Out of Shape!

Man, how quickly it fades....

Yeah, I know I have this giant base built inside me, constructed over the last year as I trained for Ultraman.  But right now I feel like it has completely evaporated.  Like a magic trick -- POOF! and its gone.  

I took 3 weeks off after the race and did NOTHING except eat, spend time with my family, eat, work, eat, watch late night TV, eat, play with the kids, and eat.

In this brief period of time, I gained over 10 pounds, lost a good part of my muscle tone, became lazy and quickly reverted back to some old "former me" habits (let's not go there).  Oh how quickly it fades....

I realize (and embrace) that this is all part of a heathy long-term approach to training and racing.  I need to let my body heal, reset, rest and hibernate a bit.  Its healthy and necessary.  You just can't go all year round and remain fresh and excited about training and racing.  I pounded so hard, so relentlessly without a break for 7 months straight, that I needed to do this.  To avoid burnout and injury, to let my body and mind repair itself.  I'm not a head case.  I'm not the guy who can't resist overtraining.  I learned my lesson on this during my swimming career, during which time I obsessively and compulsively overtrained myself right out of the sport.  I know too much to make this mistake again.

But I'm over the break.  I built such a huge fitness / endurance base that I don't want to let it slip through my fingers.  I have a shot at quantum improvement by building on what I've done for a great 2009, so I started easing back into it this weekend.  With an emphasis on ease......

A leisurely long trail run on Friday, a social ride up PCH on Saturday with the Chris Hauth disciple crew on Saturday, and a swim / run on Sunday.  The verdict?  Officially out of shape -- in just 3 weeks!  This was most noticeable on my Saturday ride and my Sunday swim.  My running feels OK, but man, I felt like a total novice on the bike and was sucking major air in the pool.  It is astounding how quickly this happened.

That said, I know it will come back quickly with a little consistent effort.  This winter will be about core work in the weight room and a focus on cycling.  Looking back on my UM results and split times, it is clear that cycling is my limiter -- and also the easiest to improve with a concerted consistent effort.  I believe I can make major improvement here and return to UM next year with a huge leap in performance.

But that's a long way off.  Right now just dipping my toe back into it.  My ankles are sore and stiff, still ailing a bit from UM so I nee to be vigilant to avoid injury.  I really don't want to be sidelined.....So just slow and steady for now.