What I Didn't Do During Downtime
Let me begin by saying what I did not do in my downtime. I did not swim and claim it doesn’t count because it’s a non-impact sport. I did not casually bike commute to work. I did not make my 8th comeback to the weight room. I did not go to Physique57 (I think they call it that because it’s 57 dollars a class, right?), Barry’s Boot Camp (which happens in a temperature-controlled, indoor environment, right?), (Sell Your) SoulCycle, or Refine(ance your home to pay for this class) Method. I did not take up tennis lessons, log roll, practice archery, nor learn how to do biathlon (which is quite different from triathlon).
I shut it down for 13 days. I figured if I got cabin fever, maybe I’d do something restorative like yoga or power napping. You can bet that I wasn’t at SLT (unless it stands for “Something Like That,” which sounds like a fitness studio where everything is very modifiable) nor FlyWheel (unless that’s the new, hip, urban pottery wheel class).
I’ve never been the type of person who thinks, “oh my gosh, so much time on my hands now, what do I do?” or “I’m going so nuts not working out!” The day goes by so fast, and I’m more likely to think, “how did I fit in all that exercise and requisite showering before?” So I decided to record my downtime for a week. I logged the time where I’m normally working out (roughly the windows of 7-8:30am and 6-9pm on weekdays and 7am-12pm on weekends) for the first 7 of 13 days and wrote what I was doing instead of sweating:
7-10am: Sleep. Wake up at 10am the morning after my triathlon season closer (which was a win at the Giant Acorn Triathlon. So cool to see so many collegiate triathletes!)
10-11am: Enjoy an easy morning with French toast with friends.
12-5pm: Spend a good chunk of the day traveling back from DC.
7-8:30am: Sleep. This is going to be the case for the rest of the week, so I’ll stop even mentioning it. I always have this fantasy where I hang out at LPQ (Le Pain Quotidien) or a local coffee shop in the morning and people watch (which is just code for “judge everyone who walks by or says a single word”), but when the alarm goes off, sleep just feels so much better. Plus, it’s easy to just think “hey, my body needs it.”
6-8pm: Go to a data meetup at Moody’s. Listen to a Silicon Valley blogger wax poetic about machine learning. Watch a cool demo of a new product that transcribes voice from meetings to text and even create action items in Salesforce. Eat really bad pizza.
8-9pm: Eat dinner at Schnippers by myself. Pat myself on the back for ordering a salad.
9pm: Read many hilarious memes like this one:
10:45pm: Make up my own meme (see first picture in this post).
12:15am: Inventory my hats and visors. Post them on Instagram and get 3 lucky takers of unworn ones!
8:30-8:35am: Recognize the dire need for some dry shampoo before I leave for work in the morning. I’m used to hair-washing as a given consequence of swimming, so it takes a conscience effort to make this happen without swimming.
5-7pm: Decide I want to work as much as possible and “get ahead” for the week.
7-9pm: Season retrospective and next season planning meeting with Coach Cane and Ross.
9-1am: Rediscover Twitter, fall into an Instagram k-hole, then a Quora k-hole which led me to the following twisted stories:
1. “The feral child,” a girl who was kept in solidarity for 13 years with no interaction, then was studied by scientists to confirm neuroplasticity theories.
2. Munchausen syndrome (by proxy), the condition where those affected feign disease and illness to draw attention and sympathy and the murder case of Dee Dee and Gypsy Blancharde.
6:30-11pm: Enjoy a Rapha social. Try not to get excited about riding in autumn. Defend my decision not purchase a $8,000 bike even though I realllllllly want one to about 8 people. Drink nearly as many beers.
11-12am: Cook eggs and toast while restarting "Where’d You Go, Bernadette?"
6:45-7pm: Go to the Thursday night CityCoach run to see NSQ. Watching people run into Central Park is as close as I got to exercising in the past 5 days.
7-8:30pm: Go food shopping...mostly to see what's on sale...and EVEN COOK it when I get home.
11pm: Sit down to finish my 70.3 Worlds recap and realize it’s on my other computer. Start writing this blog post instead.
11:30pm: Gaze forlornly at my new riding jacket and booties and try them on. This is the closest I’ve come to pedaling since Saturday.
11:45pm: Get inspired by my roommate to go shower.
12:15am: Actually go shower.
8:30am: Jot down a note about all the efficient habits I’ve built in my life, starting with how I get ready in 15 minutes. Get stuck by line two with “Apply deodorant to both armpits without switching hands.” (which looks hilarious AND saves time).
5pm: Look at race calendar for next year.
12pm: Go all the way to the West Village for an hour to visit with a friend and her super adorable dog! Wonder how anyone trains for triathlon and has a dog, let alone a family, even children.
(Fast forward to) Saturday, 10/7
Formally end downtime with a 32 mile ride that felt like 52. Met a total ass at mile 29.
A guy once said to me as he was petting the dog I was walking, "They give us so much and ask for so little." I think the same goes for our bodies. We ask a lot from them, and a meager two weeks out of the year is vital for mental and physical rejuvenation. It also gives you time to sleep, read, and browse the grocery store. Basically, live downtime like you're 65 and retired. After a relaxing 13 day training hiatus, I feel ready to hit the offseason and focus on my weaknesses (memes and beer, I mean cycling and swimming).