Iron(wo)man Meghan Manion on recovery, racing and relationships

MeghanManion2

Meghan Manion will tell you that her Ironman finish last fall is a testament to what an “average” person can do with with proper training and coaching, but I happen to think it’s more about someone who lives her life putting a little (or a lot) “extra” in the ordinary.

And, clearly, I wasn’t the only one inspired by my interview with her about that 140.6 race experience; it’s been one of the most popular posts, most likely because her positive attitude and outlook are simply infectious.

So I thought it’d be fun to sit down again with Meghan to check in on what she’s been up to since swim-bike-running her way around the Sunshine State.

KineticFix: Thinking back to those first few days (and weeks) post-race, can you walk us through the recovery process after your Ironman?

Meghan Manion: When I woke up the morning after my Ironman, I remember my eyes welling up with tears, just realizing that I had really done it. It all kind of sunk in at that moment.

My next thought was that I was hesitant to move for fear of intense pain! I moved slowly, and quickly realized that I was feeling just fine. No chafing, no soreness, no joint pain at all. I walked normally to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I did not expect that to be the way my morning went!

I’ll attribute the lack of chafing to four generous smearings of Chamois Butt’r throughout the day. The lack of pain….I’m still pondering that. I think the most likely answer is that Team Z just prepared me THAT well for the Ironman.

Photo courtesy of Gabrielle Petersen

Photo courtesy of Gabrielle Petersen

I definitely continued training after the race in all three sports, but at a much lower intensity. My motivation did start to fail as the winter arrived; however, I had signed up for the Goofy Challenge (Saturday half marathon, followed by Sunday full marathon) in Disney World two months after the Ironman to give me something else to work for through the winter.

That helped a little bit, but I definitely could have trained better for the race! In March, I ran the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach, feeling not very prepared, but actually ended up with a PR that day!

Ironman does some crazy things to your body; it is incredible how much stronger I feel, even months later.

Photo courtesy of Felipe Wells

Photo courtesy of Felipe Wells

KF: I saw that you just completed another Half Ironman recently, too! What are your other race aspirations this year – triathlon, running, or otherwise?

MM: Yes! I did Ironman Raleigh 70.3 in June. I had raced Raleigh last year as a member of a relay team (I did the bike leg). After that race, I knew that I wanted to do the entire thing this year.

The swim there is fantastic. I had a rough day, including a complete tire blow-out about two miles from the bike finish! I carried my bike the last two miles that day. These things happen!

I’ll also be racing a Rev 3 Williamsburg on June 15. I’m doing the Olympic distance there, and I’m really excited to head back to Williamsburg. I raced the 70.3 last year, and it was my first half distance race.

Even more exciting, I met my fiancé Nate at that race last year, and we are both looking forward to reliving that first meeting. And after Williamsburg, Nate will be focusing on training for his first Ironman in Chattanooga in September, so I will most likely follow him around to whatever races he finds useful in his training.

Photo courtesy of Matt Koirtyohann

Photo courtesy of Matt Koirtyohann

KF: Speaking of…you two just got engaged (congrats!).  Any tips you can share for successfully balancing a relationship with training, racing and other commitments, since he’s a fellow triathlete?

MM: Nate and I were engaged on May 1, and we are planning our wedding on the beach in Florida in November! What an exciting year it has been.

We both love having triathlon as a shared interest, and we will always have it as the thing that brought us together. We aren’t able to train together much, because I cannot keep up with Mr. Speedy Pants. But every once in a while we will run together, or go on a casual ride.

We definitely enjoy racing together, or just being there for each other’s races. I think we motivate each other to get out and get the workouts in, too!

Photo courtesy of Stacie Edington

Photo courtesy of Stacie Edington

Thanks, Meghan, for taking the time to chat. And here’s wishing you just as much success and happiness in the second half of your year! 

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