October 17, 2013

I Ran a Marathon...but Now What?

"You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can't know what's coming." 
-Frank Shorter

I ran a freaking marathon. It is still sinking in.  I wish I could wear my medal all week and will continue to cycle in my two 26.2 shirts in my wardrobe for a while.  

Race bling makes me happy.

I've been taking it easy this week. My hamstrings are still a little sore and apparently this week should be mostly rest days and a few short, slow runs to shake out my leg,s and then I can slowly get back into a running routine. I also have a nasty little bruise or blister (or both!) on the top of one of my toes that hurts.  My coach recommended yoga, the elliptical or bike, or other easier cross-training in the first two weeks post-marathon if I'm itching to keep moving.  I did go out for a short run yesterday and was smiling for most of it :)

I've been wary of getting the post-race blues. This happened to me in the spring after my big races and before marathon training. I think taking a step back from running or whatever sport you train for is good every once in a while.  However, I am going to run the Philadelphia Half Marathon in a month to keep me running strong. Obviously my full marathon was my big race of the fall, so I don't have any PR expectations for the Philly half-I just want to keep running and have fun!

It's really strange training for something 4 months and now it has come and gone. I don't have to take it easy Friday night and get up at 5 AM every Saturday, what am I going to do? I'm proud, happy, and excited but don't really know where to go from here. I suppose it's time to think of some new goals. I know that the big kahuna goal in my running life (and life in general, I suppose) is to qualify for Boston-most every runner's dream. My first marathon is only 10 minutes off of my age group's Boston time requirement so I KNOW I could do it if I kept training. 

I felt awful and in pain during a lot of the marathon, but I want to do it again. What can I say, I'm a crazy runner lady. 

Here are some ways I'm trying to get my life back in sorts, while I come up with some new goals and projects. 

Ways to Avoid Post-Race Blues

1. Get back into other fit activities.

I want to hit the Crossfit box regularly and decide if I really want to keep my membership, since it is expensive and a big chunk of my budget right now. With tapering and the race I've neglected a lot of strength training and want to see my baby muscles growing again.  Also I've been saying this for a while, but I'd really like incorporate more yoga into my schedule again. I have a groupon for a month of yoga at a studio within walking distance so that seems like a perfect place to start!

2. Sign up for another race. 

Like I mentioned above, I've got a half marathon on my race schedule but also a couple fun runs like a turkey trot and five mile race I do each year.  I think having a race with less pressure surrounding it can be great motivation to keep running after such an emotional and long marathon training cycle. 

3. Find another hobby or project.

It is nice to put some of your energy and focus into work, your personal life, or a home project.  I know I have school, grad school applications, and some other chores that have been put on the backburner so it's time to get back to work on those.  As far as more fun activities, I'm going to spend more time cooking and reading books. I've had a stack on my desk corner forever and need to start making my way through them!

And by actually picking projects that will hopefully help me cut down on wasting time on the internet when I get home from work. By the way, if you need some nostalgia or have time to kill, check out this awesome link of 50 Things You Will Never Forget. It will make you feel old and maybe cry. 

4. Eat clean and healthy. 
After months of crazy running hunger, lots of treats "because I ran X miles today", and carb-loading for the race, I feel bloated. I know I gained some weight training and that just makes me feel blah. Upping the ante on my fruit and veggie intake while actually having worthwhile treats i.e. not mindlessly eating cereal, popcorn, and trail mix, will make me feel more energized and hopefully help me feel a little more lean before the holidays come around. 

I Ran a Marathon...but Now What?
Like today's veggie breakfast scramble, with some yolk porn peeking out.
Also I just wanted to mention that I'm excited I was chosen to be an IDEA Inspired blogger! It is an honor because IDEA is is the world's largest association of fitness and wellness professionals and features a strong commitment to spreading knowledge about fitness and healthy living. Check out all the other amazing bloggers here that I'm honored to be in the company of through the IDEA blogger program!

Have you ever gotten into a post-race funk? What are some other hobbies besides running and fitness you are spending time on lately?


  1. congratulations on your marathon and thanks for the post race tips! Long chain of post race blues on FB this week after the Chicago Marathon.Many involved candy corn and cupcakes! I am running NYC and had bad post marathon blues after NYC in 1996 (my first year of marathoning.) Now I just focus on planning fun stuff (we go on vacation every November for our wedding anniversary) and the holidays. Enjoy Philly! Love that course!

  2. Yep I get this feeling sometimes. It's the "now what?" once a big event passed. For me, right now it is the buildup to being home in Rhode Island and I have to wait another 8ish months until I get to relive that again. The half will be awesome though, especially to do just for fun! Which 5 mile race is it? I'm thinking about doing the jingle bell 8k in DC. I did it a few years ago and LOVED it!

  3. Congrats on the marathon!!! I'll be training for my first full next spring in another month or so... nervous and excited!! And congratulations on becoming an IDEA Inspired Blogger - me too!!

  4. Congratulations on completing your marathon! And 10 minutes off from Boston?! That's amazing!

    I finished my first marathon on Sunday and am already trying to figure out my second. We're so crazy :)