My Ironman Cozumel Experience | Thoughts the Day After

I wrote this post the day after Ironman Cozumel. Enjoy! Next post will include hormone summary from pre-training and post race.

Ironman Cozumel finish Hungry. That’s how I feel.

Several people have asked how I feel or suggested I feel proud of the accomplishment after finishing my 6th Ironman yesterday (as I create this post to capture my thoughts fresh).

There’s simplicity in that. Just hungry. Tired. Good tired. The kind solved by sleep. How different is that from the tired of technology frustrations, fatigue from hours at a keyboard or screen? It’s refreshing.

In fact, I was quite a “hot mess” last night at about 11pm heading back to my hotel in a shuttle. But this morning I see fewer wrinkles, less reason to put on make up, because of the fresh perspective that starts inside and makes its way outward.

The Ironman Cozumel training

This Ironman Cozumel journey has been so very different than the 5 Ironman before it. Training has fit in (or not) to travel, work, projects, presentations, and then there’s the fact it began with a reduced volume training schedule.

I didn’t run much at all. I am paying for that in my quads a bit today but even now 8 hours after waking (at 4 am) they’re much better. Thanks to good nutrition, sleep, and recovery strategies. Thankfully, it’s always best to do less, show up “undertrained” better rested than over trained. So it is with hormones. Less is often best for balance that provides weight management, muscle tone, and energy.

So though you may not look at the training I did for Ironman Cozumel as “less” it’s relative. Less according to your goals and with your signs & symptoms dictating. If you have chronic fatigue or weight loss resistance you may need less.

The Ironman Cozumel experience

Ironman Cozumel bikeOne of the most important things I’ve been reminded of recently is the importance of surrounding yourself with like-minded people. People who are doing what you’re doing or what you want to be doing make you feel both at home and inspired to take the next step.

Among the people I’ve come to call friends this trip are a triathlon coach from Spain, who finished in just over 9 hours, a husband and wife who celebrated his 37th birthday by doing Ironman, hers a PR by 30 minutes and his closer to 15 1/2, Dexter, who at 72 is breaking records and barriers for aging, Kim, and Tim both from Canada coincidentally. Tim I can thank for minimizing road rash under my arm pits, yet another unsexy thing about this triathlon experience. Some hoping for a podium finish, a spot to go to Kona, and others to finish. There we all were pre-race, different but same. Same thoughts, same gut check, same reality of both the magnitude and insignificance of what we’re about to do.

Then there’s that third lap in the marathon. The one where you’re 133 miles into a 140.6 mile day and every part of your body is screaming “stop” and your brain wants to listen. You’re arguing with it. That’s when demons come out. There’s physical stuff to be sure: fatigue, soreness, maybe dehydration or electrolyte imbalance. But most of all its your brain you have to shut off. Racers shuffle, walk, put their heads down, and stop at the curb to lose their cookies now. They desperately want both to finish and stop.

You can train to prepare your hips, your quads, and your hamstrings. You can’t predict the blister on your toe from a wrinkle in your sock or the way your toes feel slamming against the front of your shoes for 13 hours.

What’s After Ironman Cozumel?

Last night, Susan McNamee called to me from the racecourse, “I’m never doing this again.” I laughed. “Right,” I said. “Until tomorrow.”

You forget the bad parts. The brain works in your favor to do that. You can change anything uncomfortable right now into a distant memory.

You just have to be hungry for that.

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