I Didn't Get the Post-Race Feels
Disclaimer: I’m going to start off by saying that I am very grateful, thankful, and blessed for my family, friends, and coach and in no way is any of how I feel right now something they caused.
I went into my training fully intending on Wineglass Marathon being my only full marathon – and I was (and still am) completely OK with it. In fact, I never wanted to run a full. You see, while I love my running tribe whole-heartedly (and they’re some of my best friends) they’re also horrible influences. Since I started my marathon training cycle in June, I kept hearing one or more variations of:
“Yeah, your 'only' marathon. Everyone says that.”
“You’ll want to run more than one.”
“You’ll be so excited about it at the finish line, you’ll forget about the training and race.”
“It’s like childbirth. You forget what it’s like and then you do it again.”
“You’re going to be so proud of yourself.”
“So when’s your next one?”
“You paid to do this?”
I've been thinking about what my next blog post was going to be and couldn’t come up with anything. I considered writing about my marathon experience and I just couldn’t get excited about writing about it. Not that it was an awful experience physically. Mentally, however, was where my real struggle laid. I find that my tribe is more excited about my 26.2 way more than I am. Then it dawned on me…
Running my marathon was like giving birth to my daughter. I am totally experiencing post-marathon depression.
The “Second” and “Third Trimester” of Training
That was my reset. I felt better for most of the rest of the training cycle; like that increase of energy, I felt during my second trimester. Then, I slumped. Again. I knew I only had a couple of weeks to go. My “due date” was right around the corner. It was time to focus on getting through what remained and deliver this marathon baby! I was hoping for all of the good emotions – the elation, the joy, the pride of what I just accomplished. I wanted to be “that” marathoner. Like minutes or an hour, after delivering my daughter a sense of accomplishment, pride, love… gone. Absolutely gone. Emotionally, my post-race experience was the same. I tried to be excited when I was asked about my experience in the days to follow. I tried to find that spark. I tried to find a bond with it. I couldn’t. Still can’t.
That Ole Familiar Feeling
I’m going through a very familiar journey right now. It’s not as severe as my post-partum depression was, but it’s familiar ground. The feeling of emptiness, insignificance, and fear. Feeling like I’m no longer a “good” runner. Let’s face it – I’m not good. Consistent, yes. Floppy-legged, awkward posture, loud breathing, stubborn as shit? Yes. Good? Nah. So for now, I’m running downhill right into a valley when it comes to processing everything I’ve put into my only 26.2 at Wineglass.
I’m kind of in that void of emotion. Just feeling pretty “meh” about the accomplishment. I find my brain trying to bury it and move on; trying to find some significance, joy, pride. I’m hoping to find the light and joy in the accomplishment. It eventually happened (with some help) after having my daughter. It’s just going to take some time.
Running a marathon is just like childbirth. And you can run just one.
Run ‘til you fly