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How to Properly Recover From Ironman

Posted Oct 26 2013 10:44am
I'm sure some of you will be looking for a post about how to sit around, feet up, replacing electrolytes and getting massages.  While I'd love to write that post, after the final race of the season, recovery was a bit different and not to mention that I WAS STILL IN HAWAII!  You can't be sad about that!  Kyle came in a bit later so we were able to tack a few days on the back side of the trip to chill out.  In no particular order, here's a lesson on recovering physically and mentally from your Ironman (it's helpful if you are in Hawaii to complete these activities, but you certainly can re-create them in your city or town of choice!).  What do you need to do?  Simple! Here it is!

Attend the Powerbar Breakfast where you will be treated with the most amazing breakfast spread you have ever encountered!  We are talking muffins, pancakes, fruit, bacon and an omelet bar where you can make your own personal creation of deliciousness!  You will also be given a bag where you can load up on your favorite gels, blasts or bars and then you will debate how you can get it all in your suitcase without being over 50 lbs on the way home.

Stake your claim and go fishing for the big one! 

Kyle has wanted to go deep sea fishing since the FIRST time we traveled here in 2008.  Every since then (well, 2011) we take a look, say it's too expensive and put the idea out of our minds. Not this year!  We finally decided that we may not be back for awhile and it was our little splurge for a possible once in a lifetime experience.  Plus, Kyle's been really awesome all year to put up with my butt so let's be honest, he needs some fun to look forward to as well on these trips!  We headed out on Tuesday at daybreak in search of Marlin.  High season is July 15th to August 15th, so we knew we were taking our chances and may not see a single fish!  The captain and first mate were fun to get to know and while we heard MANY interesting "fish tales" we did NOT get to reel in any marlin.  I had visions of Kyle and I hooking a big one and throwing it back to sea, but it wasn't meant to be! 

Looking a clear blue water and taking naps in the shade of the second level wasn't so bad let me tell you!  It was one of my most relaxing days and I didn't regret us taking a chance!

Thank those who have helped you along your way! Coach Jesse has been an integral part of this year.  He's helped me build confidence, race smart and learn what it really takes to be a true professional (which I am still learning, trust me).  He's been there for me over the past two years in the good times and bad.  I couldn't have asked for a better guide on this journey!  THANK YOU Jesse!

Attend a party with lots of fellow sunburned, chaffed athletes who you usually see in spandex!  It was a great evening with the QT2 crowd at the "Kona After Party"!  The drinks were flowing and the laughter and stories of the day were in full swing!  One thing I did NOT plan on is getting pulled out for drug testing so I missed half the party.  I asked the USADA if they knew I placed 22nd (aka, I didn't win the thing), but they didn't seem to care!  I got to fill out a whole EXTRA form since I had a drink prior to their arrival before getting my blood sample. It was worth it!

Hang with the girl who's been your partner in crime all season!  Girls who race together and wear party dresses together, stay together as friends!  Jennie cracks me up.  She literally makes me laugh out loud, often.  I've seen her grow as an athlete and competitor and many of the growing pains we've gone through together in this professional transition. I still remember sitting next to her at my first pro race ever last year in Galveston, Texas.  There were some ups and downs as we both were trying to qualify for Kona.  We both know we are very well matched on the course and will be close in most of our races, but we've found a way to look past the competitive part and know each other are always rooting for each other to do our best.  Let the chips fall where they may!  She has many more years ahead of her in the sport and it's been fun being a part of her beginnings!

Raise a glass with the girl who accompanied you on a 9 hour ride this season!!  Neither Katie nor I were qualified to go to Hawaii back in June.  That didn't mean we weren't on our quest to become the best athletes we could be at that point.  When coach told me he wanted me to do the hardest ride I'd ever seen, I wasn't exactly thrilled, but doing it with Katie made it do-able!  She stuck it out with me through some of my real low points!!  She's become a great friend and I admire her as a truly great athlete!  Can't wait to see what she puts together next year!

Relax by the sea in your NormaTec Recovery Boots with a fruity drink!  Okkkkk.. it WAS for a photo shoot, but don't you worry, I DID get to drink that drink!

Hug those you love and tell them how much they mean to you!  Thank you Kyle!!  It has been a great year and I couldn't have done any of it without you!

Admire the beautiful sights around you and thank your lucky stars that you are healthy and have the opportunity to do what you love.  I could focus on the negative aspects of the race, but why!  I'm going to focus on the things I did well and how far I've come this year as an athlete, coach and dietitian. I love my career(s), the chances I've taken, and the people I've surrounded myself with along the way.  Sure, we'll be flat broke when we get back, but we'll find a way to make it work! We always do! 

Eat a HUGE pan of lasagna with friends! Thank you Dan and Gloria for an awesome dinner and had so much fun seeing my new friends, Nick, Andres, Kelli, Krista, Chris and others!  We had a blast chatting about life and sport!  Let me tell you, this WAS as good as it looked!

Snuggle your toes in the sand, snorkel with brightly colored fish and spend the day with your husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend who has supported you all season.  We had a nice relaxing day on the beach out of town on our final day in Hawaii.  It was just what the doctor ordered!

Eat the wild mushroom pizza at Kona brewing!  No, I mean it.  Do it!! It was my favorite!  We did a half tai chicken and a half of this beauty and it was so so good!  In some ways, I can still taste it!  Oh wait, that was probably because I got right on the 9pm flight to San Fran and there was WHOLE cloves of garlic on this baby!  Sorry to my plane mates!!  I ate every last one of them!  It was the perfect end to a great trip!  I've been looking forward to that pizza since 2011.  No kidding!!

Next I'll be talking about my off-season adventures which have so far included
sitting on the couch
more sitting on the couch
drinking wine
talking on the phone
and you guessed it...
more sitting.

My back hurts!  I'm actually excited that next week I'll be back to a little bit of activity so I can get my body moving again!

I leave you with this thought...

The best journies answer questions, that in the beginning, you didn't even think to ask! 

Thanks for the kind words on the last blog!  I read every one!  Happy off-season or training for those who have already started!! 
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