Truth: I’m suffering from a serious case of post marathon blues. It’s that state of being where it hits me that it is all over. Where those thoughts start to play through my mind of could I have done more, could I have done better, did I take full advantage of the amazing race day weather and a course that I did not realize is actually incredibly flat.
And it’s not that I stand back with any regrets, I think it’s just that I stand back with a yearning for more. I contain myself to recovery instead of just going out and trying to push hard and run again because I know it’s what I need to be doing right now. I contain myself to easy runs and light recovery runs because I know deep down it’s what my body needs right now.
But it’s not what I need right now. Right now I want to get back up, get back on track, go back out again. The thing with marathons is it is this big long training cycle, where you sacrifice so much, slogging out the miles, giving up your Sunday morning sleep ins and brunch to run for (literally) hours, and where you lay it all on the line for this one fateful day, which in the end is its own thing: it might be amazing. It might be terrible.
And while it sounds like it would be the best when it is over, it leaves this oddly empty place in your heart, in your soul, in your mind. And leaves you a little bit sad, a little bit lost, a little bit down. It seems that everything goes back to marathon training; when you find yourself doing something on a certain day, you think about what you would have been doing at that time in your training cycle. When the time comes that you would normally head out running, you long to just lace up the shoes and hit the road, taking back all those times you said before in your training cycle that you didn’t want to go, or that you wish you didn’t have to run today. We always want what we don’t have.
And this post-marathon stuff is no stranger to me: I remember the worst case of post-marathon blues after my first Boston Marathon. I wore my Boston shirt non-stop for the week after the race, and honestly, some days, just wanted to sit on the couch or lie in bed. My legs hurt so badly after that race for some reason, so it was a good excuse to not even get up, and there were honestly some days where I had a full on “what-am-I-going-to-do-now?” sobbing breakdown.
While this time isn’t quite as bad as that, I can’t say that I don’t have moments where I find myself just sitting there, staring off into space, unable to concentrate or focus on what I am supposed to be doing and instead being distracted by visions of marathons dancing in my head.
And sometimes, the only logical answer to these situations is cookies. You know . . . just be distracted by eating cookies instead of thinking about running and finish lines. Or maybe just engage in a little post race refuelling delight. I’ll take either option. And another cookie.