Training for Ironman can be life-consuming


I just keep trucking right along.

I felt great through my 17 hours or so of training last week, after my “recovery” the week before.

During my “easy weekend” where I only had to run six miles and ride 30 miles (Ha! Sounds crazy doesn’t it?),I was able to spend some time with family and friends and feel like a normal person again.

It was so nice! I got to clean my house really well and prep a bunch of healthy meals for the next few days.

And now this week I am back to being, “Stacey Parisi, who is training for an Ironman.”

It’s hard to feel like anything else. It has just consumed my life.

Friends text or call me wanting to go out to dinner or play volleyball, and I just have to say no.

I am constantly thinking about when I need to eat or what I need to be eating to be fueled for my next workout.

I am thinking about getting to bed by 10 p.m. so I can get at least six hours of sleep.

I can’t really plan much with my family on Saturdays or Sundays because I have long training hours, and I’ll need a nap after my long workouts.

My friend said to me tonight, “What are you going to do when this Ironman is done? You’re going to have so much free time!”

I have to be honest. It’s definitely a worry of mine. I have spent so much time and energy focused on this one goal.

What am I going to focus on next? Will I feel lost when I’m done?

I have heard that a lot of people go through a significant “depression” phase post-Ironman.

They feel lost and without purpose and eventually gain weight or lose their fitness.

I really don’t want that to happen to me.

I feel pretty happy with my body, and I love having a goal to work towards. It’s hard to imagine what I’m going to focus on after Oct. 11 and I don’t need anything else to worry about right now.

I’m trying to stay in the present and mindful of where I’m at. I mainly just think about what workout or workouts I have each day, instead of thinking about all of them for the week.

I focus on getting through the day.

I play volleyball in the backyard with my kids, even though I just got back from a tough track workout and haven’t eaten dinner. I sit and watch a scary TV show with my husband and stay up a little later than I’d like, just to spend time in the moment with him.

I have less than 50 days until one of the biggest days of my life.

I’m going to try to “enjoy” the last tough weeks of training and just keep my eyes on that finish line.

Stacey Parisi is a Seymour native and resident. Her columns will appear regularly in The Tribune as she trains to compete in Ironman Louisville 2015. Send comments to [email protected].

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