We train for months and months. We put in countless hours of our time and experience every extreme of emotion along the way. We think about race day, how it will turn out, what we will feel like at the finish. Then before we know it, it’s all over.
A few weeks ago when I was talking to my friend about the Boston Marathon and I found myself comparing it to my wedding.
My friend and I laughed at the comparison because obviously my wedding was a much bigger deal than a marathon, but they (specifically this marathon) do have some things in common.
- I planned both for over a year.
- I spent a lot of time and energy making sure everything in my control was done.
- I counted down the days for months in advance.
- I planned outfits, hotels, events and countless details around the big event.
- I stalked the weather for days on end before hand.
- It came and went in the blink of an eye.
After my wedding I had a bit of a let down period, post wedding blues we will call it. I was done with this huge life event that had occupied my thoughts for so long and was left in this state of “now what?” I was so excited to call Chris my husband and very excited for everything we had to look forward to in our new life together, but I also had a hard time coming off of such a long time period of looking forward to a big event.
It’s not uncommon for runners to experience post race depression or blues, or just a general feeling of “what now?” once the race is over. I know after many races, I would come off the finish line feeling happy and satisfied, but a few days after would be overwhelmed with being sad it was all over.
Sometimes we forget to talk or think about what happens when it’s all done. When the medal is taken from your neck and hung on the wall. When you are home and the soreness has worn off and your countdown clock is at zero. When the event you have been imagining for so long now has an ending.
April 18th has been a long time coming for me. After spending a whole year trying to qualify, then finally qualifying but having to wait 17+ months to actually run it, it almost feels like it isn’t really happening. I know the weekend is going to go by in the flash of an eye, and I am going to soak up as much as I can of it while it’s happening, but I have also prepared myself for the post-event part in the best way I know how.
I think the key to not getting bogged down (at least for me) in the post race blues is to have other races or events to look forward to. It doesn’t necessarily have to be running, it can be a fun weekend with your friends or significant other, or maybe it’s just sleeping in for a few weekends in a row, but races definitely do the trick for me.
Big Sur Marathon is 13 days after Boston and I am signed up to take the Boston to Big Sur Challenge. Although the Big Sur isn’t going to be THE Big Sur course this year due to the road collapsing last week, it is still going to be an amazing girl’s weekend on a beautiful course and I can’t wait. It will be my 10th marathon, run completely for fun, and I can’t imagine a better marathon to be #10.
The next weekend I will be down in Santa Barbara spectating the half marathon that I tortured myself through last year. This year I was smart enough to not sign up to run, but I will be cheering on my friends (and meeting some new ones!) with my coffee in hand and my Boston jacket on.
The San Francisco Marathon is another few months after that and I have trainees to help get to the start line of their first marathon! I am so so so excited for this and so excited to run San Francisco again, but this time as an Ambassador. It’s going to be such a great weekend with a ton of fun meet ups and a lot of great things going on.
On top of all those, I already am planning my options for my fall races. Nothing is decided for sure, and I am waiting until after Boston to commit to anything, but I am excited for some fun possibilities!
Don’t worry though, just because I am looking ahead does not mean I am not wishing away or looking past the next 4 weeks in any aspect! I am keeping my eye on the prize and I am going to enjoy every second the next 4 weeks leading up to Boston. I am going to soak up the tiredness this week, the taper madness after that, the anxiety of race week, the nerves of race morning, the pain of racing, the glory of of the finish line and everything else that is in between.
It’s going to be a very fun year and Boston is just going to be the kick off party to it all – I can’t wait!
Have you had the post race blues? How do you handle them?