Saturday, November 29, 2014

Healing From The Inside Out

I've spent the past 4-5 weeks post-ironman indulging in unstructured training, which has meant minimal training and maximal couch time, nothing forced and 100% turning my brain off from all (okay, most) things triathlon. I haven't worn a watch in 5 weeks which that in itself has been wonderful! I knew I needed some deep rest following this ironman, and it's been great to truly step WAY back from training to let my body heal from the inside out. November has been about regaining some of the many things that I deeply sacrificed during training. I didn't realize until yesterday, but this has likely been my longest break in over 2 years, since the summer of 2012 when I took a good 8 weeks off (unintentionally, but much needed). Since then, I've raced 3x 50k's, a 50 miler, 2 marathons, an Ironman and a half Ironman. Yes, it's been a MUCH needed, much deserved break, and it's been fun to turn off that training brain for a while and focus on other things in life.

Here's a summary of what I've been up to the past 5 weeks:

Week 1

Kristen = Useless. I returned to work on Wednesday, stuttered my way through a lecture on Thursday and then I was saying TGIF! My "workouts" included a yoga + dinner date with good friends, an extra long (read: slow) walk on campus, and a few low key miles running while crewing the hubby in the MMTR 50 miler. Otherwise, I spent that day hiding out in the car napping and staying warm while he ran. And after he finished it was back to the car for another long nap.

It was nice to slow down and take in the beauty of fall on the VT campus.
Good food, good friends = ideal recovery!

Week 2

Work, work and more work. I had a lot to catch up on after two weeks of not being overly focused. Instead of working out, I napped. I think I ran about 10 miles total that week.

Week 3

Probably the week I felt worst, and I think the husband dragged me out of bed most days to send me to work. The weekend was spent in Richmond watching my dad & sister run the Richmond marathon (sister's first!). I did my own run too, a whole 80 minutes, and finally had a fair amount of pep in my step!


Week 4

It was a chaotic week with a mid-week trip to Pittsburgh for a work training and to see family. One night I enjoyed a short but run around town with Miss Speedie Edie, followed by good food and watching the Kona IM World Championships on TV. That got me back into thinking about "training" again and that I do maybe miss my workouts! Friday I bounced my way through a 4 mile run, which I took as a good sign in terms of recovery. Though Saturday the exhaustion must've caught up with me: I attended the Crooked Road 24 hr Run with my husband and proceeded to sleep 16 hrs of 24 while he ran 78 miles. I ran a total of 3 miles hehe.

Nothing like a Saturday spent hammocking in the (cold) sun!

Week 5

I am definitely feeling like I turned a page in terms of overall energy levels and motivation in the past week. The week started with a gorgeous 20 mile ride in our mini heat wave (mid-60's!). Otherwise, I set my bike up on the trainer, FINALLY made it to the pool for a very short splash session, and have done some low-key running and cross training. I know I am "bouncing" back nicely though because the skip has returned in my step and I have been dancing or jumping around A LOT. I nailed down an approximate racing schedule for 2015, set some new goals, signed up for the Shamrock Half Marathon in March (which my dad and sister will also be running!), bought a new tri-suit for next season's racing, bought a new swim suit (thanks black friday online sales!), spent about 2 hrs cleaning my bike... Yea, all good signs that I am feeling ready to start thinking about this training thing again !


My ride included a little off-road fun (which is why I spent two hours cleaning it afterwards)
Quality family time on Thanksgiving.
My only workout on Thanksgiving: a low-key family walk.

The rest, relaxation and rejuvenation are all part of keeping it in perspective and balance, I know that, but this is likely one of the first times I've successfully put it into practice without being forced to rest. It's been neat witnessing my body heal from the inside out. While I know it's taken time for my muscles to fully heal and recover, things like my metabolism, enzymes, appetite, sleep cycle, hormones, immune system, mood, etc have also taken a hard hit from the compounding stresses of the past year (I will be the first to admit I do A LOT) and have also been rejuvenating. It's pretty neat that I am sleeping better than I have in months and that I have a lot more "bounce" than I've seen in quite a while. I have a bit too much free energy to expend but I like it!!

Cheers to rest... balance... rejuvenation... and slightly warmer temperatures today!


2 comments:

  1. Wow, I've never really thought about how much of a toll the body must take during an IronMan. Glad to hear you're resting well, and it's paying off. Hope you had a nice, relaxing Thanksgiving!

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  2. Very good! Yes an Ironman requires at least a month off before trying anything - that's been my rule and I've gotten injured when I try to get back to regular workouts sooner than that. Enjoy the downtime - that's the hard part for me. I'm getting some good stuff together for 2015 too. Congrats to your sister for finishing her first marathon! Welcome to the club.

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