Friday, January 02, 2009

Don't Be a Jerk

I've noticed, since blogging attracted my fancy, that my bloggie friends go through cycles, pretty much in tune with the seasons.  We get fired up when spring comes.  We kick butt and take names through the April and May.  During the summer months, we melt, and moan and complain about the heat.  With the first soothing winds of fall and the slightest hint of color change, we get excited about our year end "A" races.  Winter brings the off season.  The cold winds blow.  Many of our friends experience Antarctic like conditions and have to either train indoors or take many months off.  Mojo is a precious commodity.

One would think that a multi-Ironman finisher like Paul would have a LOT of experience dealing with the off season.  Yet, Paul has been struggling to find direction and purpose this winter, just like so many others of us.  Of course, his surviving the off season is a little bit more active than my own, but I think that is DEFINITELY expected.  It's the thought processes that he is going through and shares so freely with us that I find helpful and refreshing.  Paul posts just about every day, and there is always something to take away.

I, on the other hand, am surviving the off season by staying entirely indoors!  I am happily shredding my body with almost daily P90X workouts (I am taking two days rest a week, 8 day cycle, until I get back onto a Monday to Sunday schedule).  It was another friend, Blaine, who convinced me that I should start the New Year off with a run. It just so happend my first "off" day this week was on New Years.

About half the day had passed before I set procrastination aside and suited up for my run.  It was 42 degrees.  I'm a little bit out of practice.  I wore my Mizuno long sleeve winter overshirt/jacket, and a short sleeve technical shirt, tights, Ironman hat, and sun glasses.  I opted to run in my New Balances, since my foot pod is already attached.

The run itself went very well.  My legs felt strong.  Strong enough, as a matter of fact, to turn it into a cardiovascular exercise only.  I really wanted to enjoy it.  Therefore, I set my watch to a R3/W1 cycle.  I quickly found myself pushing, forgetting that the purpose of the run was to have fun.  The numbers on the Garmin  Forerunner 50 became more important than they should have.  My sense of purpose was fleeting.

When I reached the half way point, I could feel new yet familiar aches and pains.  Yes!  My legs were strong, but their running endurance was suspect at best.  I was in clear danger of hurting myself.  My thoughts drifted back to one of Paul's post, the one about training the right way every day.  Train with a purpose.  Race with passion.

"Don't be a jerk, Wes!!", I told myself.

Stick to the plan.  Run for fun.  Remember that feeling of joy.  The wind.  The cool air.  The endorphins.

I made my way back up Mt. Doom, then Ass-Kicker, the twin hills I affectionately refer to as "The Test".  I enjoyed the long gentle downhill back to my house, taking my walk breaks as scheduled, keeping my heart rate in an enjoyable range.  I was sweating a bit too much as I came to a screeching halt at the stop sign outside my house.  A little too warm is preferable to me, then a little too cold.  I walked in the front door and threw my Garmin on the computer desk.  While I went to get something to drink, the the ANT downloaded my data to the computer.  Training Center was on the screen when I returned, proudly displaying my run.

"Huh!", I said.  "The distance was only off 0.0145 miles.  11:15 minute average pace."

Yea...  THAT was fun...

Have a great weekend, everybody!!

Wes

21 comments:

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Good job recoving today's run back to the fun run it was intended to be. You are strong in spirit. :-)

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

It sounds like you are doing all the right things during your off-season. Keep up the good work...

...and don't be a jerk. ;-)

Kevin said...

You definitely are doing things smartly. I am finding that rebuilding my endurance from several months off is slow at best

Jess said...

See, I always feel as though I'm on the opposite schedule as the rest of the country since in FL, the majority of the year's races are held Nov-Feb,a nd we have the best, most enjoyable running weather this time of year. But come summer, you definitely hear me moaning and groaning about the heat and the humidity!

Mary Gee said...

Very good! Nice job of not being a jerk!

LBTEPA said...

Ha. There is no way you could be a jerk - glad you found the fun again though!

Sarah said...

Glad to hear that you are back to it, and yah, it's rough man. I have NO blog mojo right now. Ah, well. Season will start on Monday for me.

Hey, any chance you can share the code for your nifty little sidebar charts? The ones you use for your schedule and PRs?

Lily on the Road said...

Sounds good!!

She says while looking out upon the frozen tundra of a backyard watching the wind swirl the snow around...

;^)

I just might get out there today...

Missy said...

Floudering without purpose, yep, very weird. Swim coach asked my race plans for this year and I just don't know. I have 'ideas' but that's about it. Time to enjoy this 'stuff' - I agree with you!

J~Mom said...

You have the ebb and flow outlined perfectly! :>)

MAJ said...

So true. I need to pull myself together because I'm totally going through an off-season cycle even though I'm really not off season. Like Jess, I take my "off season" more around summer.

I always like to read your blog because you have such a keen sense of balance and persepctive.

Darrell said...

Good thing you caught yourself and just had a fun run.

I was afraid when I first read the post title. I'm glad you were just talking to yourself.

Marcy said...

I was just thinking of this the other day. Santa always steals my mojo this time of year *sigh*

Way to get to it Wes!! Whoot! I'm still waiting on word of those before and after pics ;-) LOL

Jess said...

Sounds like fun!!!

Annette said...

It's good just to enjoy a run. Glad you were able to. I'm also glad you are surviving your indoor training. Keep it up! :)

Mendy said...

Great job on the run, Wes! Our lives have been so hectic, that I've been bloggin' spradically. One of my goals is to communicate regularly on my blog, and read all about ya'll more than that.

You're always an inspiration, Wes!

Caroline said...

It's always good to remind ourselves why we do this. . .when it becomes more of a job and less about the pure joy of it, it's so easy to say "to heck with it all."

That's what I'm coming back from.

triguyjt said...

seems like a good off season for you...

enjoy january...it really flies by...

Viv said...

You always set an example Wes. Especailly shredding it up on the off season.

Calyx Meredith said...

Great job realigning that run with your purpose! Love the chronicles of the season. Happy New Year (um, a week late.) :D

E.L.F. said...

Wes, I love the new look for your blog. Wishing you an awesome 2009.