The offseason can be a tricky thing. At first, I did’t want to take any time off because after a hard training cycle and successful race, I felt great! My body and mind were in a euphoric state of sweat, hurt, recover, grow, repeat. When my coach (very strongly) suggested I take at least a week completely off, I freaked out. Addicted much? But then a funny thing happened. I enjoyed the rest. I started to love all the extra time in my day. My body felt good, not as good as when I’m training of course but decent and certainly not bad, so I actually toyed with the idea of taking 2019 off from any hard training and racing.

Imagine that?

My coach and I had decided on Monday, December 3 being my “back to training” date and as the date approached, I thought more and more about not having a hard training year. In fact, I don’t know what I was thinking when I set that date because the day before I went to see Dave Matthews at Mohegan Sun and stayed up until midnight (which is basically all night in my world) and didn’t get home until noon that Monday. If there was ever a deterrent to training, that would be it.

But, at 1pm on that gloomy Monday I found myself on the bike trainer with an hour and half workout, harder than anything I had done in two weeks. After about 20 minutes, I was back in heaven. That’s all it took — one.single.workout — and now everything is back, full steam ahead!

Back in the high life again.

You can take the girl off the bike…no wait, that doesn’t work. You can’t change your stripes? Whatever the appropriate analogy is, please insert it here, and keep reading for last week’s workout update. I’m back bitches!

WEEK OF DECEMBER 3, 2018

RUNNING

The weather has yet to be so ugly here that I’ve dreaded running outside. I’m thankful for that because I know its coming very soon. The few runs I had last week were downright pleasant, although hard, but that’s what happens when your body is actually rested. #bonus

Wednesday – run off the bike | 20 minutes at 10k effort | 2.65 miles | 7:35 pace

Thursday – 3/4 mile repeats before swim | 5.88 miles | 8:17 average pace

Friday – 20 minute warm up before strength training | 2.50 miles | 7:40 pace

Total = 11.03 miles < – – lowest total mileage in a long time!

CYCLING

Pretty soon I’m going to need a new show to watch on the bike with like 100 seasons, so give me some ideas people! I’m almost done with Shameless and Ray Donovan and I just don’t think I can ride to The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel so…

Monday – FTP intervals | 1:26:46 | 24.5 miles

Wednesday – 1 hour with 10 minute time trial before run | 16.24

Sunday – base building strength endurance | 1:25:50 | 23.8 miles

Total = 64.54 miles

SWIMMING

Although my first race of the season is a duathlon (run/bike/run) I’m also training for another half Ironman in June so I have to keep my swimming up!

Tuesday – 12×50, 12x 25 | 2,000 yards

Thursday – swim after run | form and 25’s/100’s | 2,300 yards

Total = 4,300 yards

THINGS I LOVE

A funny thing happened at the end of one of my non-training weeks — Vermont got 20 inches of fresh new snow and my kids had half-days. It was a perfect storm! We headed up to Okemo on a Wednesday night and Claire (my SUV from hell) handled the snowy mountains like a pro so she’s back in my good graces, and we had three fabulous days of skiing and snowboarding.

I think they’re smiling because we’re skiing but it could just be that they’re anywhere but in school.

It was literally a dream come true for me to be snowboarding alongside my boys. After so many years of going by myself, having my whole family there or just me and the boys was amazing! I’m so excited to do it over and over again this winter.

THINGS I DON’T LOVE AS MUCH

A funny thing happened in the elevator at Mohegan Sun after the Dave Matthews concert. Actually, it wasn’t funny at all. It was racist. What is it with me and elevators lately?

I’m heading back to my room when I see a woman holding onto the hands of a hotel worker and crying. It’s past midnight so I figure she’s drunk and I’m just hoping she doesn’t throw up where I can see it. She catches my eye not only because of the small scene she’s causing but what she’s wearing. She has on red khaki pants (where does one buy these?), a blue and white polka dot sweater with a chunky necklace and eighties style mom glasses. She looks like some sort of retro school teacher who hit the sauce a little too hard.

So I make it to the elevator bank and lo and behold, who is behind me but drunk, crying teacher woman. There is also a man visibly swaying with a woman who I assume is his wife. Against my better judgement I get into the elevator with all these characters. I should mention that I’m sober.

Drunk woman: *immediately looks everyone up and down and braces herself against the wall of the elevator and utters something incoherent

Drunk guy: We’re all in the same boat!

Drunk woman: Oh yeah? Cause I feel like an asshole!

Drunk guy:  *laughs hysterically like it’s the funniest thing he’s heard all night

Luckily, drunk guy and his wife get off the elevator leaving me with one more floor before I can be alone. I’m looking straight ahead as drunk woman aggressively looks me up and down, trying not to fall over because she’s moving her entire head as she does this. Inexplicably she then turns to me and says:

“Como estas?”

Me: What in the actual fuck? < – – I said this with my eyes and then NO.

Drunk girl: Do you speak English?

Me: At this point I’m having kind of an out of body experience. I feel sorry for her that she’s drunk AND racist but I want to say “No, I don’t speak English” in perfect English. Instead I motion that the doors have now opened and she can get out.

Drunk girl: You look like you speak Spanish because of your demeanor. < – – this makes zero sense and also somehow makes her more racist, and she adds “I speak six languages.”

Me: Good for you.

And the doors mercifully shut.

READING

Oddly enough, all the books I’ve been reading are in English. As I do every Christmas, I’m reading my worn copy of A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. I’ve also been reading an extremely helpful book about anxiety titled Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic and Worry by Catherine Pittman, PhD and Elizabeth Karle, MLIS. It is hands down the best book I have read about controlling my panic attacks on a plane.

Apparently I have been going about my flight anxiety all wrong. I now know my fear is amygdala based and not cortex based meaning when I’m trying to tell myself I’m safe and recite statistics, my brain is not listening because the fight, flight or freeze amygdala has already taken over. Thanks to the book I’m learning techniques that deal with my emotional brain (the amygdala) and not my “thinking” brain or the cortex. It’s fascinating stuff! I’ve also realized why this same brain process makes me a great triathlete.

It’s the perfect gift for the overly anxious, panicked or worried loved one in your life. We all have at least one.

TELEVISION

Last week my husband and I saw an amazing documentary about one of our favorite bands. The band is like running — you either love it or hate it. Whatever camp you are in regarding Coldplay, I would still recommend seeing A Head Full of Dreams because it will motivate and inspire you.

The documentary is a musicians version of watching the New York City Marathon or the Ironman World Championships in Kona. After seeing it you are compelled to say “I wanna do that!” and actually believe you can.

The filmmaker gets huge points for originality with the tremendous amount of film they use of the band before they were famous. It’s touching and innocent and spectacular to see how the members evolved and to witness the genius of Chris Martin despite his misstep of marrying Goop monster.

If you need me I will be on the piano learning The Scientist. < – – yes, I’m still diligently taking my lessons and loving it!

RANDOM PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Here’s a little preview of this years Christmas card.

Photo Credit: Ana Lucy Photography

Yep.

May your days be filled with funny things, may you have a head full of dreams and may you never end up in an elevator with a racist. This is my Christmas wish for you.

How was your week? 

Anything funny happen?

Want to share a racist encounter? This is a safe space…

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