Acclimating to the Post-Ironman World

It’s two weeks post-Ironman, and it certainly hasn’t been an easy two weeks. It certainly hasn’t been difficult, but mostly, it’s been weird. The first week was one of recovery and getting my house cleaned up and all my triathlon stuff put away. I blogged about my race, I had doctor appointments, my boys’ running group, and no workouts to do. I wasn’t sleeping well that first week, kept waking up at night, and was dragging around. I had no desire to do another Ironman for a long time. I walked my dog with my coach, I went grocery shopping, and I cooked, which means I ate a lot.

I finally got my race pictures :)

I finally got my race pictures 🙂

The second week was one where I wanted to go back out and start running again, but didn’t because I didn’t want to sabotage my recovery. There’s a marathon coming in just a few months, and I know I needed to recover from the Ironman in order to get my speed back up to be even close to qualifying for Boston. I had a lot more time on my hands, started sleeping (FINALLY!) again, but was very unfocused. My to-do list is REALLY long, but I couldn’t figure out what to do, when to do it, and I just didn’t do much of anything. Key word for the week is “unfocused”. I don’t like that feeling. I assume, this is when most people sign up for the next race, but I still have no desire to put an Ironman in the near future. I can see it for sure, but I don’t want to touch it.  I also know that signing up for another Ironman would be betraying my husband and kids. They need and want me around, and as much as I love the Ironman thing, I love being with them more.

I do love my training peaks workouts to do!

I spent several hours that second week making my Ironman video. What a trip that was! Take a view – the race starts at 3:50, but a really cool part starts at 3:20….Check it out!

I remember more things from the race I had forgotten to write about and unfortunately, forgot to put in the video:

She is Purdy.

She is Purdy.

I saw Batman along the run course. And a lot of funny signs.

I. Am. Batman.

I. Am. Batman.

My favorite sign, compliments of my son, Tyler.

My favorite sign, compliments of my son, Tyler.

I was taking Base salt, and I remember putting the salt in between my lower teeth and lip, like it was chew, instead of under my tongue for a lot of the run. I remember thinking it was weird that it was burning. Well, duh, because you’re not supposed to put it in your lip, dummy.

I forgot to mention that the guy who wondered if I was swearing because I dropped food after Mile 100 on the bike (when I was really swearing about the sudden change in wind direction), saw me on the run and said, “Hey! There’s the *%#$ you girl!” I was embarrassed yet I laughed. He wasn’t supposed to hear me swearing on the bike!!!

So basically, it has been a blah week, one of more recovery, more doctor appointments, and then going out of town for the weekend for my son’s last football game. I’m so ready for football season to be over! As great as it is, four months is a long season of every Saturday having a game plus at least 2 practices per week. I love having my family all home in the evening where we can play, talk, eat, and simply be together.


My little Panther

The one big thing I did this week was to start back to training. Oh, yes I did. And I needed it. It was late into the week, but it wasn’t a day later or earlier than what I needed. The running has felt good so far.

This makes me happy.

I still have a coach, a different one, but the same coach I had to train me for the half iron distance last fall and the Boston Marathon in 2014. Part of me wonders what I was thinking by jumping back into training so close after the Ironman, but I know if I had some time to think, I’d be signing up for something anyway. It was a preemptive strike against doing something DUMB during the post-Ironman blues, since I know myself, and I’d most likely go a tad crazy without a direct and big goal to work towards and would sign up for all the races. I NEED FOCUS.

Another thing I did was to visit the local tattoo artist about getting the M-dot tat “and more” plus re-tooling my “Boston B” tat on my shoulder. I have some good ideas so far and am looking forward to some new and improved ink. I’m feeling more like myself, signed up for a personal training certification course, and have a bunch of ideas for my middle school program in the spring. I think I’m finally getting back to normal again!!! Yes, normal is just a setting on the dryer, but I feel more like myself again!

This marathon, the Charleston Marathon, is January 16th, so I have a lot of work to do. I’m still taking it relatively slow, but I feel that my endurance and strength is over the roof. I hope that it will translate to speed in the upcoming weeks. Only time will tell!

How do you handle post-race blues?

Categories: anything is possible, Boston Marathon, coaching, follow your dreams, iron distance, ironman, ironman florida, marathon, marathon training, qualifying for boston marathon, training for marathon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Acclimating to the Post-Ironman World

  1. As I mentioned before, I was a mess (still am a year later). Since my IM last year, I did 6 marathons and one ultra. Big mistake. I did 4 sprint triathlons (nothing longer). That was the right call. Despite all the running, I have become much slower across all distances and in training. Despite my lack of bike training, it has become my strongest triathlon discipline. I don’t understand why my HM time was 1:44 one year ago, 1:59 this spring, and 2:09 last month. One thing I know with certainty…I don’t want another Ironman. Another thing I am fairly certain of…I would not be able to complete another Ironman…and I am ok with that.

    The future is finally crystallizing…I want to be a recreational runner/triathlete. Train for the joy and the health of it. Race because I can and it gives me focus during the training. But I no longer “need” to set crazy goals or chase PR. I exorcized a lot of demons on this journey and I have nothing more to prove to myself. I assumed that the limits of my abilities and my comfort zone were the same. I have come to discover that the boundaries of my comfort zone does not define the end of my abilities, but the beginning of my possibilities. I will not avoid experiences in the future because a little voice in my head says “You Can’t”. That voice has been silenced…and I guess that was the whole point of my journey. I am at peace…and I can do what I want going forward. What I want most is balence, and I think I am finally getting that dialed in…

    Congratulations on your journey so far, and in sorting out the next stage…

  2. I have been debating signing up for Charleston. Now that my racing season has been over for three weeks now, I am beginning to feel the itch to sign up for something. Gotta tell you though, it has been nice taking some time off. Nothing more than 5k runs in the past few weeks.

  3. Oh man, I have post-race blues after everything larger than a 5K. But after something like an iron man, you’re bound to have them because you need to recover both mentally and physically more than after any other type of event (maybe except for an ultra). So I know what you mean about not being able to focus. But it looks like you’re slowly getting back into it. The video is pretty sweet. I love how it’s a balance of your effort but also your family’s support. The shots of them and you with them are cute.
    What a great race and an awesome accomplishment… but it looks like you’re ready to prepare for the next BQ and rounding out that to-do list. Congrats again… but look forward to the good stuff to come! think you’re ready to start thinking about doing another ironman again? 😉

  4. I’m glad you are finding “normal” again! I handle the post race blues by signing up for another Ironman 😉 I am always impressed by those who can take a longer break between races and enjoy it. The downtime drives this girl nuts! I’m excited to see how your marathon goes and how you feel with all of the running and not as much cross training! I loved your video and when I take a walk down Ironman lane (or even someone else’s Ironman lane), it only makes me want to do another one even more!!

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