It has been three weeks since I conquered my marathon and I am just now coming out of a serious funk. It is not unusual to experience a post race depression. After dedicating sixteen weeks of your life to training for a single event it can get a little sad once that event is finished.
After finishing the marathon I didn’t run or do any kind of workout for a week, and after two and a half weeks I had only done three short runs. On top of that I ate garbage food, especially on Thanksgiving weekend. And if all that was not enough, I have been trying to write this post for the past three weeks.
I am, however, finding ways to beat the funk.
Remember the movie, The Never Ending Story? Atreyu is travelling through a swamp. This swamp is full of sadness and depression. The only way to get through it is to keep moving. If you stop, the sadness will take over and the swamp will swallow you whole. It happened. Atreyu’s horse stopped and refused to move. The longer he stayed still the harder it was for him to start moving again and eventually the swamp had overtaken him.
Same thing in real life. Keep moving and the sadness can not overtake you. The more you move forward the sooner you will be out of the swamp.
You can think about the race you just finished, but instead of dwelling on that, look toward your next event. Luckily for me my next event is quickly approaching. I am running the Goofy Challenge at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in January.
This is an exciting event. I ran the WDW Marathon this past January while my girlfriend did the Goofy Challenge. This year we are both doing the Goofy Challenge. Last year we took a long weekend to spend time with her aunt, check out the expo, run the races, and hang out at EPCOT. We have the same plan this time. We are taking the race easy and making it fun. It is Disney, after all, and Disney should always be fun.
So if you do not have another race on your schedule in the foreseeable future, start looking for one. Even if it is too far out to start a training plan for it, you can look at it every day and build some mileage and motivation to run strong.
My running watch of choice is the Garmin Forerunner. I had the 305 since I started running in 2008 and it has had one foot in the grave for a couple of months now. In fact it failed me while running the Philadelphia Marathon, and I knew I would need to replace it soon. It was fate when Amazon offered the Forerunner 410 for 50% off on Cyber Monday.
Now, I will be the first to tell you, and every expert will agree, that indulging in material possessions will not get you out of a funk. But I looked at it like this…
This was something I needed. It was on sale. It was running related. And I accomplished one of my goals in the marathon so I deserved a reward. I fell in love with the watch the first time I used it and it has psyched me up to run strong and hard ever since. So it was okay to buy it.
These are the things I have done to beat me out of the post race funk. I was on such a running high since finishing my first 50 miler in July and that high pushed me through the finish of the Philadelphia Marathon, but the crash came hard.
Thankfully the low did not last long and now I am back running strong.