Saturday, November 16, 2013

Post Race.....Depression?

After running my first half marathon I planned to take a week off running and have a good rest.  As much as I love running, I welcomed a rest week and thoroughly enjoyed getting home from work and pottering around home doing not-much for a change.  I think I needed it.

I felt on a real high for a couple of days after the race - telling anyone and everyone who was interested, and showing them photos (well, they seemed interested...), barely noticing my tired quads (a bit wobbly walking downstairs...), and feeling elated with my accomplishment (I ran all the way!). I was really happy with my time and know I can improve from here.

My Runner's World pace band that I got at the expo - they weren't too far off  with my time!
I wore it but covered it up until the final kilometres, then it was so stuck to my skin I couldn't read it!

On day three I got the blues.  Nothing serious - I was just tired, unmotivated, housework didn't get done, getting out of bed was hard, and working all day (not to mention teaching evening classes 2 nights per week) seemed a chore when it usually isn't.  Is this high/low feeling a common thing after a goal race?

On Saturday morning I found my running shoes still lying in the corner of the lounge where I had taken them off on race day.  On Sunday I finally put them on.  And I went out for an easy 5km.

I thought about my race, I thought about my local run-blogging friends who also raced (you awesome girls!), I thought about all the inspiration and encouragement I had from the running blog community around the world (thanks my friends!).  I even got a little emotional...

And I thought about how every run I had been on since my injury was geared towards this half marathon, and suddenly I understood the emptiness.

So I thought about some new goals.  I thought about the future trail races I wanted to do, and a little thrill ran through my body just thinking about the adventures to come.  I found myself leaving the pavement and racing off down a gravelly root-laden track towards Western Springs.  At the bottom I did a U-turn and ran back up the track, then flew down again for the sheer joy.

I missed you running, even if it was only for a week.

How do you feel after a goal race - do you get highs and lows?
Do you need another race to focus on?
Is post-race depression a thing?


8 comments:

  1. Post race blues is most definitely a thing! I can't speak from experience, but have read about it in Runner's World and online. You are not alone in this. I'm glad you're at the tail-end of it though, and are getting excited about running again! We have some fantastic races coming up next year, can't wait!! Trail runs are definitely going to be the thing for 2014 ;)

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  2. usually I already have something else on the schedule but this year has been a toughie with injuries. I am with you on having the post race depression, for me it is such a high to race.

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  3. The cure: research races and register for another one!

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  4. I agree with Jody and Tina, it's definitely a thing and registering for more races and training for them (after a nice break) is definitely a good cure :) hope you feel great soon!

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  5. I have suffered from post-race blues before (and it's usually followed by a ENTER ALL THE THINGS obsessive stage). I've found the best balance is to always have another race on the calendar after a major race - even if it's just a 5k fun run. After my first half marathon I seriously struggled without a goal, so for my half this year I made sure I had something else on the calendar to look forward to (and to make me continue with the training). Your run around Western Springs sounded awesome, and just the ticket to blow out some cobwebs!

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  6. I've definitely had the post race blues before. In fact I think I've still got remnants from my last race 1.5 weeks ago.

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  7. Been there! Totally been there! Register for new races! That always helps me :)

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  8. oh yes, I've dealt with the post race blues before- I think it's a mix of a big event being over, and also the missed endorphins from the rest! Having another race on the calendar helps.

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Thanks for commenting!

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