Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy Holiday Randomness

It's been three weeks exactly since Ironman Arizona! It's all still so fresh in my mind. (It helps that I've watched that video about ten times!)

The first couple of weeks after the race were busy with our trip to San Diego, then Zach's parents visiting us from Montana. I was still recovering/healing up from the race too. But things have finally settled down around here and I'm feeling back to normal. And it is amazing. This weekend has been so fun and relaxing. It is so nice to be able to do whatever I want! It's been a bit of a transition, but I'm really happy with where I'm at right now. Life is good.

I wish I could get my thoughts together and write a really succinct and eloquent reflection of where my head is at these days but that ain't gonna happen. Instead I'm just going to say random stuff in bullet point form.

- I finally ran yesterday! 3 miles up in Forest Park. I waited 2-3 weeks as planned to let my legs recover and I''m glad I did. Last weekend I did some jogging while out on walks/hikes with Zach and his parents, but my right knee was still kind of sore. Yesterday it all felt good and I was really relieved. I'm going to keep the running short and easy for a couple more weeks before I try to ramp it up. I'm playing it super safe since in the past I've had injuries pop up in those first few post-race runs.

- I've gained about 4 pounds since the Ironman which I consider to be very acceptable. I really thought I'd gain 20. I mean, I went from working out at least 2 hours a day and eating really healthy to not exercising at all and eating and drinking whatever I want. I am going to try to clean the diet up a little bit though, because I feel kind of yucky when I eat too much fatty/fried stuff and that's no fun. And then after the holidays I am going to really make an effort to lose the post-race/holiday weight.

- Zach and I have been talking about future plans, and have a rough outline of what we want to do. One of our big goals this year is to have some non-racing plans, so we've been thinking about some trips and stuff we want to do. The only thing that is 100% decided is that we are taking our first trip to Europe for my 30th birthday next September! We are planning on spending a week in Paris. yay! We also will be going to Montana and California to visit our family and friends there.

- The other big focus for the coming year is to spend time outdoors- so we are definitely going to do at least one outdoor adventure in Montana this summer with Zach's mom and stepdad. We also want to do some backpacking and hiking around Oregon. I know there are some really cool new challenges to be discovered and I want to start exploring that. It could be fun to have a hobby that is physically challenging but not as directly competitive as "racing." Maybe I'll get into climbing or fast packing or mountain biking or ???

- But I'm not giving up racing. :) I am definitely going to do some running races this year. I think this whole Ironman experience has made me realize how much I love running. Swimming and biking are fun, but I don't have the strong desire to do those things. I don't love it. I really love running, and I think I will focus on that this year. I don't plan on doing any triathlons. It just doesn't appeal to me right now at all. I will definitely keep swimming, it's a great workout and it's pretty fun. And I'm planning on doing some biking for fun this summer, especially riding with Alisa since she is training for her first Half Ironman! But no triathlon plans. I don't have any definite running plans either, but I have a lot of ideas. I want to run another marathon or two and I want to do a couple of the shorter races around here. I'll leave it at that for now because I'm sure that will be the only thing I talk about in future blogs. Yay running!

- Besides my run yesterday, I barely exercised this week. I really need to get moving because I can tell my mood and attitude is going to start to suffer. Next week, in addition to going running 2-3 times, I'm planning on going to a bunch of classes at the gym. Thursday night Alisa and I are going to Zumba! I lifted weights with Zach once this week and we're going to do that again for sure. I'm also thinking of re-starting the push up challenge. It was kind of fun and I want to see if I can break my record of 60 pushups! Mostly I just want to get moving and start rebuilding my fitness.

- I want to check out some Yoga classes too, but that effort is kind of stalled. I need to talk to Inga and see if she can motivated me since she is my personal yogi the bear. Emily is also a devoted yoga-er so I should strt following her to class and get her advice. Everyone I know who does yoga is completely commited and I know it would do me a lot of good both physically and mentally. Must get going on this goal!!

- As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, my new non-training life is going great. This weekend specifically has been fantastic. There was a winter storm warning that never really materialized, so our plans all worked out. Friday night we went out for drinks with Sarah and her friends, and then we all went to see Spoon at the Crystal Ballroom. Saturday we went for a run in Forest Park, had bagels in Northwest, and then walked over to a little tree lot and got a Christmas tree. Then we walked downtown and did some shopping and watched a Tuba Christmas Concert in Pioneer Square and stopped for lunch at Kenny and Zuke's. When we got home we took a long soak in the hot tub in the cold rain, and then I took a long nap. I spent the evening wrapping presents while Zach baked cookies. I slept for like 11 hours last night. So far today all I've done is watch hockey, sit on the couch, and eat German Pancakes (family recipe that involves a stick of butter per serving). My cat and husband are cuddled up next to me and I am snug as a bug in a rug. This weekend is everything I fantasized about when I was out on long training days all summer and fall.

- Will I do another Ironman? I don't know. I won't say "No" but I have zero interest in it at this point. I think it might be fun to do a different course someday, and it would be cool if Zach and I could do the same race (although I think logistically that would be tough). Maybe in a couple years, or maybe not. I am really happy with my experience in Arizona and I know it will be hard to beat. If that was my only Ironman experience, I'd be happy with that. Right now, I'd rather run Boston again or climb Mt. Hood or watch Zach do an Ironman.

- Random sentences about my Ironman experience:

The training was harder than the actual race.
Immediately after it was over, I felt that the race was a little anticlimactic, but as time goes on I realize it really was everything I dreamed it would be.
I nailed my race strategy and made a lot of smart decisions out there.
Every leg of the race was pretty opposite from what I expected- what I thought would be easy was hard, and vice versa.
The support of my family and friends was a huge part of my success.
I am really proud of myself.
I am stronger than I thought I was.
I'm glad it is over.

Allright, I think that is all for now. I'm sure I'll think of things I meant to say as soon as I hit "Publish." No pictures today but I'll post some next time of our tiny Christmas tree and other fun holiday stuff. Thanks for reading!!


Alisa said...

I love all the random thoughts! I think it's a great idea to take a bit of a racing break! I told myself I'm not planning anything for after Barb's race until I get through it (alive). Can't wait to go riding and swimming and maybe even some running with you. I am also really excited about zumba! From now til mid-feb i'm doing whatever i want.

Soooooooo happy for you that you ran and the leg feels okay. Take it slow, no need to be running a million miles yet.

Glad you had a good time at SPOON!!! hehe

See you this week!

Alisa said...

PS I really want to take Justin to Montana to visit my Aunt since he's never been. Glacier Natl is soooooooo gorgeous and I've never been to Yellowstone. If we go this summer (probably August) we'll have to get tips from you natives.

Dragonfly on the Water said...

Sounds like a wonderful 2010. Can't wait!

kristen said...

I'm glad your feeling so great. That sounded like the PERFECT winter weekend. Good for you!

John said...

As much as I enjoy Ironman racing, and triathlon in general, we're also looking to do more non-competative outdoorsy stuff next year. Just seems like it would be more fun.

I'll be excited to hear what you guys end up doing.

Anonymous said...

You deserve a mountain of German pancakes after what you've accomplished. So inspiring!

Amy said...

Sounds like things are going great. Glad to hear it. Enjoy all the downtime like you are.

PS: you need to put your PR from the IM on your sidebar.

KK said...

Whew, I want to comment on everything like usual but for once will refrain.

I am so happy that you are in such a good place. I like your future plans and am interested to hear more about them. After this season I was so so so happy to just be running too-I definitely hear ya on that front.

Merry Christmas, happy holidays and four pounds is nothing!

Ewen said...

Once a runner, always a runner :)

Sounds like your recovery has gone well and you're enjoying life. You'll have fun in Europe. My friends rented an apartment in Paris (a short walk to the bakery). Learn some French would be my tip ;)

All the best to you and Zach for Christmas and 2010. By the way, I've only watched the video about 6 times.

Ewen said...

Forgot to say that Ironman Australia would be a good one for your second :)

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Carolina John said...

i always find tuba concerts to be surprisingly cool.

you should have a lot to feel good about and be proud of with your ironman. embrace it and appreciate it.

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Petraruns said...

Great post which I have been trying to get round to commenting on for days. Sorry! Firstly - I can understand your feelings re not another ironman - seems sensible. It's lovely to see you taking some time off. Secondly - I really really really hope to see you when you come across to Europe - all offers still stand! Hope you and Zach have a wonderful Christmas together, so much to celebrate. Big kiss and hug, Petra