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Friday, October 31, 2014

Coping with "Post Racepartum" Depression

Preparing for a marathon can be an intense 16 weeks of training and sacrifice filled with a truckload of emotion that may come crashing down on you days after you cross the finish line.

First 1mile Since MCM... Might be time for a shave!!!
Once the adrenaline wears off and the pain subsides some runners are left with a hollow feeling inside.  I never really gave much thought to "race partum depression" until a few days after completing MCM and I was in a funk.  I took to the FB airwaves to see if I was alone and asked the question: "Post Race Partum Depression Myth or Fact".  Here are a few of the responses-I'll let you come to your own conclusion:

Nothing but open road ahead!!!
"Oh my God if somebody was watching me yesterday they would NEVER have believed that I'm a runner!  I looked like a baby deer just learning how to use their legs.. Or maybe a very drunk person... Geez it was ugly!!  LOL!" -Tracey G.

"Fact!  I have been feeling lost now that it's over... All the hype leading up to it...  Guess I need to do it again next year!" -Christine G

"Emotionally exhausted but can't sleep, irritable and just "blah".  I need to hobble my way through at least a mile or two soon". -Allison R

"Fact! I am totally feeling it!" -Jamie M.

The general consensus after my impromptu survey was, there's some truth to feeling "blah blah yucky yuck" after a race.  My curiosity about post race depression led me to a few articles online: 6 Ways to Beat Post Race Depression, Mccormacks Tips for Avoiding Post Race Depression and Post Marathon Depression Tips to Get Back in The Race.

Today was a brighter day... Oh look I shaved!!!! Lol
As I read the comments I realized there was a common thread that binds runners together and it was in the prescription-sign up for another race.  This was the first time I felt bumbed out after a race and I guess it's because of the expectations I placed on myself.  I was looking to BQ in MCM and that didn't happen, while I'm at peace with the results the competitor in me started thinking about what I was going to do differently next year on my ride home from DC.  The high hadn't even wore off yet and I was already looking for the next fix.  Lol!!!

I'm learning to enjoy the process along the journey!!!
I felt like Chris Rock's character Pooky in New Jack City... Where he's a crack head the only difference is this is a health addiction.  Lol. But, an addiction none the less and yes it feels like races be stalking me and calling my name... "Derek... Derek... Cmon Son let's start looking now, you know you want to sign up and run!!!"  I will be fighting the urge to sign up for another marathon or half for a while, the only thing on the horizon is the Manchester Road Race Thanks Giving Morning-which reminds me I need to sign up, let me do that now! Ok I'm finished registering back to the post.  Addicted!

Yesterday I took some to reflect on my marathon season this year and the progress that I've made in the three years since finding the love of my life in 2012.  And it helped to get me out of the funky funk mode.  It's amazing how something as simple as calculating the difference between my time in 2012 and 2014 changed my perception.  2hr:15min is nothing to shake a stick at; I don't talk about it to brag or boast but to encourage others.  I entered the sport late in life, at 46 I got the strange notion that I wanted to run a marathon-so I did.  Fast forward 3yrs and I've run 6 marathons and 6 half marathons.  It's never to late to start running, I've gotta warn you though it can be addictive but, don't worry there are a number of support groups to help you cope with your new love.


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