Posted by: Ingrid | October 14, 2009

And then it’s over

I am having one of those weeks where I question why I run at all.  This should have been on my horizon, this feeling of let down and general dissatisfaction that generally pops up after a running event.  I guess I just didn’t expect it to hit because I wasn’t officially training.  I skipped my run on Monday with the excuse that I’d just run a half marathon the day before at a faster pace than I intended and was sore.  A decent excuse, I guess, but then I didn’t want to run yesterday either, even though I got out for five miles in the afternoon.  And I didn’t want to wake up this morning and run either, though I got myself out the door and into the crisp 33 degree pitch black morning for seven miles.

Sometimes I wonder why I run.

When I think about running events I realize that I don’t particularly love any of the stages.  The training part is hard and I worry that I’ll get injured.  The event has me nervous because I’m afraid I’ll fail and disappoint myself.  Then afterward it’s over and I have nothing more to look forward to and I lose all of whatever motivation I had.

It’s days after an event that I wake up not wanting to run and with the realization that the house is a mess and the books are still in boxes and I have a to do list a mile long that somehow never gets shorter and I still don’t want to run because I feel aimless.  That’s when I want the fairy of Structureland to swoop in and organize my life.  I want a bunch of goals and a training plan and the chance to clean the house within an inch of its life (that is such a weird phrase… as if the house had a life).  Oddly enough, when I crave structure and am stressed I want things clean and I want to run a lot.  Those two things are generally not the most conducive to life with a new baby, I have to admit.

I need a plan.  I need some motivation.  I need… something.

Any cures out there for the post-run blahs?

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Responses

  1. You know, Ingrid, that might not just be post-run blahs. I don’t run and I have them periodically – it just seems to happen sometimes (especially with little ones and little sleep). I usually have a good cry and then clean something obvious so that I can look at it and SEE the accomplishment. Then I make a list and try again. It isn’t a silver bullet (don’t I wish I knew one!) but it helps me.

    Feel better!

  2. Another thought: perhaps right now (especially while you have a new baby, perhaps for the first nine months to a year) you could run SOLELY for fun? Just because you like it and it relaxes you, rather than trying to train for this that and the other? Right now you need a consistent way to relax and if running does that for you, great. But it does need to be fun and relaxing! 🙂

    • You’re right, Em, it certainly could be something other than post-run blahs, I just tend to feel this way after an event generally. I would run for fun except for the fact that I could quite possibly be pregnant in a year so I sort of feel like I have a ticking clock in front of me. That could be some of this week, the feeling of needing a little break but also feeling the pressure of what I’d like to accomplish in a limited amount of time and so not wanting to take a break at all.

      I love that picture, BTW!

  3. I understand your feeling all too well! What about setting a goal of running a sub-1:37 half marathon and qualifying for the NYC marathon? That was my goal for several years until I did it twice this spring. It’s a great goal if you love the half marathon distance.

    • Good idea, Lisa. I would like to drop into the 1:30’s and sub 1:37 certainly sounds less daunting than 1:30 proper. I didn’t know that you had to qualify for NYC. That might be fun… thanks for the tip!

  4. I don’t have a baby, but I can kind of relate. I have my first 1/2 coming in November, did a 10K earlier this week and running that I felt blah. A lot of my problem has to do with lack of motivation to set goals and the cold weather that seemed to arrive out of nowhere! 🙂 Maybe reflecting on the things you have achieved (especially having a baby, moving across the country and running a 1/2!!) can help you figure out your next move. My goal at the moment is to get through the winter, one winter race, and then spring ones 🙂

  5. I would suggest giving yourself a reward after each marathon so that it isn’t so anti-climatic. Like, maybe save up money to stay at a B&B. Or, go out for a fancy dinner. Or whatever. But something you LIKE to do but just don’t get around to doing. Then the adrenaline that gets wiped out by the run will be restored through something that is emotionally uplifting.

    That really is it. You really use up a lot of adrenaline with the marathons and it sort of wipes you out for a while. Combine that with postpartum fatigue and a move and you probably are in for just a major woozy. I suggest start planning a reward. Hey, you could even reward yourself now somehow! Been on a post-baby date yet?

    • Ooh, I like this! A woman at church has been offering to babysit Isaac so we might just take her up on that this week. Thanks for the reward idea!

  6. A friend of mine who is a marathoner has started a new rule for herself this year: she only runs when she wants to, and how far she wants to. No training charts, specific numbers to meet each day or week, or anything like that. She just needed to mix things up for a while to stay interested, and it’s working for her. She knows that she doesn’t HAVE to run, but usually, she wants to anyway.

    Living in MA, I can tell you that when the weather got into the 30’s and 40’s a couple of weeks ago, my running motivation vanished. It’s just so darn cold, and I hate wearing earmuffs or getting a little congestion buildup from running in the cold. It’s a lot less fun than summer running, so if you’re experiencing turtle-neck weather where you are, maybe that plays into it, too.

  7. Yep, I am currently going through the post-marathon depression. (I have three children 1, 3, 5). My reward after the third c-section was running Boston in April. I just ran two marathons this fall to celebrate having a one year old and not being pregnant with another. Running 3 marathons in just over 5 months was a bit overwhelming with three kids and a move as well, but we made it through. Now, the marathons are over (the last one was 2 weeks ago) and I am bummed. I am not ready to sign up for another, however, I definately have the running blues. I also live in a freezing climate and that is getting to me as well. I hate the treadmill, but I am thinking it might be necessary since the -40s are coming quickly and I cannot take the kids in the jogger in that! All the best to you. I enjoy your blog.

  8. I failed to mention just to keep pushing through. Running is so reqarding and I find it is even more so as a mother. I know I will get out of this slump feeling and you will too!


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