Thursday, December 3, 2009

I got the blues…

No, not Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. I’ve got the Post-Ironman blues. I’ve been keeping this pretty much to myself, but IronHolly’s post has made me feel a little less embarrassed, so I thought I would pay that favor forward and share what I’m going though.

Week 1 was pretty exciting still. I was sore, tired and hungry, but I had the joy of all of the wonderful messages and calls [and flowers...thanks, Mom] pouring in. I returned to work that Thursday (with my medal, of course) and eagerly anticipated the weekend plan of doing nothing and/or whatever the heck I wanted.

Well, the weekend didn’t turn out how I planned. I wound up overcommitted with team events and errands. By the end of the weekend I was in a serious funk and was really sad.

I admit that I thought I was immune to this post-race depression thing. I’ve done 6 marathons and countless other races and frankly, didn’t understand why people would get depressed after a race unless something went wrong.

I've always subscribed to the theory that I choose to be happy. That hasn't changed.

I also didn’t think I’d have a problem since before I signed up for Ironman, I had signed up for the Goofy Challenge in January 2010. I figured the goal of racing a half marathon followed by a full marathon the next day – at Disney, no less – would keep me motivated and focused during the two months following Ironman.

But…..I don’t know.

I have stayed active. I began getting back into light workouts just 4 days after IM. Thanksgiving day I even raced a turkey trot (5k) and did really well (sub 28-minutes on a hilly course) despite going in with no plan and no goals.

Yeah, I am taking it easy with the workouts (read: working out just once/day – haha). [No, I have not been near a pool since the week of IM.]

This past weekend I did my Galloway-recommended 8-mile walk on Saturday and 23-mile run on Sunday. It all went perfectly.

But I’m still blah. And it feels like the training ate up my entire weekend. Boo :(

Apparently, the “goofy” goal isn’t enough for me. I need something. Something to look forward to. Something to work and/or plan for.

So, I got the crazy idea of taking a vacation that didn’t involve a race, training event, or work event. Ooooh.

Not to shift blame, but to make a long story short, the Knight’s schedule is NOT cooperating. At all. Grrrrr. I feel downright thwarted. I could go alone, or with friends… Anyone want to go away with me?

So I tried to focus on making a vacation out of the Disney trip but at this point I am not sure if I feel like racing -- or training for that matter.

Thus, add to everything else the stress of a) not knowing whether I want to race Disney; b) not having travel arrangements less than 6 weeks from the race (verrry stressful for this type-A girl); c) feeling completely powerless to make any decisions or arrangements given my indecision and the Knight's demanding work schedule.

I did a little googling and the consensus is to be that you need to give yourself time to recover. It also seems that taking on a new, non-tri related project or goal is recommended.

So, what now?

I’ve always had goals. Whether it was to get through school, pass the bar, get a clerkship, get a job, run a marathon, do 8 pullups, find a house, plan a vacation... I always have something to work on.

Right now, I am kind of lost.

My body is telling me to “stop the insanity!!” My recovery from Sunday’s 23-miler was seriously tough.  The next day I hurt everywhere and was sooooo tired. I could barely walk because everything hurt. I am better now but I am still not inclined to continue pushing myself like this.

I mean, I am keeping busy with work, moderate workouts, and occasional social activities, but to be honest I am just not happy. :(

I keep reminding myself of how fortunate I am. I am healthy, I have a good job, I have wonderful friends.You know...

I’m enjoying not waking up at the crack of dawn for workouts. I am enjoying the flexibility to stay up later and meet friends for lunch or dinner. But I need more.

And I need to relax and maybe even pamper myself. But I can’t seem to do that when there are meals to prepare, a litter box to clean, and a closet to reorganize.

Okay, I’m done whining for now. I am off to continue working on being happy. Tonight I’m going to some of the wonderful free holiday concerts in DC tonight.


  1. welcome back! I have no firsthand knowledge of course, but I can imagine that what you are going through must be very typical post-Ironman. Hang in there, give yourself time to feel how you feel. Things will definitely get better! (and what free holiday concerts??! That sounds so fun!)

  2. Aw, IronCat - I hope you don't feel like I "outed" you but when we met up briefly the other evening, your eyes didn't have the sparkle they usually do when you talk about running. Hope the concerts were WONDERFUL last night. You'll work through these blues and figure out what's next on your horizon - we both will - See, you have me thinking positive already!

  3. From experience - PID (Post Ironman Depression) SUCKS! Don't let it go on too long though - I still find myself down quite often (and it pisses me off).

    If it's any consolation - when I exercise now I do enjoy it (not feeling the Ironman pressure helps) but it's the lack of motivation that is killing me!