Yeah, I abandoned my blog a bit post-Kona, which is a shame because I actually do enjoy writing and need to make more time for it. My absence has nothing to do with a lack of material -- there's been a lot going on -- but to be honest, the lot left me slightly overwhelmed and blogging fell by the wayside. So here's a little catch up...
Triathlon-wise, after Hawaii I took my forced down time like a big girl, but I didn't like it one little bit. Maybe I'm alone in this (I can't think that I am, but it's possible), but I struggle with off-seasons. Sure, I don't mind catching up on my wine consumption, having the time to see friends, staying up a little later, all that stuff. But I also need the endorphins and the routine that triathlon training brings to feel like a properly functioning, bearable human being.
|I did/ do enjoy these kinds of nights, however,|
|Post-Skittle Lunch sentiments. HT: Karin.|
So I took the last couple months to learn how to eat and how to cook. I consulted with a dietician. I bought a Vitamix that I became obsessed with. I began cooking big, healthy meals on Sunday evenings that lasted me through the week (and then some). I started eating vegetables and actually liking them. Who knew eggplant was so flippin' delicious??
|Baking AND wine = proper off-season|
|My apple pie and a ridiculous sweater vest I bought when I was taper crazy|
|Great mug from my sister and pretty accurate representation of my enthusiasm for training that first month|
I've spent winters running in Providence, Boston, and obviously Chicago, so while I can't remember actually doing so, I am sure I have run in colder weather at some point. I can guarantee, however, that I have never raced in such frigid temperatures. It hurt, so very badly. My fingers were numb. My nose felt like it was going to fall off. I was breathing incredibly loud, even for me, because the cold, dry air really bugged my lungs.
But I ran as hard as I could (which, wow, really hurt after a month of only slow, aerobic jogging) and was pretty shocked to win the race in a time that was pretty darn good for me, and actually, as fast as I've run a 5K in eight years.
When they asked me to spell my name at the end of the race, my frozen mouth had trouble forming the letters, but we got through that, they snapped this lovely picture (could I look any colder?) and I hustled inside to warm up. My sinuses felt like they were going to explode for the next 15 minutes.
A few days later I did a bike test, which I was 100% fully convinced was going to be a disaster, but....it wasn't. In fact, it was pretty good (for me), so I chilled out a bit on the ole' I'm totally out of shape panic and trudged forward.
That was all early December. Since then, life's been a bit....messy. I spent the holidays with my family, which was a wonderful respite and so very necessary, but aside from that, December's a month I'd be OK with forgetting. The one thing that's kept me sane-ish has been the swim/ bike/ run. I don't think it's necessarily good to use exercise to escape from feelings, blah blah blah, but I did a lot of that in December and it is what it is. On the plus side, there have been some awesome workouts (including an extra special swim I did today that I think is worth a blog entry of its own, not because I like blogging about my workouts but because it was a big deal to me).
|Brother / Family Time, trying to get a decent pic|
|This nonsense has been going on for like 9 weeks now|
|High of NEGATIVE 12? Wha, wha?|