I've always compared training for the Ironman to pregnancy, the race to the birth and the depression you have afterwards to post-partum. Now, I've still never had a baby, so I can't say with certainty how these two compare (feel free to share if you've done both!), but I imagine the highs, lows, exhaustion, excitement and fear are similar.
The big difference between the two is that when you have a baby (and deal with post-partum or not) is that you get to continue to make goals. You now have this bigger (more exhausting) thing to do and take care of. You life now has MORE purpose, not less. However, after the Ironman, you go through this depression, this waffling, this "what in the world am I supposed to do today?" thing. My goal is over...now what?
My life has been rigidly scheduled for a year. Every minute of everyday. I rarely went out during the week because I needed to eat healthy, get chores done, save money, and be in bed by 8pm...it's tough to do all that in one night! Tommy and I would go on dates but we were always home by 9...our dinner reservations were at 6pm when all the blue hairs eat. IronTrish describes my feeling post-Ironman perfectly...
Nonetheless, the change is welcome and I'm enjoying it...but I do feel like I lack a purpose. Knowing that that Houston Marathon is in January and then Florida 70.3 in May are helping keep me semi-focused, but I know that a month of losing focus is actually a good thing. It's just hard for us goal oriented people. I miss my schedule!!
So, we've been getting chores done, sleeping in (only a little!), relaxing a bit and enjoying each other! We have a date this weekend - we got tickets to The Sound of Music and then plan on using a gift card to the Red Cat Jazz Cafe for some late night jazz. Staying up till midnight has never been my forte, but practice makes perfect, right? Maybe THAT can be my new training goal!