And, let’s actually tell it how it is. I made this much progress on a blog post between Monday morning and Tuesday at 6pm.
So there’s that. Today seems to have calmed down, so let me share some random things about life, liberty (from training), and the pursuit of (offseason) happiness.
On the water…
I finally got out to the water to paddleboard. It made my heart happy. I seriously felt lighter after I got back from being out on the lake. I may love running, I may love(/hate/love) cycling, but there is nothing that feels more at home than the water.
I’ve signed up for a swimming distance challenge at Quarry Lake. Every first Saturday morning, we swim a lap further than we swam the month before. At first I hesitated doing it because blah blah scheduling blah blah fear blah blah bullshit and then I decided “fuck that” and signed up to go swim in the lake that makes me happy. I’ll figure out how to get around the lake 4 times in June when I haven’t actually been training and how the 9am Saturday time is going to affect my training schedule later. For now, I’ll just go do it.
Besides the annoyance of stuffing my body in my wetsuit like a sausage casing, I’m actually really looking forward to it.
We haven’t been camping in 2 years, because, frankly, it’s a lot of effort. You pack up everything you fucking need to survive for a few days down to water and tools to make fire, and then once you’re done you have to CLEAN UP all that crap. When you’re training, you worry about being rested enough to do the planned session on questionable sleep. So, we’ve considered it a bunch of weekends and then just could not be bothered.
One of the goals for this offseason was to camp a lot because camping is awesome. First up was Sherwood Forest Faire with the clan. We had Friday off work, so our goal was to attend the faire Friday, camp overnight, and then come home Saturday. However, we got the weeks mixed up and they weren’t open, so we changed our plans to 2 nights and with a short trip to the store a few miles away we were set. It was a great call. Instead of rushing through the faire, we spent an afternoon just relaxing with our books, talking with people we didn’t know but since we were all Mug and Flame it didn’t matter, and enjoying the fact that my cell phone did not have ANY reception.
Over the two days, there was beer drinking and chatting with new and old friends and wandering around the campsites at two in the morning and finding a tiki bar with a dance floor where we danced for hours at the pleasure of the Easter Bunny. There was dressing up like a gypsy, walking about 10 miles in 24 hours without really meaning to, seeing a man unhorsed in the joust, and finding Zliten the perfect mug. There was fried olives, ogre toes (candied bacon wrapped in sausage wrapped in bacon), hot dogs cooked over an open flame, and a spectacular chicken gyro. There was also a similarly spectacular garlic pickle, a bunch of salad, and fruit.
One thing that epitomizes these vibe here is our buddy that came out Saturday morning, and just started cooking up breakfast tacos for everyone. Anyone who wanted them. Around dark, he fired up the grill again and threw on a massive amount of hamburgers for everyone, and then took off for the night. He wasn’t even camping. He just came to feed us and hang out. Another person works for a brewery and brought 12 cases of beer for anyone that wanted it. These are just two small examples of what the situation is here. These people are <3.
All that chillaxing + no screens besides a kindle + fun of being at the faire + nature and some beautiful weather made my little black burned out heart grow two sizes. Sure, it’s taken 3 days to get everything put away and my floor is still gritty from tracking in dirt, but my soul is pleased. So much so, that we immediately came home and looked around to find another place to camp next weekend. We’re heading up north a bit for two nights to a place with a beautiful lake, great cycling, and amazing trails. I just ordered a portable hammock. I cannot wait.
On the number of the scale…
As for #projectraceweight, I did what I could. Monday through Thursday, I maintained 1200-1300 calories per day. Camping, I brought a bunch of healthy food and reasonably low calorie beverages, and stuck mostly to those. My lunch at the faire was a chicken pita with ziki sauce and veggies. For dinner, I ate 1/3 a big salad, half an orge toe, and 10 fried olives. My eating was not perfect, but definitely was in the realm of acceptable. The drinking was a little more than I had planned, but I didn’t go crazy (I did not have to take a 3 hour nap to sober up in the middle of the day this time…).
I was unpleasantly surprised to come back to an INSANE number on the scale on Monday, but I’m back down to normal-ish ranges today so no harm, no foul. Our next camping excursion will be solo instead of a massive group, more relaxing instead of staying up all night partying with friends, and about enjoying a beautiful space away from everything instead of a booth with fried everything.
I must keep on keepin’ on. 2 weeks down, 14 to go. There is still time for my body to get with the program.
On the body and mind healing…
Here’s my step activity since the marathon (no, March 16th wasn’t a day in bed, I just left my fitbit on the nightstand :P).
I have done zero things from March 5th to March 29th at noon (my first run) to get active beyond walking and taking the cruiser bike out a few times, and you can see as the weeks go by, as my body (and brain) heals, I get more and more active just naturally. I’ve never taken enough time completely off and watched this process grow organically, it’s been fascinating to just actually want to move more not premeditated by a training plan.
We do the 10/20 race every year, and even though it fell during offseason, we signed up. As proved at the marathon (grumble grumble), I have the capacity to walk 10 miles if need be, and I wanted to participate. As it’s gotten closer, I’ve been cursing that decision because I honestly hadn’t felt like lacing up my hokas. Like, at all. With my disaster bike experience 2 weeks before the marathon and the disappointing run season, I had zero desire to thrust myself back into either of those sports right now.
But, sometimes we need a poke and a prod to remember that underneath all these numbers and training plans and gear and racing for PRs and junk, we do this because we love to move our bodies outdoors. And the thought of running 10 miles Sunday forced me into my shoes yesterday for 3 to make sure I remembered how to run after 3.5 weeks.
The good news:
Easy pace is still easy pace. I don’t think I have hard pace right now, but our mid-11s pace is still fun and conversational. I didn’t slow down to, like, 13s or anything. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it would definitely show significant regression for me.
Running is still enjoyable. I’m definitely ok sticking to the short stuff for quite a while, I’ve got less than zero desire to start a marathon training program right now. However, I can see doing 10 this weekend real slow and not hating it, and enjoying going out for an easy 3 every once in a while over offseason to shake the rust off. And that’s very different than my perspective last week.
My hip didn’t hurt! Like, at all! I felt like there was a tiny bit of tension there, but it also might have been psychosomatic. I haven’t been doing any sort of rehab on it with stretching or rolling or core so that might be something to start focusing on next week. Baby steps.
The bad news:
While my hip didn’t hurt cruising, I have a feeling it would have complained about speedwork. I originally wanted to transition fairly quickly to short interval sessions to keep up my fitness just a little, but I’m going to give it longer at the easy peasy lemon squeezy pace.
Now that I’ve peeled my calluses and blisters off (gross, I know), I got hot spots on my Clifton 2s within 1.5 miles. Great shoes for walking, shite (for me) for running. I feel like buying another pair of running shoes is EMBARKING upon something, which for some reason I’m not ready to do, so I’m going to deal with my perfectly nice, comfortable, but very heavy Kailuas for a while. Also, because the Clifton 3s don’t appear to be out yet and I’ll give them a chance since I read that they are widening the toe box again!!!
#projectspring is in full swing. Obviously, there’s still a lot of things that I want to get going, but I’m making my way. I feel like, just finally this week, I can see a whole lot of fun things on the schedule and feel genuinely excited about the fun I’m going to have instead of thinking… ugh… stuff to do. I may not be bounding up out of bed without an alarm, but I’ve definitely lost the core “tireds” of endurance training.
I’ve got some fun stuff on tap for the rest of the week, like finally sorting Bonaire pics, gaming, going to a play, etc., and am really looking forward to a non-athlete type approach to a swim and a run this weekend. Show up, have fun, enjoy being active with a bunch of other people, and giving less than -1 fucks about how long it takes to get from point A to point B.