I'm back from my hiatus. It's been a crazy December full of traveling, eating crappy food, playing with crocodiles, and doing minimal exercising. To be perfectly honest, I couldn't think of a better way to spend it either.
2008 has been a crazy year. With two sprint triathlons, two olympic triathlons, one half IronMan triathlon, five marathons, two half marathons, and around a dozen other races it's no wonder I crashed and burned. And that's not to mention work insanity and my new bike project. I'm still not completely over it all yet but have found happiness again in being active. Right now I'm strength training and loving every second of it. Feeling strong is refreshing and amazing. I forgot how much I enjoyed it. Plus, it gives me a chance to strengthen muscles which have been laying dormant for... well... ever.
Part of my strength training has been focusing on activating my glutes. Believe it or not, my glutes don't fire. Put another way, my butt muscles don't work. The work they should be doing has been compensated by my lower back, quads, and ham strings. For the past few months I've been focusing on trying to make them fire when needed. It's a long and arduous process but it is coming along. I'm noticing a difference already but still have a long way to go.
I also found happiness in cross country skiing. I'm finally embracing Minnesota for the frozen tundra that it is and getting some amazing cross training done in the process. As it turns out cross country skiing is an amazing workout for lots of different muscles including the glutes. My glutes don't naturally fire so it's very slow going on the skis making sure I perform the mechanics correctly.
All this aside I also put together my 2009 race schedule. The main idea is simple: Don't repeat 2008. I'm scheduled for two marathons (Fargo & Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon) and a few triathlons (Lake Minnetonka Sprint, Chisago Lake Half Iron, and Square Lake Half Iron). I'm also working into the schedule my own full IronMan triathlon. Hopefully this won't be too much of a stress but it's definitely a reprieve from last year's schedule.
Starting Monday I'm starting my training but this time it's going to be one tracked. I'm doing full IronMan training and using that to prep me for the marathons. I have no intention to be competitive this year but instead to do them for fun. Hopefully this will help me keep a positive perspective going into 2009.