Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Itch

I’m starting to get the itch.

You know, the off season itch, the itch you can't scratch, the itch you've been given coach's orders to completely ignore?

Itch, itch, itch......try ignoring that.

It may have something to do with the fact that the skin has peeled off of my back and arms from toxic Ironman Hawaii sunburn. Or it more likely may have something to do with the fact that I haven’t worked out in eleven days.


No swimming, no biking, no running, no sports drink, no padded shorts, no jog bras, no visors, no hair in pony tails – nothing, nada, ZIP. No zip. Because if there was zip I’d be moving somewhere.

What do normal people do? WHAT in the name of the good earth do people do with their time? Hmmph? In the past eleven days Chris has painted the basement, I cleaned out the basement, bought a printer, bought a desk, assembled said desk, cleaned the house, did about 30 loads of laundry, framed pictures, etcetera etcetera and I still have about 2 hours every night to read other people’s blogs.

*people you need to start writing more* - please

People are always complaining that they never have time. Now, I don’t have children so I can’t speak on that but people, really, what are you doing with your time? I’ve got time coming out of the wazoo and I don’t know what to do. When I can sleep I’m sleeping over 8 hours a night, working 8 hours a day and still that leaves 8 hours for…..what? Books? Can’t sit still that long. Hobbies? Yes, hopping on to my bike. Errands, chores, shopping, walking in circles in the kitchen? I don’t know.

What do you do with all this time? (itch, itch, itch)

I tried getting into tv. Any of it, all of it. Trashy tv, educational tv, news tv. Couldn’t do it. Every show Chris put on I would ask “what’s this?”, he wouldn’t know, I’d watch a minute of it and be like this is too weird, too boring to just sit and watch (can we not just do?)

I tried to get into food giving myself permission to eat whatever I wanted. I spent about 5 days eating peanut butter cups after work, ice cream for dinner, pie after that. I didn’t last. I was beat by the food.

Then I tried drinking – ok really I mean just a glass of wine here or there, going out on the weekend to drink with friends. Literally did the Ironman of bar hopping on Saturday night. Now to Chris and I that means going to two bars which really isn’t a lot but when you haven’t been a bar in months – that’s double Ironman distance or more. It took about three hours before we completely bonked.

I’ve tried so many other things but what I keep coming back to is that I don’t like any of them and I just want to swim, bike, run. Or lift, or stretch, or stairmaster, or even, gulp, I'd even give yoga a try.

But I can’t.

I’m off, I’m recovering, and I’m trying to relax……

But what do you do when you relax? I need an agenda. A schedule. Can you write it out in Training Peaks because as far as relaxation, boredom, and extra time goes – I haven’t got a clue. You see, I’m antsy, I’m bored, and I’m starting to get the itch.

I know, I know – it’s like my coach said “If you start to get an itch, take a bath.”

Guess what, I took a bath and…..I still had time. All that time in the water reminded me of the pool which made the itch...worse.

The lack of exercise has completely thrown my body for a loop. Some nights I can’t stay awake. Other nights I can’t get to sleep. I’m up until 1 am thinking about sleep. The next day I’m ready to sleep at 4 pm. I’ve had a headache for about 3 days. I don’t know what it is. Today it came, then went, then came back again. Chris suggested it might be sports drink withdrawal. He could be right.

So here I sit, itching like I’m wrapped in a wool sweater and needing to relax for another 5 days. Or more. I was given the date of November 5th. At that time, I will restart with schedule, structure, plans. Until then, I’m thinking of getting the biggest bottle of calamine I can find and sitting down with some cotton balls. Because until then my new hobby will be dealing with this itch.


Tony said...

Great blog Elizabeth! Been reading it for a while, thought I ought to post a comment.

Great job in Hawaii! How are the kidneys? Your "Doctor's Orders" post scared me a little, I'm rethinking any Kona aspirations I've had, I've only got one of those kidney things... Might just limit myself to halfs!

Just did the Duathlon Long Course Championships you and Chris had planned on doing before you both qualified for Kona, if you want something to read I have a race report on

Looking forward to following your professional career next year!

Anonymous said...

pipe down, fedosfky! j/k... Ok...I have to totally AGREE though....what in the H*LL do people do with their free time? I have kids and I still was like, "ho hum..." And, I can only shop, eat bad food and "relax" for so long. I actually suck at that stuff. And, because I am not doing anything amazingly exciting, I have nothing to write about on my blog to keep you entertained. I mean, unless you want to hear about the tooth fairy, Disneyworld for 5 year olds...Nope. Not much week some light fun. :) Jen H

Erin said...

Buy a horse. It's worked for me in sucking up any and all free time I thought I'd have after finishing IM-Moo. Or, plan a wedding again. Between those two things, at the moment, I have less free time than I did during Ironman training. Ridiculous.

Bree said...

Okay, I'll tell you what I am doing and it is DORKY... but since you give me good advice... I am making my Christmas lists and starting my Christmas least there aren't any lines and with all the time you can actually wrap the gifts to look cool!

Anonymous said...

Bree - good idea on the Christmas shopping idea.

Elizabeth - are you having any guilt along with the itch? I feel so guilty when I'm not working out. I look forward all season to off season and then when it's here, I can't enjoy it.

Another suggestion - get your next season's plan together. Or maybe you already have that.

You certainly should feel good about all the non-triathlon things you have accomplished during this off period. I'd rather do anything than paint or put a desk together (except yoga - I hate yoga).


Benson said...

Woah, are you on caffine?
Maybe take a vacation to somewhere you've never been and totally immerse yourself in the local culture and activities.
I did this after IM Zurich and headed into the alps for a week. Just me, backpack, and a camera.
Great recovery time.

moonpie said...

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. I haven't heard how long it takes to break a habit, but I hear smokers have a hard time quitting. Perhaps there is some sort of patch you can temporarily use to cure this itch?

Anonymous said...

You could grade some of my 125+ papers that I grade each day! Just joking.

E. L. F. said...

Comment #8 is what happens when your mom reads your blog. Hi mom - I'll pass on the papers. !!

Pam said...

I use the time to say "yes" whenever anyone asks me to hang out. Not yes, but I have to leave before masters, not yes but i will need time to shower first, just "yes, what's your schedule like?" It's liberating!