LIFE AFTER IRONMAN. NOW WHAT?
While I am not a lost soul now that Ironman is over, its always a good time to reflect on what future goals, if any, I have for this sport. And how to handle the recovery process. I had come across an article about a month before the race, but somehow never got around to reading it until today when supplied to me by 21st Century Mom Pamela. It was a good reminder, and takes all the guesswork and guilt out of the recovery process. Here is a link if you care to read: http://www.active.com/triathlon/Articles/You-Finished-an-Ironman-Now-What.htm
So it helps me decide that not running right now is not going to ruin me, that nothing of any intensity probably is better. While my legs actually felt really good by Tuesday after the race, I found out the hard way trying to run on Saturday I wasn't ready. Then today, another planned run day, I forgot my shoes. So I feel some force is keeping me from rushing the recovery too soon.
But what about my future goals? Future Ironman races? Of this I am certain: I would like to do another Iron distance race. I don't think it will be in 2010, but I will definitely do half Ironman races, maybe two, and try to improve on my biking skills before another attempt. Or maybe I just need to get serious sooner in the year?
In deciding on another race, I have to be realistic also in what the course is like and the location. I will be the first to admit that without the "ease" of the B2B course, I might not have finished in time. I also would like it within closer driving distance or being able to afford to fly. I could have kicked myself on the ride back wondering what I was thinking being cooped up in a car for nearly 20 hours, counting dead deer carcases and waffle houses to keep alert, as well as risking my life with crazy drivers and semis when I could have flown home the next day. It probably didn't save all that much when you have to factor in gas and hotels while on the road. So definitely something closer to home would be more desirable.
I have come across a new group of races, a full Iron and a half Iron distance, at the Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio, next September. Now if by some good fortune my training starting at the first of the year seems better than last year, and I decide to spend the money on another full so soon, this might be my first choice. If I don't do the full, just the half, then I might consider doing Vineman in California the next year. Its another smaller race, which I am totally comfortable with. So many choices; so little time!
In the meantime, I'm going to kick back for a couple of more weeks and relax and try to recover from all that has been going on in my life all year so I can start fresh for next year.