What Do You Do After Your Last Race of the Year?

You off-season like it’s your goddamn job. At some point, I’m going to have to explain the art of Bottoming Out to triathletes. But, right now, here’s a list of things I have done in the 13 days since Kona.

  • Got really sick — This is pretty much as predictable as anything in Ironman.
  • Laid on the couch for three days straight. My Fitbit told me I had “zero” active minutes Tuesday through Thursday.
  • Googled like a crazy person — Jobs, flights, plans.
  • I started brainstorming race plans for next year, but those plans are changing basically every morning. I should race Challenge Wanaka! Actually, no, that would be a long Ironman season (for me, at this point). I should do a marathon this winter! (Actually, probably will do this.) Mid-season Ironmans. Late-season Ironmans. ITU Long Course Worlds. Who knows. WHO KNOWS. If you didn’t get an email from me with random plans, it’s probably just because I don’t have your email address.
  • Also, I was planning to bank a ton of work right now, but that’s not going great. So, did some emailing about that and some freaking out.
  • Sorted through 7 weeks of mail and paid bills.
  • Cleaned the house. But did a terrible job.
  • Laid on the couch some more.
  • Ate. Ate. Ate. Drank. Made brownies. Drank more. (There was this weird period where I was impervious to alcohol for about a week. That has passed.)
  • Usually, I’d probably party harder, but I’ve been too sick and tired. Next weekend.
  • Finally, I got off the couch and did some random workouts. I went to a barre class today. You know how many calories my Fitbit says I burned in that class? 97. This is why my Fitbit is fascinating. And also why people need to exercise better. The Fitbit has also been giving me an estimated calculated VO2 max — which it says has dropped 3 points since Kona. I’m not actually sure that’s how VO2 max works?

I always give myself a solid 3-5 weeks after my last big race of the season to do whatever I want. Cookies and beer for dinner. Sword-fighting workout classes. Shows and drinks and Halloween parties. Whatever. Usually I hit a point where I’m eating melted cookie dough out of a bowl by the spoonful and all of a sudden am like, ‘Oh God, I think I just hit rock bottom.’ I was so ready to be done this year, so tired, I thought I wouldn’t want to even think about triathlon for at least a month. Usually, I can lay on the couch like a professional. Usually, I can be a bigger drunk than any full-time drunk. But, I dunno. Maybe I hit a new level of training this year. Maybe I drank a lot of beer throughout the year. Maybe I’m just fidgety and ready to start this racing as a pro thing. (Oh, yeah, in case it’s a huge surprise: I’m upgrading to race pro now, and I’m trying to actually be a real professional about things.) It’s not like I want to race right now — and I had no desire to even think about another race right after Kona — and it’s not like I can even fathom the idea of being back on a training schedule again so soon. But I’m almost ready to go. Almost. Just another week or two of bottoming out.

4 thoughts on “What Do You Do After Your Last Race of the Year?

  1. Interesting that it’s the melted cookie dough by the bowl that marks rock bottom… for most, it would be the drinking.

  2. I mean. Your Kona race report was incredibly inspiring, but this? This was the post I was waiting for. I have new aspirations for post-CIM bottoming out and I am inspired to achieve.
    Speaking of fitness devices and numbers they tell you, I am fascinated by how my FR 235 gives me like a number of how many hours of recovery time I need after every run, and I really really want to know what it tells someone who just did an Ironman in less than 11 hours. Probably like 6287.

    1. I basically only wear my Fitbit because, well, I was given it and to see overall trends. Like last week I slept an average of 9 hours, 35 minutes/night. But, yeah, its, uh, definitely not designed for someone who is actually working out. It keeps not believing me, like no, no, we think you only biked 12 miles not 30. And when I told a fitbit person it was wrong, they wanted to know how I knew. Uhh, because I was running 6:00 pace hard, not 10:30 pace. Duh??

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