Post Marathon Blues
So you’ve spent the last 18 weeks of your life preparing for and training to run 26.2 miles.
It’s all you talked about with you friends and family, you changed your eating habits, you changed your social life, you woke up earlier on the weekends than you do on weekdays to get in your long runs. You waxed poetic on neutral vs. stability shoes, you talked about the nuances between using nip guards vs. BandAides, and you dreamed about that one speed session you had at the beginning of your training that set the stage for a perfect race day.
The day came, you got up at the crack of dawn, followed your plan to a T and crossed the finish line. You then regaled in the kudos you received far and wide. You wore your medal around town. You posted myriad pictures on social media of race day, wearing your medal around town, or even, ahem, your new baby boy wearing your medal. And you relived race day with your running group talking about different aspects of the race, the crazy weather, the crazy naked guy at mile 18, the hills, the hills and the hills.
And then, all of a sudden . . .
For me, Post Marathon Blues sets in around 7 days after the race when all the hullabaloo ends. I no longer need to wake up early on the weekends. I find myself with hours and hours of awake time not feeling sore or reliving a great (or awful) training run. I no longer get the endorphin rush from a speed work session or the satisfaction of completing a 20 mile run (or a 75 mile week).
And my friends and family are so sick of hearing about the race, they run in the other direction when they see me coming.
So how do I deal with it? I sit down with my laptop, pull up Google and find another marathon to participate in. Don’t get me wrong, I live in NYC, possibly one of the greatest running cities in the world and thanks to organizations like the New York Road Runners and NYC Runs, I’m already signed up for 13.1s, 5-milers and 15Ks through March.
But I need to be training for something that my body is going to hate me for in the short term (but love me in the long).
I need a new goal. I need to be pushing myself and looking for reasons to wake up early, strap on my kicks in the dead of winter and go out for a run in the snow.
In short, I need another marathon.
My advice to you? Find another race ASAP. It doesn’t have to be tomorrow, it can be in six months, or even a year. But give yourself a reason to eat 10 pounds of pasta; a reason to go out and buy a new pair of kicks; a reason to strap them on and get your ass back out into the Park (or wherever it is you train).
Nothing beats the post marathon blues like starting the cycle all over again.