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November 4, 2011

After taking the past two weeks off and not doing a thing, I felt lethargic and decided that I better do something even though I am technically not training.  Last night, I decided to go for a 4 mile run, nothing fast, really just wanted it to be a slow jog where I didn’t get my heart rate above 130. I set out on the run and the weather was cooler which always makes it easier to go.  I felt like I was running about an 8:30 pace.   I looked at my watch at the halfway point and realized I had ran the first two miles at a 7:30 pace, but didn’t feel winded nor was I breathing heavy.  I ran the two miles back at a little slower pace (8:00) and finished with a 7:45 pace and never pushed myself.  Made me think… did I just get faster, was the weather a contributing factor or was it the fact that I had taken the previous two weeks off and my legs were rested.  I chalked it up to a combination of the three.  Either way, I had a good run and the best part was I was not worried about how fast I was going.

Today, I decided to jump back into the pool.  For a while now, I have been dreading going to the pool.  Not once I am there, just finding the motivation to actually make it there.  It is probably the fact that now it is colder in FL, I have to drive 35 minutes to get to the pool.  Once I get in and start swimming I can go.  Today I made the trek to the pool and told myself I would swim 70 lengths.  nothing too crazy, just trying to get back in rhythm.  Swimming endurance is always the first thing to leave me if I don’t do it, so I try never too take too long between my pool visits.  The pool was in rare form today, there were about 35 senior citizens doing some sort of pool class, splashing around leaving only 2 lanes for swimmers.  Luckily, one lane had only one other person in it.  I jumped in, strapped on my aqua sphere goggles and I was off.  I typically swim 250 yards in about 3:50 and today, to my surprise was about 5-10 seconds faster per 250 and held that pace through the first 1500 (Olympic distance) and then I swam my last 10 as a cool down. 

In addition to hitting the pool again, I decided to re-acquaint myself with the weights.  I have not lifted weights in quite some time so I was interested to see how I would do and how sore I would be.  I did a full body workout (more sets with legs) and just did some light resistance since it was my first day back.  I want to strengthen my legs so that I can climb hills better with IMCDA in mind.  It was mentally relaxing to not have a real agenda at the gym today, ease myself back into the flow of things.  My body didn’t forget that I should be sore, I am walking around like an old man.

I think as triathletes, we forget how fun it can be to do a workout with no attention to the clock or watch.  To go naturally and not push.  We are so consumed with power meters, and heart rates and splits  that we forget that it CAN be fun without those things.  If you aren’t training for a running race I would recommend taking some time off, recharge and do workouts that are fun.  Mix it up, try cross training, go for a trail run or jog, take a spin class or try cyclocross etc.  Shock your muscles as I shocked mine today.  I am enjoying my time before I start back sometime in December.  Your body endures grueling hours throughout the spring and summer training and competing.  Let them know you are appreciative of how they performed this year with some rest,  they will reward you later. 

Then.. begin looking at your next year- Remember to write those goals down. 

For those of you who are interested in the NYC Triathlon (one of the most popular venues in the country) you have until November 6 at 11:59 pm EST to enter the lottery. Here is the link. (

Good luck if you enter the lottery.     

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