IM Recovery - I have been craving wings everyday!
Well it seems as if my recovery from Ironman has come and gone. The obvious sign would be that it is 2:00am Monday morning while I am writing this with not the slightest bit of fatigue to put me to bed. That is compared to the weeks after Ironman where I would just doze off in the middle of the day, or wake up exhausted while the whole time my body was never feeling fresh. Now here I sit mentally, physically, and emotionally recharged and ready to go again. The only problem is that the days are getting shorter, the air has a cold bite to it, and the snow is soon gonna hit. So after my last race in 2 weeks (Haunted Hustle Half-Marathon) it is time to put 2010 behind me and start prepping for 2011.
Before we get ahead of ourselves I just want to comment on how great a recovery can be after an Ironman. The Friday after the race Kate and I took a nice vacation to San Francisco. This trip was purposefully planned to coordinate with the Brewers vs Giants series, and is the main reason why we ended up in S.F. that week. I only brought my running shoes and even those were never touched. It felt great to sleep in, eat whatever I wanted (basically anything in sight), and drink beers from one brewery to the next. We went to two Brewer games, spent an afternoon at the zoo, walked around Castro Street, watched a sunset next to a dead seal (yes you just read that correctly), and tried out the public transportation scene (trust me it really is a scene in S.F.) We also had some of the best sushi I've ever tried. If you notice, I made no mention of Fisherman's Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge, or Alcatraz. We skipped most of the tourist locales, even though we stopped at the Wharf for an hour or so, but instead just meandered through the city with no real direction everyday. It felt great to just for once not have a set schedule every day, or make sure I was in bed by a certain time, eating the right foods, and to just simply relax and enjoy each others company. After all we started this whole relationship back in March, and I felt like until that week I couldn't even tell you the color of Kate's eyes because it seemed as if I barely ever saw her this summer(they are brown if your curious), but ironman training will do that to you, you just simply don't have much time away from it.
After we returned from our trip we started the 4-5 month stretch of living in different cities. Kate is in Milwaukee, and I am in Madison. Not far away at all only a 90 minute drive apart, but just enough to not see each other too much. My birthday came and went along with some much needed time with family. Living this interim stretch at home with my parents has been a surprisingly good time. No longer do I have to deal with the roommate situation that has seemed to have been an "up and down" battle me for the past 7 years. I've set aside some money and prepared to finish my college degree this spring in LaCrosse. But mainly it has been very relaxing, the stress that Milwaukee was causing me was too much and I am so glad that I am out of that city.
My grandma has moved into my parents house temporarily as well, and even though it is not the best situation I have come to truly enjoy every minute with my Grandma. She's an amazing women who is 86 years young, suffers from glycoma, and is battling with lung cancer as we speak. And yet everyday she shows the bravery and courage I could only hope to have. I get to sit down with her and talk every day, mostly about the past and what has made her happy every day to this point in her life.
I have even raced a couple times on very minimal training as well. Did a 10k with my brother (his first ever) and wasn't expecting much and finished with a 46:16, yet another PR for the year! My brother finished just over 50:00 which I probably couldn't have even done at this time last year, way to go Nick! And then there was the Green Bay Duathlon last weekend. Usual routine here from the summer, work late the night before, drive up early race morning, and then sprint back home. This occasion was a bit more of a stretch in that I drove to Milwaukee Saturday night (2am) then drove up to GB a couple hours later so I was racing on almost zero rest and still put in a good performance. One thing I would like to change about next year would be to spend more time post race at the race rather then get in the car and get back home to work. If these races would start from when you woke up until you reached your house again I think I would win every time. It seems like Kate has the car running at the finish line and I just ride my bike right onto the rack and get in the car after the race sometimes.
I have written my IM race report which I guess I should post sometime in the near future, and am now turning my focus onto 2011. Obviously the goals are to get faster and build my endurance base, but aside from that I am debating which race I will make as the "big one" of the season. I have put some serious thought into running a stand alone marathon, but only really want to do this as it will get me to work on my run base A LOT. I really want to try and race 3-4 70.3's and try to use that as a good chance to understand how my body works in longer distance races. One thing I know is that I want to stretch my season longer and add in more races. Finally coaching is something that I am really starting to research and possibly pursue, more on that later. Until now next time I will make another attempt at sleep.