The Post-Ironman glow has rubbed off. Yesterday marked one month since I crossed the finish line at Coeur D’Alene. My day to day life is pretty different than it was for the last 6 months and I’m really enjoying it. I’ve read things about Post Ironman Depression that sets in due to the fact that the goal you’ve been working toward for so long has passed and now you are left without anything to aim for. Although there are moments where I miss being back in the mindset of training for a big event, all in all I’m pretty happy with my extra free time and have been enjoying doing whichever workouts I feel like (or skipping them all together and sleeping in).
Ironman.com has an entire article dedicated to Post Ironman Depression which includes the following tips for combating it:
- Expect to suffer a bit of a letdown. You’ve poured yourself into attaining this goal. The mood probably will last longer if you did not perform as well as expected.
- Establish a new goal. Preferably, have that new goal in place before your Ironman race.
- Reward yourself upon finishing an Ironman. Two-time Ironman Hawaii champion Scott Tinley used to treat himself and his family to a Kauai vacation after the race. For some it might be a shopping spree or as simple as permitting yourself to sleep in.
- Get away from your triathlon base and socialize with your non-triathlon friends
Personally, I wasn’t let down with my performance at the Ironman. I wish I had been able to run a bit of a faster marathon, but I still accomplished my goal of finishing! I also accomplished my personal goal of a sub-14 hour Ironman. I am satisfied with the way I raced and I’m not really putting any pressure on myself to ever do another Ironman again and improve my time. I may end up doing one, but if I don’t, I’ll be satisfied with my performance at my one and only.
I had actually been advised during training that it is a good idea to sign up for a race post-Ironman to give yourself something to work for after the big race. I signed up for the AFC half marathon and the Long Beach marathon which will both be stepping stones to my potential Boston qualifying marathon in 2013. I had originally thought that I could go for a big PR at AFC and possibly run sub 1:45 but my recovery has taken longer than I expected and my pace on runs has been nearly 2 min slower than the pace I’d need to hold for a 1:45, so I’m not getting my hopes up for conquering that goal at AFC. Although it is frustrating that it is taking so long to recover, I know that eventually I’ll be back to my normal self and ready to train hard again.
As for the third suggestion – rewarding yourself – I’ve got that covered! The few days after the race we indulged in delicious food and beer and a week and a half later I went to Vegas for some girly shenanigans on the strip. This goes along with the fourth suggestion as well – socializing with non-triathlon friends. It has been pretty awesome to have enough time to catch up with all my friends and spend quality time with them. Although I took the first two weeks completely off of exercising, since I’ve been back I’ve been doing group fitness classes with friends and co-workers and tagging along with Asia on some of her trail runs. I’ve been really enjoying sleeping in and only doing workouts that I feel like doing. I’ve done yoga, a belly, butt and thighs boot camp, Pilates, spin classes and several runs along the coast or on the trails. Mike and I went for a group run at our local Moving Shoes with another couple training for AFC and another night we did the Road Runner Adventure Run. I haven’t put the pedals back on my tri bike yet and I haven’t sported a cap and goggles since race day. I’m just doing what sounds fun and loving it!