Post Marathon Crash and Burn

You read a thousand articles about how to prepare and train for your marathon, but does anyone ever read about the “aftershocks” of race day? Maybe I’m the only one who didn’t prepare for the few weeks after the big day. I don’t think it ever crossed my mind. After all, it couldn’t be any harder than actually doing the 26.2 miles, right? Wrong. It seems like it’s taking quite a while to return to whatever homeostasis was before I started training (which in our case was a little over 5 months ago- I don’t remember how I felt then or what my body was doing to self-regulate in the middle of 2014 so I’m jam packed with strangeness). Our race was almost two weeks ago and there have been quite a few roller coaster days since then. Hopefully I’m not alone in my list below and if there are any other marathoners out there who can confirm this is how two weeks post event feels, please share that with me so I know I’m not going crazy.

I never expected to:
1. Feel so hungry even up to a week and a half after the race. My appetite is slowly starting to transition into what “normal” should be….read: not eating salt and vinegar chips as appetizers before every meal (horrible, I know. Thankfully this weirdo craving has finally stopped).

2. Feel so tired – even still! I was physically tired a few days after the race, but I was definitely in a state of “the surge”, still high on endorphins and accomplishment. But this…. This is a different kind of tired. This is zero energy, do I really have to stand to empty the dishwasher, everyone needs to leave me alone while I hibernate under a pile of fuzzy blankets for the next 12 hours kind of tired. This is the crash. I’m anticipating this feeling continues straight through the weekend as well.

3. Have a great 1st post race 3 mile run where I felt that anyone could out of the blue point to me and say “Hey you! We need you to run 13.1 miles tomorrow!” and I’d kill it….and then have 3 consecutive craptastic slog/walks that felt like all three of my kids were dragging behind me, hanging onto my ankles as I tried to shuffle along.

4. Feel like I need adaptations typically found in a nursing home. 15 minutes of power yoga a few days ago made me feel like I needed a rolling walker and a raised toilet seat the next day. What gives?! Mama D said her arms unleashed their fury on her after going to a Ripped strength class a few days ago. She could do nothing other than accept their revenge for being neglected for the last 6 months. True story.

5. Obsessively scour the internet for the first week post race trying to decide on my next race and whether it was going to be a short one focused on speed or another half or full marathon. This was quickly followed by week two post race where…… Refer to numbers 2, 3 & 4. No more races.

So my fireworks have faded and my motivation is nothing more than a fizzle. I’m not really sure where to go from here. How will I know when my running mojo returns? Will I even recognize it? Am I destined to now only want the life of The Blerch? (Everyone must read The Oatmeal’s work)

If anyone has any post race highs and lows, please share!

Be inspired (cause I’m surely not)!
-Mama K

About Soleful Mamas

Powered by sunshine and friendship, Soleful Mamas is half support group/half running club. Our tribe is committed to empowering women of all ages and abilities one mile at a time. We are committed to inspiring those around us to live stronger, healthier, and more confident lives through the power of running and adventure experiences. We'd love for you to join us! We want all Mamas to know that as you blaze your trail of awesomeness, we're with you every step of the way!

Leave a Reply