Signs of Ironman blues.
The feeling of something missing in your life – Now time to do something different.
Unusual grumpiness – Tired not fully recovered.
Sadness – Like you have lost a best friend.
Bored -plently of time on your hands
Restlessness – still not ready to resume training.
Sudden mood swings – often as a result of procrastination.
Not Motivated – even to enter a favourite triathlon
The loss of any direction will result in feelings of aimlessness & despondency.
Missing the regular e mails, social support and group sessions that were part of the Ironman training culture.
Depression is a sign you have not fully recovered.
Since Port Macquarie I have been lost, unmotivated, and downright depressed.
I had heard about the post Ironman blues before, but i didn’t think it would happen to me. Looking back though, I placed a lot of importance on this race, on this goal.
I wanted to push my bodies limits and commit to training to see what I could do.
Unfortunately race day didn’t go quite as planned but that’s racing for you!
For the past few weeks I have been feeling like I’m on the brink of tears or a tantrum. Nothing seems to be getting me excited and the littlest problems feel like the biggest issues!
I can honestly say I haven’t felt like this in a very long time.
I think I have been in a bit of denial about it all. How can ONE race have so much influence over my mental health?!
When you focus on one goal, so intensely and for a long period – I guess it’s to be expected that once you have completed it you feel well, empty.
Motivation for every training session was drawn from the desire to complete this race. We suffered through freezing swim sessions and hours on the bike trainer and now it feels almost impossible to get out there in the sunshine! Makes no sense to me.
Coupled with this – the past week I haven’t even been able to run, even if I wanted to! I have been struggling with spasms in my calves which I am hoping will sort itself out with some rest.
So what do you do when struck down with post race blues (or any blues for that matter – any goal you give yourself completely to is bound to stir up similar feelings upon completion)?
1. Remember that you are more than ONE GOAL (or race, event etc)
It’s important to remind yourself that you had other things going on in your life before, during and will continue to, after you have completed this goal. Which brings me to my next point…
When you focus on achieving your goal – so much other stuff gets pushed to the side. Engage with this stuff again! Go out and catch up with friends, pick up the hobbies you had to set aside because you couldn’t justify spending time on them before. Not only will it help you distract you from yourself, it will reinforce the idea that there’s a lot more to life than ONE goal or dream.
3. Take some time out.
Regardless of whether or not you have set some clear goals for the future or you unsure of where to next – take some time out. Take the pressure off and embrace the fact your time is completely yours. It’s difficult but try to relish in the fact you don’t have a strict schedule telling you what to do or where to be – even if it’s only that way for a week or two!
4. When you’re ready set some new goals.
These don’t have to be related to the initial goal or even as big. It could be a goal to rest, spend more time with friends or family. Anything you want!
So for me – I know I need to take some time to rest.
My calves are quite clearly telling me so. But more than that, my mind is telling me I need to.
I fell into this sport and have loved the challenge of it from day one and I want to continue to love it… at the moment I am bored running the same routes and have no desire to run for very long. This is super unusual for me. Instead of trying to force myself to regain the love I’m going to take the approach that it WILL come back IF I don’t force it.
So for the next 2 weeks (after a sneaky race this weekend) I am going to enjoy all the social sport I have had to miss due to training.
Then I am going to try my hand at some trail runs around the area to mix things up and then, when I get back into training I am going to see if I can find some groups to train with…
…oh and spend some more time cooking!!
The bits and pieces
1 C Wholemeal flour (you could use SR Flour, plain was all I had!)
¾ C brown sugar
1 C mixed berries
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
1 C good quality untoasted muesli
¾ C milk
1 tsp cinnamon
½ C olive oil
1 tsp baking powder
Pre-heat oven to 150°C and grease a 12 muffin tray.
In a large mixing bowl, add flour, cinnamon, muesli and baking powder and mix well.
Add in sugar and eggs and mix well.
Add remaining ingredients except for the mixed berries and stir until well combined.
Pop in mixed berries and gently fold through the mixture.
Spoon into prepared muffin tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden on top.
Remove and let cool before devouring!