IronMan….The aftermath

I’ve not done any updates here after IMUK as firstly I’ve been away, and secondly I just wanted to see what the aftermath was really like. There were three things that probably surprised me most.

Firstly was how tired I felt in the days after IMUK. That was something that nobody mentioned, and it really hit me. I can only describe it as being similar to jetlag, but it took me the best part of a week to fully recover and get back to normal. I didn’t expect to sleep much the night after finishing. Having loaded myself up with all sorts of sweet and caffeinated stuff during the day, coupled with the adrenalin still pumping round , I think I finally got off at about 2 in the morning. Bearing in mind the lack of sleep the night before due to the early start and nerves, I guess I should have expected some tiredness, but I just wasn’t quite prepared for that.

Secondly, was the aches and pains, or to be perfectly honest, the lack of them. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t leap out of bed on Monday morning and do a 5 mile cool down run but they were no where near how I expected them to be. Yes my legs were a little stiff, but that was it. I just put on my compression trousers from 110% playharder that come with pockets to fit the supplied ice packs and that was it. By Monday evening they were fine, the only ache was the pins and needles sensation I had in my left hand, which I’m guessing was down to the pain in my shoulder during the race. That has taken quite a while to go away to be honest, but googling the problem, it seems a common ailment.

Lastly, was the Ironman blues. I’d read about this, where you’re on a real downer after the event and didn’t think I’d suffer from it, but I did, and for a while. I guess the problem is it has took pretty much the last 6-9 months of your life, be it training or whatever, and the high you get finishing it is just that, a real high but you do come down from it and come down with a crash. I felt pretty useless that first week afterwards. I didn’t have any training, no focus on anything and adding the tiredness in, I was pretty grumpy with everyone. The lack of a routine didn’t help. I didn’t have to be up early to get out for a run, or get to the pool for a certain time for my swim, I just plodded around. It almost felt like my best mate had moved away, there was something missing. As I’d read about it, I was sort of prepared for it, but even so, it was a strange feeling.

Fortunately, we’d arranged to go away for a few days the week after, and then we had a full 2 weeks away with the family in Portugal. The few days away was spent in Wales. I took my running stuff as its pretty much my favourite place to run, but I could only motivate myself to get out the once, and even then it was an easy 6/7 miler. Didn’t feel comfy doing it, and didn’t really enjoy it, so I didn’t do it again, and even promised my wife I wouldn’t take my running gear away to Portugal which I did at the time through gritted teeth, but in hindsight, it was the best thing I could’ve done. I had a full 2 weeks just sat in the sun, doing nothing and completely relaxing which recharged everything. There were days when I wanted to go for a run, but I couldn’t so no matter how much I wanted to, I just had to sit there. I did a little bit of swimming, but nothing major so I came back pretty much ready to start over again.

This is my first week back doing any sort of training. Monday I went to the gym for an hour with my PT. It was probably quite a light session, but the squats and core took their toll. Tuesday, I had a brief 45 minute on the Wattbike, really just to loosen up the legs that were a little stiff from the gym the day before. And today, I went out on the bike for the first time since IMUK. Only did about 30km but it felt good, and when I got back, I put my running shoes on and did an unplanned 5km run on top of it which felt great.

So, hopefully, I’ve got my mojo back now. I’m in the South Manchester Sprint tri in September, which is the same course as the Wilmslow Sprint so I’m going to aim for that. There’s also a few other events about that I fancy just to keep me ticking over. I have got plans for next year, but that will involve a chat with the wife and probably a new handbag but will cross that bridge when I come to it.

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