Paul at AmateurEndurance.com wrote a great article this week on the off-season. It echoes a lot of what I said before in this article (note the image in the article and you'll get it!)
I share a lot of the sentiment in this article. My typical off-season usually includes at least one month of " ", as in NOTHING.
Although I had my 3 week vacation back in August, I start cycling again, with the occasional run, and completely avoiding swimming :) I started up again because I had a goal to hit in September (more on that later), and training was "kind of" fun. It was fun b/c there was no structure, and I had gobs of base to play with. I was also feeling a pressure to succeed next year, so I felt I had to keep it up.
But then I started going back to school for my master's, and realized I wasn't enjoying training that much. Training became a stress, where it normally provides an outlet. So, a few weeks ago, I finally hit the point where I said "No More", and the only things I have done since then have been 1-2 long bike rides, the occasional easy run, and lots of yoga and stretching. I needed to re-prioritize. I need that balance. Balance is something that I strive for on a daily, weekly and yearly basis.
I know that when January comes around, things will be different. I will need focus, and to be mentally and physically rested. For some reason, December is always a hard month for me mentally, and I just need to get through it.
One of the main reasons for my month de nada is to want to get back into training. Now that I am getting stuff straightened out, and doing things I don't normally do during training (like going out for a few on a tuesday), I am going to enjoy the rest of the month, enjoy the time with my family, and get ready to hit it hard come January 1st (err.... 2nd :)