Sunday, September 15, 2013

Post Ironman Depression and Big Dreams

Last week at this time I was finishing up an 112 mile bike ride and about to run a full marathon en route to my very first Ironman.  While you can find the details here, the word for the experience is really "incredible."  The energy of any event, especially an Ironman, is awesome.  It is everyone doing something extraordinary.  I really love this quote from Jordan Rapp (pro-triathlete)-

But no one in this room has a burning desire to be, “typical.” That is not why you do an Ironman. You do an Ironman because you want to reach the stars. And you want to do it the hard way. Because that is what makes it special. 

I think so much of what I have been struggling with is that I didn't earn this. Which is crazy. Finishing an Ironman is never an accident. I might not have trained ideally, but I was still going out there for 4+ hr rides every weekend. I'm not in the shape I wanted to be in, and in the mirror I sure don't look like a triathlete, but I did an Ironman, and I would say I did it in a pretty darn respectable time.  If I was in tip-top shape, who knows what might have happened? I might have gotten injured, burned out, or maybe just have done as well.
This past week has been weird. Monday and Tuesday my quads were constantly reminding me of what I had done. People were asking about it and congratulating me.  I never felt I had the words to do it justice. By Wednesday the soreness had faded and people stopped commenting on it.  It was almost like my secret. I had done this incredible feat, but now I was back to my average life.  I sat at work feeling unfulfilled. I missed that feeling I had finishing.  I was back to being just me, not training for anything monumental.  I know post-Ironman depression is common, and I felt it. I admit that I'd come home and wear my medal around, just to remind myself.  I wish I could say I'm carrying my momentum from the event into work, but most of this week has been non-productive as I've been in a total mental fog.  

So what is next?  Well, not feeling you lived up to your potential has a silver lining- I've never been so motivated to see what I can do.  I will confess that I have distant dreams of Kona.  I'm not sure how long it will take or if it is possible, but a girl can dream.  When I started running I never thought I'd be a Boston qualifier, but I did that, so who knows.  As I'm a quote junkie, I love this one- 

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.

Training for 2014 starts today.  In a bit I'm going to go for a 20 minute run. Formal training starts at the end of October with EN's Outseason, but I plan to keep up consistency until then. I have learned from 2013 and won't repeat those bad habits.  First on the agenda is to get the eating under control. I'd love to start the Outseason at 125, and round at 2013 at <120 lbs. 

Maybe it is a good thing I don't feel like an Ironman- I'll just have to keep doing them until I do!  

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