Monday, July 14, 2014

Life After Ironman

Michelle always says, "the fittest athletes recovery the best." I know that 3.5 years ago when we first started working together I took much longer to recovery than I do now. I would be sore and trashed for days after even an Olympic race. With my consistent and SMART training, focus on active recovery, nutrition and generally taking care of myself my recovery time almost shocks me these days.

After Boston I needed about a week and I felt completely back to normal, ready to get back to the heart of Ironman training. After I raced a half Ironman on no sleep and uprooting to CDA, I needed 2 days of active recovery and sleep catch up.

After Ironman, it's been 2 weeks and I feel fantastic. I spent the first week doing something light and easy almost every day, including walking probably 4 miles back and forth from the finish line to our house 3 times that evening. I swam some, floated around in the pool & the lake. I rode my cruiser almost daily and did a couple of spins on my road bike. Nothing more than 45-60mins and NO running for 10 days. My muscles were slowly healing and my mind was inspired.

Honestly the hardest thing about those 2 weeks was watching my husband head out for his training, knowing I couldn't go. We're in this awesome training playground and I wanted to PLAY too. So, to keep myself occupied I did some sitting on the beach just staring at the water. I go ahead on my athlete's training plans, and I of course, drank beer and ate pizza and cheese and all the things that I shouldn't be doing (not because I think they are BAD - in fact I think everything is fine in moderation, but because of my food sensitivities they do make ME feel like crap). I enjoyed them all, but I can definitely say 2 weeks of that was enough!

Today starts a new chapter! It's also a good example of even when you are a coach yourself, there is a reason we too have coaches. My training peaks schedule is loaded with all sorts of fun stuff to keep me out of trouble, and certainly not in a way I would probably have set it up for myself 2 weeks after and Ironman. But, I opened it up last week, saw what was coming and started mentally (and time management wise) figuring out how to fit it all in.

You know, it's funny. Every time I'm prepping for a big race with others around me I notice a pattern of people lining up their activities and mentally ready to be done with Ironman and have a normal life. Sometimes I question my own sanity, because aside from just wanting a week or so of rest, beer, sundayfunday and exercising as I feel, I know that after so many days of that I still want to get back to the training because, I love it. I love being outside and seeing things on my bike. I love feeling exhausted and sleeping well and having my muscles burn.

Last November when I had already signed up to do IMCDA, Shane was heading down to Ironman registration before our race to register for this year. I was torn. I didn't know if I was even going to like the race, and how would I know if I wanted to do it again.  Not just do that race again, but do 2 Ironman in one year. I had never done it before, and I didn't know what would happen at CDA or even how I would feel after. I took a leap of faith and brought my checkbook with me. It really was an in the moment decision that I went back and forth on in the tent as I filled out the form.

But, as I was on loop 2 of the bike out on the 95 with that head wind just hammering me, I had a feeling that the race might end with me feeling more hungry, with more fuel in the fire and I thought back to that decision in November happy with it! I have to say it was a weird feeling to run a PR marathon (IM) cross the finish line already having my brain mentally prepared to do it all again in a few months.

Before it was a (very expensive) backup plan, now it's on the calendar and on my goal list to end the year! So happy I have this gorgeous place to train in, my training partner to push me (and vice versa) and my body healthy and ready for the challenge.

As for next year, that's still up in the air!  The LaPan's have some decisions to make ;)

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