The weeks and weeks of training are finally over. You have successfully completed the race! You did it! Now what?
It’s only been a few days and the muscle soreness is starting to fade. Your legs are starting to feel semi-normal again and you are beginning to walk semi-normal again.
“Do I really want to do this again?” reverberates in your brain for the first couple of days after a race. Then, you start to remember how training has become an integral part of your life and how in shape you are, both physically and mentally. The negative thoughts begin to fade and all of the positive memories begin to resurface.
The funny thing is that whether your marathon was a success or epic failure, for many people, the response is the same: “I can do better next time.” That’s when you start searching for that next race.
You remember how cool it was to have all of those spectators cheering you on and the live bands that kept you going, mile after mile. You remember the volunteer who ran up to you a couple minutes after you crossed the finish line and asked “are you ok?” You may have not felt or looked okay but you were okay, yes, you were okay.
Distance running is a great way to find out that your body will do far more than you ever imagined. If you were asked “are you okay” it’s a pretty good indicator that you left it all out there on the race course and did your best.
Whether you hit the finish line and immediately threw up, collapsed into the arms of a volunteer, or simply relished the moment with a huge smile on your face (even though you were exhausted), take some time to congratulate yourself.
Once you get past your ‘post-marathon blues’ you start to realize what a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle that you’ve created. You have numerous friends within the running community and would miss that camaraderie if you hung up the towel. And you can still hear that race announcer say:
CONGRATULATIONS, YOU FINISHED THE RACE!!