Posted: October 11, 2012 in In Transition, Injuries and Owies
Tags: , , ,

It’s been nearly four weeks now since the big event and ‘Operation: Get Fat and Lazy” has been in full swing since then.  The first week after Ironman Wales, my spirits were still riding high on my accomplishment and I enjoyed simply touring around Tenby and London and seeing the sights with Kelly and my father.  I was still sore and bit broken but, mentally, I was A-okay; never better in fact.  I was enjoying the downtime after having spent nearly every waking minute of every day for four long years either planning, strategizing, scheduling, and preparing for a single date circled on my calendar.  For the past 12 months alone, I literally ate, slept and shat Ironman.  It consumed me…totally.

Now, at first I was loving all this downtime so I was all:


However, being home now, not to mention three weeks further along in my idleness, I am beginning to feel very differently.  Now I’m more:

For fuck sakes already, just make it end.

I can’t say I’m still riding that same high from a few weeks ago.  In fact, I’m feeling rather sucky.  It’s true.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying spending more time with my family, attending more social functions, staying up later at night, sleeping in on weekends, reconnecting with friends, flaunting the new tat, and whatnot, but there’s another more sinister element to as well.  Beyond these things, I’m experiencing a sense of loss.  I have little energy or motivation to do anything else other than veg out with the cats, eat peanut butter sandwiches and watch hours of crap television in my comfy chair.  Seriously, when you waste almost an entire hour thoroughly engrossed in the life and times of ‘Honey Boo Boo’, you know you have a very real problem.

To make matters worse, I came down recently with a serious chest cold that I can’t seem to shake and I’ve developed a nagging soreness on the outside of my left foot that has left me limping around the house like a total feeb.  I feel like an utter shell of my former self and it’s getting harder to mask from the ones I love, who also happened to support me through all this Ironmadness in the first place.  I literally have no interest in swimming, biking or running, or anything else for that matter.  All I want to do is sit my chair, eat, and sulk. I know I’m entitled to a little downtime, but, geez!

However, as it turns out, it’s very common to experience a bit of a letdown, kinda-lost feeling after an Ironman. Some have gone so far as to give it a name: Post-Ironman Depression Syndrome (PIDS), or, disturbingly, AIDS (After Ironman Depression Syndrome).   Goodie.  I’m choosing instead to call it ‘Ironfunk’, which sounds infinitely cooler than PIDS or AIDS.  Whatever you choose to call it, it is very real and it completely blows.  It has been hypothesized that as a symptom of over-training, depression is your brain’s way of discouraging you from overexerting yourself again—in this case, doing another  Ironman—for a while anyway.  Symptoms include:

  • The feeling of something missing in your life.   Check!
  • Unusual grumpiness.  Check!
  • Sadness, like you have lost a best friend.  Check!
  • Bored.  Check!
  • Restlessness – still not ready to resume training.  Check!
  • Sudden mood swings.  Check-check!
  • Not Motivated.  Check-er-ino!
  • Increase in appetite.  Check-ar-ooni!

In essence, this overwhelming loss of direction has ultimately lent itself to feelings of aimlessness and despondency and I’m not digging it at all.  I’m missing the regular emails, the weekly social support and group sessions that were all once part of my all-encompassing Ironman training culture.  Teammates of mine are already back at ‘er with a vengeance training for their next event and I can’t even bring myself to put down the bag of chips; total ‘ipso ergo Dorito’.  This sucks!

I know at some point this all has to pass but I’m beginning to get restless waiting for my inspiration and motivation to return.  I want to begin going to the gym, but my lingering illness prevents me.  I can’t run because of my gimp foot.  I can’t swim yet because of the tattoo and I can’t even be bothered to cycle yet despite the beautiful autumn colors prevalent in my area lately.  Hell, I even broke out all the old albums from my youth and indulged in a total ‘woe-is-me’ Morrissey-fest one weekend.  The fuck?  How pathetic is that?  Seriously, what next?  Black eyeliner and knee-high Doc Martens?

I wish I had some answers here but I don’t.  This is a completely new and alien feeling.  It’s often suggested that I occupy my new found time – nearly 25 hours a weeks’ worth as a matter of fact – on my other hobbies.  But triathlon was my “hobby”.  I don’t collect stamps, or play video games, so what else is there?  So in lieu of these things I’ve made an appointment with my family physician to have my foot x-rayed for possible stress fractures, not to mention completing my big four-oh check-up.  Oh joy!  I’m also considering getting back into rowing for a while and maybe try and complete a half-marathon on the ergo-meter, or 21,097m (the standardized rowing half marathon distance).  I’ve also signed up for some spin classes beginning in another few weeks and I have begun trying to tentatively plan out my 2013 racing year and set some new goals to look forward to, even though there won’t be another Ironman in my future next year given that I want to accomplish something else first (details to come); Lord knows I think Kelly has earned the right to have me around a bit more for a few more months yet before I jump back on the Ironhorse.

I’m hoping this will all help snap me out of this current bout of the blues I’m experiencing…fingers crossed anyway.  Onward and forward.

  1. mrstakahashi says:

    Get over it. Get on that bike of yours and go for a ride. With the air hitting your face, you will feel good and it will get you outdoors and away from the boob tube. I think you need a new goal, perhaps another Ironman. I’m not sure. I am thinking myself of trying something new and challenging. So, get out there!!

  2. mom says:

    Mommy still loves you! Does that help the boo- boos?

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