Post-Marathon Blues

I wish someone had told me the natural high that comes with running a marathon only lasts for one week.  For exactly 7 days I felt amazing but then depression, sadness, and anger at the world set in.  I haven’t been working out nearly as much, I haven’t seen any of my team mates since The Marathon, and I am barely running despite the fact that I have the US Half on November 6th.


Right after The Marathon, I was in a daze.  Very happy, head-in-a-fog, and completely clumsy!  Everything I would touch, I would drop, and I was constantly tripping over things around the house- the living room rug, Hubby’s shoes, my kids’ toys, my own feet. That would normally be annoying but it wasn’t at all- post-marathon I was a very happy mess, and now, I’m just a mess.

When I get depressed, I tend to self-punish by not allowing myself to do the things I usually enjoy.  I avoid my friends, food, wine, running, reading, playing with my kids, playing Rock Band, and now blogging.  I was going to post about this funky funk several days ago but, obviously, didn’t. I was unable to figure out exactly what to write about this bad attitude of mine and since I enjoy blogging, chose to avoid it.  I do, however, allow myself to watch bad television and sulk and feel sorry for myself, I’m a master at that.

One of the first things I realized once I got my head out of the clouds was that nothing has really changed.  Okay so I ran a marathon, something that only 1% of the world population does, and that’s great and all but I’m still me, I’m still doing the same every day things I do as a mom/wife/homemaker, and even though my next season with Team in Training starts on November 12th, I find myself happy about nothing, pissed off at everything, and doing nothing about it.


Well, that’s not completely true- I forced myself to go out with friends on Wednesday night and I am joining some Team in Training friends for a run on Sunday.  The girl’s night out on Wednesday was fun, as always, but it was hard for me to really let loose as I was in such a horrible mood and it showed.  Of course, they asked me about it and offered hugs and support and all the stuff BFFs are supposed to do but I just responded with, “Whatever. No big deal. I’ll get over it soon enough.  Where’s my cocktail?”  Not sure if they found my response to their succor insulting or not because, as girls, we just changed the subject, moved on to something else, ordered more shots, and harassed our waiter… typical stuff for us.

Oh and to top it all off, my stupid birthday is coming up on Tuesday and I will be thrity-fricking-seven so have been obsessing over all the gray hair and wrinkles I have.  That’s really fun to do when you’re already depressed, you should try it sometime.

So now it is Saturday and we have a great Halloween-themed weekend planned, the kids are going to love it so I hope to shake this off, or least forget about it, so as not to ruin everyone’s good time.  I dunno though, I make no promises.

Have you ever felt this kid of let-down after a big race?  How do you handle it?  Any suggestions for me and my attitude problem?

And don’t forget to enter my Run Like a Mother Giveaway– winners will be drawn on Thursday. I can’t seem to muster an exclamation point right now but don’t hold it against me.

8 thoughts on “Post-Marathon Blues

  1. Great post, Laura! I think this is very common – I remember experiencing it and being equally surprised by it, so I think it’s great that you’re writing about it. The only other time I’ve experienced such a sort of shocking let-down was after getting married. They seem so different but I think they’re similar in that you spend so much time preparing for this one event and it really does take over your life and then, in a day, it’s over. But, unlike getting married (well, ideally at least), you have future races, and marathons even, to look forward to. My only advice is to not beat yourself up for feeling blue – let it wash over you and it WILL pass. You just have to give yourself the time to go through the full range of emotions and before you know it, you’ll be back at it with all the energy you put into the first race! Hang in there and have a great birthday!

  2. Dude, I TOTALLY understand what you are talking about. I ran Big Sur this year and kind of went right into SFM training and after that my world kind of crashed. That was the end of July and I’m only now totally getting my groove back… I think I just got really mentally affected by this adrenaline rush going on for essentially 7 months and then just kind of feeling like this big goal was gone and now what? so i totally get you. my advice would be something fun non-running-related to get excited about. a new activity to try. it helps!

  3. Oh, Nose! I’m so sorry that you’ve been going through this crap. I totally, totally relate. Right after the CIM marathon last year, I stopped running for about 3 weeks. One morning about two weeks after the race, when my alarm went off at 6, I was overwhelmed with hatred at everything: my job, my commute, my car, the dark, the cold, the fact that my good jeans were dirty…the idea of getting out of bed was so unmanageable that I literally threw my phone/alarm clock across the room. Then got up just so I could pick it up and throw it again. The combined lack of what had been a major motivator/goal (marathon) and of exercise endorphins was totally debilitating. I think Courtney and Becky both have good advice–be patient with yourself, it will pass, and if you can find a new distracting activity to enjoy, so much the better. For myself, the drop in endorphins from lack of exercise was a palpable physical problem, and as soon as I picked up running again, I felt better. If you’ve been running 20-30 miles a week, dropping that is a major shock to the body. I didn’t want to run AT ALL right away, and I felt I’d earned a break, but after about two good runs I felt like I could handle life again. My advice would be to give yourself a new goal to replace the marathon void–maybe not for the US half since you’re still recovering, but you’re in great shape overall to approach a half marathon PR or something similar early in the spring. Oh! And never forget that you’re awesome :).

  4. Ack, completely know the feeling!! Same thing after any HUGE event…didn’t you used to get this after performing in a show? Maybe not to this level but I know when my goal has been reached, I did it, I feel great and then…and then…let down. Let yourself feel it, grieve it and then move on. Eat Halloween candy, enjoy the fact that you are only friggin’ 37 yrs old…unbelievable. Now I feel old.:-) Seriously Laura, you are an amazing woman…above and beyond the marathon. AND it sure does help to have a goal that is beyond those you care for each day, something that is just about you (even though its about others, etc, you know what I mean)…

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