It’s now been a month since IMMT, which is hard to believe! My body and my life are almost back to normal post Ironman, well almost…
‘Patience is a virtue’ someone once said…but seriously, in life, I have no patience. I swear the person who came up with that phrase was not an athlete. The whole recovery post-ironman thing was physically and mentally challenging! My mind wanted to exercise, but my body was saying woah, woah slow the heck down. I made it a point to listen to my body and take things sloooow at first. I knew that rushing back into things would set me up for injury and I did not want that.
I must say, it took longer than I thought it would getting back into training post Ironman race. I knew I would have to give myself time to recover, but little did I realize how long it would take to feel ‘normal.’ It took about three plus weeks to feel like I could train like myself again. Here is a little break down of how I recovered and got back into the swim/bike/run life.
The week following the Ironman:
DOMS and more DOMS. Light hiking, walking, easy spinning on the bike (5 days post race), VERY light running the weekend after the race. This was a true recovery week!
Second week post-IM:
Lots of biking, lots of swimming, a little bit of running. At this point, two weeks post race, I still had to pay attention to the fact that I was still RECOVERING and even though my mind wanted to run, I just had to take things easy. I had no plan to follow, so I just went with what I felt like, at a conservative effort. During my workouts that week, my heart rate wanted to be really high even though I was putting out minimal effort. I heard this happening to other athletes post IM, and my coach said it was normal. It was just really weird to have my heart rate be in a Zone 2, when I was working at a recovery pace. The little running that I did felt VERY slow, slower than my normal recovery pace. For me this was around a 9 minute mile. My legs did not want to go fast, at all. I listened to my body and went slow. I kept having to convince myself that I just did an Ironman two weeks ago and it was ok to go slow! Plus my legs literally could not go faster. Oh and I did make the mistake of going on a long hike at the end of the second week (11 miles of hiking to be specific). Not the best idea because the downhill totally crushed my quads. I paid for that hike the whole entire week following… ouch.
Third week post-IM:
Almost back to normal! I reintroduced more running during the third week post IM. Again, just doing whatever I wanted for workouts, as long as it wasn’t anything too crazy. I was biking more, swimming more and going on longer runs. It felt great to be getting in my running ‘groove’ again. I also started to incorporate more CORE work, something I was slacking on as my IM got closer. Running started to feel almost normal at this point, and my legs finally had more life in them! My pace was finally where it was before my IM, yay! One thing that did pop up is my left patellar tendon started to get extra cranky. I think I have some muscular imbalances that I need to work on… time to strength train again!
Fourth week post-IM:
This was last week, and I must say I felt like myself again. I did some extra-long runs, which was very therapeutic since my grandmother passed away suddenly. Running is definitely great therapy for when you’re feeling sad. I ended up running a lot last week, and near the end of the week I was really starting to feel it… my coach said to back off a bit, so I did. Over the weekend, I did a long bike ride (50 miles) and we did a short hike (4 miles) yesterday. It’s been nice doing whatever workout I felt like.. i.e. not focusing on an exact heart rate, distance, etc.
What’s up next?
After coming off of the Ironman, I definitely had a case of the ‘Post IM Blues.’ It’s hard not to feel sad when the BIG event is over… and now you are home recovering and feeling sorry for yourself. I had so much free time, but yet I couldn’t work out much.. I was going stir crazy! It was also really hard not to want to sign up for another Ironman. I gave myself a few weeks to think about my 2015 plan. This past week, about a month since the IM, I signed up for Ironman Mont-Tremblant 2015 AND I submitted my qualifying time to the 2015 Boston Marathon! I hope to hear any day now if I’ve been accepted (I plan on being accepted since I finished 11 mins ahead of the minimum qualifying time). Initally I thought about not running Boston this year, but it’s so easy to sign up when it’s right in my backyard. Also, I figured third times a charm. This will be my third consecutive Boston.
For the remainder of 2014, I have two races planned. I will be racing the Scituate Duathlon on Oct 5th (my first one! 2 mile run, 10.2 mile bike, 2.3 mile run) and I will be running the Manchester NH Marathon on Nov 2nd. My training plan for both races started today! It feels good and back on a plan:)