Monday, November 11, 2013

The Best Way To Cope Is…

Some of you asked how I felt the days after the Ironman. I am not sure why, but I had absolutely no soreness or muscle fatigue. I actually felt better than after completing a stand alone marathon. I also did not feel especially tired. Weird. Maybe today I am going to collapse and spend the next week in bed.

That said, I have been warned about something called PIDS: Post Ironman Depression Syndrome. I can completely see how people fall into a slump after training for months towards this goal and achieving it. There is a let down, a feeling of - what now?

Of course PIDS is a First World Problem, right up there with leaving the remote control on the other side of the room or forgetting to bring your phone in with you when you go poop and being bored out of your mind the whole time.

Here is what I’ve been doing all week to cope with PIDS:

Riding an Ironman high. I try to weave it into every conversation. When my daughter complained about riding her bike one mile (downhill, mind you) to school I told her, “Oh, excuse me. Do you remember what I did last weekend? Yeah, that was 140.6 miles. I think you can handle it.” I start every phone message with, “Hello, it’s the Ironman calling.” I know my friends will want to punch me in the labia by the end of the month.

Looking at my body and seeing veins I did not know existed. I had my vitamin D levels checked on Friday and the blood lady got a boner.

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Being distracted. I backed up into a parked car on my street today. I just crashed right into a parked car. Ken just sat there shaking his head. The lady I hit was quite annoyed and it didn’t help when I told her I was an Ironman.

Trying to find my name on this shirt that I got in the mail:

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And, I did!

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Running a 10K. Ken and I did the Turkey Trot on Saturday. I know I’m not exactly supposed to run yet, but PT Bob said I could do it if I took it easy. Right after, I went to a brunch with friends and forgot to bring a change of clothes. I stunk and was quite underdressed, but they were nice about it.

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Using the leaf blower because I like to blow things.

Enjoying a leisurely bike ride with a bit of climbing (Rabbit Mountain).

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Getting pissed off when I realized my bike came back from Tri Bike Transport with my derailleur bent. Still trying to figure out if they will compensate me for the damage.

Eating. I asked Ken to get clearance Halloween candy. Twix and Baby Ruths. I like Baby Ruths the best because you can put them in hot tubs, pools, and people’s beds and make them think it is a turd. They are my favorite edible weapon. Heidi, did you do that? Bad dog.

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Trying to figure out when I can start training for another race (Ironman?) and regretting I did not sign up for the Boulder IM in August 2014. It is now sold out, and when registration opened a few months ago there was no way I was going to sign up.  It would be kind of like being pregnant with your first child and trying to get pregnant with your second child, or something like that. I mean, who even knows if you are going to like your first child enough to have another one?

Celebrating with friends. Sharpie pulled my friends and family together for a celebration. I might have done a shot of tequila and gotten up and danced with my medal when they sang me the birthday song (I don't know if there is an Ironman song, so Sharpie just told them it was my birthday). I think that candle almost lit my crotch on fire.

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I think these are all very good coping mechanisms for PIDS, don’t you?

Have you had a let down after achieving a major goal like a marathon, half marathon, etc.?

What’s your first world problem of the week?

SUAR

61 comments:

  1. I have never felt "down" after my IMs and other long stuff as I had to go back to work on Monday and focus on others and not myself. No time to even think about it.

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    1. Good for you. I just like to focus on myself.

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    2. Um, yeah. I think finishing an IM deserves a hot minute of some self-congratulation!

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    3. Beth, your reply to that comment is my new favorite thing!

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    4. Touche SUAR. Delighted for you and your achievement! Anon comment, surprise surprise...

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    5. Seriously, that is the most ridiculous post ever. You need to shout it from the rooftops for AT LEAST two months. Then you can refrain from shouting and just tell people. :)

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    6. I love your blog today, cracking up....I like that you don't take life or workouts too seriously.

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  2. All this sounds like so much fun, good for you!

    My first world problem: coming into the kitchen on Monday morning only to be confronted by water dripping out of my ceiling as Hubbo showered upstairs. Burst pipe after a new bath was fitted last week. Monday freakin' morning! This week better get better from here on out!

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  3. I've never done an IM, but I know the feelling of accomplishing a goal and then wondering "what now?" once everything settles down. I think signing up for another race is the cure!

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  4. I actually did feel a letdown after my first half marathon this October. Had never run before, committed to it and trained like crazy for six moinths. The next few days after the race I felt a little off. I cured it by signing up for an Olympic distance triathlon in the spring. Now that I have something new to obsess about I feel back on track!

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  5. Congratulations on your race! And not being sore is weird. I couldn't sit down without using my hands for 4 days. You know, I bet there are still community spots open for IMBoulder...

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  6. I really, really, really wish that I could do an Ironman before age 18 (19?) *Le sigh*

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  7. Congratulations on the Ironman status and on successfully coping with your PIDS!

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  8. First world problem of the week: Going on a "me" vacation to see some girlfriends in Phoenix and I am trying to scramble to finish all the work, family and other obligations I need to have done or lined up before I jump on that plane. Stressful enough that I will totally need that vacation. And I plan to squeeze a ton of fun in so I may need a vacation from my vacation when I get back. :)

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  9. I was had severe PLDS (post Leadville....). I'm convinced I'm still not all together there.

    I'd love to go celebrate with you sometime, Beth....let me know if you have some time in the next couple weeks!!

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  10. TBT broke my bike going to and coming back from my Ironman in 2011. They were not responsive by phone or email. I finally got results by posting "you broke my bike" on their facebook wall. They asked that I take it back to the bike shop where I dropped it off for transport and had them fix it, all expenses paid by them. Good luck.

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  11. You are awesome, Beth!! The 3rd name down from yours "Chuck Rose" and I run into each sometimes during our morning runs. He's much much faster than I!! Again, great job!!

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  12. I'm a nurse and those veins scare me! Did the you feel a pop when the phlebotomist put the needle in?

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  13. You are an inspiration! Thanks for being the true you. You make my day!

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  14. Beth, I'm sitting here with tears streaming down my face from laughing. You will recover from PIDS, I think you have the skills. THANKS for a great read! I am almost over my PIDS from IM Lake Tahoe, but I'm told the extreme nature of Tahoe may make my PIDS last a bit longer... So I signed up for the Comrades Ultramarathon. :-)

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  15. Yes! You totally get over it by signing up and starting to schedule training for the next big thing. Glad that your crotch didn't catch on fire at the celebration.

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  16. Thank you for the tears of laughter from your posts. I would put chocolate beside the dogs too but our crazy border collie would end up eating it and them puking on the kitchen floor.

    It is so refreshing to read posts like yours, uncensored and just what everyone else is thinking but afraid to write. Hope your PIDS has some great medication options ... I read somewhere tequila is top of the list for treatment.

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  17. I just spit out my water laughing that the woman in the car you hit wasn't impressed by you being an Ironman! What is her problem?

    My 1st world problem is I am in a 3rd world country and I'm not able to go for a run!

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  18. I had PIDS after Vineman 2012. It lasted for 7-8 months and the thought of going through a of the trouble or training for anything "less" than an ironman was really unappealing. I know that is really dumb and makes no sense but I that's how I felt. So I signed up for Coeur d' Alene 2014 and now I feel better. But no more for awhile after that! Congratulations on your finish, you did really well.

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  19. My friend, Michelle, is in that pic with you. I plan on making her stay with me as I pace at the CO Mar again in May. Now we'll for sure meet one day!

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    1. So cool!! It was great to catch up with Michelle.

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  20. I ran 2600 miles in 2009. Averaging 50 miles a week isn't much for some people, but when 2010 started I didn't want to run at all. So I took up mountain biking! My way of coping with hitting a goal that took 12 months to accomplish. Sarcasm and humor also work well... I'm pretty sure you know that!

    We are under a high wind advisory on Oahu. #FWP #yesilivehere

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  21. Hi Beth. In case your looking for a new challenge for next year. Take a look at the American Zofingen du in NYS.

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  22. Hi Beth. In case your looking for a new challenge for next year. Take a look at the American Zofingen du in NYS.

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  23. I had post-race depression after my first half marathon and had absolutely NO interest in running. Of course, I was already signed up for more races, so I kept moving but it was hard.

    Congrats!!

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  24. SO glad you're feeling super heroic after all you accomplished. I felt a little less super after having a really great race across the country and the next day I was shopping for groceries again. Totally a third world problem. I love all your coping mechanisms. Classic.

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  25. Dying laughing at all of this...don't even know where to start because I loved it so much! Congrats, again, on your amazing accomplishment. It's on my bucket list even though I've never done a single triathlon of any distance. Hope you recover from PIDS soon and I'm sure Boulder will let you into their IM if you simply tell them how famous you are!!

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  26. I just finished my first Half on Saturday and I have been feeling this unexplainable sadness, that is, until I read your blog about PIDS. Thanks for cheering me up!

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  27. Do something different just for the sake of it being different. Do a Run/MTB Biathlon! Or a Tough Mudder. Something fun and different! When you're done, you'll be energized for the next challenge!

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  28. You would think that the lady who you accidentally backed into would have been nicer when she found out that you are an IRONMAN!!!! She should have felt honored!!!
    I think you deserve to celebrate for as long as you want - and then sign up and start all over!!!

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  29. Great post Beth!
    I felt pretty let down after my first half marathon in April. All summer I felt so purposeless and I just ran to keep my mileage up. Though starting a new gym class (BodyPump) gave me some excitment, also looking at October as my new date to start training for something (my first marathon) was a light at the end of the tunnel!!

    Megan

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  30. Enjoy the high. You have had an amazing experience. Now you understand some of the advice you got from me and other Ironmen. You are one of us, now and forever.

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  31. Congrats again. I have no good advice to avoid PIDS since I have yet to finish an Ironman before signing up for another one or two. Not sure what I will do when that is not the case. IM Canada is still open, maybe you could join me =)

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    1. Now that is a thought. Is it still open because it is so damn hard (climbing, etc?)

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    2. Make sure you know if you are entering Ironman Canada, or Roth Challenge. Roth took over the Penticton race and from what I've heard are doing a super job. The Ironman corporation created a new race in Whistler BC. If you do Penticton I promise to come out and cheer for you.
      Oh, and while I've got you, an Ironman joke. You walk into a room of very fit looking people. How can you tell who's done Ironman? Answer. You don't have to, they'll tell you.

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  32. Thanks for the laughs! My daughter thinks I'm CRAZY because I'm sitting here laughing every few seconds. You are amazing!!!!

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  33. I've never come CLOSE to an Ironman. In fact, I'm currently about to wimp out on signing up for a sprint-tri, but I had PHMDS (post half marathon, natch) something fierce after my fall half marathons. I trained and trained and once the races (late Sept and late Oct) were over, I was....

    I had no idea what to do. I have races coming up, but they are 10k or less. Sure, I need to keep my fitness up, but TRAIN. Tough to push past, those syndromes!

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  34. mine is first world and 3rd world wrapped in one. i'm worried i won't get enough training under my belt before my IM (december 1) because I am still getting over typhoid and i was out a month (and before that had dengue and trochanteric bursitis).

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  35. oh, and i had NO soreness after my first IM either (and it was my first marathon ever also). I was,however, SUPER sore after my recent HIM. For me, I think it was an issue of intensity. I participated in teh IM but I RACED the HIM. does that make sense?

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    1. Yes, I do think that is the difference!!

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  36. I get major PIDS after all long races! After my first Ironman I signed up for 7 running races in the two weeks immediately after! But, in my defence, I didn't sign up for any of them in the first 3 days...I just cussed a lot. Unlike you, I was quite sore!

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  37. Leaf blower/sucker will always ease the pain.
    As a nurse, the picture of your veins has been printed and laminated for my pleasure.
    My apologies.
    ;)

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  38. I am also regretting not sigining for Boulder after IMLT this Fall. I took up mountain biking to stave off PIDS.

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  39. I've read your blog for a long time and I hardly ever comment because I'm a loser...but I have to say that you're pretty much my favorite person on the Internet. And the Internet is big. :)

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  40. Good lord woman! I'd be afraid you'd blow the end off the lab tube with those veins!!

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  41. You should end your "I just did an Ironman..." sentence with, "...and I'm not even sore!"

    [Although watch out, because I hear that the deep-seated fatigue/muscle damage can leave you dragging for quite awhile. Although running a 10K and biking some hills ain't too shabby....]

    My current first world problem? I have so much workout gear that I don't stay on top of the laundry that well. So now the bedroom stinks, thanks to the pile of stinky running gear.

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  42. Congrats! It took about 3 weeks before my Ironman Blahs set in.

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  43. Congrats again, seriously amazing! Definitely have experienced let down after a big race. Thats the problem-- we train so hard for months and then one day it's all over...

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  44. It's an amazing achievement. Be proud! Tell everyone, then tell them again, like it's the first time.
    My first world problem of the week is what color to paint the kitchen. I just settled on a very cute house and it has a green kitchen. It's adorable, but it needs to be touched up and I won't be able to get that color again, so I am debating between aqua and a tiffany box blue. Such a problem, I know, don't be hatin'!!!!
    Amy P. Philly runner

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  45. Congrats Beth!! Love the new acronym- cracks me up. Now go enjoy some well deserved R & R!!!

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  46. Oh my God, your joy is infectious! You go girl. Dance, sing, blow leaves. You can do anything you want because YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!

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  47. Horrid PID after IronmanKona in 1988, but didn't last long as I was training for Boston Marathon the next spring....so yeh...get something "biggish" in the oven before IM...

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  48. Speaking of first world problems....I'm packing and planning as I prep to leave for the Philippines Thurs. or Friday for a month. I'm a disaster relief nurse with a large relief organization. We will be setting up a field hospital and our team also provides shelter, food, water, sanitation, water filtration. I'll feel like I just completed an Iron Man, when I get home. I'll think of you pressing on, when I get fatigued or have doubt. JUST SHUT UP AND DO THIS...will be my mantra. :) (not shut up and run....there will be no running while I'm there)

    Hugs
    Kelly in Michigan
    sitesx6@aol.com

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    1. Wow. Just wow. Be safe there and thank you for doing what you do. What is going on over there makes all of this stuff seem very insignificant. BE SAFE.

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    2. Thank you so much. I've been to Haiti 3x, and that is a whole other kind of crazy over there....I think this will trump that for sure. We will do our best to help and bring hope. :)

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  49. Congratulations on your IM finish! And, thanks for the laughs.

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