6 months after Ironman - Now what?

November feels like a long time ago.  We had a long, dark, cold, snowy, endless winter and now it's spring.  I never did get a tattoo and I'm glad.  I am working hard at finding balance and have stepped out of the Ironman athlete persona into the regular everyday wife/daughter/friend persona.

I felt like doing nothing after my race but didn't beat myself up over it.  I anticipated needing 6-8 weeks of doing nothing to recover but it took longer than that for me.  I hibernated and rested on my laurels while becoming sedentary and and ingesting more calories than I was putting out.

Swimming

I had set a tangible, measurable goal to swim faster and Keith was helping me.  Then hubby asked me to stop getting up at 4:30 in the morning on weekdays to swim before work.  I acquiesced, deferred my goal and now only swim on Sundays.  The pool will be there for me always and I will revisit my goal when life changes again to allow for it.  I supported him when he was going through chemo and I'm grateful he isn't that sick anymore.  He put up with me while I learned to swim and become a triathlete and trained for Ironman over the past few years.  It's time I support him with what he needs now.  I almost have to re-learn how to re-integrate into this life.  We look forward to going camping and doing some more travelling together.

I am doing a sprint tri with friends and it worked out for me to be the cyclist, something I can train for on my commute to and from work.

Biking

I only rode a handful of times on the stationary bike at work on my lunch hour since the big race.
I bought a winter bike with studded tires in the fall but couldn't bring myself to brave the dark, icy conditions this winter so I sold it this spring.   I enjoy bike commuting in the summer, when it's light in the morning and when I don't have to if the weather or my energy levels don't permit.

Running

I haven't felt much like running.  The few times I got on the treadmill were humbling and running 5K with walk breaks feels like a long run.

Reflections & Changing priorities

When I signed up for Ironman I wanted to do it more than anything else in the world.  I'm glad I did it when I did.  The time was right.  I saw that and seized the opportunity.  There would be no way I could do it now, as demands on my time at home and at work have intensified.    I knew Ironman was going to be a once and done affair for me and I thought I was prepared with a list of things to look forward to afterward.

The "What's Next after the big race list" I made doesn't really align with what I want to do now.
Done: paid off debt, sold my Apple Watch and Misfit activity trackers, hosted Christmas dinner, went to Maui, Tried Zumba dancing, Went hiking, went to the cat cafe.
In progress:  spending more time with family, bought a camper to do more camping more comfortably, signed up for two sprint tris (one with friends as a team), growing my hair out and embracing my natural colour and natural waves, learning German with Rosetta Stone, planning a trip to Germany with my friend, home renos, knitting, kitty cuddles (back up to 5 cats), learning what else (other than gluten) is making my tummy unhappy with the help of a dietitian.
Not started: Self defence course, learn to make good gluten-free black licorice, see paeleoglyphs.
Deferred (the rest aren't really important to me to initiate or achieve, though I might go along if invited.

I expected to need rest, didn't want to rush it, wanted to wait until the love came back but it hasn't really.

I went up 2 dress sizes so I have purged most of my work/weekend wardrobe which didn't fit anymore and in favour of wearing comfy clothes that stretch  I have been learning how to dress for a petite (shorter) pear shaped (hips!) body, embraced fun leggings and stretchy jeans.  I sewed three a-line skirts based on one of my favourite running dresses.

I just didn't anticipate that the years and months of hard work and fitness would evaporate in just a few months of resting but I also am

On the bright side, my hair and nails are growing longer and stronger.  There are ridges on my nails where the new nail is coming in thicker.  The toenail I lost is half grown back.  I am happy and healthy and grateful for that and for my family and friends.  I am content now, without the gnawing feeling that I am not enough for the first time in my life.  I am enough.  I am an Ironman.  I am strong, even when I may not feel it.  Gluten and winter are my kryptonite.

On to the next chapter and summer adventures...

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