I am having a FANTASTIC off-season. Likely my BEST one ever.
As you may recall I shut my season down two weeks ago after a VERY disappointing DNF at Peasantman. I was using Peasantman as a tune up for Barrelman, which won’t be happening. I sustained an Achilles injury ten days prior to Peasantman and was essentially trying to wait out the season before doing any off season / rehab / break. I tore my other Achilles in 2006 and I wasn’t about to go through that again.
The first week was pretty much off. I took a BUNCH of rest. Got in the pool, and when I was allowed to… when I was pain free…. began hiking with my dog. This week I swam about 20K, rode my mountain bike along the railroad bed, and continued that hiking. The Wingman has prescribed a LOT of foam rolling, stretching, strength and I am doing the same with my PT as well.
While that doesn’t sound like much of a break…… it is. In retrospect I didn’t do this as I should have after my final Ironman a year ago. I drifted a bit and I lost the focus I wanted to have. I have been in this sport twenty years and I have been a competitive athlete since I was four….. I know when I don’t do something right and I am not afraid to admit it. I didn’t do it right last season.
So I am doing it right this season. September and October are dedicated to healing up the small niggles I have been carrying with me for a while, especially this Achilles, getting outside on my mountain bike, getting my swim on and settling in to my new job!
The new job. It’s great. I love it. I am partnered with perhaps the most brilliant nurse I have ever met to run the clinical skills lab at FLCC. I love the entire faculty, all incredible nurses so dedicated to educating the next generation of nurses. The college itself if gorgeous. There are running trails. It’s grounded in conservation, wine and has the nation’s top woodsmen team in our division. Check this video out.
My schedule is fantastic. My commute is a 40 minute drive along three country roads that take me through breathtaking farmland. Every day. I am blessed in many ways. The greatest thing this new position has afforded me to be honest….. is the opportunity to disconnect from my athlete world. Both coaching and being an athlete. 24/7 triathlon is what I am used to and it’s wonderful to step OUT of that for a chunk of the day. When I return to it, whether it be reading training logs, exchanges with athletes or getting my own training in…. it’s suddenly BETTER. SO. MUCH. Better. Perhaps some disconnection is what I have really needed.
The new pool. I have been swimming at the Canandaigua YMCA and I love it. The pool is big and bright and through the wall of windows I swim to the sunrise each morning. Having grown up a swimmer I tend to not have to put in a lot of yardage. 9K a week gives me a 1:00 or faster Ironman swim. I can skate by on not a whole lot. But as I am heading back to a career in short course…. my swim is going to count. For me that means 15-20k per week and that means some focus. So that’s what we are working on right now. Drills, getting into that groove and setting the stage. I feel like I have a new relationship with the pool. One I have blown off in recent years.
Coaching: I have cut my stable down a bit to accommodate my new job and to allow me to better focus on my athletes. I love what coaching enables me to do in terms of being able to connect with people and help them on a journey. I love them all like they are my own kids. I love what they have set their sights on for 2015. I love what they have accomplished in 2014. I closed up my stable for the upcoming season and that was hard to do. real hard. I am not good at saying no, but I am now in a position in which I can, and need to set those limits.
Training: As I said I have taken a complete break from running and that’s proving to do wonders for my Achilles. Imagine that! A few test runs have shown that the time off has been important. ART, graston and strengthening are the new running for a bit. I will wait until this is 100% healed before we totally and completely rebuild my run. That means starting totally over, which I have never done. From drills to …. everything. I am pretty excited about this!
My mountain bike has been my godsend. I bike on old railbeds turned to paths. Next week I have a long ride planned along the Erie Canal, to coffee of course! I have jumped onto some easy trails at Dryer, as I feel that mountain biking really enhances cycling skills in general.
As disappointed as I was initially to end my season as I did….. I am now very glad. I have a new focus, a great big scary goal and I need the time to rest before we really begin to gun for it.
My husband: Curt is recovering well from surgery. His progress is in inches not feet. The past few weeks he’s allowed to swim and bike (on the trainer) and engage in some body weight strength work. His pain is improving and we take it day by day.
Our son: Is about to be an eighth grader and we couldn’t be more proud. He spent the summer in a day camp program at the Meadows of Mendon. He learned how to take care of horses from top to bottom. He learned to ride and we were able to watch the incredible skills he’s learned. There is something about kids and animals, there has been something about Luc and horses. He has expressed the connection he feels with a particular horse. I am very convinced that a summer of working on a farm did him more good than any other summer program we have had him in.
So things are going well. I am definitely where I need to be in all areas of my life and that feels good. I am excited about what’s to come on all areas. Please stay tuned as we continue to roll out our awesome results from our athletes and… we will be announcing our swim camp schedule soon!