It’s December and doing training can be challenging. Routines get disrupted, focus on goals can be difficult, and many outside influences can dominate. Getting in the pool, on the bike, or out the door for a run can be extra challenging right now.
The end of November and all of December tend to be a down time for many, including me. There are many time demands and things you can focus on: Holiday events and social gatherings, family get-togethers, gift shopping, etc. Poor food choices can be numerous. The weather can be bad. The daylight is short. For me, I try to help Linda with her gourd art as I play “shop assistant” during this time. I also don’t have a triathlon race for nearly 4 months and I’m not doing 3 half marathons during the early part of the year like I did in 2016.
Some people assume that I train consistently, constantly, and relentlessly. Some assume I go crazy when I CAN’T train (others assume I’m crazy because I do train so much.) Well let me set the record straight: I have been off for essentially 3 weeks! Ironman Arizona was Nov. 20. The following week was Thanksgiving which included me NOT joining in for a 5K Turkey Trot. The 2nd week post-race I was certainly not ready to train again. I did some very easy stuff as part of my coaching work but that was all (and probably too much). By the end of the week I had a cold/cough and was out of commission for a full week. Now I’m back at it… gradually. Some light strength training, some 3 mile easy runs, some easy road rides, 45 min. swims, and a spin class or two are what I’ve bitten off this week. But am I ready to get back to it?
I’ll admit it: I’m probably not. After being sick I’m probably 95% ready physically. Mentally I’d put myself at 70% ready. Most of the time when I think about it I want to get started in pursuit of goals. But some of the time I think, “Nah, I’d like to sit on the couch and watch some more TV.” I’m out of my routine. I’m out of my driven, persistent, consistent mode and it shows. I’m not mentally ready to do the hard work yet.
So this week I’ve gone into an “AS IF” mode. I’ve started training this week as if I’m ready to get back at it. I’m training as if I’m enthusiastic to put in the time. I’m training as if I am up to put down the base training work to prepare for the coming year. Getting back to a routine will probably lead me to being happy to train again. Plus there are so many rewards I get from training: health, quality of life, depression avoidance, a reason to eat healthier, pushback against the aging process, training and funny with friends, and much more. I suspect it won’t be long before the “as if” mode is replaced with the genuine passion that I feel for triathlon, for training, and for challenging myself to achieve goals.
Getting back to all this also prods me to finalize some plans for the coming year. As Linda and I have said, we hope to have the Bass Lake season details finished up very soon. And the schedule for new CrazYman Training Opportunities will be coming out with about one event each month beginning in January. These will offer you a near-term reason to train, a chance to challenge your preconceived notions of what you’re capable of in a casual, supportive environment, and an opportunity to ‘race’ with friends, all at a price you can’t beat. Stay tuned!