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!!