Usually, I hit November feeling kind of blah about things, but this year seems a bit different. I dragged a few days after my 10K race, but last Friday, November 1, I felt pretty energized and ready for a new month. It doesn't hurt that Thanksgiving is right around the corner and, yes, I'm totally looking forward to the break. But a positive attitude in November? I'll take it!
Most articles that come my way via Active.com talk about the off-season as if it's starting now. I think that I had a serious break in August, September and October. Not that I was a total couch potato, but I didn't try to force too many workouts or stick to a rigid schedule. So, now that it's November, I feel somewhat ready to recommit to to the whole swimbikerun thing. In past years, I've sort of fallen off the swim and bike wagon during the fall, but I wanted to keep those skills somewhat sharper this fall so that 2014 doesn't come as a shock to the system.
So, after flirting with the idea of joining the Rose Bowl Master's Swim group and attending a few practices "just to see" in October, I plunked down the cash and joined up. Not that I'm going all that often, but the workouts are HARD and they push me, in a good way. I still feel intimidated about the experience, but I actually don't mind that I'm in the slowest lane. Well, I did the first time I went because one of the other people in the lane was a total ass, but since then, things have been quite fun. Even better, I think that I've already seen some results. Amazing how practicing harder and longer reaps rewards.
Also, now that the 10k is out of the way, I'd like to settle back into longer runs and get more miles under my legs. I enjoyed speedier and shorter runs in September and October, but I have a half-marathon in January that I'd actually like to train for it. What a concept! So, this past Sunday, I pounded out 8 miles - my longest run since July. That piece of information depresses me a bit, but the run felt fantastic, so I'll take that as a positive sign. I should see double-digits again soon which will be fun!
And, the third skill, biking. Ah, the weak link, always. But I'm slightly more dedicated to my saddle at this point than I was last year. Having the trainer at home does let my legs do more spinning on my bike which should help in the long run. I realize that there are TONS of videos and resources out there and I can/should probably push myself a bit more on it, but as long as I work up a good sweat and get my heart rate spiked, I'm okay with the sessions at home at this point. And as long as I can get outside a few times this month on the bike, it will be tons better than last year (when I logged in zero rides in November. Lame).
So, that is the swim/bike/run off-season for me. I haven't turned into a total slug, but there is still time, especially with Christmas right around the corner! But even more exciting this year, my body has stayed relatively healthy (please don't let this jinx me!). I continue to get the occasion "tune-up" for my calf and foot with ART, but so far I've continued to keep a flare-up of plantar fasciitis at bay. Also, my knee has cooperated. I plan to see the knee doc before Christmas just to make sure that all is kosher before I spend a day or two skiing on it, but no cortisone shot since the end of January - this is the longest stretch that I've gone since I started getting them, so I'll call that progress!
Finally, a few "inspirational" thoughts that made me smile recently: