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The Post-Marathon Blues
Just three days after the greatest experience ever, I’m already starting to come down from my high and feel a little sad.
I spent five months training for the Hamptons Marathon. That’s five months — the majority of 2011 thus far — devoting every single aspect of my life to having the best race possible.
The marathon was everything I had hoped it would be. I loved all the training leading up to it and of course loved working with Coach Cane.
The rush I got at the start line (yes, I cried at the start line, but not at the finish — go figure) was like nothing I had ever felt before. When I crossed the start, my first thought was, “OK, this is it. You’re running a marathon. Enjoy the next four (plus) hours.”
I did enjoy those hours. Most of them, at least.
I certainly wasn’t my best right around mile 22.5.
That finish line feeling, though? It was pretty incredible, just like everyone said it would be.
The entire weekend was perfect. The marathon, the family time, the wine, the brunch. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Yesterday, too. I was riding my marathon high hard.
My coworkers all came rushing over to my desk first thing to congratulate me and ask how it went (no, I didn’t wear my medal to work) and I was showered with wonderfully supportive emails, comments, and all that jazz all day long.
But when 4 pm rolled around, I got sad.
Normally, on Mondays at 4 pm, I would log onto the City Coach website to check my training plan for the week.
Yesterday, there was no new plan for me.
I secretly wished that Coach Cane would have given me something — anything — for the post-marathon week.
But I’m on my own now. It’s up to me to plan my weekly workouts.
So now what?
I went to the gym after work yesterday for a major dose of foam rolling and a spinning class. My legs were tight going into the class but they felt surprisingly good during and after the workout. Goodbye, lactic acid buildup! Thanks for stopping by, though.
I sweat a lot and had a solid workout. The class was fun and the music was great. Also, the instructor has new bangs and they look cute. So, added bonus? Or something?
I felt like there wasn’t a purpose to my sweat session, though. I’m no longer training for a marathon, and that sucks.
I loved marathon training. I loved the speed workouts, which were always challenging and I loved the long runs, which were so rewarding. I loved running alone and I loved running with friends.
I emailed Coach Cane and he told me that it’s normal to experience a letdown like this, especially after your first marathon. There’s so much buildup and then, boom, in 4 hours and 13 minutes, it’s all over.
This morning, hoping to shake my little funk, I went to my happy place: Central Park. I wanted to see how I’d do with a short run, and I survived OK!
My pace was slow, but I ran into Kelly as soon as I entered the park and she joined me for a few leisurely miles around the Bridle Path. We chatted about the race and about her super-busy life, and I was feeling happy again. I covered five miles and felt good.
After we parted ways, I stopped to get water and watched dozens of runners fly by. I got the feeling that everyone out in Central Park was training for something — the New York City Marathon, perhaps? Maybe Marine Corps? Or Chicago?
I’m sad that I’m not part of “that group” anymore.
Part of me thinks it’ll be nice to take some time away from training, to get back into the gym and to run for fun for a while.
But truthfully, that’s not my style.
I’m a competitive little bitch, and I’m entirely goal-oriented.
Yesterday, I gave a dear friend a task: Find me a spring marathon.
I like training. I like having a purpose every single time I exercise. So it’s on, marathon. I’m going to find a second one, I’m going to enter the training world again and you’re damn right I’m going to look 4 hours in the face and crush it.
And although I may not be in the “marathon training club” right now, there is another cool endurance club I’m part of: The Marathon Club.
Thanks for having me.
I’M CURIOUS: Have you ever felt a letdown after accomplishing a huge goal? Whether it was a race or another life achievement, did you feel pumped about it afterward, or were you sad it was over?