Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…

The Stages of Off-Season

Stage One: Euphoric(-ness)

Three days after the marathon, I was itching for a run.  The 26.2 mile buzz had yet to wear off, and I wanted to ride it as long as I could.  I raced-ish a Turkey Trot on Thursday, made a date with a running buddy for Friday morning, night-hiked through Wissahickon on Saturday, and had another running date Sunday afternoon.

Stage Two: Laziness

Then came the start of this week, and the realization that I didn’t have to do anything.  Last year I designated the six weeks between the Philly Marathon and New Years as an “off-season,” and it was the best decision I could have made.  By the time January 1 came, I felt fresh and excited and itching to train my way to my best racing season to date.

So at first, I embraced the break this time around.  On Monday and Tuesday, it was easy. I was at school all day and working late into the night, and I was relieved not to have to find time to fit in a run or a ride.

And then came today…

And Phase Three: Antsiness

When I cried uncle last year, I had been training or racing consistently for nearly three straight years without reprieve, and I was in desperate need of the break.  This year, though, I’m not feeling quite as fried.

So, while I know an off-season will do me good, by 8 PM tonight, after a day made up of equal parts paper grading and manuscript revising, I was ready to move.

Since Brent wasn’t feeling so hot, I decided to hold off on pestering him to go pick out a Christmas tree and instead took to the bike for an hour-long date with Season 4 of Gossip Girl (oh, the shame…).

Perfection.

Now that I’ve sweated sufficiently, I’m ready to embrace the next 4.5 weeks of off-season.

At least for the rest of the night.

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11 responses to “The Stages of Off-Season

  1. the dawn November 30, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    off season (kinda like taper) has a whirlwind of emotions. hope you find the path that will lead to the best race season next year 🙂

  2. Kara December 1, 2011 at 8:40 am

    I think I go through all of those phases at least once a day 🙂

  3. misszippy1 December 1, 2011 at 8:47 am

    It can be so hard sometimes to really make yourself do the down time. But like you said, it can also pay off. An hour spin on the bike sounds about perfect for where you are in recovery right now. Enjoy it.

  4. kari @ Running Ricig December 1, 2011 at 8:47 am

    I’m with Kara. I feel like I go through this everyday.

  5. ali December 1, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Having just run only my second half marathon at philly (and getting a PR… ha!) i experienced these phases in the half version …. so now i am getting back into great daily yoga classes and planning for my FIRST full marathon in 2012!!!! any suggestions??????
    btw… loved your philly race post… inspiring….what a great day!

  6. RunToTheFinish December 1, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    maybe this is time for doing all the cross training things you don’t normally do? that was a great thing for me last feb

  7. Kristy December 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    i agree with kara too. i had no problem jumping out of bed at 5am for a run on tuesday and then had no motivation to get out of bed for a run on thursday morning. and now i feel guilty!

    i love gossip girl too! even though i’m entirely too old to watch it (or admit that i watch it) – it’s oh-so-good!

  8. Sarah S @RunningOnWords December 1, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Dude, no shame in Gossip Girl. It’s like nose picking–everyone does it in private, but no one wants to admit it.

  9. Black Knight December 4, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Usual phases for all of us. When I become too lazy for running I go to swim but it only happens when I don’t have a scheduled program.

  10. Angela K. December 4, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    I think the success of an off season depends on what your body and mind need. If working out when you feel like it but not forcing it is what feels good, I say go with it.

  11. Kate @ NaturaStride December 5, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Well said! I’m totally feeling the same way – mix of emotions. Right after Philly, I got in some excellent runs. But last week, it seemed as though every run was a chore. Looking into some cross-training/classes to keep me motivated through winter.

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