How to properly recover after a Half-Ironman

So after Saturday’s Half-Ironman race I decided that there was only one way to recover:

  • Step 1: Depart (limping) finish area 90 minutes after completing race
  • Step 2: Race to the airport 80 miles away (via car, not biking/running or swimming)
  • Step 3: Catch a flight that goes south.  Like say 3 hours south.
  • Step 4: Arrive at destination.  In a different country.  Preferably a different time zone.
  • Step 5: Order a Margarita or two..and enjoy.


While normally I plan international trips a bit more in advance (a few weeks), this one had only about 4 days of planning.  My parents were going on vacation to Ixtapa for a week and in short convinced me to take the short three hour flight from Oceanside down to Ixtapa.  And the flight was super-cheap.  So here I be.  Well, it’s short lived – only three days, heading back tonight.

But I wasn’t a completely unproductive person.  I got in about a 45 minute easy ride yesterday and a 40 minute run today.  Plus I snorkeled, that’s intense physical exertion right there.  The ride was really nice – they’ve got this 10KM or so perfectly paved bike path (no, not a running path – a bonafide ‘Ciclopista Plano’) that wanders through a nature preserve and then along the coast.  Rather cool actually, even wandered by some gator’s (or are they crocs?).  I eventually ended up at a deserted beach, where I took the below photo of myself.  Well actually, my camera situated on a coconut took it.  Yes, seriously…a coconut.  I have a photo of the coconut too.


(Yes, I had my bike with me – what else was I supposed to with it after the race?)

And here’s Mr. Gator hanging off the side of the bike path down a bit near the water.  I think he wanted dinner.  I think he might of thought I looked like dinner.  Perhaps like a big packet of gel.


And here’s my departing the scene of Mr. Croc after contemplating his dinner choices.  Practicing my aero per my lessons learned from the weekend..6 seconds at a time.


(Note: I’m becoming the grand-master of using my little camera to videotape myself and then grab screen captures for photos, much easier than timing it to the 10 seconds the auto-release has)

But I was productive in other ways.  In 35 minutes swimming today I covered roughly 50 yards while snorkeling (two days previous I covered 1.2 miles in the same time period).  I saw a few fish.  Here’s the obligatory bad blue fish photo.  One fish, not two fish or red fish.


And then after I was done chasing the local fish I would sit on the bottom of the ocean, and stare up at the sky and blow bubbles.  And then take photos of the bubbles.  Yes, I’m easily amused.  Here’s my bubble blowing art:


Occasionally I’d hike a few hundred yards away and look at the pokey plants.  And take a few photos.


After all of that, I’d sit around and watch the sunset.  And eat some nachos and drink some more margaritas.  And stuff myself with very good sit down Mexican food that’s cheaper than Taco Bell.


And then…I’d repeat it again another day.


Unfortunately, now I have to catch my plane back to reality.  And reality is 44* and raining.  Reality sucks.


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  1. aaaaaah. recovery!!! i hope to do something similar in brasil after the big day. and great pics!! i was wondering how you got photos of you in action!

    you got in on the good weather here too. the temps have dropped and we’re expecting rain. now at least you didn’t have THAT on race day!!

  2. Perfect recovery session!

  3. Great recovery plan!
    (Margaritas have the Power of Electrolytes)

  4. 3 hours on a plane after doing a HIM must suck. But then again 3 hours on a plan is a small price to pay to go to Xtapa for 3 days of eating, drinking, and snorkeling. I tried to feel bad for you, but then I realized that I’m limping around HERE, back in reality.

  5. You definitely know how to live. Your recovery plan is the best I have seen.

  6. I hate you now, I’m just sayin’….

  7. nice. yeah sunday night i had a nice big tri-tip (beef) dinner with some beer and hot tub action… this week i’ll do a light swim on wednesday but no running or anything til thursday probably. water polo tonight. very cool randomly finding your blog after spending bathroom-line time together! see ya next year! (my girlfriend wants to do it next year for sure!)

  8. That sunset looks beautiful! I hope you enjoyed it while it lasted… won’t be seeing that when arrive back in DC!

  9. Is this in the official HIM recovery plan? Cuz if it is, I might have to TRADE UP!

    Great photos. You’re a magician. Don’t give away your tricks!

    yeah, i was feeling sorry for you having to race to the airport and jump on a flight.

    Not so much now.

    and reality doesn’t suck. It BITES!

    (P.S. I changed someone’s flat today at work. Just. Because. I. Could.)


  10. SLB

    Oh so that’s how you do it! I just ordered a gorilla tripod off ebay we’ll see how that goes?

    Some well earned RnR. Although I am more of a Daiquiri kinda guy myself!

  11. I am glad that your Margarita recovery plan worked!!!

    I am glad you got your ass back to reality here in the cold and wet!!!

  12. There’s a margarita in the first picture…..I missed that 🙂

  13. Nice! Good job at CA 70.3! Those are some smokin’ times!

  14. Sounds like a wonderful place to recover – except those gators would have scared the crap out of me, had I seen them on the side of a road while on my bike!

  15. Tough recovery plan, you should have taken it easy, maybe relaxed in the warm sun….. oh, you did 🙂

    Sounds like a great trip, sometimes the best trips are spur of the moment. Hope reality warms up soon.

  16. Man! I want that recovery plan. All I indulged in after my 1/2 IM this past Sunday was a Dr. Pepper made with pure cane sugar.

    It was heaven though…

  17. glad, i backtracked on your past posts while i was gone…great stuff her on your trip..

    congrats on the race and wow..what a recovery session, globetrotter..