Hey! I have to tell you all that I absolutely loved all of your win from within moments you shared yesterday! You are all amazing and inspiring…definitely some tough runners! If you haven’t entered yet but would like a chance to win a Rock n’ Roll Marathon Entry from Gatorade leave a comment on yesterday’s post telling me about a win from within moment you’ve had! I’ll announce the winner on Thursday!
Well it’s been over a week since I ran the Boston Marathon. It’s hard to believe that only a week ago I was recovering from having run 26.2 miles in 90 degree heat and blazing sunshine. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that marathon, or those moments where I wondered how I’d finish. I must admit that on that Tuesday morning I was debating about signing up for the Vermont City Marathon and running that on Memorial Day Weekend. The thing was though that I had made a promise. I promised Michael, I promised my Mom and more so I promised myself that I’d give myself a chance to rest. A chance to have nothing on my to-do list. A chance to be able to come home from work and do whatever I wanted for a while. Too many times while training for Boston I had desperately wanted a break. I had wanted to do nothing.
Hard to Believe This Was Just Over a Week Ago!
Then last Wednesday the reality of life post marathon began to set in. I felt lost. Part of me wanted another marathon. Another training schedule to follow and more long runs to look forward to. Training for a marathon seemed easier than doing all the things I had neglected to do and needed to get done. I was overwhelmed and I kept thinking, “I thought when the marathon was over I’d get to do nothing?!”.
Marathons are lot, it’s a lot to train for months and months. It’s hard to stay motivated and mentally tough and to deal with the inevitable challenges that come your way. It’s hard to race a marathon, to stay in the game for 26.2 miles. The hardest part though? Dealing with the physical and emotional exhaustion that comes afterward. I was feeling both of those in a big way.
Last week there were more days than not where I just wanted to cry. I’m not really sure why and I don’t think I could accurately describe it. I just felt sad and like something is missing. It seems kind of silly because I have so much to look forward to and a lot of good things happening but I just felt off. I wanted to get to yoga or head out for a run but my body was just telling me not to. Actually Friday night I was walking with Michael to the train and we were in a very big rush so it was more of run than a walk and after about a minute I felt like I was back at mile 24 again. It was not fun.
The reality is that I was struggling with the post-marathon blues. I was struggling to deal with what comes next and it just seemed easier to sign up for another marathon and focus on training schedules and long runs. That seemed familiar.
In life we can get so caught up in our routines and our schedules and to break away from them even for something we desperately need or want can be so challenging. But sometimes life is about letting go. That’s exactly what I needed to do.
Over the last week I’ve let go of the training plans and the long runs. I’ve tucked the list of marathons I plan to run to the back of my mind. I promised myself a break. I’m going to take it. I know there will be marathon #4 and #5, #6, #7, #8 and at that point I’ll probably go #10 too. I love marathons but now’s not the time. I’ll dream more times than I can count about my goal to run a sub 3:30 marathon. But I know that when 2013 comes I’ll be ready, excited, motivated, focused and dedicated towards accomplishing my running goals.
So what comes next right now?
Right now my focus is on the final days of studying before my NASM certified personal trainer exam. The last task in what has been a winter of ambitious goals. And then comes the opportunity to rest, recover, relax and recharge my mind and body. It is a chance to read a good book for fun, get coffee or dinner with friends. I want to find my way back to my yoga mat and build my strength. I want to go for short runs and give up my knee strap that I can tell my body doesn’t need but my mind uses as a security blanket. I want to have some fun at summer 5ks and running groups. I want to enjoy the changes coming in my life. I want to feel stress free for a bit and do whatever my heart desires.
In August, I want to start yoga teacher training feeling refreshed, and rested. This is a goal I’ve saved for, dreamed of and wanted since I moved to Boston in 2009. I want to enjoy every step of the way.
I’m not sure who I write this blog for at times. Sometimes it’s for you and sometimes it’s for me. Today it’s for me. I think this is the 5th version of this I’ve written. My take away for you today is to approach your goals and life with an intention fueled by the desire to want to accomplish your goals. Don’t just do things because it’s easy and familiar. Do it because you want to and it is a goal you hope to accomplish. If I signed up for marathon #4 now, it’d be because it feels familiar and easy to me. Resting, listening to my mind and body and taking a break is hard but I need it. It’s something I promised myself and it’s my intention to get it. I want to accomplish my yoga goals, my running goals and so much more. This will help me do that!
How do you approach the post marathon blues? Do you struggle with change, even if it’s changing your focus to another passion? Do ever give yourself a break?