I want to introduce a term we in the running community loath and dread: The Post Race Blues. The post race blues are a series of emotions a runner goes through the 1-4 weeks (sometimes 2 months in very severe cases) after finishing a race. Confused? Ladies and gentlemen of the world I give to you the 7 stages of the Post Race Blues:
1. Shock and Denial
3. Anger and Bargaining
5. Reflection and Loneliness
5. The Upward Turn
6. Reconstruction and Working Through
7. Acceptance and Hope
ALRIGHT ALRIGHT ALRIGHT THOSE WERE THE 7 STAGES OF GRIEF! SHEESH! But seriously, what's the difference?! It's a viscous cycle! You spend months and months training for 1 day, sacrificing, sweating, constantly sore and then POOF they put a medal around your neck, pat you on your head, wrap a foil blanket around you and send you on your merry way. Then once you can use your legs again you are left wondering...
I like to call the recovery period the post taper because they both SUCK. I think the reason most people run a marathon is because they run a half marathon and think hell, I'm halfway there and I can't go back to my life before running a half marathon....Why stop now? It's what I did. Go for that full marathon! Why the hell not!?! But what happens after you run that full marathon? You have to take a serious chunk of time to recover. Then you are just about ready to pluck your feathers out like a neglected bird! Here's my foolproof method to overcome the post race blues:
Step 1: REST. Probably your least favorite word but it's absolutely essential. Show your body you care by actually taking the time to let it recover. Light stretching and cross training are all you should be doing. 1 week without running is 100% necessary. (If you can go 2 weeks post marathoners even better. Nothing over 3-5 miles if you can fathom it. I went 6 days so I feel ya.)
Step 2: Sign up for your next race. Just get something on the books so you don't lose your damn mind. If you did a 5k try for a 10k! If you did a marathon, find a half or hell ever heard of an Ironman???
Step 3: Start slow. Listen to your body. If you need to take more time off from running than you anticipated then do it and don't feel guilty! Go to cycling, swimming, or to the gym. You have to listen to your body. Only you can prevent injuries.
Step 4: STAY BUSY. Go out to dinner, cook dinner, go to the movies, go to a concert, read a book, babysit people's children, hang out with friends just load your schedule! Get SUPER busy. Double book yourself and do whatever it takes to take your mind off the fact that you aren't physically active. (I mean whatever it takes legally you crazy daredevils.)
Follow those 4 steps and before you know it you'll be out on the road. No one likes the post race blues but we are all in it together.
That being said friends in Dallas what better way to emerge from you post race blues hibernation than to run the 'It's Your Time SIX:02 Inaugural 6K' with me! I'm flying out to the Lone Star State this weekend to run, laugh, and cause trouble with you all! And if you aren't running come hang out! There are all sorts of post race activities and lord knows I love a good race day sign! So come out and hang with me! For more information CLICK HERE! See you in Texas!
Until tomorrow friends, #RunSelfieRepeat.