What's New: Post-Ironman Life

I thought it had been two months since the last time I linked up with Kristen and Gretchen, but then I realized that now it's December and September was actually 3 months ago, so that's a little indicative of what life has been like lately! Since the last time I wrote one of these my Ironman(ish) has come and gone, and I'm finally getting to experience what post-Ironman life is like!

Everyday Life

My first post-Ironman weekend I had absolutely nothing planned - no workouts, no travel, no social plans, absolutely nothing - for the first time in months and it was glorious! It was gorgeous out so I ended up going out for a short run through my neighborhood, going wherever I pleased, and then I met up with Christy and Holly for drinks! The next day was the Marine Corps Marathon and we had some friends running, so Ben and I went out to spectate for a bit. I don't think I have ever spectated a race I didn't participate in in any capacity (except Cherry Blossom this year, but that was different because I had planned to run and got injured), and it was SO FUN! Seriously, it was a dream of mine to stand on the sidelines with a cup of coffee in my hand and cheer as runners went by. I should really try it more often.



I had no plans the next weekend either, so Ben and I went out on both days for some fall activities since we knew our window of nice weather would be narrowing. On one day we drove about an hour outside of the city where the mountains begin to visit a couple of wineries. I had never been to a winery in Virginia before despite living close to a billion of them in various parts of the state, so it was a good time and the view was gorgeous! I could have sat there all day!


And not to make us sound like total alcoholics, but the next day was alcohol-centric as well - but we at least had to work for it! The trail where I did the majority of my Ironman long rides is a 45-mile long paved rail trail that starts in the DC suburbs and goes way out to wine country. It passes through several towns and there are several breweries along the way right on the side of the trail. It's common to ride by and see cyclists, decked out in their gear, taking a pit stop for a cold one. I spent hours and hours and hours riding that trail this summer and being so envious of everyone out enjoying themselves at the breweries, and I promised myself that when it was over I would bring my bike out for a joy ride and visit some of them. So I brought Ben along with me and I was finally one of those people riding just for fun - imagine that! We planned kind of poorly timing and distance wise so we were only able to visit two breweries, but I think we will definitely go back in the spring and try to hit some more.


Those were the big things I wanted to check off while I had the time and the weather was still nice, but everyday life has definitely changed too. I'm not sure where I found the hours to train every day, because now that I'm not doing that I surprisingly still don't have the time to make dinner every night, keep an immaculately clean house, knit, read, and catch up on TV. But I am enjoying doing at least some of those things everday and getting reacclimated to normal life (at least for a little while until I start again). It's been nice to be able to be more spontaneous, to sleep in and have waffles for breakfast, to get a haircut after work, to go to a concert on a Thursday night, to stay out late at the movies without having to worry about waking up early the next day. I think that spontaneity is the part of our life that Ben and I  missed the most during those hardcore training months.

Travel

I definitely haven't traveled as much post-Ironman as I did during the months leading up to it, but I have managed to get out of the city a couple times. First, a weekend in Richmond that was planned almost a year to the day in advance finally came to fruition! Four girls from four different states ended up in a fifth state for Richmond Marathon weekend. My drive out of the city was long and harrowing, the miles we ran were fun, and the time we spent was too short, but it was still a treat to get to see them each and all. Hopefully the next time will be sooner rather than later.

I wasn't planning on traveling for Thanksgiving - in fact, Ben and I had planned to spend it here, just us, eating and doing city things - but life had other plans. My grandfather on my dad's side passed away the Sunday before the holiday, so over the course of that day and Monday we scrambled to get everything in order to travel to South Carolina. Although it was unplanned and the reason for it unexpected and sad, it was nice to be with family that I hadn't seen in a while and wasn't planning on spending the holiday with. I got to spend time with both of my grandmothers, cousins, and uncle, went to lunch and yoga with another cousin, ran the bridge with my dad, and spent time with my immediate family and my parents' new puppy! Other than a brief visit this past April for my other grandfather's funeral, I don't think I've been to Charleston since I ran my first marathon there almost 3 years ago.



Races

I've run a couple of races since IMNC, neither particularly notable for me personally, but still fun experiences. I already mentioned Richmond, where Alyssa, Kristen, Lisa, and I ran the half marathon. I signed up for this race well before IMNC was even a thing, and then once it was a thing I didn't know how recovered I would or wouldn't be and wasn't sure if this was going to be more like a 2-hour event or a 3-hour event. Fortunately, at 3 weeks post-IM I felt mostly recovered and normal (probably because I didn't do the full 140.6 miles, in case you forgot), and I ran a comfortable race. More importantly, all of the girls had better than expected races that day and two PRed! 


And while I was in Charleston I ran a Turkey Trot with my dad, my cousin, and my brother's girlfriend. It was actually the same race that was my first Turkey Trot, a tradition that I have kept for 6 Thanksgivings now! It runs through downtown Charleston and a couple miles are on the same streets that are part of the marathon course, so it was fun getting to run that again. The four of us planned to stick together, and we spread out a little over the course but for the most part, that's what we did.


What's Next

We have no big plans for December and I am just thrilled about that. While everyone else is preparing for the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I just want to relax as much as I can. It's been a long, busy, hard year and next year isn't going to be any easier. I just need some down time to get myself together and get ready for the next chapter.

As for the next chapter...I have some big goals I'm looking at next year, starting right off in the spring. I just signed up for the Shamrock Marathon in March where I'll be looking to hit a big time goal, and if I don't hit it there I have my eye on the New Jersey Marathon in late April. And of course,  I have Ironman Louisville on my schedule in October so everything next year will revolve around that. Those are big enough on their own, let alone in one year, and I'm almost hesitant to even say them out loud, but I've been spending my downtime rethinking how I want to approach them and what I want training to look and feel like and it's left me feeling more energized and excited about them than I have about a race goal in a long, long time. I can't wait to share more about my plans for tackling two marathons and an Ironman!

11 comments :

  1. you deserve a break!! after the fights, all the fighters have not returned...and that fight was on nov 12. after that much training (fight and your ironman) you deserve to do nothing but relax and enjoy life!

    ReplyDelete
  2. So sorry for the loss of your grandfather. I'm glad you've been able to spend so much time with your family this holiday season. I too am trying to relax as much as possible in December but not sure how that's going to go with some holiday travel coming up, and events...okay, you know what, scratch the relaxing thing. Guess I'm gonna have to wait a month to relax.

    I'm excited to hear what your 2017 goals are!! I love hearing about others' running goals - it allows me to live vicariously since I don't have any of my own this year.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Weekends when you dont have plans end up being the best ones, right?? Love that you visited some wineries and breweries, it is always such a fun thing to do. I hope you get some time to relax this December! Sorry to hear about your grandfather. :(

    ReplyDelete
  4. I really want to spectate or volunteer for a race I'm not running. The only time I've ever spectated was your B2B and IMAC, but that doesn't count because I don't do 2/3 of the events and can't even remotely imagine with triathlon finishers feel like, hah! I have this on my list for next year—now, just to find a local race I don't want to participate in!

    It's so funny how we cram a million in one things into a day when we have to, but when we don't have to, all those hours mysteriously get taken up anyhow, isn't it? I think it's just a perspective shift that changes the pace and urgency of things, but it's still crazy to think about how different seasons of life can look yet always feel like there's too much going on.

    I'm sorry again about your grandfather, but it seems like the celebration of his life was a memorable one for your family. Too bad that a funeral had to be the cause for bringing everyone together, but it's nice that you got to enjoy each other for a few days. I love you and your dad in matching IMNC shirts!

    I can't wait to watch you shine again next year, from the sidelines, finish line, or right next to you (well, probably more than slightly behind you—but you know what I mean ;))

    ReplyDelete
  5. i have never spectated a race that i didn't run... so i've really never spectated at all because i normally run and leave lol.
    i am sorry about your grandfather but glad you were able to spend some time with your family.
    i am hoping december will be calm with no plans.. we'll see lol. i don't want to go to any parties or anything, can i just hibernate for the whole month?
    look at you with no plans!! that's awesome. hopefully this next training cycle is a smidge easier because you'll know you've done it before? i really hope i have a house before October. hahaha. you have a big year planned and i can't wait to follow along!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I cant imagine how life feels like something is missing or a wide opening in the schedule after Ironman training.
    More people need to go out & spectate races. it's so fun &inspiring!! Plus, you know how nice it is to be in a race with supporters on the sidelines. Win win for everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm glad you're getting a breather and go to spend time with family. I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather!

    ReplyDelete
  8. You are so cute. Love that picture of you at the top :) So glad you got to experience race viewing from the sidelines! I've done it a few times and it's so fun!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sounds like you've been having fun! You deserve it!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm glad that you got a chance to spectate at a race! I've only done it once before and it makes me a little antsy... I feel like I should be running but at the same time I'm happy to not be running. Hope you're enjoying all of your relaxing time! That bike trail with the breweries on it sounds like something I need to come explore. I could 100% get behind a day of biking & brews!

    ReplyDelete
  11. That first picture of you is so adorable! I'm so sorry about your grandpa.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting and taking time to share your thoughts! If you don't hear back from me, check your settings to make sure you're not no-reply (check here http://www.venustrappedinmars.com/2013/06/google-ultimate-no-reply-blogger.html if you're unsure)!