I get the post-marathon blues every year. I know it’s going to happen no matter how much I try to tell myself it won’t, but at least this time around I’ve learned to deal with it better.
There’s something truly inspiring and motivating about training for 18 weeks for one long distance race. Hundreds of miles and tough workouts go into the training. You focus on one goal for months…and then it’s over.
Whether the race is amazing or not, you hit your goal when you cross that finish line by completing a training plan and going the distance. I had an AMAZING race. The best marathon I’ve ever run. But then what happens the next day? After the race is over?
I get bummed out. And I already miss running.
I knew my body needed a break from training. I’ve basically been following a training plan for 9 months of this year. And I knew I had to set some other goals for myself in order to have something else to focus on post-race.
I wrote my post-marathon goals down. I made a new plan so that I wouldn’t feel the post-marathon blues quite as much, but they’re still here.
It’s hard for a good thing to come to an end. And to not “follow a plan” all of a sudden is always weird for me. I like my early Saturday long runs and weekly speed workouts. I like high mileage weeks. But I also know my body earned a break, so I have to respect the work I did and take a short break from long distances.
I’m doing better this year in the sense that I’m focusing on cross training. I have started Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body Guide again, which is three 28 minute circuit workouts a week. I’m going to cycling classes every week. And I’m only running short distances. I did run a half marathon last weekend (“for fun”), but that was the farthest I’ll go for a while.
This is the “off season” and as sad as it makes me to take a step back from running, I know that this cross training and getting stronger is SO important. So I’m trying to enjoy it. I am sad that marathon training for this year is over, but I am proud that I did so well and am ready to work on being even stronger next year.
I’m done with racing for 2016, but I still have two more races just for fun… a 5K in November and a 15K in December. Come January, I’ll start running higher mileage again since I signed up for a Boston training group that trains from January to April. Yay for weekly long runs and speed workouts!
I have two months to do all the cross training I can before I up my mileage again. Yes, I will still run, but not high mileage weeks or very long runs on the weekends. I don’t know what my 2017 race schedule is yet. Do I want to do a Spring marathon? Should I race a few half marathons or 10Ks? What races? Who knows. And I’m not too stressed about figuring it out right this second.
It’s all part of the process, right?! And I love running too much to risk injury or keep from getting stronger. So, even if I’d rather run 15 miles than do a 28 minute circuit workout, I’m going to suck it up and get them done.
2016 will be hard to top, but I think I’ve got it in me. It starts with these two months of ground work and injury prevention. (There’s nothing sad about that)!