The Post Race Blues

A little over a year ago my husband and I got married.  It was a spectacular day and something I dreamed about for a long time.  After we got engaged I had a blast planning for our wedding and was on a mission to make it a good time from start to finish…no bridezillas here.  I embraced finding ways to make it fun for our guests and also easy(ish) on my parent’s wallet.  The whole process was fun.  And then the day arrived and I loved every minute of it.  I loved the dress, the ceremony, the reception….oh we partied hard.  I went to bed and then I woke up the next morning.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a moment of, “So now what?”  I remember wondering what it must be like for those brides that pour their hearts and every last bit of their selves into that big day.  Because when you wake up the next morning, it could be easy to be a bit sad to see it over.

The very same thing seems to happen with running.  I can’t begin to tell you how many people told me that they were “over” running right before the marathon.  Fast forward three days later and I have had numerous requests for recommendations for upcoming races.

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It is somewhat amusing how awful the last few miles of a race can be.  Add that to how tired you are at the end of a training cycle and you often feel like you need a break or at times a change of sport.  But something seems to happen between the time you cross the finish line and when you arrive back home.  You are either high off of the excitement of your experience or in some cases, seeking revenge.  Either way, you have that “what next?” feeling.

First, make sure you take some time to adequately recover.  Rest your body.  If you feel antsy go for some walks or do some yoga.  But let your body get the repair time it needs.

Rolling

Then remember that all races are not created alike.  You don’t have to run another half or full marathon.  And you don’t even have to race.  Sometimes just being out with the running community is all you need.   Find a 5K, 10K, or trail race.  Ask some friends to join you or help someone new to the sport get through their first race.  That will get you excited to move forward.

This time of year is perfect for finding fun themed races.  In fact, yesterday we registered for the Hot Chocolate 15K and a Turkey Trot.  The latter is for obvious damage control reasons.  But there are all kinds of jingle dashes and holiday fun runs to put you in the spirit.

If you are feeling the post race blues but your body still isn’t feeling it consider volunteering at a local race.  Getting the chance to give back to the running community is a great way to lift your spirits.  You get the best of both worlds; the exciting vibe of racing without feeling like you might throw up.

You can also meet up with your running buddies at a local bar to commiserate.  Hopefully you have already done this!

And if you are still feeling those post race blues take comfort in the fact that soon you will find yourself deep into another training cycle and feeling that other kind of misery all over again.

17 thoughts on “The Post Race Blues

  1. I also had that post-wedding blues problem, but I found it didn’t arrive until around our one-year anniversary (just last weekend). I think I needed a lot of time to recover from wedding planning … just like I need a lot more time than expected to recover from my first marathon!

  2. I usually feel so excited right after a race I can’t wait to do another one! 🙂 Turkey Trots are one of my favorites- I love the downtown Cleveland one, but it can be brutal. 5 miles in an ice storm last year…ugh. Great post with great advice for runners!

  3. Awwww, yaaay to you and your husband!!! So sweet!! My wedding was a lot like my races/meets. The build up was very intense, the event went over fairly smoothly, but afterwards…total relief I was done and totally needed a break!!! xoxo

  4. Ha! I was so done with running for the last couple of weeks before my marathon but afterwards I was ready to get right back into it. And I guess I’m like Kristin – I was just so relieved when all the wedding celebrations were done and my husband and I could just hang out alone together.

  5. I think everyone suffers from what I like to call Post Marathon Syndrome. It’s not just marathons, any sort of race has you feeling down afterwards. Your post sums it up brilliantly and you suggest some of the same methods for getting over it as I did in my post earlier this year after Manchester!

    http://thesuffolkstrider.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/have-you-got-the-post-marathon-blues/

    I don’t know if it’s the same Turkey Trot as the one I’m doing (Beccles) but good luck in it & the Hot Chocolate 15k

  6. Aw I remember that feeling after our wedding too! It was such a bittersweet feeling to realize all that hard work was over and that it was time to move on. I’ve had the same experience with running but probably not as much as others. As a trainer I spend my life working out so when I get to take a rest day, it’s better than a big bowl of ice cream and a brownie on top. Having something to look forward to always makes time go by and when you don’t have an event a goal works too!

    • I was just saying the same thing! I haven’t run since Sunday and normally I would be going crazy. But after coaching for 20 weeks and doing every run with the group and then running a marathon plus some on Sunday I am enjoying a break. It’s a strange feeling for a girl who can’t stand staying still!

  7. I love this! My husband just ran his first Ironman in the summer. I definitely think he has some blues now. It was just such a huge part of his life for a year & a life goal. We have two small kids and I am sure part of him is just thinking, “What do I do now, change diapers?” I say.. yes yes you do while I train for my marathon now 🙂

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