to enjoy things as I feel like doing them and hitting December ready to go for it. Enjoy the fun!

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  7. If you're making up crap so you can be lazy, then I'm REALLY making up crap so I can be lazy. I'm heading into week three of doing nothing and eating everything. Three pounds? HA! I laugh at your three pounds! I will not step on a scale for fear of what it would say, but I'm sure that I'm closer to ten pounds overweight. That being said, I've gotten a lot of sleep, I've caught up on work and pleasure reading, I've been to the dentist and doctor. Most importantly, I am starting to get excited about my next training block and race rather than just getting tired thinking about my next workout. So yes, I think that a good long break is a necessity for anyone who physically and emotionally commits to this thing.

    And, on a different note, I've been looking for clever ways to use the phrase "fuck right off" in my speaking and writing. I first saw it in your CdA race report.

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  8. What the fuck? There are seasons for this shit??? That's where I've been going wrong...

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  9. Reading your blog makes me feel profoundly lazy, Katie. :) What does a "short" loop entail?

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  10. I take a deep rest roughly twice a year. Unfortunately, my deep rest comes along with an injury or illness that forces me onto the couch for a week. Your favorite doc and mine once asked me how I manage to stay injured for so long, and suggested in a sideways manner that some women like to combine pregnancy with injury rehab (hey, you're not running anyway!). I've gone the stomach-flu-awful-cold option instead so far, but there's some wisdom to his idea. Long story short: Good for you for taking the rest by choice, and for actually enjoying it!

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  11. Sounds like the perfect time for you to enjoy some R&R before you get settled in Boulder and have coach nearby and ready to push YOU! So excited for you and your next chapter out in Boulder :)

    P.S. When are you going to share your job deets?

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  12. Deep rest is mandatory, then getting back into activity That isn't crazy structured. Yoga, weights, whatever. Because of IMAZ we don't get much "off season" this year, but I'm gonna make the most of it. No alarm. Lots of sleep. Maybe yoga and weights. Sure, ill still have workouts, but they won't rule my goddamn life like right now. I'm also a fan of taking a day off during training. I think I've taken more days off during ironman training than any other time, but I'm injury free, feel good and have been able to hit my key workouts hard instead of grinding them out hating my life. Sure, there are still days I've wanted to throw my bike away, but not as bad. Hahaha! You're going to be a monster when you leave boulder and hit some sea level races! So rad! Come race in CA! Or AZ!

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  13. I'm taking a huge rest after this ultra. and looking forward to it. Some base/warmup stuff in january, then back into ironman training in february. I think you made the right call taking the week off. Glad all of those niggles are gone.

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  14. Definitely not lazy! I've read that a lot of pros dedicate time after their season to relax. I took my rest immediately following IMCdA and although it took some time to get back into it, I'm feeling better now and more motivated because of it.

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  15. After my first and only (at this point) HIM, I took tons of time off physically but traveled to another country and did not relax. Still, it was a great shift for me, and I think that it allowed me to rest in some ways, in the sense that I totally took a break from the routine of training and from prioritizing it.
    I have a trail race in November for which I've been training, but once that is done, I'm going to try to take another break from running. We'll see how it goes!

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  16. I just found your blog via Amy's blog. I definitely think we all need some down time at the end of the season. It's great for the mind, body and soul!

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  17. Not making up crap - I can't imagine a year without time to really reset, especially when there were BIG goals put in the mix (ahem, Ironman...?!). I always take one full week off of running after a marathon, and usually take the rest of that month after to do easy runs. I learned the hard way with the first 26.2 that bouncing right back into things will haunt you down the road (painful ghost).

    Enjoy the deep rest & use it for fun while you're here! :) The altitude adjustment is rude no matter what. At least it's pretty, though!

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  18. GET OUT OF MY HEAD!
    Why is resting so hard? Why am I so boring, it turns out? How am I NOT going to get fat doing absolutely nothing and STILL eating like I just ran 3 marathons? This morning.
    Yes, need to take some real time off. Glad to see you're finding a balance.

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