Friday, October 4, 2013

Now what?

I knew it was coming.

That inevitable withdrawal that happens after a big race, after the dust has settled, and the excitement has worn off.  Although, I still haven't quite come down from my Ironman high just yet.  I catch myself silently gloating, inside my head, "I did a Half Ironman!" and I'll a little bit, because I just never thought I would do anything like this in my life. Ever.  I never thought I would be a runner.  I never thought I would be a triathlete.  I never thought I would be an Ironman, even HALF an Ironman.  So, this is a big deal.  And I am enjoying my accomplishment.  But I am feeling a tiny bit lost.

I promised myself I would take the week off from any training.  My body and my mind needed the break.  I broke down on Thursday and went to the pool for a swim.  I thought it would be a good way to ease into some light training after the race, maybe do 3000 yards or so before picking my daughter up from school.  Ha!  About 1000 yards into my workout, and in the middle of a backstroke set, my legs said, "Uh, whatcha doin?"  I was definitely still feeling fatigue, even though my muscle aches had subsided the day before.  So I eked out 2300 yards and called it a day.  Tomorrow I might try some light running, 3 or so miles.  Because I have to do something, or I will go crazy!

To go from training 6 days a week and 7-8 workouts to basically not doing anything but a swim workout and some yoga has got me all cagey.  I got so used to being a slave to a training program, and I realize now that I really do function well when I have a plan (please do remind me that of this statement when I am in the middle of the next training program and I am moaning and groaning about being burned out from training, I can take the verbal spanking).  So, I have started thinking about the next few months, and the next year.  What do I want to accomplish, and how much do I want to punish my body again?

The more I cross the finish line, the more I crave it again.  For the rest of 2013, I am dialing way back.  I might do a 5k and the annual Turkey Trot 10k on Thanksgiving, but that is about it.  But for next year, I want more.

No, I'm not talking a full 140.6.  I'm not ready for that, and the training time that a race of that magnitude requires is unreal.  Hubby and I have already decided that if we are going to slay that dragon, it will be when at least one of our kids is in college.  And that's about 4 years off.  Training for a 70.3 was very time consuming, but we were able to make it work well enough, so I am thinking of tackling that distance again next year.  Maybe Augusta - that damned bike course is my nemesis - or maybe a different course.  I love having options!

It's funny.  For months, I was all big talk and "I am NEVER going to do another 70.3 again, this is killing me!" and "This is a one and done deal." Never, though, in any space in my brain did I ever make room for the possibility that completing a long course triathlon would make me feel so GOOD.  I feel good physically, I feel good mentally, I feel good old-fashioned HAPPY for the first time in a long while.  It certainly is one good natural high.

Ridiculously happy triathlete!

Everyone should try the drug called triathlon.  The high is unbeatable, and you can get it again and again and again.

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