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Dealing with the post-race blues.

Ever feel sad when a big race is over? Join the club.

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I often find myself in a ‘post-race funk’ after a big race. It must be because big races, like the Boston Marathon, always seem like they are taking forever to get here, then all of a sudden it’s all over in the blink of an eye. I like to think of this as the ‘post-race blues.’ It’s almost like I’m mourning the race that I was looking forward to for the longest time.  Perhaps what added to the blues post Boston Marathon is all of the hype leading up to this year and how special this year’s race was for everyone that was involved.

From what I have read online, this is actually a real thing, that happens with both runners and triathletes. I can only imagine how I’m going to feel in August when my Ironman is over!

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From Triathlete magazine: Post-race depression, or the “Ironman blues” as it’s commonly referred to in our sport, is a very real epidemic. You’ve spent months training. Every minute is planned for optimum performance, every calorie is counted to properly fuel your body, and every spare moment is used to recover and visualize the race ahead. Then, almost immediately after crossing the finish line, you come down with a physical and mental case of the mopes.
Read more here. 

The days following the marathon, I felt like my head was in a cloud. I had just experienced this AMAZING day and now it had all come to an end. While I am excited for triathlon season, there is just something about the Boston Marathon that puts it on a pedestal, it’s unlike any other race. It probably didn’t help that I was really tired and my appetite was all thrown off for about 48 hours post marathon.

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Oliver was feeling mopey too!

Despite feeling the ‘blues’, last week it was nice to physically (and mentally) take a break from training. Although I am not one to like rest, after running 26.2 miles on Monday, I NEEDED the rest. The night of the marathon, I slept for 12 hours! I have not slept that much in probably years… obviously my body was telling me something. My Triathlon coach instructed me to do NOTHING all week, expect for maybe some light and short bike riding and swimming. I was fine with this because Boston left me feeling pretty beat up until Thursday. As I explained in my recap, it’s the downhill’s that get you at Boston and my quads felt delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) until Wednesday/Thursday. I returned to work later in the week and it was really hard to focus. I was still getting that high from the marathon, but yet I was confined to a cubicle. My head was in a fog and my legs were still tired. I don’t work with runners, so no one really understood what I was going through… they were just amazed that I ran 26.2 miles:)

I basically took all of last week off and just enjoyed my rest… knowing that there is a LONG road ahead to my Ironman in August.  I tried to step back for a minute while recovering, just to enjoy all of my free time.  Free time will be hard to come by for about 16 more weeks or so.

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Now I am definitely feeling the ‘racing itch’ one week after Boston. My first race isn’t until June (Half Ironman) and I want to race in May! Tis the season, right? I hope to add a race in May, either a half marathon or sprint triathlon, we shall see. Last week I received my official ‘Ironman Mont Tremblant’ training plan from my coach (it’s really happening!).  Even though I’ve been swimming, biking and running for months now, it’s still crazy to see the last day of my current plan as the actual Ironman race! Excited for the road ahead!

 Curious to hear how you deal with post-race blues?  Feel free to share some tips!

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7 Comments

  • Reply Abby April 29, 2014 at 2:27 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed a week of rest! I was wondering if you’d be able to 🙂
    The one time I majorly experienced post-race blues was after our first Ironman. I was in a serious funk!! I haven’t really had it after other big races, but now I plan more and make fun dates in the spare time I used to spend training!

    • Reply Kristin April 29, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      Thank you! LOL seriously, I was wondering how I would react to ‘recovery week’ too. I am nervous about the blues post Ironman, I can imagine it will be magnified! I honestly did enjoy my extra free time last week:) That doesn’t come often, as you know!

  • Reply Nicole April 30, 2014 at 4:13 am

    First of all – Congrats on the race!!! And second, I totally get the post race blues. Well after Phoenix (when I didn’t qualify for Boston) I was really sad but also after Ironman CDA I was sad even though I finished the race and achieved my goal! It was weird…and the whole not being able to concentrate at work thing is definitely a THING!

    Luckily it passes! On to the next thing! 🙂

    • Reply Kristin May 1, 2014 at 8:16 pm

      Thank you so much Nicole!! Glad I’m not alone! I think that about IMMT I will have some serious blues… need to start planning for a race in the fall:) Yes always onto the next thing!

  • Reply Kristen @ Glitter and Dust April 30, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    I know those post-race blues all too well. When I did the Seattle Marathon back in December, I was completely blah for weeks after (I took the whole month of December off). I’ve kind of compared it to dating. You invest time, energy, heart, soul, etc etc and then once the relationship is over, there is a sense of uncertainty and “now what’? I would say that setting more goals, whether races, hobbies, travel plans, etc. helps me pull through a drought. I am a very goal oriented person, so it’s when I don’t have anything going on or to work toward that I get those blues. It sounds like you have something HUGE to look forward to in the coming months. 😉

    • Reply Kristin May 1, 2014 at 8:11 pm

      Love your comparison to dating, it’s so true! I am also very goal-oriented.. that’s probably why I can’t go more than a few months without having a race in the pipeline! I can’t imagine not having something to work towards. I think also it helps that I love to compete and see my improvements along the way. And yes, something very BIG in August to look forward to, it’s definitely putting things in perspective post Boston!

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