The last four months of my life have been consumed with preparing to run a half marathon. Even though I’ve run 4 halfs in my life, it’d been 4 years since the last one. During that time, I focused on weight lifting and HIIT training. In fact the longest distance I’d run was a 10k one time (6.2 miles). Reintroducing long distance running, having a kid at home, and having a post-pregnancy body all proved to make for a challenging training season. Nevertheless, I persisted and was ready for this race!
May 5, 2019
Like any big event in my life, I had a count down. And then the day finally arrived! We were blessed with a warm, sunny morning to run in, even though rain had been forecasted for the race the whole week leading up to it. I’m rather picky and would have preferred cooler weather with some sprinkles over the warm sun beating down — I know I’m picky! But the nice weather brought out more spectators and that is always a plus. So many smiling faces, signs to make you laugh and lots of water, ice, fruit, and music to keep us moving!
I had a goal time in mind, but I didn’t quite reach it. Even still, the race was wonderful. I had a blast and it was awesome to watch so many athletes participating. And more than once I had tears in my eyes as I watched the crowd of people doing their part to encourage us as we’d pass them. It really is quite an experience from either side. I’m very grateful to the running community and supporters in our city.
Crossing the Finish Line
And just like that it was over. I crossed that finish line grinning from ear to ear. Even though I didn’t hit the goal I’d set out to reach, I still felt proud! I got my medal and some snacks. My husband and daughter found me and we cheered on more runners as we made our way to the car. I felt as if I was on Cloud 9. We came home, my daughter went down for a nap and my husband went off to work. I showered and curled up on the couch, ready to relax and maybe even sleep.
Unfortunately, sleep was not happening. In fact within 20 minutes on the couch, I was full of sadness and in tears. As friends texted to congratulate me and check in, I got more and more depressed. All of my efforts in 2019 had been focused on this race. Daily workouts, long runs on the weekends, nutrition, recovery. Everything. And just like that, it was over. I’d crossed the finish line and the feelings of satisfaction and being proud of myself didn’t last long. Overwhelming feelings of sadness that it was over consumed me. What I’d worked so hard to accomplish had been accomplished.
This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced this. When I used to host events, I felt it after each one. And after big trips, projects or presentations, you name it. I experience the satisfaction for a few minutes and then this sadness takes over. The emotional letdown. After scouring the internet, I’ve learned I’m not alone. This depressed feeling after a big event is, in fact, a thing. Th research behind it makes sense and there’s even some suggestions on how to avoid it.
I know I’m not the only one who experiences this. I can’t be. I know I’m also not the only one who immediately (I’m talking within an hour) is already planning the next goal, the next big thing to tackle. I spent most of yesterday afternoon doing just that. I don’t love that I’m wired in this way, but since I know I operate best when I have something to focus on and look forward to, it only makes sense that I would hone that energy into something good.
I’ve already shared my next fitness plans and goals with my husband, to keep me accountable. We discussed making changes to our meals out home and trying keto again (I plan to share my journey with you all, so stay tuned!) We got house projects galore and more steps to take as we continue on our “crunchy” journey. Finally, I’ve also outlined some plans for this very blog you are reading right now. My half marathon training may be complete, but I’m not taking a break from goal setting. My sights are already on to the next big thing and I can’t wait to share how that turns out! As the saying goes… “On to the next one!”