Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Off-Season

I entered my true off-season last Sunday with different fanfare than I expected. Last Saturday, I was supposed to cap off my race season with a PR half-marathon. Instead, after about 4 miles of the race, high heart rates and coughs, sneezes and wheezes associated with the virus I managed to catch the week before, I called it quits, DNF'd and took a leisurely stroll/jog back down to the finish line to cheer on my fellow training buddies as they crossed the finish line. I've never DNF'd before and I felt some sheepishness, but I'm certain it was the right thing for my body. My body was still fighting hard whatever bug was attacking, and it needed rest more than anything. There will be another day in my future to push myself hard.

Much of the rest of the weekend (with the exception of our fabulous end of the year TG brunch) and Monday I spent resting with a Kleenex box not too far away. I dragged myself to the doctors on Monday since after a week and a half, I still hadn't seen measurable improvement and when I coughed I sounded like I had the plague or black lung. After Monday's day off and the assistance of some new meds, I finally started to perk back up on Tuesday and Wednesday.

This week I took full advantage of my off-season break. Only two workouts - a tennis match Wednesday night and a trainer ride Friday morning - and neither one of them too strenuous or early in the morning. Next week I hope to get back to a little bit more regular workouts but plan to keep it loose and fun between now and the end of the year. I'm also looking forward to a little revamping of my blog and setting my next year's races and goals.

So . . . if I'm a little quiet on the blog front, I'm probably out enjoying the off-season. Hope you are too!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Updates and More Updates

The most important update first. Congrats to Kate O., Shawn, Sharon, Patty, Charlotte, Fred, Kate G. and Som on becoming Ironmen yesterday(Som for the 5th? time this year)! I am so proud of each one of you! Watching the online updates yesterday brought me back to a year ago in my own journey when I watched the Deannas, SQ, Karen, Anna, Carmen et al crossing the finish line and thinking that Ironman was something I wanted in my own future. 09 will be my year to give it a go and seeing everyone race yesterday only strengthened that desire.

The last two weeks have been packed. A trip to Bermuda for JK's wedding, then on to Montana for business, then back in town for W&M's homecoming, a beautiful fall ride in nothern Virginia, a busy work week, Halloween, oh... and some training for that half marathon in a few weeks in Richmond. Its been a bit crazy, but here are some of the highlights.

The beautiful beach at the Fairmont. Soft sand, clear turquoise water, a perfect setting for the wedding.

The gals all dressed up, a little wind blown and waiting for the trolley.

The happy couple says their vows.

A little change in gears. . . Back in the states, the next weekend we engaged in a little "off season" training on our hybrids. A ride on the Mt. Vernon trail from George Washington's estate to city center (about 19 miles) and back out was a perfect mix of a little sweat and lots of fun. The weather was picture perfect and due to the Marine Corps Marathon we were even able to ride down the middle of Constitution Avenue before meeting up with SG's brother for some mid-day "fuel."

Me and the boys post ride. Gregg tried to claim the yellow jersey for the day. It really belonged to SanDee. I highly recommend this ride. Once in D.C., if you bring a bike lock, you can take in all the sights and there are plenty of great places to stop to and from D.C., including Bart's favorite - the Ben & Jerry's in old town.

Yesterday, TGs Mollie, Katheryn, Debbie Jo, Fave, Lisa, TG40 and I checked out the new very flat half marathon course. I've determined that long runs are SO much more fun when run with others. The miles ticked off quickly as we wound through the beautiful neighborhoods of Richmond's northside. It will be helpful to have the landmarks of the course in my head on race day and it was good to have a decent long run (they've been alluding me this fall) in the bank before I start my taper. Thanks ladies for a great run!

Hope everyone is enjoying the fall. Congrats again to our Ironmen!