Sunday, December 25, 2011

Vacation!

Hanalei, Kaua'i
Aloha and greetings from the sunny shores of Hawai'i! Kristine and I hopped on a plane (or in Kristine's case, a few planes) for the island of Kaua'i last week to spend the holidays with her family. It's been an absolutely enjoyable and utterly relaxing trip so far. I had never been to Hawai'i before, and now I'm wondering why I waited so long!

My original plan was to start running again - I figured the warm weather and lightly rolling hills would the perfect medicine for my ailing achilles. Unfortunately, my first run out here on Wednesday wasn't as comfortable as I would've liked. As a result, I'm going to rest my legs for another week or two and just enjoy the simplicity of island life.

We've been to a handful of beaches, all of which have been gorgeous. I brought my goggles and a pair of training suits along, so I've logged a few 20-25 minute swims here or there. It feels good to be back in the water again; if my achilles keeps me off the road for much longer, I may have to fast-track my plan to re-join the local swim team.

Anyway, I've got to get back to my Mai Tais and pork spare ribs. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you all!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Almost, but not quite.

The view from my roadbike.

As promised, I've spent the past few months... not relaxing, per se, but definitely enjoying life without a big race looming over my head. I've spent those months riding and running, but more to spend time with friends and take Marin county's natural beauty than anything else. The off-season has been just what I wanted it to be: a break from the pressures of training for an Ironman-distance race.

That's not to say that these past few months haven't been without incident, though. I crashed in extremely stupid fashion back in September, but I've been riding very consistently since. My road bike and I have spent some time becoming reacquainted, and together we set personal-best times on many of my most frequently-climbed hills: Hawk Hill, Camino Alto (both ways), the Alpine segments, and so forth. I've recently started working my time-trial bike back into the mix, and I'm noticing the differences between the two bikes (the former's got a compact crank, and the latter, a standard) more than ever before.

The view from my time-trial bike.

I started running again in October thanks to Strava's 100-Mile Challenge. Over four weeks, I ramped up the mileage and kept it there for another three before triggering some kind of achilles/soleus strain. I had a good groove going - 8+ miles every other day for almost six weeks. I deserved the injury. Since that flare-up, I've been limping and hobbling, stretching and icing. I've got a few PT sessions scheduled, and I'm fairly confident that I'll get this all taken care of before real training begins again.

Speaking of real training, we're on-schedule to begin in early January with another grueling six-month regimen designed to bring me to Zurich with the best fitness of my life. But that's still another few weeks away, so I'll leave the details for another post. w00t!