Friday, May 02, 2008
Post Ironman Blues--they're real
There's no such thing. How ridiculous! Sad because the Ironman and Ironman training is over? Sad because I have time to rest, relax, and enjoy life a little? Sad because I'm not chronically overtrained and exhausted? Not me. Impossible.
Turns out, the whole post-Ironman blues thing? It's real. Apparently, I, Iron Girl, was incorrect in thinking I was superhuman, immortal, invincible, indestructible, with special powers. Apparently, I'm not immune to the post-partum Ironman depression.
I was fine the first 2 weeks. The first week, I was in Atlanta for a conference and was too exhausted from the race and stressed out about my talk to feel anything. I was still in crisis mode. 2nd week, I was so relieved to finally be home that I enjoyed mellow club workouts. And then, during the 3rd week, it hit me. Hard.
I feel rested. Healthy. Strong. My body is energized. My mental focus and faculties have been miraculously restored. I didn't even realize they were missing but all of a sudden, my productivity at work has sky-rocketed. I don't need 9 hours of sleep and mid-afternoon naps all the time. My appetite is under control; I don't feel like I have a tapeworm. I've been eagerly looking forward to my once-a-day workouts. I've been swimming-biking-and running fairly well. I should be so happy.
Then why do I have all this angst? I miss being so exhausted that I didn't have any left-over energy to deal with Life. Oh, right. That. Things were so much simpler when I all worried about was training, eating, and sleeping. I miss that. Now, I have to deal with my Problems. Damn. Guess it was bound to happen sooner or later.
Meanwhile, I get frustrated and try to exhaust myself...go out for a hard, fast, hilly evening ride. Ride until my lungs are going to burst and my quads are screaming. I finish as the sun sets, somewhat relieved. Maybe I will be exhausted enough to sleep tonight. But when night falls, and bedtime passes, I find myself tossing and turning, hour after hour, yet again.
This too, as most things in life, will come to pass. I just have to give it time. Patience is something I've never been very good at. Meanwhile, I'm designing my summer training plan. I have a full season ahead of sprint and olympic tris that should be lots of fun. I have a fall marathon that I'm really excited about.
But when I do manage to fall asleep, I dream about two things, and only two things. First, I dream I'm still out there running on the Ironman Arizona course, after the sun has set, the second half of the marathon. I wake up and feel great sadness that I'm not still out there running. I guess a part of me is still in Tempe, still running. And the second thing? I'm flying up to Penticton, Canada to secure my Ironman Ca spot for 2009.
Links to Post Ironman Blues Articles: