What Happens After Ironman? By Lisa Moran

Here’s a story of a young woman who completed her first Ironman. Find out what happened after that…

Lisa Moran….you are an Ironman.  These are the magical words I dreamt about for the one year leading up to Louisville Ironman 2018.  On the cold and wet evening of October 14, 2018 I in fact heard those words over the roar of the thousands of people cheering me on.  It was the climax of a journey of a lifetime.  Today, just 4 months later, I sit and wonder if I would do it all again knowing how I would be feeling post Ironman.

A little bit about me.  I am a 46-year-old mother of 5 beautiful children.  I work as a special education teacher in a low-income district on Long Island.  My life is BUSY…but I love it that way!  I have dabbled in endurance sports for the past 12 years. 

Before that I had very little interest or ability when it came to sport.  I was introduced to running as a way to lose some baby weight and quickly fell in love.  I was never super fast but loved the changes it brought to me both physically and mentally.  I was able to drop the “baby weight” and gained confidence and made life long friends through running.

About 6 years ago, I slowly became interested in triathlon.  I moved from sprint to Olympic to 1/2-ironman distances in a very natural progression.  I did however maintain that only CRAZY people would commit to a full ironman distance.  I just couldn’t wrap my brain around 140.6 miles of constant movement. 

Lisa Moran, the author and Ironman

Until one day I was at my local gym speaking with an elderly woman at the pool.  She shared with me that she completed her first Ironman at the age of 64.  I expressed to her that I could never do something like that.  Her response, “If you think you can , you will, and if you think you cant, you wont.  You have to want it.” It was really a turning point for me.  Maybe I did really want this and maybe I really could achieve the craziest of crazy goals.  She planted the seed.  Form there all it needed to do was grow! 

So, with the full support of my entire family and all my friends, I committed to Ironman.  Almost one full year of complete dedication with the end goal of crossing that finish line. 

I never in a million years would have thought I would enjoy that journey as much as I did.  The desire to succeed grew and grew.  The training was challenging yet rewarding.  My appetite and energy levels were through the roof.  Yes, I got tired.  Yes I got sore.  But somehow I secretly loved every minute of it. 

My husband and children were so supportive and accommodating.  My early morning wake ups and sweat sessions were never something I dreaded.  I loved watching the sunrise while swimming laps in the open water, and sometimes falling asleep at night before the sun went down!  I felt so fit, healthy and alive! 

The day of Ironman came and I knew I was ready! I don’t think I stopped smiling the entire day!  My family and friends were there with me the entire day!  I have never been happier. 

I rode that high for a few weeks…I went back to work and shared my experiences with anyone that would listen: my student, other teachers, the cafeteria lady, cashier at the grocery store, even my mailman knew the details. 

Then something happened.  Time passed.  I started running again.  I even completed another marathon.  But it wasn’t the same.  I lost that focus.  I felt lost. I now lack that motivation.  I am not as driven.  I really want to be but I can’t get it back.

My energy levels are so low.  My weight has slowly crept up.  I don’t feel great about myself.  I have tried to share these thoughts and feelings with others but it is so hard to explain. 

Maybe someone else out there has gone through the same things I am? I know that I am fortunate to have had the experience and can continue to move my body with ease.  I am hoping that with spring around the corner something may change.  I want to start enjoying my workouts again and feel that desire to improve.  I want my body to respond positively to the nutrition I am providing it. 

As discouraged as I am feeling right now….I can still hear those words and smile inside….Lisa Moran….you are an Ironman.  I just answered my own question.  I would DO IT ALL AGAIN!