So now what after the Ironman? 10 easy days. Today is day 3 and I feel really, really good. Maybe I could have went harder, maybe I got lucky, maybe that massive off season holiday truly had me recovered and the race didn't take me to the well (good thing as its only race #1 of the season). Whatever the case, a really big thank you for the nice notes from yesterdays post, they mean a lot to me and inspired me to attempt somewhat of a response with this post...
My feet didn't break any course record and money is not being thrown at my result, it was just a good day for me, just me alone. I'm slightly humbled to have woken up to the amount of emails over just being myself, yet feel very girl next door with most of them saying, "I can relate". Good, cause at the end of the day, having to keep up a blog makes it worth it if somebody is getting something out of it. Amanda Lovato's blog was the one I read everyday when I got my first bike and was navigating my way through triathlon, it's also how I discovered Splish (Still with them today!). So...here is to you girl behind the computer that can relate...
Ironman Day, the day after, and the next day: Eat anything I want.
That's just fair. For the most part, 90% of my daily life I eat pretty clean, paying attention to whole foods and recovery meals. It just makes sense to me, I feel better and actually like green foods from a garden or market. But of course, kids put ice cream in the freezer and a beer lands in my hand, neither are completely shunned but neither are regular attenders in my belly. Now... once I cross the finish line, I will eat anything and everything that sounds good. You really have to listen to your body in these 3 days. If you are craving salts, sweets, carbs, meat, have it. The muscles are trying to tell you what is missing and you better answer so they can rebuild. Also, it is a nice reward for all the days leading up to the race that you resisted junk. We ate Burger King yesterday for breakfast, honestly can't remember the last time I had that, but it was amazing. Today is right back to normal. And you better believe I am ready for normal having shared a box of Timtams with the family I stayed with last night! Those 3 days were just the right amount of timing to unwind, reward, enjoy, and get me craving good stuff again.
10 days easy.
My coach lets me have 10 easy days after I cross the line. Mostly unstructured, mostly all up to me, a little guidance because I like guidance, but it is similar to the eating thing, unwind, reward, enjoy, get motivated to come back. 10 days works really well for me, shorter and you might not be recovered (not that on day a 11 you go run a 3hr run), any shorter and you might miss that window of opportunity to "recover your motivation" to do it all over again. My 10 days will go a little something like this...
Day after Ironman-Easy spin or swim. We rode 30 easy minutes, it was too cold for me to swim. That's the beauty of 10 easy days, now is the time to skip a workout or cut it short if you aren't in the mood.
Day 2: Long walk (I would have swam if it were warm water) again, do not force a work out mentally or physically during this 10 day window, it's unwind, reward, enjoy time. I walked all over Taupo, up and down the town, exploring and sight seeing. If I was home I'd of walked the dog or with a friend that doesn't run. Use this time to "train" with your non-triathlete buddies or family.
Day 3: I walked again, it's my last day in NZ so we found a trail, I even jogged for 5 or 6 minutes super easy, feel so good. (but not rushing, do not force coming back).
Day 4: I'll be home just in time to get Kainoa from school, the "plan" will be a sunset walk with the dog.
Day 5-7: I want to ocean swim every morning after taking Kainoa to school and will build up the bike, nothing structured, just get blood flowing and enjoy sports that I love.
Day: 8 I plan to ask Masuda to bike with me, we haven't in a very long time and this would be a time he can keep up, hehehe, just kidding, but really, it's a good time for this.
Day: 9-10. If coach writes "run" then I will choose a beach path, something easy on the legs that lands somewhere pretty, not the road or anywhere that I can measure miles or time. Give yourself a break from miles, paces, ect. Of course if it doesn't say run, now is time to take a hike up a hill, surf, paddle, other sports before those sports are limited again.
That's basically it, with of course the option to skip, shorten, or do something else all together. The goal is a little break, but not lose fitness, recover with the help of actively moving, but not stressing the body or mind.
As for other things, I always use my week after an Ironman to catch up on hobbies that I let slip and slide because only Wonder Woman can do it all everyday. Here are mine...
Fix up the garden. Make granola. Juice a whole entire day and not cheat. Slumber party in the living room or camp on the lanai since I won't have to wake up super early on a Sunday to run long. Go on a little hike close to home. Walk my dog on the beach. Paddle with Masuda. Play a card game with Kainoa that I am usually too tired to play. Make something new and wild for dinner, even make a menu and place mats to make it like a restaurant. Get my Kombucha going again. Spend plenty of time at a farmers market one morning. Beach. Clean out my closet and donate clothes (again). Make a list of how of lessons learned and how to improve the next Ironman (I have a book I always check into after every race). Thank you letters. Watch a movie. Pancakes for dinner.
That is pretty much it. My plane leaves here in a few hours, I'll land home just in time to get Kainoa from school and am so looking forward to his hug! New Zealand, you are awesome, thank you wonderful Kiwi and Maori people for making this trip so very special.