A true off-season

Yes, the ubiquitous post-Ironman blab here!

To begin, life has kept me busy with tons of family time and quite a bit of travel – to New Hampshire and Texas!  I might have experienced a few moments of the post-race blues, but not many. The New Hampshire trip was work-related – faculty orientation in the lovely town of Hanover.  That went quite well and I enjoyed meeting my colleagues for the fall, but I had the worst return trip when my flight was canceled and then I was re-routed through Boston the next day.  I have to admit that a few tears were shed because I just wanted to get home.  And, once I got home, I had a quick turn-around, leaving to drive to Texas a day-and-a-half later.  The drive wasn’t as bad as I had expected – low expectations?  In Texas, I spent some quality time with the family and embraced some good old debauchery, eating and drinking with abandon.  Even with all of this traveling, I also tried to rest so that I’ll be ready for the fall, which will involve some high-intensity months (but not training!).  In the past, I’ve taken a step back in the fall but tried to maintain some semblance of training.  This year will not follow that pattern!  So, what will I be up to?

First of all, I’ll back up to my post-ironman moment – I know that it’s silly to return to the race saga/drama, but immediately after finishing, I felt like total crap but better than I did at IMCA.  I suppose that this is progress?  Either that or I learned from last year’s ironman to set very low expectations for any sort of post-race celebration.  This year, I briefly hung out with friends and family, drank a sprite and some chicken broth.  Fun times!  Once Michael and I went back home, I did eat some chicken and even drank a bit of his beer without feeling sick.  Perhaps, if I ever do another one (which I promised myself I wouldn’t when I was finishing the run but never say never), I’ll actually manage to eat the post-race pizza?  You can always hope…

Anyway, getting to the start line reasonably healthy and making it to the finish line in one piece felt like a huge challenge, especially with my foot issue and other aches and pains that I dealt with over the course of the season.  I’m not complaining, but I recognize that my body really needed a break.  So, in the month of August, I biked twice (I actually felt okay the first time, but the second ride just about killed me!), swam a handful of times, and laced up my running shoes a few times a week for very easy runs.  The running fitness, for whatever reason, seems to return fairly quickly, I would expect because it is the discipline that feels most natural to me.  However, I’ve continued to deal with and try to manage my left foot issue and make sure that running doesn’t aggravate it too much.  I hope to continue to run into the fall, but I suspect that continuing with swimming and biking will present more of a challenge to me while I’m in Switzerland!

Yes, I leave a week from today (YIKES – how did that happen?) for Zermatt, Switzerland to teach at a 3-month program for American high school students.  I am crazy excited but also a bit overwhelmed and nervous.  I spent the last 10 years teaching at the same school, so for the last few years, the beginning of school wasn’t a time that provoked “Holy crap!” thoughts.  This, however, does.  But, one of the reasons that we moved from Southern CA was to take on new challenges and experiences, and this teaching gig will definitely fit the bill for both of those, in the classroom but especially working with students outside of the classroom.  A major component of the program is outdoor education, so I am looking forward to exploring the trails on foot and skis this fall!

Zermatt - and, yes, that is the Matterhorn!
Zermatt – and, yes, that is the Matterhorn (which means “mother mountain”)

This opportunity will be a fantastic chance to travel, explore a beautiful part of the world and learn quite a bit, hopefully!  So, yes, this is my off-season – my focus will shift, which feels like a healthy move right now, but keep me very engaged.  It’s time to expand my world a bit more, and I think that I’ll find plenty of new adventures in Zermatt and beyond.

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