For someone like me who loves to train and race it's tough to HAVE to rest after a hard year of racing. 2011 turned out to be a fantastic year, especially after a disappointing 2010 when I was sick at least once a month. However I started training pretty hard in January this year for Puerto Rico and it just continued through to Kona in October. The toughest time was after Ironman Canada when everyone was pretty much done with their season and I had to keep training. I didn't have the same motivation going into Kona as I did going into IMC. I'd love to do Kona again some day but I think I would try to qualify at an earlier race like St. George or Coeur d'Alene.
The past couple of months have been pretty nice, training when I want to train and resting when I want to rest. I've started to look at rest, recovery and nutrition as the 4th discipline in being a successful triathele. I realized in 2010 that I was 'getting away' with a lot of bad habits and now that I'm a little older it's no longer easy to let those bad habits continue and still be a successful athlete. I know that if I don't eat such and such at this time, I don't get this much sleep, don't spend this much time with weights and I don't take vitamins everyday then I'm going to feel like crap and I won't be able to train the way I need to to race the way I want to. It might sound like I'm living a military lifestyle but I'm not that strict, especially in the off season. However, if I don't have some reasonable order in my life then I don't feel like I'm making forward progress and I'm not growing as an athelte and essentially as a person. One thing about being an athlete is you are always striving to be at your peak potential and be the best person possible and that translates into everything you do; work, family, friends you name it.
So the time since Kona has been great, I'm a little fatter and happier which I'm beginning to realize that it's okay to gain a few pounds in the off season. All of the nagging injuries I've been struggling with are slowly getting better and I'm feeling again like I want to get back into some structured training. I'm going to just keep things relaxed for December and try not to do too much but now I don't feel like training is a second job, it's something that I love to do and I'm eager to get back into come January.
I've also thought about my 2012 race schedule and I'm going to try to keep next year closer to home. Other than the Vegas 70.3 Worlds all of my races are going to be in Alberta next year, it's exciting to be doing GWN and Calgary 70.3 in the same year and I may even organize a team for the Death Race.