Fifteen days after Ironman Texas finds me having taken some time to spend time with my wife, having spent some time resting and sleeping in and also enjoying an occasional off-diet treat. Somewhat surprisingly I have maintained my pre-IM race weight and even lost an extra couple of pounds (not counting the piece of cheesecake that is waiting for me following this blog post!). In short I have taken some time to stop and smell the roses, and to remember some of the good things that make life worth living.
My post IM period has had it's great moments. I have realized that I have trouble recognizing my own reflection. That is probably more due to my self-image of how I see myself not yet catching up to my actual weight loss and actual physical image. I still keep running into friends for the first time following my IM race and have gotten to enjoy explaining my Ironman stories to them when they ask--and they all do ask. So many people have told me how I have inspired them with my Ironman journey (and believe me it is pretty powerful when people whom you respect a lot call you inspirational!) that I not only feel good for having done something worthy of being a positive example for that many people but I also feel good for having done it for myself. I'd always thought that I had a pretty good self-image of myself, but clearly this process has forced an expansion of that self-image...even if it is still lagging reality a bit.
After a couple weeks of rest, I feel like I am ready to start getting back into some training activities again. I have started to feel restless and done a few light workouts consisting of things that I did because I felt like doing them. Next week has a schedule with a variety of decent workouts, although nothing like my Ironman training period. While nothing I have done recently has really pushed distance or pacing, I have seen flashes of what I expect are signs of how the Ironman training program has improved my overall fitness.
With the extra time that I have had to think recently, I have given thought to my motivations that have propelled my to today. So much of my motivation has been pushed by fear. Fear of losing ground on my program and regaining some of my lost weight, fear of losing the advanced fitness I have gained. In a way, I have always been haunted by the ghosts of wondering what things would have been like if I had always stayed in shape and never gained those 80 some pounds and stayed that way for so many years. I have decided that it is time to lay those ghosts to rest and concentrate on forgetting the things that I cannot control in my past and work towards improving the things I can control in my future. To tell you the truth realizing and deciding this really feels quite liberating, in a way I finally feel like I am going to get to live for myself.
I really do look very forward to the future!