Being an Athlete: Post-Marathon Thoughts

Is post-marathon depression a thing? I was sitting in my PJs at 9am on Saturday morning feeling very weird about not going for a long run. I thought I’d be excited but it was more just weird.

So remember how I told you that I was fighting back tears? Now I’ve got the proof… literally…

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Yup. That was mile 25: tears, pain and agony… attractive, I know.

I just wanted it to end. What the heck was I doing? This was ridiculous. Who the heck runs this far? Apparently, these are normal marathon feelings but it was seriously painful. I’ve never wanted to stop something so badly in my life. But I would not. I was running across that finish line… whatever it took.

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When the announcer called my name, “Amy Sherman, from Toronto, Canada” – the emotions started coming: pride, relief, exhaustion, happiness.

I remember standing in Copley Square at the finish line of the Boston Marathon for three years in awe of those athletes – wishing and hoping I could do that one day. Did I think I’d run a marathon in December, 2014? Heck no. But it was meant to be.

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I haven’t been running for very long – just over a year and a half. [If you’re new here, you can read how/why I started running here] I initially loved the sense of solitude that came with lacing up for a run. Being alone helped me to reflect, think and figure out what the heck to do with my post-grad life. But when I discovered CrossFit, I regained the sense of being with a team again – the support, encouragement and competitiveness. I loved the CrossFit community that I didn’t have with running.

The 26 Strong program proved me wrong about my loneliness of running. Being with Morganne and the 16 other amazing women in Hawaii was truly incredible. It showed me the power of the running community – one that I am lucky and honored to be a part of. I feel so grateful to have connected with these runners and am thankful for technology for allowing us to stay in touch.

26 Strong

But it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Running and CrossFit can co-exist. So can many other activities. We often have pre-conceived notions about athletes: all yogis are vegan; all football players chow down on steaks after the game; all runners carb-load with pasta. I’m guilty of it too. But the important thing is finding what you love to do and going after it. Find what makes you feel like an athlete. No matter what sport or activity; how you lose weight or how you gain it; how you get healthier or treat your body better – do what makes you happy.

I know I am not the fastest runner or the strongest CrossFit-er but I just want to continue being the best (and happiest) athlete I can be. I never thought I’d actually want to run another marathon. I kept telling my family: “one and done”; but if another opportunity presented itself, I’d seriously consider it. Wow, I can’t believe I just typed that hah! But I also think about the other things I want to do: a CrossFit competition, a headstand, a triathlon…

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…I’d definitely need to get better at swimming first!

But before all of that I am doing something that is really hard for me: I am embracing an off-season. In the past year and a half, I’ve run 5 half-marathons, a marathon and started CrossFit. That’s kind of a lot – at least for me. So I’m taking a break from training for something and slowing down. Do I want to? Heck no! But it’s the right thing to do. I am going to focus on improving my mental and physical flexibility through yoga and increasing my strength with some olympic lifting at CrossFit. Plus a whole bunch of rest.

As hard as it is, listening to your body and not over-doing it is so important. In order to train effectively, recover well and achieve your goals, I think you need to balance your fitness, eat enough nourishing food, sleep lots, stress less, relax more and make hard decisions.

All athletes need an off-season and it’s time for mine. Even though I’m antsy just thinking about it…

Amy Honolulu Marathon

And with that I’m off to enjoy the dessert sun, Trader Joe’s and some leisurely hikes with the fam.

Wishing you all a very happy holidays! Enjoy your time with family, friends and eating delicious food. I’ll speak to you next week!

 

Questions of the day… 

What are you thinking about? What are your plans for the holidays? 

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25 thoughts on “Being an Athlete: Post-Marathon Thoughts

  1. Post race blues is a real thing, so totally normal. Everyone deals with it differently, I used to sign up for more races which isn’t always a good thing! I’m realizing that while I love running there are so many other things I want to do as well :)

  2. Post marathon blues is absolutely a real thing and it happens to me after every marathon. But now you get to lift all the weights instead!! Loved the pics! You look amazing!! So when are you running your next one?! haha. Have a wonderful Monday! xoxo!

  3. Post marathon depression is definitely a real thing! I have experienced it with both of my marathons. I keep telling myself that I’m going to take a season off but it never happens. I had those same tears at miles 22-26 of MCM this year, I know those emotions all too well. Congrats on pushing forward and still getting it done! You’re a marathoner!

  4. I absolutely love, love, love the pics of you choking back tears! You are not the only one…I cry at the start and finish of every race no matter the distance. I’m thankful to run but it’s also kind of like “I can’t believe I’m about to run this race or I can’t believe I just did that!” type of cry. Enjoy your off season…you earned it!

  5. Awww… I love all of your race photos! It really shows your emotions so well. Post-marathon depression is seriously a thing. (Even if you quit most of the way through training…) It’s like all of a sudden you have so much time on your hands you have no clue what to do with yourself!

  6. I just read this post! Love the pics of you at the finish, that was me immediately after – except sobbing uncontrollably. Marathons bring out some crazy emotions :) I still can’t believe our 26 Strong journey is over, but I think we should all plan a reunion marathon somewhere! Happy new year!

  7. Congratulations Amy! Your write-up of your experience was so nicely done and the these pictures really topped it off. I admire the fact you have the willpower to give your body a rest. It makes you a smarter athlete. You’ll find something meaningful to fill the non-training time and you’ll get over the post-race blues. Best of luck!!

  8. Love this post. There are so many emotions that occur during training, racing and post-racing! I still haven’t ever competed or watched a marathon where I didn’t cry!

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