It seems the more I wish for my training to get back to normal, the more it seems normal is now different.
This week I had a couple good run workouts. First a track-based speed session and second a weekend long run. Since my Ironman training was almost exclusively based on endurance pacing, I did not get the chance to really stretch out my legs and my pace for a long time. As I approach the end of the recovery period I am able to see the signs of improved fitness based upon my performance, while also being reminded by my fatigue that I am not quite fully recovered yet. Still, I like what I see at this point from a performance point of view.
The mental part of my program has been a bit different of a type of recovery. First, I dealt with the desire to quickly get back to training too quickly. I had been so long in a training mode that I seemed to lack the ability to relax and not train. When I realized that I did not have the physical stamina to return to full training I was better able to make that adjustment. Now that I am four weeks out of Ironman Texas I am able to begin a greater level of workout effort, while still realizing that I am also completing my recovery and am not yet ready for workouts longer than 2 hours or so. However, the hardest part of my readjustment was more perception-based. I did not bargain on becoming an example to others with my completion of an Ironman race. Of course part of this is likely because it is easier for them to recognize the physical changes I have been through in this process since I see myself every day and they may only see me periodically. It seems that to some of these friends I have become their example of success in triathlon. It has taken a bit of time, but I have become okay with that. If I can be a positive force for someone else to become motivated or inspired by what I have accomplished, then I have succeeded in ways that I never expected when I began doing running or triathlon events. That is a thought that gives me both personal peace and satisfaction in a way that is hard to describe--and it is probably quite appropriate considering I have friends that that have been my inspiration as well.
As I go forward in my training and competition, I only have two primary goals for my future. Those goals are to do the best I can and be the best example I can be for others.
I am fine if this is what normal means for me now.
Let's get moving forward again.
I am more ready now than ever.