Sunday, December 9, 2012

Stay Hungry my Friends

The first week or so after Ironman Arizona was all about recovery (both mental and physical); the soreness disapated in just a few days but it was a few days after that before I began to feel myself again. Training hours on end had become the norm for me during IMAZ training.  In the race's wake I found myself completely out of sorts, a funk if you will; my energy level was noticeably down and I even bordered on irritable. Not until after the first few workouts did the fog begin to lift and I began to return to normal.

My training over the past few weeks has been a major shift from what I was doing before the race.  For one thing the northeast has settled into the early stages of winter, complete with short daylight hours and temperatures trending downwards. The days of riding outside are over for several months, as are open water swims (except for the upcoming Polar Bear Plunge).  I'll keep running outside through the winter, but the rest of my workouts will be moved indoors.  Without the pressure of having to log countless miles I've already begun to get back into the weight room and the yoga studio is next.

With Ironman Arizona behind me, and no imminent race plans, I can't deny that I've been slightly less motivated during my last few weeks of workouts.  Perhaps there is still just some lingering fatigue but I think I can attribute it mostly to reaching my lofty goal. I ate, slept, and dreamt for months about crossing that finish line (it still seems surreal that it actually went down).  Because so much of my energy was spent taking the necessary steps to help me reach my goal I guess I can't help but think: "what now?"  In fact, many family members, friends, and coworkers have asked that very question. 

For now I have my sights set on some new short- and long-term achievements: drastically improve my swimming, running a sub 20-minute 5K, qualifying for the Boston Marathon (this one is probably years down the road, if at all), improving my climbing ability on the bike, besting my previous PRs (I'm likely not alone with this one), and continuing my progression as an athlete/triathlete.

My next immediate step is to lay out next year's racing/training schedule (which already includes Timberman).  I'm sure that once I start looking ahead to next season it won't be hard to bring up my energy and intensity.

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