Saturday, December 6, 2014

A little boot camp and a little baking...

Every once in a while I have one of those things happen in my life that feels like a sign that I am moving in the right direction.  Last week I had one of those times.  I had been mulling over the idea of scaling back from triathlon for a few days and actually had pretty much made my decision when I got a notification from my gym that I had won $500 "bucks" from them.  The bucks are basically in-house cash that can be used on any of their services (spa, cafe, merchandise, training, etc.).  Sweet.  The gym was running a Black Friday special so I managed to parlay those $500 Bucks into a great deal on boot camp.  Like I said, it felt like confirmation that I was doing the right thing in changing up my routine.

Sunday night, I set my alarm for 4:45 for my first day of boot camp.  Rolled out of bed and headed to the gym.  I had done boot camp in the past so thought I knew what to expect and wasn't too nervous about it.  When I got there I realized that boot camp had changed since I had last participated.  It had definitely been restructured and cranked up a notch.  This was a good thing but took away my thoughts on taking it easy the first day.  :)

Right off the bat, the trainer motions to the pull up bar and has everyone do as many pull ups as they could.  From my adventures in crossfit, I knew my number on this exercise would be a big fat zero.  Normally, I would have flashed back to the 6th grade presidential fitness test and the pull ups there but I quickly realized that only one or two people in the group could do a pull up so it was no big deal.  I actually almost got one and surprised myself being that close to doing it.

If this was me, I would have gotten to a little past #3 there.  I am might use the suggestions on this page for improving my skill.  Boot camp homework.  LOL.

We went through 3 rounds of various workouts and at one point the trainer said we were still in warm up.  I knew this was going to be no joke but exactly what I needed!  After it was all said and done I had that awesome feeling of jello legs and arms.  You know you had a good workout but knew that was going to hurt later.  ...and it did.  I tell you what - you think you are in decent shape and then you start cross training and realize there are plenty of muscles you obviously aren't  working at all.  I do know I have to work on my upper body strength.  My legs can take a pretty good beating from all the biking and running but anything upper body related kicks my butt.  I need to get on the remedial push up program.  For real.  The rest of the week pretty much went like the first and I loved every minute of it.  Can't wait until I go back on Monday.

In other news, I still haven't decided about my two races in January.  Right now I am leaning towards dropping them and focusing on speed going into the other race in March.  Tomorrow is kind of decision day as it is a key long run.

Christmas-wise, I am getting the baking bug and might have to break out some treats this week for my guys and girls at the range!  I love to bake in general (I can follow a recipe like nobody's business but don't ask me to come up with something fresh and creative.).  I especially love to make treats to give away at Christmas.  I am thinking of making these this year...   Snowball cookies are my go to treat.  So simple and yummy.  The others are going to be new to me.  I might throw some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in the mix too.  The funny story on those is that those cookies get rave reviews.  They are basically a Betty Crocker mix and I add pecans.  Sad but true.  I guess Betty knows her cookies!  Did I mention they have a weigh in every Friday at boot camp?  This baker will have to exercise some self control.  :)


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

It happened. The post ironman burnout...

The funny thing about an Ironman is that when it is over, you either feel compelled to do another one (usually to better your time or try another race location) or you are just over it.  I envy the bucket list people.  One and done.  You checked that box off of life's list and didn't look back.  After that first iron distance, I immediately fell into the "I want to improve my time" category.  After having completed four ironman races over the past four years, it has become a part of me and what I do.  I have trained non stop for one race or another for the past four years.  Straight from ironman to an early season marathon or half iron.  No real break.  At family gatherings, I have become the one who does "crazy" things - a strange thing in and of itself since this all started by simply training for a 5k back in 2008.  I never really had a problem with the constant training.  I am one of those people who likes to take on a lot so this just seemed normal.  Until this year.

I struggled with burnout all throughout this last training schedule.  It felt harder than usual to get the workouts completed.  I got them done but it was not without a lot of bargaining with myself.  To make it to IM Chattanooga and then not finish didn't help things.  Another month of training when I thought I would be done.  Don't get me wrong, I loved every minute of Beach 2 Battleship and am so happy I made that decision but as far as the burnout goes, it didn't help.

The trail around Stone Mountain.  I am loving running some new trails.

After B2B was over this time, I knew I needed some time off.  I thought a couple of weeks would do it.  I did a little running here and there.  I discovered a love for trail running.  Around mid-November, I loaded up an off season triathlon plan into training peaks.  I printed it off and put it in my gym bag.  That first Monday rolled around and the thought of getting in the pool again made me cringe.  I put it off another week. The next Monday rolled around and I got in the pool.  I did the workout but was not feeling it AT ALL.  The workout the next day was a trainer ride.  I knew that was not going to happen.  I had ZERO desire to ride a bike even on a trainer.  Somewhere in that week I had a revelation.  I was done.  For now anyhow.

Rick tells me all the time I have nothing to prove to anyone.  I think that is his way of giving me an out and hoping I would take a break.  I never really felt like I was proving anything to anyone but I get his point.  I don't HAVE to do these races.  If it all feels more like a chore and less like something you want to do because you love it then perhaps you should reassess the situation.  And I did.

Atlanta Thanksgiving Half.  I loved the medal this year!

Last week, I decided to wipe the slate clean (mostly).  I took IM Lou off the schedule.  I have three marathons on the schedule for January through March (you can see where this is out of hand - I actually did not realize how ridiculous my race schedule was until I typed that out... three marathons in January through March and that seemed perfectly reasonable.  LOL.  I swear doing an Ironman warps your thinking).  Anyhow.  I am not sure if I will do them or not.  As much as there is this part of me that seems to think I *must* sign up for long endurance events, I have to say I am kind of liking the idea of just working out for the sake of health and not necessarily training for any particular race.  The decision to drop IM Lou was very freeing.  I am enjoying having some free time to do things around the house and even just watch TV if I choose.  Tonight I actually roasted vegetables and made a dinner that did not involve microwaving.  It is getting crazy up in here!  Tomorrow I am going to a boot camp class.  Hopefully it won't hurt too much :)