Friday, December 08, 2006

Downtime is Almost Over

I was asked by my coach to take two weeks off. I last took two weeks off before I started doing tris seriously- I spent an entire season running with plantar faciitis and finally at the end of December decided to stop running until it stopped hurting to get out of bed in the morning. That was maybe five years ago.

During my down time I did go to the pool and swim 500 yards three times a week (I was told I could do some light swimming). But what do you do when you're relatively committed to daily workouts and suddenly there aren't any ?

Fortunately, with the holidays coming, it's not like there isn't plenty to do, especially when you've left the leaves to molder on the lawn...there's also plenty of work, graduate courses, time with the family, shopping and decorating the house. I did play dodgeball one night, but I was on the faculty-staff team and we got beat in straight games, so that was about ten minutes of exercise.

The point isn't to bore anyone who's reading with the mudanities of my everyday life, of which their are legion in any existence, no matter how exciting and fulfilled it might be. No, what I found was that you can take two weeks off and still be motivated, still have the same passion or hunger or whatever it is that pushes you. I knew if I took two weeks I would gain some weight. I knew there'd be some days where not having the satisfaction of having gotten in a really intense workout would be a little bit of a drag, say on Saturday and Sunday when you do your longer runs and bikes.

What really worried me was that two weeks of not working out would dull my motivation. The theory I've always had, which I've kind of kept to myself, is that the workouts and the days that really matter are the days when you really don't feel like being out there or in your basement or the gym or the pool but you go anyway and you turn out a quality workout that adds something to whatever you are preparing for. The days you feel great and go out and have a good workout are almost anti-climactic in a way. Maybe it's that I see myself as someone who gets by on effort, and those off days where you get the job done make race-day effort easier.

However, I feel good after two weeks off. There are still some sore spots, but there are things that will always be sore. I feel neither unmotivated nor do I feel like I am chomping at the bit. I just feel ready, ready to start up again, to start focusing on Arizona in 2007.

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