Well ‘off-season’ is officially over and I’m glad.  I find recovery time/off season the hardest, yet most important, part of the year.  As a full-time athlete it is often hard to let go; not to have every single second of every single day consumed by sport of triathlon.  But I also know, as a full-time athlete, that it is necessary and will help me race stronger and better in the upcoming season.

So to sum my last 6 weeks of ‘off-season’, it’s a bit like kicking an addiction, in this case not a bad one (at least I don’t think so!) but as we all know, when you stop something that you are addicted to, there will be a period of adjustment or as they say, withdrawal…..here are the stages I go through during the off-stages:

  • Denial:  I came back from Budapest and thought, maybe I don’t need a break, it’s still early, maybe I can race a 70.3 in September or maybe I should train another month and race one last ITU World Cup in Mexico….then I jumped in the pool after 4 days off and nearly drown!

Grrr....

  • Anger: Richard calls this stage “the crazies”, and he’s right, I get downright crazy during this time.  After being back for about a week, I couldn’t think straight, I couldn’t decide what to do with my time, I was tired, not from training, but more mentally from all the travelling and racing. To dissipate this rage, I cleaned, organized and sorted everything in sight (you should see our garage–thing of beauty!).  Poor Richard.

Sniff, sniff....

  • Self-pity:  Not in the woo-is-me type way and I feel guilty even saying this, but I was kind of sad for a bit (I know, life is so rough right?!).  Just felt like something was missing, like maybe I needed to reconsider this whole triathlon thing.  Don’t worry, this stage didn’t last too long, I got over it.  Again, poor Richard.
  • Bargaining:  After filling a couple weeks with crazy cleaning and organizing of everything in the house, and a solid week of sleeping insane amount of hours, I was starting to feel human again.  This lead to a pre-emptive email to coach that went something like this: “So when can I start up again?  Really, I’m ready, how about Monday?”, the response was something like this: “A good recovery will make you faster next season.  The body loves to recover in the off-season and then go to the next level when you come back”.  Ok, fine, 2 more weeks it is….why is he always right?!

    Relaxing as demonstrated expertly by Shaggy!

Acceptance:  I finally accepted that ending my season when I did was the best decision for me and not living, breathing and sleeping triathlon for a few weeks was a good thing.  I finally feel fresh, recovered, motivated and ready to start back up.

Now, I’m easing back into training.  Jake (my crossbike) has been out in full force as I’m trying to go as long as I can without paying for parking at the Universities! Onto my second week of training and my entire body aches, I’m last in the lane, I’ve been dropped on the hills, I think I’m never going to make it back to the shape I was in (I think this every year!), but it feels oh so good!  Bring on the hurt, 2011 here I come!!

Stay tuned for details of my return to training…I drank half the pool this morning but made it through 6800m!!  I also posted a few more pictures from this summer in the photo gallery, check them out!

Over & Out, for now! LM