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Recovery from Ironman

Today is my first day of interning for my 11-week Food Service and Management rotation. Oh how time flies!!
I'm moving a lot faster than the last few days but still in need of sleep. I finally had a restful night of sleep last night (8 hours!) but it's going to take me a few more days to feel rested throughout the day. My quads aren't hurting as bad but inside I still feel drained. Yesterday, Campy was very confused when I walked down our 3 flights of stairs backwards and quite upset that I wasn't walking at our normal pace. That's ok, there will be plenty of Campy miles during the fall and winter months. We are both looking forward to the cooler temps and Campy is excited to wear his favorite sweater.

It's going to take me a bit of time to sum up the 112 mile bike course (pics included) so I wanted to talk about my recovery from an IM.

After 11 hours of consuming gels, my stomach was in need of real food. The first thing I go for is Pizza and then I just listen to my body and feed it whatever it wants. After pizza and pretzels, I waited an hour or so (after showering back in my hotel) and had a glass of milk with some more pretzels. Karel and my dad went to get Subway (the only thing around us that was quick and open at 8:30pm on Sunday) and Karel picked me up a can of Progresso Tomato Parmesan soup (my fav!) and triscuits. I was super happy because that's exactly what my stomach (which felt really weird and tight with no food in it) craved. I had 1/2 can of soup and a handful of triscuits.

After my small "dinner" I had an Apple and Cherry muffin at Starbucks and shared a Latte with Karel (while watching the finishers around 10:45pm). I also had a banana.

Over the course of the evening I drank lots of water and just listened to my body. It wasn't saying much except for "OUCH!"

The next morning I got up super early (from a night of very little sleep) and was craving sugar, salt and protein. I first started with a cup of coffee and lots of water and when the breakfast opened at the hotel I enjoyed a little of the breakfast breads (poppyseed, walnut and cinnamon strudel) that I was eyeing on the 2 days prior to the race. I also had a big glass of milk w/ fruit, cottage cheese, mini pancakes and an egg. It wasn't a super big breakfast but I just wasn't in the mood.

Later that morning I had 1/2 of a Mojo bar while waiting for the Kona Roll Down and then about 30 min. later, Karel and I enjoyed the awesome Banquet Brunch which consisted of French Toast topped with berries and syrup, a banana, milk and scrambled eggs. Karel had ham with his brunch.

I had an apple on the way to the airport and finally, around 5pm I had a REAL meal at a restaurant (diner) at the airport.
A bagel w/ cream cheese, an egg white spinach and feta omelet and strawberries. I also stole some of Karel's and my dad's french fries from their meals. Oh the fat and salt tasted SO good.

When we got home around 11:30pm in Jacksonville I had a small bowl of cereal.
Tues was rough for me because I was sore, exhausted and really tired. I probably slept 10 hours in the last two nights and my stomach was not in the mood for food.
I was excited to have a smoothie but I only ended up drinking about half of it and giving the rest to Karel. Lunch was toast w/ eggs and triscuits and finally for dinner, I had a yummy colorful salad w/ french bread and tofu.

I think I am getting my appetite back but I will just continue listening to my body.

It's very important to me that I recover properly from a race, especially an IM, so I am in no rush to get back to any type of structured training...especially if my body is not in the mood to replace all of my burned calories.

Since I didn't move much on Mon or Tues (except walking) I really looked forward to a swim/float this morning. I swam a really SLOOOOOWWWW 500 (with lots of stops) this morning at Master's swim and then floated in the therapy pool and finished things off with the hot tub. My body is feeling so much better today but it'll still be a few more days until I feel somewhat back to normal.

As far as "training" goes, there will be no structured training for a good month. For the next 2 weeks I will ONLY swim and bike and I will not be running. Because swimming and biking can be very therapeutic for the body, I don't want to place any extra weight on my body as it is trying to heal (and hopefully becoming stronger that pre-IM).
I think many athletes rush back into training (or take too long off) after a long distance race and it is very important to me that I keep my body loose. I trained for Ironman Wisconsin for a good 6 or 7 months so I don't expect my body to heal in a week, let alone a month. There are 52 weeks in a year, I do not mind just "exercising" for the next month and giving my mind and body some downtime. I love to exercise so I welcome a break from structured training.

In mid to late October, Karel and I will sit down with our goals (for both of us) for next season and start thinking about some key races as well as our base training for the winter.

Wow...I can't believe I am going to Kona in 1 year and 4 weeks!!