Over two months have gone by since I competed at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii...lot of fun things have happened since then.
Recovery after an Ironman sucks. I usually tell people it takes three days before I (kinda) walk normally again, two weeks before training feels OK, three weeks before training is good...but sometimes up to eight weeks before my head and emotions feel normal. Whatever, we're passed that now but just wanted to give you a head's up if you're thinking of racing one.
A few weeks post Kona, I jumped into the CSU Tri Team's halloween 5k. I love participating because there are great costumes and many local businesses support the team by providing fantastic prizes.
|Going from a marathon to a 5k = ouch. Running hard hurts.|
A couple weekends later, I made a spontaneous midweek decision to travel to Tempe, AZ to spectate and volunteer at Ironman Arizona. After Kona, I had been in contact with BASE Performance who played a big role in me making it through the brutal Kona run! I rarely make any last minute decisions involving > $100. My thinking...show BASE that I believe in them and commit to them for a bit and who knows what could happen, one day I might like to race IMAZ so this would be a good time to check out the race, and my brother lives in Tempe and we could train together for a few days. Flights were cheap so I said yes.
Ticket booked, I traveled to Arizona.
|"When Steve calls you up at 5 am saying that he's getting on a plane to AZ, you don't ask questions" Basically how it worked.|
The day before the race, I got to meet up with the BASE crew who would be volunteering. Ironman legend Chris Lieto started the company after having a lot of success racing with the products during the last few years of his career.
|Chris Lieto said his blood sugar was low...good thing I was carrying a snack :)|
We set up two tents on the run course providing salt and rocket fuel (a drink mix) for everyone racing. When some one offers you "rocket fuel" at the midway point of an Ironman marathon...don't ask, just drink. We'd run alongside the athletes and ask them if they needed salt or "rocket fuel".
|Our set-up as the racers went by|
|Demonstrating how to use BASE salt, in my swapped Newtons!|
|Giving "high fives" till 11:30, much past bed time but worth it!!|
A few weeks later, I headed back to Minnesota for Thanksgiving. After 10 months, going home was nice. I met up with friends from the glory days (high school) and saw my soccer coach and teacher.
Though it was supposed to be fall break, it did not feel like a "break". In anticipation of a deadline for a research paper I'm working on and finishing grad school this spring, I was working a lot. Since Kona, school has taken up a lot more time for me than it has the past few years. Though I'm only taking three credits, my day is built around spending time
cursing Excel and writing engineering. Most nights after dinner I usually head back to campus to keep working for another few hours before calling it a night. Whenever this happens I get that one Eminem line in my head...
It's been frustrating working on a project this large where I don't have a "finish line" in sight because at this stage it's hard to know how much more work is needed. But all I can control is how hard I work in order to get the job done well.
|With Ernie and Alison at Thanksgiving, always appreciate seeing them.|
|"...that's when it's back to the lab again, yo..."|
Training has been going well as I really try to maximize my efficiency. In terms of swimming, the CSU tri practices have been great. Mace also has me doing at least three strength workouts a week right now. I've enjoyed this as it gets me back to the days of being a gym rat.
|Me back in high school. Training for hockey. We got points for working out...I had a lot of points :) Some of the comments on this old profile picture were pretty good.|
The week after Kona, coach Mace and I sat down to discuss plans for 2016. Some people close to me have known for a few weeks already but our plan for next year is to race in the pro/elite wave.
|If I had a dollar for every time over the past three years people asked me "so when are you going pro" or "are you going to take your pro card" I could buy a car. OK, probably not a car, but a new pair of shoes|
While many would already consider my dedication to training pretty high, by taking my pro card, I will do my best to treat training, recovery and fitness like my job. For one, sleep (now 7-8 hrs/night) needs to become a higher priority. Alicia Kaye recently wrote a blog providing some insight on how seriously pros need to take all aspects (food, sleep, relationships, recovery) of their life, not just training, in order to be successful.
|Not a pro race, but Sweaty Sweater 4 mile race by Green Events this past weekend. Post race hot chocolate, boom. Stryd file here|
So what does that mean? A few things...for the next few years, I'm more than likely going to be broke, working part time and training a lot.
But hey, I'll have a Lululemon discount for being a "pro" athlete!
For me: "back to the lab again, yo"
For you: Thanks for reading and have a great day!