Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Baby, I've got the post-marathon blues

classes up the car - dontcha think?
This has happened after my first half but I'm especially feeling it now after the marathon...

The build up, anxiety, ups & downs, excitement and anticipation for the "big day" seems to be an addictive thing for me. The race comes and goes and then I'm left feeling a little lost. A little blah.

It's over.

Long runs on ice in January, cross-training thru injuries in February, playing catch up in April and May, dreading all those scary long runs…



I think that's why so many of us run out and immediately sign up for the next race. I'm thinking about what my next move is. I'm itching to take the plunge into another full (like a drug addict looking for his next fix) but don't know if that's the post-race depression speaking so I'm taking my time on that. I know another half is in my future for sure.

And I think what's making this round of blues even worse is (and now I know what Lesley meant after her first race recap) I don't really feel like a marathoner.

If you haven't read my race recap check it out for the full enchilada but in a nutshell, I had a tough race tummy-wise. My stomach revolted and I feel like I spent more time in port-o-potty's than I did on the road! I was forced to really slow my roll and spent a lot of the time walking

My finish time was an unenviable 6+ hours and my legs were so "under-spent" that by the next day I barely felt like I had even done a long run.

I never hit the wall, I never really cramped, I barely limped. The next day I headed up to Los Angeles nearly pain free. Huh? I just "ran" a marathon and feel this 'good'? And I don't say that with pride. I say that with a sense of disappointment.  Sick - huh?

Which ironically might be part of the problem. I think if it took me 6+ hours to finish and I felt that I 'left it all out there' and had the war wounds and pain to wear as a badge of honor I might feel differently.

Which is absolutely insane. I know. Most people are going to think I'm an idiot for even talking about being rueful over this.

I've always been afraid of pain, convinced the wall would stop me in my tracks. We train so we can do this and not die… I don't know. You think I would be content with crossing the finish line and with making it in spite of the stomach issues trying to stop me…

Believe me, I know that this is nuts. If it were a friend saying this to me, I'd enthuse, "you ran an f'in marathon - doesn't matter if it took you six DAYS - I would tell them that the tummy thing was God's way of sparing you leg pain" and that "many people never even run a cumulative 26 miles in their lifetimes… never mind all in a row!"  I've been trying to say these things to myself but it's still not taking away my feeling of feeling a bit like a marathoning fraud.

I am proud of getting thru in the face of tummy issues. I am proud that I had the courage to "go for it" and the commitment to get there. There are many, many positive things I have gained from the experience, so I'm not entirely gloomy about the whole thing.

Even if I'm a little apprehensive about it, I still call myself a marathoner and I did put my 26.2 sticker on my car but I think I'll leave the tattoo for after the next one - because the tattoo shouldn't hurt more than the race.

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