What does this offsesaon bring?

Trail runs, cyclo-crossing, mountain biking, Crossfit, hiking,…laziness!  I’ve decided to try trail running, leisurely because maybe I can overcome my clumsiness and strengthen muscles that have never been used road running.  Plus, I just recently registered for my first trail race so I guess I better get started especially since it’s supposedly the most challenging one in the Midwest!  Cyclo-crossing or mountain biking sounds fun but not when I see how small a space you have to bike on the trails.  That equals a dangerous disaster waiting to happen.  I envision myself taking a tumble down the hill with my bike.  Crossfit would make me superwoman if I could overcome the severe consequences I faced the first two times I completed brief (like 11-12 minutes brief) workouts.  I couldn’t even raise my ribs to breathe without pain!!  I fell in LOVE with hiking while in San Diego on the Torrey Pines but there’s nothing like that in St. Louis.  So, that leaves me with laziness and a few extra pounds (well, make that 7 extra pounds!).

One thing I know I really NEED this off-season, is lots of stretching and strengthening!  Last off-season I did Yoga for the first time for an entire month.  In addition, I did some strengthening but not enough (obviously).  I continue to run 3-4 miles one day a week and 6 miles one day a weekend.  In between, is strengthening but not enough days of it.  Just maybe, I will give Crossfit another try.  I need to hold myself accountable.  If we struggle reaching your goals, it’s probably because they aren’t written down or clearly defined, we’re not committed, or maybe just not ready for that step – the end sight of our goals can often be overwhelming if we don’t take baby steps at a time.  For instance, I’m not going to run or exercise unless I have a goal in writing or I paid for it (i.e. a race).   Of course I mainly do it for the health benefits but not without an end goal.  Buddies also help!  If my girls and I set up a workout date…we’ll show up!  Then when you’re done, you have that high of feeling just fabulous!

I may find it hard not having my training routine, but I’m finding other ways to motivate myself in staying active.  That is…riding my bike or taking the metro to work.  I have to be honest, when you work with people who care just as much as you about an active lifestyle, it kicks you into high gear to do the same.  I’m working in the city schools now on a fitness project and providing nutrition education for kids with cerebral palsy as part of my doctoral apprenticeship.  I’m super thrilled to be a part of these kids’ lives and motivating them to be healthy!  Therefore, I’m trying to lead by example.

My beautiful commuter bike, Trekkie and my helmet.
Helmets should be a vital piece of the commute!    
This off-season also means playing catch up with relationships and social life.  Life may seem intolerably boring right now but I’m finishing up my last few months of my doctoral apprenticeship (aka, school) and this next year…is focused on spending time with my husband.  It’s the first year of our marriage that neither of us will be in school!  Sure, I’m still racing but not spending half my days in training.  If I could give any advice to athletes (or any busy bodies for that matter) in relationships, the simple things keep the love burning strong even during race season.   I may have given my tips before but there are more simple things that do not cost a penny:

Tips from Tiff
1.     Be active together and take a stroll through the park or bike some trails. 
2.     If you want to be lazy, sit on your patio and enjoy the beautiful fall weather with a radio, cup of coffee/tea/wine…stop and smell the roses.
3.     Drive around with the windows rolled down (on a sunny day), and admire God’s scenic beauty.
4.     Flirt…text a random love note or leave notes where they would see it around the home.
5.     Watch movies or TV shows together and stay up late!
6.     If you don’t have kids sleep in and make breakfast in bed.  If you do have kids, maybe they can stay with a sitter or a relative on the weekend you’d like to have your “couple time” and sleep in without the early morning wake up calls.
Additional tips from my husband
7.     Stay involved with each other’s training and encourage one another.
8.     Make the best out of the time during the races… I usually bring an iPad and cheer on other athletes.

Exactly one month after the Ironman,
it was time to celebrate our 5-year Anniversary!
Perfect timing, so we went back to Louisville
this time, with no agenda and staying overnight
at the same hotel of our wedding night! 
Part of my postseason is spent with the
St. Louis Cardinals Postseason!
Quote of the day:  Life is either a great adventure or nothing.   ~ Helen Keller

Bible verse of the day:  “Now go out and encourage your men…”  ~ 2 Samuel 19:7

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