Friday, November 7, 2008

Being a Triathlete in the Off-Season

Winter is generally the off-season for Triathletes. This is certainly my off-season from racing and I'm taking advantage of it in several ways.

This summer when I finished Tri for the Cure, I was heart-broken that the Triathlon season was over. It was such an awesome summer! I told several people it was the best summer of my life. Training for something that seemed impossible to me, and then seeing it WAS possbile -- it doesn't get much better than that. Crossing the finish line (no matter how far back in the pack you are) is a high that can be amazingly addictive.

I extended the season a bit by training for the Denver 1/2 Marathon in October. Although I didn't finish in the time I was hoping, it was still a great experience.

Now I'm done racing until next Spring at the earliest, which requires a shift in thinking. How does one stay motivated in the off season, without that finish-line-goal? There are many possible answers to that question, but one key for me is to continue thinking of myself as a Triathlete, year round. I might be not be training for a specific Triathlon today, but I'm still a Triathlete. That's a title that can't be taken away from me now, and the more I embrace it, the more it motivates me!

People who know me also know I'm a sucker for goals so yes, I have goals for myself for the off-season. Here are my off-season goals:

1. Focus on weight lifting. I admit I've been a slacker in the weight lifting arena this summer. Time to get back to lifting 3x per week again. To be honest I don't enjoy it too much, but I know how important it is so I'll keep at it.

2. Switch things up. These last couple weeks I've taken a few exercise classes (kickboxing, spinning) I haven't taken in 6 months or so, and the change of pace has been great.

3. Have fun, for goodness sakes! I want to relish going for a run "just because," not to get in a certain number of miles. And who cares about time? Why even keep track?

And speaking of goals, now for the moment of truth: sharing my goal for next summer. I want to do an Olympic Distance Triathlon in Summer of 2009. That would be a 1 mile swim (about 34-36 pool laps to give you an idea), 24 mile bike ride, and a 6.2 mile run. Once I stop hyperventilating at the thought (because now that I've written it down it's going to be a reality), I'll look forward to blogging about it more in the future!

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