Pretty sure this picture says it all. Pure elation at the pinnacle of one of my best races, as well as the pinnacle of a fantastic season in general. I don’t believe this day could’ve gone better, and it capped off a very strong season of running for me, possibly my strongest yet at 50 years old. There were a whole lot of Cloud 9 moments in the days following this race, as well as lots of laughter and shared stories with friends who also had great experiences out there.
Alas, as often happens after a big goal race, a few days later, after the endorphins have worn off, the post-race let-down started to sink in for me. I don’t always suffer from this, but I have before, and it definitely happened this past week. This is a hard thing to describe to someone who’s never been through it. While I have coached people who have literally fallen into a depressed state, for me it’s not quite that bad, rather a feeling of just being a little “lost.” It’s natural, after training with such a specific goal for so many months, with such great focus, to feel lost, now that there’s nothing to train for or keep us accountable. The question comes to mind a lot, “What now?” My first run, 2 days post race, I was already trying to plan out the coming YEAR and think about my next ultra! (This was, of course, before I had completely come down off that runner’s high). Often times, once the let-down sinks in, it can be hard to motivate ourselves to get out the door for even a short easy run, let alone anything of substance.
Sometimes, compounding things, is the fact that after the race, when we’re feeling good, celebrating accomplishments, our nutrition falls way off-plan as well (raises hand). We’re more apt to eat ANYTHING immediately after the race, and I certainly enjoyed the spoils of my labors all of last week. Before you know it, the choices we’ve made nutritionally are now affecting our energy too, and not in a good way. Alcohol and sugar (if those are your things) definitely do not contribute to higher energy levels.
Suffice it to say, it was a bit of a rough weekend, feeling down emotionally, with low energy and just not physically my best. But you know what? That’s okay. I like to think of these experiences as learning opportunities. Sometimes, we need reminders that we ARE human. One day we can feel on top of the world, and the next day, we can feel, well… Not so much. Allowing ourselves to be human and fall off track once in a while, without judgement, is actually a good thing. It’s all part of what gives us a better understanding of those things that make us feel good, and those that rob us of that feeling.
For me, this week is a fresh start, beginning with nutrition. Time to clean up from the inside, so that energy can shine outward. I remember WHY I love to eat healthy, high energy food ~ Because I CAN.
Progress > Perfection, my friends.
Run Happy 🙂