It has been a glorious 5 days since the Ironman.
Mostly because it’s been a non-stop celebration of the event, and because I’ve not done a darned bit of exercise since the event.
Monday I felt pretty tired, as would be expected. I went to the expo that morning to purchase some finishers gear. There was a finisher jacket, which I purchased online because the line to get into the tent was absolutely ridiculous. It took an hour just to get into the store. I also purchased a robe, an icon for my car, two shirts, lounge pants, a cup, a robe, and a beanie.
What the hell right? I’ll never do this again. All week I’ve worn Ironman stuff. I think I’ve earned it.
And I mean that. I thought about it right after the event. Now that I know I can do this, the natural inclination would be to think about another. But I think that would cheapen it somehow. It wouldn’t mean as much if I did it again. This way, I know I am an Ironman and don’t have to keep that lifestyle. I can go back to lower distances and know that I am doing them because I want to do them, not because I am not capable of more.
We ended up going back Tuesday because it just plain made sense. I had done what I set out to do, and it was no longer necessary to keep my wife and my dog in Louisville. On Wednesday, I contacted a local tattoo shop and they happened to have an opening so I took it and got my tattoo. You can see it below:
I loved the reaction in the tattoo shop when I went in. All week I’ve been in a place where everyone knew exactly what the IM is. I went into the shop and said “So Sunday I did an Ironman” and their reaction was nonplussed: “And?”.
The tattoo is pretty much exactly what I wanted. They did a great job. I anticipated lots of people asking me if the tattoo hurt, and I have an answer ready: “Not as much as earning it did”.
Over the last week I have recovered faster than I thought I might. Tuesday was a hard day because I was in the car all day, but by Thursday I felt 100% again. Each day I got around better than I anticipated.
So whats next? Well, I have a half marathon in November that I will start running for on Monday. It’s more formality than anything, something to give myself something to do. I really don’t need to do any more than maintain fitness to do that.
Second, I want to readjust my intake and body weight. I was taking in 3-4K calories a day for the weeks leading up to the event. Now, I’m not needing near that many so I need to get my body to adjust to lower calorie levels again, preferably before Thanksgiving. I’m already down to 172 despite not doing any exercise because my body is shocked by 1500-2000 calories a day again.
On Monday I go back to work. It’s been a good break, but I am ready to have a normal week again.
So I go into my weekend nursing my new tattoo (harder than I thought when I got it) and looking forward to new adventures. This one is done. I made it.
I am an Ironman for the rest of my life.