Now, by "off" I certainly don't mean OFF. But I mean no schedule, no intervals, no anything I don't like to do. Sonja gave me some rough parameters for the month - essentially do not exceed X time per sport and nothing hard at all - and I added some of my own. I would not completely ignore running for the month (because that makes the comeback so much more painful), I would swim as much as I wanted and bike with friends. I would lift a little to try and wake up my sleeping left glute and I would eat whatever I wanted and sleep as much as I could. My only real goal for the month was to see just how much weight I could gain.
The day after the race, I did not rest. Instead, the poet and I wandered around the town.
We hiked about 15 feet up Tubbs Hill and then sat on a rock for a while enjoying the sunshine.
Next, I took an ice bath in the lake.
And then we did about 30 minutes of extremely easy spinning on a paddleboat before proceeding directly to the nutrition parts of recovery (I definitely followed this with ice cream for dinner).
I think I swam a little the morning we got home, but as Graham deteriorated, all thoughts of recovery went out the window. I spent the next five days not exercising, driving back and forth to the vet, sleeping in three-hour increments and living on the crumbs of food that was left in my cabinets before we departed for Idaho. That plus the massive dump of cortisol into my blood had me feeling pretty awful after a few short days. On Friday afternoon, my mom took us out and fed us a huge and complete lunch and then dropped us home for matching 4-hour naps. I think Saturday night was the first night we slept eight hours in a row, and on Sunday afternoon when we learned Graham was coming home, I got back in the pool for a very easy swim.
Since then, I've been in the pool quite a bit, run a handful of times, and tootled around on my bike. I waited until 10 days post-IM to start running, and I have yet to go further than 40 minutes. Everything else has been a mish-mash of times, but all easy (except for the 700 meters I "raced" on Sunday). I don't feel quite caught up on my sleep yet as I'm still passing out 8-10 hard hours every night, and my nutrition and hydration are both definitely still taking a beating.
But as of today, 3.5 weeks post-race, I am starting to feel a bit...interested in training again. I've got a couple more weeks of my "do whatever" plan, and I'm going to milk it for every lazy and hungover morning I can. I don't feel quite ready to jump in just yet. The draggy feeling in my legs as I pop off three very slow miles lets me know that there is still some deep healing going on, and I'm okay with that. I think it's important to take this kind of time off - although I think trying to gain ten entire pounds in a month is a bit ambitious, but I want to try - and just let loose. I did it last winter for about 2ish weeks in December and it got me ready to buckle down into training, and I'm sure that my mojo isn't gone forever right now, it's just taking a well-earned vacation. And I know that I may be recovering just as hard from so much stress and worry about Graham than I am from racing 140.6 miles.
I do know that it won't be too long before I start reintroducing vegetables to my diet and clearing the pantry of Oreos and chocolate and Doritoes and toning down the booze and up the protein shakes. I've got a fun and full fall schedule almost completely planned, and I'll need to buckle back down into good training to make it all happen. But until then....please pass the beer.