Saturday, October 3, 2015

Solana Beach Tri, Off Season, Bringing it back...

Fiesta Island - Practice Tri.  God created a very beautiful setting for us that morning!  Photo credit - Kaide Garrett
I'm BACK!  For the first time in (5) years, I took a real off season!  Why...?  I needed a mental break!  After (5) years of up at 4:45AM for workouts, out the door for the gym when it was still pitch black outside, training every weekend, not getting weekend days started with chores/projects/family until early afternoon after cleaning up from the long morning workouts,  I needed to sleep in, have weekend/family time back, and give my body a real rest.  Back in June, I started cutting my workouts (and totally cut out all weight training), down to only a few a week by July.  I took the ENTIRE month of August off... yes, TOTALLY OFF... not a single workout in (5) weeks!  I slowly started back a few weeks ago and I have a few observations to share...
 *  Weight Gain... I figured that as soon as I cut my workouts, I would start to gain weight.  My diet is by no means perfect, but I could get away with "living" when I was training 5-6 days a week.  I put on about (2) pounds through June and July and didn't put on any weight in August.  Strange, right?  But the weirdest part has been September... when I started working out again... BOOM... up (6) pounds... HUH?  I haven't changed the way I'm eating... but was back to (3) to (4) days of cardio a week... and putting on a bunch of weight?  I'm still trying to figure that out...
*  How I Felt... I was very surprised, although it makes sense, that I immediatly felt guilty about every single day that I passed on a workout.  Sure it was nice to sleep in... and on the weekends to get to hang out in my PJ's with the family, make breakfast, and start our day together was wonderful... but I felt like I was cheating.  After a few weeks, the guilt faded away, but I started noticing that my body didn't feel quite right.  At that point, I hadn't really put on any weight, but I my body started to feel heavy... weighted down...
At the start of August, I added the Solana Beach Triathlon to my race schedule.  Although I was gearing down, I am also a competitor, and I had some awesome race buddies challenging me in the KOZ Events Race Series.  I had to race to keep up with them and I was very curious to see how I would do....
Beach start at the Solana Beach Tri... this was the first time I had done this race
and my very first beach/wave swim in a race.  I had done a warm up and the waves
were stronger than I expected and I got tossed.  Here I am... center of the photo with
my hands on my hips... thinking to myself, "how in the hell am I going to do this?" 
I was scared.
The bike course was nice, and although my computer battery died, so I couldn't
track how fast I was going, I pushed as hard as I could.  Here I'm coming out
of transition and starting my run... the part that concerned me the most.
The run was TOUGH!  Not because the course was hard,
but because my stamina was low and I had to dig deep
to keep moving.  I was SO HAPPY when I finished.
Athena athletes!!!  All triatheletes have a story, but athena atheletes have more than
stories... we have journies.  Cathy, me, Rhonda and Kim... love being friends with
these incredible ladies!
I took 2nd place that day and was very surprised how well my body did... and how well I recovered!  I am usually sore/tight the day after a race, but I didn't hurt at all the next day.  Another benefit of time off...?

*   How I Feel Now... I am not too concerned about the weight gain because I'm sure I will get that off shortly now that I'm getting back to the gym.  I have to admit that as relaxed and mentally relieved I feel after this break, I really don't like how my body feels.  I feel "jiggly."  I feel a bit of pressure/heaviness in my chest when I'm working out, or even taking the dog on a walk.  I don't feel as "strong" as I usually do.  I've come to realize that I like to exercise and I like the way I feel when I exercise.  Shoot... who needs sleep?  This girl needs to work it out... miles at a time!!!!

MISSION BAY TRIATHLON - My last race of this season is tomorrow!  WOOO HOOO, or should I say, woooo hoooo!  I'm nervous!  It was one thing to do Solana Beach after cutting back my workouts... it is another thing to do Mission Bay after cutting out ALL of my workouts!  I plan to go out there and give that course everything I have, look forward to catching up with race buddies, and celebrating what we have all accomplished this race season!  :-)

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