It is hard to believe that just four weeks ago I was in Kona, celebrating the successful completion of my first Ironman. It took me nearly a week to recover physically; I have never been so sore after a race in my life. The soreness hit immediately too, even having the finisher’s medal around my neck and banging against my abdomen was painful.
My feet remained swollen, resembling those of a woman in her third trimester of pregnancy, for several days as well. Not even compression socks aided in returning them to their normal size.
I still had a little more than two weeks off from school after I returned home, and at first I was excited to use that time to relax, catch-up on school work, start planning for the 2015 season, and maybe even run or ride just for fun. Most of my time-off however, was spent planted on the couch in my parent’s house eating homemade nachos and baked goods, catching-up on episodes of Parenthood, making spreadsheets to budget for next year, and reaching out to potential sponsors. I quickly learned that the off-season is not all it is cracked-up to be.
Sitting on the couch and eating junk food got old very quickly, and trying to budget without having any means of an income just became depressing. I also was gaining no ground on the sponsorship front. Instead of getting excited for next season, I quickly became frustrated and discouraged, and questioned my decision to take time off to train and race full time as a professional. I had no motivation to exercise, or even leave the house, and despite my best intentions by board review book remained tucked away in my backpack.
My body needed the break, physically, mentally, and emotionally in order to recharge and rejuvenate for next season, but without goals to work towards and the daily dose of endorphins I have landed myself in a funk. As it turns out, training for an Ironman takes a lot of time (just kidding, I already knew that), so now I have a lot of time that I am not quite sure what to do with. Well, I do know what I should be doing, studying for my big board exam in two weeks, which I am doing just not with the same fire and intensity as I have with training.
I feel like I have lost a part of myself. I have run a few times since Kona, and biked once with my family. Running has felt awkward and uncomfortable to say the least, and with the end of daylight savings and the onset of cold weather I have been less than excited to get out the door even though I know it will help me to feel better.
On the bright side, there are a few things that I have been able to take advantage of that I otherwise would not have been able to do while training including going to Shake Shack on a Thursday night when I normally would have been at swim practice, meeting up with friends for brunch on the weekend during my usual long ride time, and taking time to make real dinners during the week. It was also nice to be able to go on a leisurely bike ride with my family and finally go shredding with Kiley on the sweet mountain bike he gave me.
Plus since I am not working out, I have A LOT less laundry to do. And I have a lot more time to snuggle with Dart. He is certainly not complaining that I am not training.
I have also gotten great support from my friends in real life and social media. I am thankful for the advice on getting over the post-Ironman blues and glad to know that I am not alone.
I am confident that I can turn things around, I just need to stay positive and set some new goals.