It's a challenge...one that might require a touch of luck as well. As the countdown to Kona entered 10 days I started to think a little bit about all the training I would NOT be doing after the race. Funny thing, this is never the case. In order for the mind to recover our body craves getting out there and pounding the pavement with some easy training sessions. This year a funny thing happened. I wouldn't allow myself to even consider pounding the pavement (running nor biking) right after Kona. I learned the easiest way to chill out and recover after an ironman is to immediately sign up for another...with a 6 week turn around.
After Hawaii it was "hurry up and recover." During this time I consulted with some pretty amazing athletes and coaches to figure out whether my body could perform at its full potential in Arizona. Most told me I'd get back to Cali and the intense craving to race again would dissipate. It didn't!!
The first time I added a bit of intensity into my training I almost died. Seriously, I think I had a mild heart attack. That's all fine and good considering my first intensity workout was the Swamii's group ride. Problem is, the heart attack came on the first hill, before the real accelerations even begin. I quickly learned that 2 weeks is not enough time to recover from an ironman. So I changed my mental focus from "ironman training" to "ironman maintaining."
Turns out it took almost 4 weeks until I felt I started feeling decent again. The HR and speed numbers were right on AND my heart rate had finally started recovering quick after intense efforts. I've enjoyed some awesome training sessions since Kona! My longest ride was only 4hours. Shannon kept me honest on that one!
Then Terry offered up a great trainer to mile repeat workout for Kate, Kim and I! From the outside it looked like I was on again, but it hurt way more than 6:15mile repeats did before Kona!!!
With 3 weeks to go Cervelo came through with my new hot ride for IMAz:
I thought I'd repeat my 2 week taper that I used for Kona. But with 2 weeks to go I was finally feeling good. So I went back to the drawing board and started picking everyone's brain again. I kept up the intensity through the week and now I'm ready for a taper. Everyone's advice was to keep the ride under 4 hours and only do one 2 hour run. So I did. It leaves me feeling a bit strange leading into Arizona, but we'll see how it plays off. I know I need to remember all those long training sessions I put in pre-Kona...not to mention the tough ironman race I deposited in the bank.