Over the years, I've been forced to accept the need for "balance" in my ultrarunning. To me, this means many things...but in this instance, I'm referring to the time of year when I am not "training" for anything specific. Because I live in Colorado, it makes sense to take this time off during the winter months. Having said that, I have found this to be problematic because of the time of year when 100 mile races are in full swing. I seek to have a full six months of training leading up to a key 100 miler. The Colorado winter doesn't release its grip until March, so it makes it difficult to be ready for a big race in June.
I'm designing my time off a little different this year. Last week, I ran the Boulder 100. And now, one week later, I find myself feeling recovered and healed up. So, I'll begin the task of decompressing from my training year and finding focus on other things for the next 6-8 weeks. I am already feeling stressed about this, and the abundance of time is leaving me feeling incredibly productive at everything else in my life. Today, I cleaned the entire house, when shopping, mowed the lawn, did the laundry, wrote two blog entries, and made banana bread........what!?!!!
In my head, taking time off by choice is the way to go... if you wait until the body forces you to take time off, you are too late. It's like poker....leave while you're ahead. So yeah, I'm officially in an "off season" and it will take at least two weeks for my body to figure it out. I woke up this morning with a resting heart rate of 44...blisters healed and my IT band feels good. Go for a run? No....breathe......breathe.
I'll be hitting the Bikram Yoga regularly during this time, allowing my body time to heal. Also, I'll be cooking and juicing vegetables throughout the day. I'm sure I'll have even more time with my son, Jalen. My overall goal to seek self-improvement never stops...but the choice to take time off from running is one that helps me stay fresh when I lace up the shoes in preparation of my next ultra. So, in this way...I am already preparing for my next big race.