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Triathlete Blog

Stepping Back

By May 23, 2008June 10th, 2015No Comments

This week I have been on significantly reduced training detox break.

When I asked the new coach what to do with myself this week, they came back with:

Recovery oriented stuff


Recovery. Oriented. Stuff?

Please clarify…

You know, active recovery type things.

Things. Stuff. Wait, what?

After a few more vague exchanges I was able to establish the boundary that sitting on the couch eating peanut butter cups is not considered active recovery but going for a swim, bike or run would be ok.


Realizing my schedule would be quite open this week and realizing I would need to take my recovery very seriously, I made a list (goals, if you will) of things I needed to do:

1 – Eat peanut butter cups (while doing leg lifts on couch to constitute as “active” and appease new coach)

2 – Talk to my dog (the real reason I got a dog in the first place to avoid being she who works from home and talks to herself)

3 – Plant flowers in backyard (a hosta has gone missing….Boss?)

4 – TBD (leaving things wide open on recovery week just in case)

By Tuesday I had accomplished goal #1. Being an athlete, however, I realized the importance of pacing myself at this task. So in the morning I ate the tops off of half of the tub of peanut butter cups. In the evening I ate the bottoms off the other half.

Talking to my dog is something I do every day. On Wednesday I decided to make this a public affair and even include my mom. The three of us went to the dog park. Boss did fly bys and crazy laps for 90 minutes straight. Meanwhile, mom and I confirmed the apocalypse really is coming because of these 3 things:

1 – The crazy man telling us that dogs like to roll in dead worms – he knows this because one day when his dog was rolling in different places on the ground he found dead worms in each one (nevermind why a grown man was digging for DEAD WORMS) FREAK FREAK FREAK!

2 – A woman walked into the dog park carrying a Juicy Couture dog bag. I repeat: JUICY COUTURE.

3 – There was a dog in the park named Tiffany. I almost wrote that one of the dogs was named Chuffington but I realized Chuffington has some character whereas naming your dog Tiffany is in so many ways wrong. Really wrong. Like totally seriously completely wrong. Better yet somebody told me my dog was named Morris. Really? Well, call him what you’d like but he goes by Boss with me (though there was a week where Chris and I called him Shlomo just for kicks).

Anyways, that was the dog park so scratch off goal #2.

Planting flowers is a bit of a tricky thing. I would at least like to wait until it is above 39 degrees at night and the heat is off in my house before I tackle that. Seeing as that may not happen until next July this might be a goal I have to include in next year’s annual training plan.

#4 includes anything I’d like. That’s the pleasure of committing to something like TBD. To be determined by none other than me. Might be something. Might be nothing. Because the coach has told me that I need to start taking recovery very, very seriously. So seriously that they have prohibited all trips to the grocery store. Too strenuous. Not really but now that I have a different coach than my husband I can pull tricks like that more easily.

It’s nice to step back and take a break. To do whatever I feel like day to day. The other day felt like swimming. Mostly it turned out to be sitting at the end of the lane while talking with Applesauce. We got in and swam 1500 yards and called it enough for the day. For some reason that 1500 yards took us 1 hour in between stops at the wall and the giggle breakdown when I pulled out my favorite movie line in the world (“Son, you got a panty on your head”) because the woman in the lane next to us pretty much had a panty on her head. Except she thought it was a swim cap.

How often do you just step back and let things slow down? I started working with a new athlete this week that hasn’t take a day off in years. First thing I put on their schedule was a day off. I’m sure they’ll be doing his own version of crazy laps by the end of that day but trust me rest always does a body good. So often we fear losing our fitness in less than 3 days. Give your body more credit – it’s not like it will forget a winter’s worth of work in a few days. Sometimes it needs a break. Sometimes you need a break. Sometimes your pace in life just needs to slow down.

I realize for all of my anticipation to get started with the new coach they were doing exactly what I needed. Leaving me alone. Pushing me off on myself. When I told them I had been so used to doing a schedule that I didn’t have much practice in organizing things for myself, they said – then this will be good for you. They were right. It’s good to step back and figure out how to light my own fire again. To realize how much I love the sport. It takes a few days but once the leg and head pain clears, you realize how much you really do love to swim, bike and run.

So until I get started again I’m going to keep working at my list. To choose my own sporting adventure each day and enjoy this open-ended opportunity. But wait – I was just sent some tests I need to complete somewhere in the next few days. Actually that’s good because I need more on my list. So I’ve added #5 – purchase plastic pants because from the looks of these tests I might just soil myself next week on the track.