Sunday, October 30, 2016

Ironman Recap Part 5: Post-Race Thoughts, and Farewell.

Well, it's official.  I'm an Ironman (over a year ago, haha).  The title of this blog has been accomplished.

Now, where to go from here?

At first, I thought would almost certainly do another one.  I had such a great day, and just kept thinking "what if I hadn't gotten injured?".  I wanted to do another one to see what I could do healthy, and able to actually stick to the training plan.  However, it is an Ironman....who is to say I wouldn't get injured next time too?  It's kind of a lot of repetitive training.   Also, I had a really good day.   A lot of my friends who have done Ironmans have had a lot worse days than me, despite really good training, and being way better athletes than me.  I think I got really freaking lucky.  Maybe the rest leading up to the race paid off (extra taper from the race being delayed two weeks, missed run and bike training due to my achilles).  Maybe it went well because I have a strong stomach and can eat a lot prior to and during an event without getting sick; that seems important for such a long endurance event, in order to maintain energy without bonking.  I don't know.  I probably just got lucky.

Since then though, most of my races have been painful, unenjoyable, disappointing.  I don't want to train for "goal races" anymore.  But I still love training.  It's kind of like when I was a kid on the softball team: I loved the practices and hated the games.  Too much pressure.  Maybe that's really what saved me at my Ironman.  I had less than zero expectations.  I wasn't at all confident that I would finish.  I wasn't at all confident that I would even make it to the start of the run.  I had nothing to lose.  Nowhere to go but up from there.  And I had the thrill of waiting to hear "You are an Ironman" to keep me going.  I think that might only work once though.  Would it be as meaningful the second, third, or fourth time around?  Probably not.  And I really don't enjoy suffering.  The 70.3 I did in Ohio was hot and awful.  And I was a big baby about it.  I quit.  I walked.  A lot.  When I really didn't "have" to.

I still love swimming and running, and now, actually I love biking too, thanks to riding for fun and actual transportation instead of "training".  I'm not training for anything, but over the past month or two it isn't at all unusual to see a 10 or 11 hour training week in my Strava log (not counting strength training; add an hour for that).  I've done all the triathlon distances now.  Sprint, Ironman, Olympic, Half-Ironman, Mini-sprint.  (In that order!)  Nothing would be new and exciting and unknown again.  Same with running.  I've done something like 25 half-marathons.  My best was under an 8 min/mile average, which I once thought was impossible for me for a 5K, let alone a half marathon.  I've done 5 marathons, squeaking in just under 4 hours on the last one.  I couldn't even count the number of 5Ks and 10Ks I've done.  My medal rack is out of space, and I'm not sure the drywall screws could hold much more weight anyway.

So what's the next goal?  Ultra-marathons sound interesting.  I like the vibe of the trail running community.  There's always the ever-appealing Boston qualification that I've never actually tried for, or been even remotely close to achieving.  And of course there is the prospect of more Ironmans (Ironmen?).

Or, I could free myself from the safety of revolving my life around my training plans, and my next athletic goal.  I could try being social.  I could try to be a better person.  I could volunteer.  I could learn (about me, about everyone else, about everything else).  I could read.  I could cook.  (Ha, who am I kidding, I hate cooking).  I could write.  Maybe even about something other than recapping my last event.

But yes, I think I will do an Ironman.  My feeling right now is that I would loosely train for it, and then register race weekend for one that doesn't sell out.  Kind of "wing-it".   That's always exciting.  I feel like the Ironman distance triathlon might be my strong suit.  I'm fairly equal and swimming/biking/running (okay, maybe a little behind the curve on biking), and I enjoy the duration, for the most part.  I had a more enjoyable time at my Ironman than I did at my mini-sprint.  I am an endurance athlete through and through.  If it weren't for my heat intolerance I think I could be pretty bad-ass.

Regardless, I think this blog has run it's course.  I think it's fitting to end "TyRunMan" with the final Ironman race report.  I'm toying with the idea of starting a new blog, anonymously, and writing on deeper, more meaningful and personal topics.  This is not the place for that though.  I need the anonymity, at least at first.  Thank you all for following along, and I wish you the best in all your athletic and non-athletic endeavors.

I plan to update my race list page for my own records, and then let this blog R.I.P.



P.S.  I'll still be following a few of you!
At least I'll always have the hat.  ;)  

I just bought this bike (3" tires!) and put it together and fine-tuned it myself,  so I had to include this pic.  I have yet to try mountain biking, but that's what this is for!  I took it for a few spins for the first time today and it is so fun to ride!!  

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on becoming an Ironman! I enjoyed reading through the multiple parts of the day. Maybe because you were prepared, maybe because you paced yourself correctly, or maybe because you wrote the recap a year later, but it sounds like it wasn't total agony and torture! ;) The cold temps would make the clothing challenging, and it does sound like the wind made the bike pretty rough. You didn't talk about swearing through the 8 hours on the bike though, so that seems promising to me, haha. I'm glad you held up so well despite the achilles problems. I'll be curious to see if you do tackle the distance again in the future. I've enjoyed reading about your adventures and if you're done writing here, hopefully I'll get to see what you're up to whether it's mountain biking, another Ironman, ultras, etc. on Instagram at least.


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