Thursday, January 5, 2017

Let's talk about my Off-Season


Can we Talk?

Did you hear the latest?  I declared 2017 as my year for Focusing on FUN (more details HERE)! But that's not all....I have also deemed January as my Off-Season.

Why an off-season? And, why now?

Well, there are several reasons actually....



First of all, my body has earned it. Not only did I train for (and run) a late season marathon, but I also jumped right into a 40-day winter running streak...a mere four days after crossing the finish line. Granted, the timing for the Streak was less-than-ideal. Physically, my body didn't feel too beat-up (even with that lingering strained groin), but emotionally I was somewhat of a wreck and needed a coping mechanism to guide me through the aftermath of a frustrating race. I honored my recovery, and took things very easy. Most of my streak runs were simple 1-milers (up until the final two weeks), and even those longer runs were done at an easy pace. The Streak "officially" ended on January 1st, but I did run an extra mile on Monday (January 2nd) for my Never Miss a Monday ritual. Although most everything else (body and mind) feels recovered, the groin "issue" is still a bit of an..."issue." It doesn't hurt when I run, but (on occasion) I feel it pulling if I bend or twist (when I'm not in motion). Even though I don't think it's a "running" injury, I'm going to treat it as such and enjoy some downtime out of my running shoes.


Secondly, I don't have any big upcoming races on the calendar...for now. In other words, I don't really need to be training for anything just yet. My first 2017 race (that is registered and paid for) isn't until March 11th, and it's a 10K, which is a distance that I typically don't train for anyways. There are a few other miscellaneous races I'm eyeing, but they're all short distance events. There are some half marathons (later in the spring) that I will probably do, and I also have Grandma's Marathon (mid-June) bought and paid for. I will need to start gradually building my base back up, and that will coincide nicely (perfectly?) after I do the March 11th 10K....how's that for timing?

Third, it's winter in Iowa, and I have a lot of cold weather (survival) projects to make. It's no secret I'm an art geek...and I love playing and creating with yarn. I learned how to knit and crochet when I was young (2nd grade?), and have been making stuff ever since. Recently, a friend sent me a pic of the "messy bun hat" or, as I prefer to call it, the "topless beanie." I got right to work and made one for a gift, and then another for myself. Currently, I have a third one in the works. Yes, this what I do when I'm not blogging (although I should be cleaning my house....).

Another reason for an off-season is so I can focus on smaller daily goals for the month. I much prefer doing monthly challenges over year-long resolutions. It's much easier to chart my progress. Also, by changing things up each month, I never get stagnant (or bored out of my mind).

And, finally, this off-season is giving me a chance to get reacquainted with the 'mill. Anyone who knows me will attest that I'd much rather be outside than "moving-in-place" on that indoor torture device.  I doubt I'll ever fall back in love with it, but I am trying to give it a chance to work its way back into my (fitness) life.


In a nut shell, this off-season is helping me get back to the basics. I'm working especially hard on self-care...foam rolling (even when I don't think I need it), stretching, and yoga. My body is pretty tight, and I'm hoping by doing a little bit of daily yoga, I'll get in a routine of doing it (and actually WANTING to do it) much more frequently. And, the running? No more streaking for now, nothing longer than 5-6 miles, and at least three non-running days each week. Like I said, I'm not training for anything this month...there's no need for excessive mileage.

How about YOU? Have you ever taken an off-season? Do you make resolutions for the new year, or do you prefer monthly/weekly goals instead?

I'm linking up with Meranda and Lacey and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0, and also with Deborah and CoCo for the Ultimate Coffee Date. I invite you to check out these wonderful hostesses' blogs, and take note of all the bloggers in the link-ups.




41 comments:

  1. I"m glad to see you are giving yourself a break! Now everything can heal up. After all, we've got planzzzzz....

    Road trip to Chicago March 18 for a 10 miler?

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    1. March 18th.....does it involve a medal? ;-) I'll have to check the calendar a little more thoroughly,but I am intrigued.....PM me some details ;-) That's four days after a big milestone birthday....I might be needing to celebrate...

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    2. WHEN WAS I GOING TO BE NOTIFIED??

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    3. Ha HA...that's not my only Chicago appearance this winter ;-)

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  2. Yes I have really come to realize the importance of an off season. I took December pretty easy and cut my mileage quite a bit. I will be back to swimming more this month before gearing up for tri races in the spring. Thanks for joining the coffee date!

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    1. I think an off-season is a well kept secret. Most of us are active enough, we won't lose much (or any) of our fitness gains by scaling back for a short while, and our (poor) bodies need the down time. I always say, "professional athletes have an off-season, why not us?" ;-)

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  3. I wish I could knit or was a little bit more crafty. Knitting is a great winter activity.

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    1. I'm more of a knitter than crocheter...but both are fun!

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  4. I guess I'll call my "lazy December" my off-season, haha! I'm picking things up now, but it's taking a bit before I feel in the groove. I think you have an awesome plan! Sorry you're still having the groin issues, my inner hip thing still pops up even when not running, so I'm hoping it's nothing serious. I think yoga and self-care sound great, never too much of that!

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    1. Don't feel bad about your "lazy December." That was probably a sign that you needed some rest...you did run a marathon not too long prior to that ;-)

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  5. Your off-season sounds perfect to me. I always take one. I believe there were really only 3 winters in the last 10 where I did not take my mileage "down to the studs" and those years involved Boston. Meb had very wise words to share about an off season and yes, he takes one too.

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    1. Well, there you go! If Meb can have an off-season, so shall I ;-) (Although, I'm probably not gonna ever come close to winning Boston...)

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  6. Sounds like a good plan for the off-season! We all need a break every once in a while and winter is the perfect time for that.

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    1. I agree...winter is perfect for down time. I don't think it's good to always be "in training" for something, especially if it's always the same sport.

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  7. Ah, I so hope I can make Grandma's work! It would be an amazing weekend!

    And I totally love that you knit. My grandma did (both, actually), and my mom used to. But I never learned. I'll have to ask my mom if she still has needles and can teach me.

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    1. I can bring some needles along to Duluth and give you a lesson ;-) I wouldn't hold off too long on deciding on Grandma's...last year it closed before Christmas (but it also was the 40th anniversary, so there were some bonus things going on). Hope to see you there!!

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  8. November was definitely off season for me. The only reason December wasn't was the RW streak, but I'm just now beginning to think about an actual training plan. Notice I said thinking, not implementing LOL.

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    1. I hear ya on the training plan LOL I need to figure out what actual races will be happening and get my plan formulated to accommodate everything. Finish times will not be my priority this year, but I still need to train smart ;-)

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  9. I really don't take an off-season, but I should. But I have a half in mid-March, so not now. Really, summer is a good time for me to cut back on running ....

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    1. I always scale back my mileage in the winter....I don't quit cold-turkey, but I ease up a bit. Usually, my body is in some form of disrepair and is ready for the downtime.

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    2. Yeah, my body probably is in a state of disrepair too!

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  10. I am usually in my off season now, except I have a half the end of March so yup, I'm training. Shortest off season ever (like 2 weeks).

    That's ok -- it's NOLA & I'm excited about it!

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    1. I'd love to do NOLA sometime! It looks like a fab time!

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  11. Off season is great. I have but won't be this year. I think it definitely helps you to recover and not get burned out.

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    1. Agreed! I know it does my body good to not be in "constant training mode"

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  12. I've been running on the treadmill this winter (I'm in Nebraska). I have declared myself a fair-weather runner, but I think it's more of a prefer-to-run-in-daylight runner. We live in the country and I tried running outside this fall. The darkness was too much. Add the subzero temps, and I'm resigned to "run in place" as you put it, for the time being.

    Great idea for your off-season, you do deserve it!

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    1. I have a tough time on the 'mill....I am tall (long legs = long strides) and am always paranoid about stubbing my toes or face-planting. Plus, my body does better outside where I can have variety regarding terrain (excuses aplenty LOL)

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  13. That is still a buy off season! I think for me it is summer- to hot to go more than about 6 miles :) You have definitely earned this off season- you have been kicking it hard- enjoy!

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    1. My off season may look busy, but it's more non-running stuff than anything. I need to start adding my stair-training soon (next month)...

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  14. I love the hat idea- I wish I could knit but I have tried and never got it- I hate the treadmill too, but I love that you are taking time to self-care, as you say. I think that might be my "word" for this year- never mind that it's hyphenated, I think taking time for myself will help everyone around me too!

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    1. I think knitting (and crocheting) is easy for me because I'm pretty ambidextrous....and I have that "art" brain that enables me to kind of visualize the finished project as I'm working on it ;-) I think self-care needs to happen year-round, but (unfortunately) it's one of those things I forget to do...

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  15. I'm working on my relationship with the 'mill this winter as well. With marathon training and my job butting heads I'd rather run indoors on the 'mill versus outside in the dark most of the week. I love the idea of small daily goals - a great way to keep them attainable!

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    1. My 'mill relationship is not very friendly....I'm just much more of an outdoor person. The 'mill (for me) is too regimented and "robotic" LOL

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  16. I do agree you have earned that off season! I really didn't realize you started your streak so soon after your race. Wow. My off season is usually from about June - August. It is just so dang hot here. I'm going to try and do a summer runstreak again this year. I really did enjoy it and I hope it will get me closer to my 850 mile goal for this year, that is IF I can remember to check and see how I'm doing before mid December.
    I really did consider Grandma's but this years timing just doesn't work, bummer I got really close to meeting you then the run was pulled. Have to work on another plan!

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    1. Well, there are other runs "out my way" besides Grandma's ;-) A really awesome one (Dam to Dam) in early June...(ahem) (cough cough)

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  17. Sounds like you have a busy off season planned! I love off season as well, as it allows to try other things and get caught up on things at home. Enjoy!!

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    1. Ha! I have lots of home stuff that needs attention LOL I still have my big Christmas tree awaiting my attention.... ;-)

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  18. I think it's important to have some down time or risk burnout. And, it still sounds like you'll be plenty busy!

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    1. You are so correct...burnout and it's sister, over-training, are nasty! I do all I can to avoid the both of them...

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  19. Congrats on the marathon and the run streak! That's amazing! A break sounds perfect for you! Hope you enjoy your extra time with the yarn.

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