Off season blues

It’s been just over six weeks since Ironman, and I think my life is finally settling back down to something that resembles normal. It’s a hard transition to go from a million miles a minute, to the greatest experience of my life, to nothing. For a few days after the event, I allowed myself to heal. That meant allowing myself to sleep in, not train, and otherwise not think about swimming, biking or running. And considering I was still hobbling along with sore muscles, searing blisters, chaffing and healing road rash, a break was probably needed. But slowly the pain and tiredness went away, and as the sunshine and sparkles of race day faded, I began to feel somewhat lost. There was no more structure in my life, no schedule telling me where to be or what to do, and no more goals, or drive. I slowly started to feel the happy escaping me. Some nights I would curl up on the couch feeling sad and lonely. Some nights I paced around the kitchen unsure of what to do. Some nights I barely slept. At the time, I longed for workouts, but didn’t have the energy. Even light jogs would send my heart rate skyrocketing, and I started to worry I was losing everything I had worked so hard to build – and I was.
The off season was tougher than I had thought. My body, my mind, and my life, in general, needed a break from the constant and, at times gruelling, two-a-day training, yet at the same time my body and mind almost ached for it. I remember during training season, I would say to myself, when this is all over I’m going to enjoy life outside triathlon. I had plans to stay up late, eat chicken wings, drink beer, sleep in, and otherwise regain my social life. Yet, with all the time in the world to do those things, I kept finding myself wanting the one thing that I thought I wouldn’t miss – training.
As I gave myself some more time to digest the post-season, I found that over time things slowly fell into place. First and foremost, I had to tell myself that it was ok to let go of the constant swimming, biking and running routine to do other things. I just had to rediscover what those things were. I also needed time to recover and to accept that if in that process I lost some of my fitness that was ok too. It’s a part of the cycle, and with rest comes re-building which can sometimes be one of the best parts of training.
Within about a month, I had settled back into a busy life full of triathlon and chicken wings and beer. It’s an incredible combination, but my sadistic love for punishment will have me chomping at the bit for more intensity soon enough. I’m already setting goals and thinking about my next challenge, and yes Ironman Canada is on the calendar for next year. If you had asked me immediately after the race, or even during the race, I would have said that another Ironman was not in the cards for me. But with some reflection, I’ve discovered that this journey I’ve been on is not over. A chapter of it is complete, but there are so many more mountains to climb and conquer. Here’s to whatever 2016 has in store for me and I’m knocking heavily on its door.

2 thoughts on “Off season blues

  1. Sounds just like what I was going through. I’m easing back into things with very short easy runs and long hikes, mixed in with beer and hanging out with friends. Just enjoy everything while you can before you get hardcore into training again!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s