I thought I'd share a few of the realizations of this past week:
- Setting a 41-minute PR hurts. A lot. I was in significantly more pain Monday-Wednesday than I was after the previous two Ironmans.
- Doing two Ironmans in seven weeks also hurts. A lot. I think the general high volume load contributed to the above-mentioned pain.
- Joint pain is so much more unpleasant than muscle pain. No amount of foam rolling and stretching helps. Thank god for Voltaren.
- Ironically my feet are the only body parts that were ok after the race. Even my shoulders were killing me (really, really need to start going to the pool).
- Sleep is magical. The 8-12 hours a night I've been getting have made me feel like a different person.
- Succeeding in pushing yourself beyond a limit you thought impossible is incredible. I've always been a bit of a quitter, but not anymore. I'll never say I can't do something again.
- Having family and friends support you is the biggest boost in the world. Some stood out there all day long and others tracked online. Ironman is a selfish endeavor so to have people actually share it with you is really wonderful.
- You can eat and drink anything you want for one week after the race. After that you have to significantly cut back.
- Race photos are humbling. Let's just say the "lose 13 pounds in the offseason" plan started immediately after ASI posted. And why do the photographers insist on sitting on the ground and shooting at the most unflattering angle??? Oh the humanity.
I had the chance to meet fellow blogger Ironman By Thirty (Kevin) the morning of the race. We chatted for a bit and he zipped up my wetsuit, then tracked me throughout the day. He posted about it on the blog and captured this great video at the finish (I'm about 20 seconds in). Thanks so much Kevin!
So what are my offseason goals? Aside from the 13 pounds mentioned above, I'm taking an advanced swim class to work on my form. It's time. I'm going to focus a ton on cycling, mostly intervals and speed for now, endurance later in the winter or early spring. After a hiatus, I'll ease back into running and if I can slowly build the volume with no incident, I'll get back into speed work by spring. I'm proud of the run times I achieved at IMLP and IMWI, but I'm nowhere near the runner I used to be and I want to get that back.
Besides that I want to have fun, relax with friends, sleep until the sun comes up, not look at a training schedule for awhile and read some books. On that front, this is a funny video for anyone who's done an Ironman or is thinking about it.