In my last post, I hinted at a little bit of anxiety about my post-marathon life. While I am generally looking forward to moving on, I’m also trying to brace myself for the post-race blues. I had this vision the other day of myself in a few weeks, feeling strangely empty with my newfound freedom, as if life has suddenly become too easy or something.
Oddly, I never really got the post-race blues after my first marathon, but they hit me like a sack of potatoes after my second. When the incredible high of running a 15-minute PR in a perfectly excecuted race wore off, I suddenly felt like the Road Runner in those precious few seconds before he’s realized he ran off the cliff, legs spinning futilely in mid-air. Gravity took it’s toll on me as well; I floundered that summer, having to drop out of my fall marathon because my heart wasn’t into training, only to sign up for other races and not be motivated to train for those either. At that point, “off season” was a foreign concept to me.
But this time, I am embracing it. My aimless 2015 was nothing if not an education. While others seemingly have no problem throwing themselves back into training and packing their calendars with more races, I have learned that I can’t thrive that way. I also now understand that in order to improve and grow as a runner, hard training must be balanced with periods of genuine and thorough recovery.
In any case, I have found that the best way to overcome post-race blues is to focus on non-running related projects or challenges for a while. I think having other interests and hobbies and remaining well-rounded outside of running really helps us adjust and move forward in the emptiness immediately following a big goal race. It helps me take my mind off of running and makes me feel like my life is more balanced again. So, with that said, today’s topic is all about turning that post-race frown upside down with 5 Things I’m Looking Forward to Post-Marathon!
My “MinimalisMay” blog series. I’m excited to do my first blog series, exploring the topics of simplicity and minimalism. I’ve long been interested in trying to live a more simple lifestyle, but I’ve never put much momentum into trying to make it a reality. Obviously I’m no expert, and the series of posts will be focused on my journey to get started, as well as how the ideas of minimalism and simplicity intersect with other things in my life such as – you guessed it! – running.
The friggin OLYMPICS!! I’ve been counting down to the Rio Olympics since London ended. I can’t believe it’s finally here. I looooove the Summer Olympics, in particular, the women’s gymnastics competition. I am no fair weather fan – I follow gymnastics all year (although there are only like 3 major competitions in a whole year). The Olympic Trials are this summer and the US has a crazy deep field so it will be so exciting to see who makes the team. And then of course, Rio! So excited for all of it. I’ll watch any Olympic sport and if the USA is competing my heart is pounding!
The “ikings”! Now that my weekends won’t be dominated by hours of running, I’m looking forward to taking advantage of the warm weather and extra weekend time to go on day hikes and long bike rides. Yes, I know that many people manage to do this stuff while still running long on weekends but lest we forget, I am not one of those “go go go” types (plus I suck at time management. And I’m a late sleeper). I can’t usually pack a ton of stuff into a weekend, so eliminating long runs makes me feel like I have MUCH more free time – and energy. More importantly, unlike running, hiking and biking are things Kevin and I can do together.
Having more time to write. I really want to start amping up my blogging, in addition to my Minimalist May series. And I still have dreams of tackling National Novel Writing Month this year. Although it’s not a particularly “summer-y” image, I envision wiling away evenings at the local coffee shop, fingers flurrying over laptop keys, pen making breakthroughs on lined notebook pages. I’m glad I can shift more of my focus this way for the next few months. It’s one thing to make time for writing, it’s another to be able to immerse yourself more fully in it.
Making progress on my Spring Bucket List. So much of this has gotten thrust to the back burner as I focus on getting through my training. Spring is only halfway through, so I still have plenty of time, but I’m getting anxious to start chipping away at this bucket list. I’m excited about it and looking forward to immersing myself in all of the items, even the boring ones like getting caught up on my work filing. I’m also excited to share more of my progress with you, most notably about my bullet journal, my hiking adventures, MinimalisMay, and more. Stay tuned!