Okay, so here is a thing I was not expecting. After I finished the marathon on Sunday, I had a brief flush of pride and a feeling of accomplishment…and then a complete let-down. I started thinking things like, “Well, my time was really not that good.” and “It’s really not something to be proud of.” and I didn’t end up telling anyone that I had just run a marathon.
After all, none of my friends or family knew I was training in the first place. So it was easy to come into work and smile and chat and pretend like nothing unusual had happened that weekend.
I tried to go for a run the day after and found that my legs were weak and useless, though I felt fine riding my bike and swimming.
And bad thoughts started flooding back in. I lost whatever confidence I had gained from being a “marathon runner”.
So this morning, disappointed in a slow swim time, I googled “post-marathon depression” and found out that it is actually a thing! Huh, guess I’m not alone. Knowing that helps, so here’s my plan for coping and maybe it will find someone going through something similar.
1. Have another goal! Part of the depression comes from the absence of a target or objective. I’m a very goal-oriented person, after all, and I’ve been training for this marathon for 6 months. So…it’s triathlon season! I’m going to aim for a PR in a sprint tri in early July.
2. Ease back into running. My body is not as recovered as I would like. This is going to be a week of long walks, bike rides, and swimming, with much less emphasis on running.
3. Treat myself to my most beautiful hikes, rides, and open water swims. I’ve been so focused on running that it will be good to remember why I love the other sports!
4. Don’t push too hard. I have been pushing times and distances for a long time and I think this is a good time to relax for a little while before building again.
5. Confess my marathon to people who I know will be supportive and proud of me, regardless of my time. (I’m still working on this one, haha!)
6. Other hobbies! It’s okay to spend a little time on my other hobbies too…like writing on this blog, baking elaborate Dr. Who cakes, and drawing birds…