I’m dragging out recovery as long as I can since I really enjoy sleeping in. I made it to a whopping 8 AM on Saturday and it was just as glorious as it sounds. Before I get into what I’ve been doing and all the feelings, I want to remind you to enter the Best Damn Race Scavenger Hunt. You can win fun stuff!
The first day after the ironman I was really sore. We made the nine hour drive home and every time we stopped I felt worse. The soreness was intense. And the second day I couldn’t walk down our stairs without the aid of the railing and going down them backwards. Day three was NO JOKE. I also suffered from some gnarly chafing (thanks rain!). In addition to the chafing, I got cankles. I didn’t realize the water retention would be so bad. My feet and ankles looked like rising dough. It was pretty funny actually.
I finally felt “not sore” on Thursday. I still had no intentions of doing anything. So I didn’t. And it was lovely. I ate with reckless abandon for about four days and then I did feel sort of gross and had to mix in a salad. Haha.
The second week after the race I decided I’d test out a run. I gave myself strict orders to go short and run how I felt and not push it. Hell, I could walk if I wanted. I met up with my Tuesday morning group and jogged a mile solo and then jumped in with my friend Megan. She kept us at a good pace and even though I wanted to walk she kept me going.
I felt fine the day after that run but was still enjoying sleeping in so I did nothing again until Sunday. Which was exactly two weeks post race, ahem Katie. I did a four mile run while the S.O. raced a sprint tri. I stepped on the gas a bit a was surprised that I had some pep to use. I finished my run in time to see the S.O. come out of T2 and tell me he was in second place. I ran over to the finish and was so happy to see that he had passed the lead guy and won the whole damn race!
|So proud of this guy!|
I now get to say to him, “This is our hobby, we do it for fun. We aren’t winning these things. Oh wait.” He beat a strong field and I’m so proud.
This morning I swam and felt sluggish. I expected to feel better on the swim but oh well. I only pushed on a couple of 100’s and practiced diving off the side of the pool for the meet on Saturday. It’s the one meet I do every year so I figured I better get some practice in. I’m going to actually dive off the blocks on Thursday. I swear they got higher.
So that’s it. That’s what I’ve been doing. Am I missing something?
To be honest, I just don’t feel like getting on my bike. And to be very, very honest, I think I’m going to take a little bit more time off of it. I had always hoped that if I kept riding a bunch and got to an ironman level of cycling I’d wake up and love cycling. Yeah, no. I can’t force it and I think that’s ok. We all have one we don’t love as much and I’m sure I’ll ride again. I’m just not ready yet.
Speaking of honesty, here’s where I am emotionally.
I feel good. I had a few bouts of the ironman blues during the second week and a little bit over the weekend. I think most of my blues stem from post race “shoulda woulda couldas” and less about being sad the training and race are over. I’m not sure I’ll ever race a full again and if I do it won’t be for a long time. The training was bananas and in looking back at the past six months, my regular, non-training life is a bit of a blur. I felt like blinders came off after the race and that’s actually a really nice feeling.
In speaking and tweeting with others (thanks Erin!) it’s nice to know that the post ironman blues are totally normal. I was hoping I could skip that part of the process but no such luck. I think I’m working through the residuals of them and life has a way of helping you get over such hurdles. I am happy that the timing of IMChattanooga was right before my favorite month of the year because I have lots to do and I love Halloween. Maybe I mentioned that?
Congrats to all of the Chicago Marathoners and anyone else who laced up this weekend. Thanks for reading.
I know what you mean about not getting back on that bike. That is where I am at with running. I just cant get that feeling of want vs need and I look at it like a chore.
Congrats to the SO for WINNING.
The post-ironman blues are very real. It's because we are chasing a huge goal, and once we've reached that goal, we no longer have the chase. So pick another goal and the blues will dissipate.
Take at least a month off from any serious work. You young people recover faster than us old fogies, but I need 4 solid weeks before getting back in the pool or anything. it's amazing how long it really takes to recover from an ironman. and going back to soon leads to injury – ask me how I know that….
and put away the bike! Don't sweat that. After all of those miles riding in training I gladly hang up my wheels for the winter. Come spring, when the breeze gets warm and the trees put out green leaves again it will be a glorious time to ride. but don't feel guilty about taking the winter off from cycling. that's the natural seasonal cycle. I do it too, only this year the spring didn't bring back the desire to ride so I sucked wind on the bike all year long. You'll know when that desire comes back.
While I haven't done an IM I assume the blues after are just as bad if not worse that HIM or Marathon blues. It happens, unfortunately. But with a little time and some good things, it passes! Still so freaking proud of you, just so you know!
Belated comment, but I'm glad we were able to talk about the post-race blues. They are real! It helps to know that others go through them, too (I'm finally starting to get over mine). Don't worry about not wanting to bike; that's totally normal (for me, though I love swimming, it's been tough to be back to the pool… instead, give me all the saddle time! haha!). Hope you're enjoying your favorite month! Do you have a Halloween costume ready?!