Friday, September 9, 2011

About "Post Ironman Doldrums"

dol·drums... A period of stagnation or slump.  A period of depression or unhappy listlessness.

I've been feeling a somewhat blue, so I went to the doctor,  he diagnosed me with a slight case of "Iron Deficiency".

Is this possible? Could this be true? Who me? Depressed? Anxious? Exhausted?   Somewhere along the line I heard that this could happen but no one is certain of how and when... or why?  Most importantly, once I  recognize it, how will I deal with it?

I have just completed one of the most amazing, mind boggling event of my life.  This was my goal, this was my thing.  I trained and I trained hard.  Day in, day out.  For months at a time.  My family began to wonder when and if they were going to get me back.  And just like that... after 15+ hours on race day, I crossed the finish line.  I became an Ironman!

So why the feeling of emptiness?  What's missing?  Shouldn't I be relieved that the pressure of the early morning / two a day training sessions are behind me?  Logic would tell me that it should.  Or could this be the problem?  All that free time.  Things were simpler then, my day was planned, there was no time to waste.  And now there are several hours of daylight left and I have nothing to do.  Nothing to do, but think.

I haven't had much of a feeling of depression.  I have been left wondering "what now?"  For me, there's nothing out there bigger or better than becoming an Ironman.  It was a goal I worked for for several years.  Methodically, purposely, one day at a time, one workout at a time.

So, what's next?  I know I have to schedule something, I have to plan something, I have to have a purpose.  I am not one to, although I should be, just train to train.  I am an objective type person, I need a goal to achieve, something to chase.  But everything seems to pale in comparison.   I have to get over this.  I have to get past this.

I will be running the Nashville Half Marathon in November.  I will be doing P90X for the second time or Insanity for the first time during the winter months.  As for next year, I'd like to do two Ironman 70.3 races.  I am looking at Ironman 70.3 Florida in Orlando on May 20, 2012 and Ironman 70.3 Augusta late September 2012.  Additionally, I'd like to do a few local sprint and Olympic distance races as well as the Country Music Marathon 2012.  Oh yeah, I'm doing the Ragbrai with my wife and some friends, and maybe just maybe the Cherohala Challenge.  I understand this is an aggressive plan and that something may have to give.  I'm okay with that.  And what about another Ironman in my future?  You bet!

And the lingering feeling that nothing will be as good as the Ironman?  Well, I just have to remember that "The Goals Did Not Become Less.  I Became More."