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?
Oh right.
The bike.
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.