Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ying to the Yang - a story of a happy family where mommy races Ironman

This picture reminds me of high school. The whole idea of ying and yang and balance in the world was majorly appealing to me as an adolescent.

Training is intense - surprisingly so is recovery
The last several weeks or months or so of Ironman Training is very intense. My family definitely makes some sacrifices to be sure in the form of lost time with me.

So once the race is over there has to be a shift. The ying to the yang. For an entire week I do nothing and it feels great. The first week is heaven. I sleep like a newborn, deep and intense and I have no desire to do anything except eat, rest and enjoy being a newly minted Ironman.

The Itch 
Then I start back slowly but continuing to keep my first focus on my family and my friends. They deserve it. I make my kids brownies, I let my husband serve me wine with dinner, I go to lunch with my husband and even my friends. I take the dry cleaning in, I answer the phone when my mother-in-law calls, I catch up on birthday presents that are overdue. I spend an entire weekend with my daughter at a swim meet. This is how I work to bring the family back to balance - see that's the ying to the yang idea ... get it?
note the homemade brownie in the lunch.

I love my family but I also love my hobby. So believe it or not I want to stop this whole stay up late and sleep in business before my family is quite caught up with their Amy-deficit. I begin looking forward to races I sign up for events. I am envious of those racing and doing long training rides while simultaneously loving my shorter training runs. This is where we are now.

My husband is loving the non-exercising me. He gets up and goes for a bike or a run without any concern that I'll be off doing my thing. My kids love that I'm all about them. It's a needed thing this family recovery. It works for my family this ying and yang.

I've made a lot of pancakes these 2 weeks. Also I got a new pancake pan. Isn't it pretty? Of course, my husband immediately used a metal spoon on it making me want to thrash him but with my post-Ironman blissful state he has lived.
This period of post-Ironman recovery was well timed because my son came down with a weird virus that we went back and forth to the doctor a few times and then yesterday my daughter was sent home with lice. Lice - or in spanish los piojolos is the giant parenting time suck of the universe. So, it's well timed that it happened during this period of recovery.

I did see a little peek of Ironman blues this past week. Mentally, I feel better when I have the focus of the training. That's one of the reasons I do it. I went to bed one night and found my self awash in feelings of why... why...why. Luckily after a few minutes of wondering if I'd lost my mind I thought hmmm...is this my bit of blues colored with the wine that was with dinner...probably and I drifted off to sleep.

The mind is willing - the body a little less so
Also I have to admit that my body is not yet fully recovered. I have a little twinge in my right leg that started with the Ironman marathon. So I'm stretching and rolling and not rushing the intense exercise. All at the same time that I'm restarting the training for my fall marathon. I'm following the Pfitzinger 8 week between marathons schedule and glory be the first 2 weeks are full of recovery runs. It's lovely.

I have a friend who does ultra events all the time. She'll do Iron-distance events week after week. I think she's a little crazy. Also I wonder how in the world her body does it. For me even though I'm not the fastest improvement motivates me. In fact I'm firmly locked into my middle of the pack status. I was almost exactly in the middle of my age-group in Chatty. I'm average ... painfully average.  Some day of course, age will make improvement impossible. But I hope today is not that day. 

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