Tuesday, December 2, 2014

It happened. The post ironman burnout...

The funny thing about an Ironman is that when it is over, you either feel compelled to do another one (usually to better your time or try another race location) or you are just over it.  I envy the bucket list people.  One and done.  You checked that box off of life's list and didn't look back.  After that first iron distance, I immediately fell into the "I want to improve my time" category.  After having completed four ironman races over the past four years, it has become a part of me and what I do.  I have trained non stop for one race or another for the past four years.  Straight from ironman to an early season marathon or half iron.  No real break.  At family gatherings, I have become the one who does "crazy" things - a strange thing in and of itself since this all started by simply training for a 5k back in 2008.  I never really had a problem with the constant training.  I am one of those people who likes to take on a lot so this just seemed normal.  Until this year.

I struggled with burnout all throughout this last training schedule.  It felt harder than usual to get the workouts completed.  I got them done but it was not without a lot of bargaining with myself.  To make it to IM Chattanooga and then not finish didn't help things.  Another month of training when I thought I would be done.  Don't get me wrong, I loved every minute of Beach 2 Battleship and am so happy I made that decision but as far as the burnout goes, it didn't help.

The trail around Stone Mountain.  I am loving running some new trails.

After B2B was over this time, I knew I needed some time off.  I thought a couple of weeks would do it.  I did a little running here and there.  I discovered a love for trail running.  Around mid-November, I loaded up an off season triathlon plan into training peaks.  I printed it off and put it in my gym bag.  That first Monday rolled around and the thought of getting in the pool again made me cringe.  I put it off another week. The next Monday rolled around and I got in the pool.  I did the workout but was not feeling it AT ALL.  The workout the next day was a trainer ride.  I knew that was not going to happen.  I had ZERO desire to ride a bike even on a trainer.  Somewhere in that week I had a revelation.  I was done.  For now anyhow.

Rick tells me all the time I have nothing to prove to anyone.  I think that is his way of giving me an out and hoping I would take a break.  I never really felt like I was proving anything to anyone but I get his point.  I don't HAVE to do these races.  If it all feels more like a chore and less like something you want to do because you love it then perhaps you should reassess the situation.  And I did.

Atlanta Thanksgiving Half.  I loved the medal this year!

Last week, I decided to wipe the slate clean (mostly).  I took IM Lou off the schedule.  I have three marathons on the schedule for January through March (you can see where this is out of hand - I actually did not realize how ridiculous my race schedule was until I typed that out... three marathons in January through March and that seemed perfectly reasonable.  LOL.  I swear doing an Ironman warps your thinking).  Anyhow.  I am not sure if I will do them or not.  As much as there is this part of me that seems to think I *must* sign up for long endurance events, I have to say I am kind of liking the idea of just working out for the sake of health and not necessarily training for any particular race.  The decision to drop IM Lou was very freeing.  I am enjoying having some free time to do things around the house and even just watch TV if I choose.  Tonight I actually roasted vegetables and made a dinner that did not involve microwaving.  It is getting crazy up in here!  Tomorrow I am going to a boot camp class.  Hopefully it won't hurt too much :)


Carolina John said...

That can be a very freeing decision but a very difficult one. I also did the same thing. The thought of getting on the bike makes my ass hurt. 3 marathons in 3 months sounds like fun though. Come up north and run some trails with me! I'm starting with a 50k in maryland in February and ending with a 50 miler in november in either MD, VA, NC or SC.

B.o.B. said...

AMEN to all of this. Take that break Kdub. Your body and mind said they needed it. (I'm an IM bucket list person I think. LOL!) I only want to run right now and that's basically what I'm doing. I'm going to strength training and yoga b/c I like them. I know the bike and pool aren't going anywhere.