How I deal with post-race blues

Sixteen days ago, I ran my fifth marathon, and, just as I suspected would happen, the post-race blues are setting in. Hard.

It’s a cycle I know is coming, and yet, it’s still hard. It goes like this:

A couple weeks after the race, I end up feeling like, “Now what?” It’s hard to put into words. I am almost deflated without a large and life-consuming goal looming.

Whether the race goes in my favor, I ride the post-race high. This high was substantial since I PR’d significantly on a hard course in tough weather conditions.

I wondered if that would make the blues worse. It has, because what I’m experiencing is dramatic.

Luckily, I’ve dealt with this before, so I brace myself and prepare for its arrival. This is how I deal with the post-race blues.

Accept it.
I know it’s coming, so I accept the fact I’m going to feel a bit down after a marathon. It’s natural to feel a little down after you’ve achieved something big.

Set new goals.
I have one more big running goal in 2017: the Chicago Marathon. Since Boston went well, I have a lofty time goal in mind. Of course, I’ll take it as it comes, but initially, I want to go big on this marathon.

I also set a lot of non-running goals during this time. This is an important key to my recovery from feeling down. My non-running life is left out during training, and now is the perfect opportunity to give it some TLC.

Spend time on everything neglected during training.
As anyone who’s trained for a big sporting event knows, training is hard and time-consuming. Towards the final weeks, it seems all you can do is work, train and recover, leaving a lot neglected.

For me, I am focusuing on spending more time with my boyfriend and dogs. I’m relaxing more (heyyyyy Netflix) and doing non-running things I love, like cooking.

I’ve also picked up on my neglected morning routine of reading, writing and meditation. My whole day is set when I start off on the right foot and I really missed it during training.

Analyze my training and the race.
Before too much time passes, I like to think about what went well and also areas where I can improve. Every time I run a marathon, I learn so much, both about myself, the sport, and life.

Focus on fun runs and running friends.
A joy for me after the rigors of training is catching up with all my running partners I didn’t have a chance to train with because of mileage/pace restrictions. It’s so much fun to reconnect.

For now, I’m trying to enjoy not being so busy. If I wake up and don’t want to run, I don’t. My body is still recovering, and at the very least, I’m enjoying more sleep.

If you have any ground-breaking ideas on how to deal with the post-race blues, I’d love to know what they are!


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