I think one of the hardest things to deal with in the days immediately after completing a race that has been your primary focus for almost a year, is the sense of “What do I do now?” Ok so you also have to deal with the sore legs, ribs, blistered feet, and in the case of Lanzarote the blistered sunburn.
My sunburn was pretty bad on my forearms, and on my knees in the gap between my tri-shorts and my calf guards. I wasn’t even aware of it until I got into bed after the race. I didn’t sleep much because I was drunk on adrenaline, but also every time I moved it hurt like hell as my damaged skin bristled and throbbed. No amount of aftersun was going to help my nuclear glow. Getting back to the UK I went to the chemists and then to the doctor and the use of hydrocortisone cream helped me heal, so now I just look like someone attacked me with a cheese grater.
The rest of my body seems to have gotten away quite lightly, two big blisters on the ball of each foot ( probably from wet socks – pouring water over myself in the heat ) which have now gone thanks to the blister plasters. My left foot is still numb, not for the first time in an Ironman I lost all feeling in it about half way round the bike course. If I grab the 3 middle toes on the foot I can’t actually feel anything, last time I think it took the foot a few months to heal.
My legs feel decidely fresh and as such I ran home from work last night, my nike lunarglide running shoes felt normal on my feet, not heavy at all, which after a marathon I sometimes get. I changed to these this year and I love them, I have a new pair to wear after the Outlaw. They aren’t as built up as my previous shoes and I think that may be a factor in why my legs feel fresher now? But that of course is annecdotal. You could also argue that it was due to the wearing of compression calf guards or even running slowly? Very difficult to pinpoint, anyways the point I’m waffling about is my legs felt fine and the 3 mile recovery run was done at an average pace of 8.50 min/mile.
Throw in some light cycling and swimming this week and I’ll be training again properly next week for the ‘new’ focus of my efforts: The Outlaw Ironman distance event in Nottingham. I have 33 days until I put my body through this all over again, it’s going to be an interesting experiment to see if I can do it.
So the road to Ironman number 5 has begun, I’ll be treading very carefully in the next few weeks.