I remember last December... feeling like I was just completely burnt out. I did next to nothing but EAT a bunch of crap for the bulk of the month. Clearly the long break was necessary even if I took it to a rather extreme. :)
This December feels completely different! Granted, this year wasn't as big of a training/racing year as I've had in the past... so that helps. From 2011-2013 I did 5x Ironman races, so a year away from the distance in 2014 was a good call for sure. And somehow because of that, I feel more mentally fresh and ready to GO right now than I have in years past. Which is good, because Marilyn doesn't kid around with training this time of year! She's got me doing some solidly hard bike sessions, lots of skill work, and I'm in the gym lifting heavy things several times/week. It feels good, like she's building me into a different (more complete) type of athlete. And since we are so far away from any racing, now is a super time to be doing this kind of stuff. I can feel some real changes taking hold too- changes in my strength and changes in my form. One of my 'complaints' about this past year was that my biking was only moderately strong, which made sense because I only rode a moderate amount. I felt like I missed being a super strong rider, so recently we've upped my riding frequency a bit. Today was day 4 in a row of riding for me and it feels great... like I'm on a mission... and even though I completely blew myself to shreds today, my motivation is through the roof!
December is a good time to reflect. To figure out what worked and maybe what didn't work... what you want to keep and what you want to change going forward. I just spent a good bit of time writing all that out for myself and for my coach and it is helpful! I thought about just copying/pasting all those reflections here but in the end decided not all my laundry needs to be public.
The conclusion of what I wrote though was about how much I appreciate Marilyn as a coach. I feel like she has taught me a ton, yet I feel like there is so much more I can learn from her. I like the stuff we are doing right now and I sense success in the future- and that is highly motivating.
I know athletes hire coaches for different reasons. Some just need some accountability. Some seek the knowledge. Some seek a close relationship with someone who understands. I think my reasons spill into all of these categories. While I probably know enough about training methods to coach myself, I am not foolish enough to believe that I could do it successfully all on my own (been there tried that!). The truth is, having someone objectively watching is a giant key to success and knowing that I'm set up in a great situation heading into next year feels awesome. And the better that person knows you, the more specifically he/she will be able to help. With that in mind, I invited Marilyn out here to Hawaii to train with me for a few days... and she's coming this weekend!! I'm excited and nervous all at the same time and the truth is, I need to stop writing this blog and go clean out my car. ;)