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The Blues: Post Race Depression



First -- let me apologize. It has been quite sometime since I have posted an article. I found myself a little lethargic since running the Detroit Marathon back in October. Looking back and after doing a little research -- I see that I have been going through some post race depression or really just the "blues". In no way do I equate this with the real clinical diagnosis of "depression", this is something different, very real but much different.

As some of you know I have been posting my progress as I trained for the Detroit Marathon. My goal was to finish in under four hours. My time was four hours and ten minutes. Ten flipping minutes! Yes it was better than last year and I should be proud. I am -- honestly I am proud -- however I still feel like I failed. I buried the feeling for a while, but it keeps coming up. What followed after the race has been procrastination. I love creating this blog, but I felt "how can I be motivational even though I failed?". I mean I just read an article on Lance Armstrong, he has gone through way more than I have, yet he wins. That is inspirational. So I shied away from the running community and running as well. (I still do 10 on Sunday).

With some research I found this is quite common. I look back and wondered was all the training worth it? The hot mornings in August, the night runs, the discipline of eating as right as possible. It felt like it was for nothing. I am certainly not the only one that has gone through this (see internet...) and I won't be the last.

The tough thing about the marathon is -- you can't  run it again the following week like you can with a 5k or 10k (unless of course you are Dean Karnazes). Maybe a month later but even that is tough. So "proving" myself again would take some time.

Proving myself...hmmmm. This was the problem. I came to the realization that I thought that finishing the Marathon in under four [pullquote_left]Proving myself...hmmmm. This was the problem.[/pullquote_left] hours would somehow legitimize me as a real runner and not some weekend wannabe. Failing at that gave me the feeling of just being a "hobby" runner. Now I know this is not true, but sometimes emotions control logic and that is just life. Understanding where these thoughts came from really helped me deal with reality.

It can be easy not to see what the true accomplishment of just finishing a marathon can be. The time and training along with getting to the race healthy is more than most people choose to tackle. As I write this I can look up and see the medals hanging of the various races that I have ran -- accomplishments. I started this to be healthy not to be Lance Armstrong, so next steps is to get back to basic training and running for fun.

Time to let running become (again) that release of tension not the source. For running to be enjoyable and "selfish".

Time to run on.