Fighting the Post-marathon funk

This is my first blog since I finished Chicago – I think it’s been two weeks since my last post.  I’ve been a little bit of a funk since I got back.

I think its pretty standard that after a long awaited event that you have prepared for, whether it be a marathon, or a wedding or a huge, decadent vacation, it’s pretty easy to slip into a “post-event funk.”  I put all this energy and focus into training and preparing for a race and after it’s over, it does seem to create a void (at least temporarily) that takes me some time to fill.

It happened after I finished my first half marathon and it’s happened after both marathons.  I seem to have a “cycle” that I slip into after the high from getting my medal starts to fade.

  1. Impulsive Race Registration – I have to be careful right after I run a race (not just marathons) because the post-race high induces a need to run ALL THE RACES.  I’m running the NY marathon in a week because I signed up for the lottery last year after MCM.  I have found for me that one race a month is probably how I should operate, with at least 2 weeks between them.  However, when I’m in this cycle, I’ve been known to sign up for two or three races in a month.  Too much!
  2. Amotivational Running Syndrome – I keep saying that I’m not a runner, I am simply someone who like to run races and get medals.  The reason I say that is because I actually find it extremely difficult to run AT ALL if I’m not training for a race.  After post-race recovery is over, I find the thought of running really, really unappealing and it’s very hard to start back on any type of running schedule.
  3. Getting into funky town – honestly, I get a little case of the blues after a big race.  It’s pretty subtle, but I find that I all I want to do after a race is eat all the food, drink wine, and binge-watch Netflix.  There’s nothing wrong with doing that on an occasional rainy Sunday.  However, when it’s all you want to do….that’s officially in a funk.

Unfortunately, being in #3 makes getting over #2 very difficult.  And since in #1 you signed up for all these damn races, you can end up in a position of not being ready or well-trained.  That happened to me last year after MCM, I wasn’t really able to get my running groove back in time to do well for the Spring races and it definitely showed.

I learned from last year’s funk, and this is what I’m going this year to “get my groove back”:

  1.   Race Restraint – Since I had two marathons this season, it was a lot easier to not sign up for too many races.  I did sign up for a marathon relay the week after Chicago, but aside from that, I’ve actually done pretty well about sticking to one race a month.  I’m still fighting the urge to sign up for one more race in November.
  2.   Running with friends – Now that my two weeks of minimal running are over, I’m going to try and fight the funk and amotivational running syndrome by making running plans.  My running group is done for the season, but I still can reach out to my running buds and make plans to meet up for runs, and I also joined the Oiselle team to help expand my “running network.”  Having someone to run with or making a commitment to meet up with someone to run gives me that push when I’m feeling like communing with the couch instead of lacing up my Hokas.
  3. Commit to my Spring race goal – if I commit to a goal, then I commit to a new start date for training.
  4.  Killer “to-do” list – until I figure out my next set of running goals and a training schedule, I need to keep myself productive and busy.  I find that if I make a huge “to-do” list (outside of my normal life schedule) and focus on getting at least one item done a day, I get the sense of accomplishment of crossing something off the huge list, which motivates me to keep being productive.  I know it may sound silly, but this is what works for me.
  5. Building the blog –  I got a comment this morning on Instagram from a follower that I’d inspired them to sign up for a marathon with my posts.  That was the whole reason I started the blog and posting on social media about my training and experiences.  If that’s not motivating, I don’t know what is.  Spending more time developing and expanding this blog (and reading comments like that) is definitely something to beat the blues.
  6. Cheering for a race  – the MCM is on Sunday and I plan to be out there cheering for the runners after mile 20, possibly even jumping in to run with a friend who’s a first timer.

Do you get in a post race funk or am I just a complete mental case?  What do you do to shake it off?





Running for Medals. And Bacon.

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