Yeah, I know I didn't do a FULL 140.6. Tell that to my legs, though. Eleven days later, and I am now feeling like I have been steamrolled.
Since Augusta, I have worked out exactly 4 times: 2 swims and 2 runs - well, if you want to call them runs. They were slow, frustrating, and eye-opening. It became painfully clear that I am a 40-year-old broad who's athletic career only began 3 1/2 short years ago. My body is pooped. I know I need to rest and recover, yes, I know that. It's hard, though, to think that it wasn't two weeks ago that I was in the shape of my life, participating in a Half Ironman. Where did that chick go?
In the days following the race, I was high. I had the Iron High. I felt invincible, like I could climb any mountain with my bare hands. It reminds me a lot of how I felt after I delivered my two kids. I felt like Superwoman because I had delivered life forth into the world from my womb! And much like those experiences, my bliss was short-lived. For the honeymoon always ends, and reality sets in, and we are back to the drawing board.
**And much like after I gave birth, my body at this very moment feels flabby, blubbery, slow, and uncooperative. It's a bummer, man.
I have been doing a little reading on what's going on inside my noggin these last few days and, as it turns out, I am not alone. Post Ironman Blues strikes athletes of every shape, size, and ability. It makes sense. You spend months preparing your body to go through the punishment of 5-8 hours of constant energy output (8-17 if you are training for a 140.6), and when it is all said and done, your body is sort of a shell of its former self. It's like you leave yourself on the course, and have to endure a long wait to regenerate. I'd reckon that I left a bit of myself somewhere in South Carolina on the bike course, as well as a tad on Broad Street in Augusta.
What's left is a battle in your brain. A battle between common sense telling you to STOP ALREADY AND TAKE A BREAK and that ADHD/Type A compulsive triathlete person on the other shoulder desperately begging you to chase another finish line like, yesterday. It's a lonely and aimless kind of feeling, being without a training plan to stick to, longing for some guidance because, just going for a run seems to have no purpose right now. I've done big races before, and felt antsy to move on to the next goal. But I wasn't really prepared for this.
I know I am not alone. Right?