One of the things that I read up on quite a bit prior to competing in Louisville was the road to recovery following completion of an Ironman. Though I am fortunate to have a coach working with me to guide me through the recovery process, I was still anxious about balancing maintenance of hard-earned fitness with the need to let my very badly beaten down body recover from the ordeal.
I'd read beforehand that, in general, swimming comes back to normal performance levels first, followed by biking, with running coming back many weeks later. Based on how last week went, I think that's pretty accurate. By Saturday, I was swimming at my normal paces, and was able to move towards a more normal bike speed on Sunday.
My running, however...well, it'll come. No need to push distance or pace and risk injury.
Monday: A holiday, which gave me a chance to get in a nice 24.6 mile bike rid on Beach Drive with Rachel, only partially in the rain. She kindly waited up for my very dead legs the last half of the ride.
Tuesday: 2500 yards of swimming in the evening. Not feeling the urge for fast stuff yet.
Wednesday: The first post-Louisville run! A run on the track, just shy of 3.1 miles, at a very slow pace.
Thursday: A rest day, with very stiff legs from the oh-so-long 5k jog the night before. Four miles of walking around to do errands and loosen up the legs in the evening.
Friday: 24.8 miles of biking in the morning, mostly at Hains Point with Team Felt (in other words, Beth and Tim, with Mark hanging out to take pictures).
Of course, we were all wearing bike jerseys from our summer 2012 Ironman races. Did you expect anything else?
About an hour in, my legs – and sit bones - reminded me that they hadn’t forgotten what I’d done to them 11 days earlier in Louisville. But the hour before that was nice.
In the evening, I did my yearly pilgrimage to a yoga class, to reassure myself that I still hate it. I will, however, push my stubbornness aside for a minute to admit that my hips and quads were much looser after the hour-long class.
Saturday: 3400 meters of swimming with DCRP Masters, finally closing back in on my pre-Louisville paces. Recovery?
Sunday: 6 miles of still-stiff running in the morning, followed by a quick 12.8 mile bike ride on Beach Drive, which felt absolutely awesome and fun until the climb back up Tilden to get home.