It has been four days since my first 26.2.
Four days since I’ve run, breathed hard or moved very fast. I really can’t remember the last time I took more than a day off in a row. Running and movement are just part of who I am.
Honestly, I do get thoughts in my head.
What if I lose all my fitness?
What if I stop liking running if I don’t do it?
What if I eat too much?
What am I supposed to do with all this time?
Well, any rational person can see these things are ridiculous, but I still think about them. I want to dispel these thoughts right here and show what I combat them with if they ever come up. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it helps to actually think up the appropriate argument against that demon in your mind.
1. What if I lose fitness?
That is the point. It is not healthy to be at peak marathon shape all year. I could feel in the last couple weeks that I was about to peak. This feeling is exciting but it also rides a very fine line into overreaching. The potential for injury is great and increases with mileage and fitness. If I kept going, I was on the one way path the overtraining and injury. No thanks. This marathon has proved I can train for 6 months and complete a goal. Losing fitness means nothing because I will get it again.
2. What is I stop liking running so much?
I know I will run again. Sure, walking and yoga is great to give my mind and lungs a break, but I miss the euphoria running gives me to. I miss the sweat, the highs, the lows and how it makes me feel. The fact that I am asking these questions means I will go back to running after this break.
3. What if I eat too much?
Again, this is the point! I probably eat the same amount of calories in my meals as I did when I was training. I do not find myself hungry after a huge dinner like I did when training. After dinner during training I would always open the nut butter jar and eat about 3 spoonfuls downed with milk. I do not do that anymore as I am not ravenous, but if I did want something like that, I am satisfying a need, so I eat it. I trained for 6 months. 6 months filled with ravenous hunger somethings and workouts that destroyed me. All of that work? It’s still getting repaired in my system. I still need the same amount of calories. End of story.
4. What am I supposed to do with all this free time?
Luckily, most of us work an 8 or 9 hour day, so that takes time. Other things I do with my time are blog, read, take a walk, take pictures, network, see people I don’t usually see and take time for myself. I nap and sleep for many hours hahaha. I started doing yoga in the mornings from YouTube (because I’m too poor to go to a class and I can choose the length of time) which eases my mind. If you want, think of your relaxation as a necessary part of your next training block. Your putting in the base recovery now so you can go hard later. Quite honestly, this is the hardest one for me because the last year of my life has been running and job, but I’m working on it. I am still an introvert, but I get out and see things which is important even if it’s by myself.
I hope that this helps anyone out there who is struggling with the post race blues. Just remind yourself how hard you worked, how often you went to the pain cave, crushed your workout and then still went to your job. Thinking about that makes me tired and want to kick back.
How do you deal with the days after a race?
Any suggestions four men?