So, nearly three weeks have passed since I completed my first marathon at Medoc. And, over the course of these weeks, I've definitely noticed some sporadic bouts of depression and malaise. I didn't sit around crying in a dark room or contemplating the purpose of my existence while ignoring the requests of my loved ones.
Rather, I could simply sense a change in my overall mood, a despondency of sorts. This was especially true during the first week of recovery. When my thoughts would turn to anything running related, I wouldn't get the same feeling of excitement that I'd experienced over the past several months. My interest in running discussions on the Runner's World forums waned dramatically. And, I barely cared to think about future running goals.
I did a little research on the web about post-marathon depression and found that it is quite common.
An article on RunningFit.com states, "...like any big event in life that after the planning and work to have it all come together, the result, no matter how great, will leave you a bit let down once it is all done." This is obvious, especially after I read it on the screen.
The RunningFit author goes on to explain that it is important to set new goals and really take time in recovering from the marathon.
So, almost three weeks later, I'm back to my happy-runner self again. I'm on week two of the Hal Higdon post marathon recovery program. And, running regularly again after a few days of zero-to-two-mile recovery runs really helped to elevate my spirits. It's difficult at times to make myself follow a training schedule that's just a fraction of what I was doing four weeks ago. But, my body really is tired. And, I'm happy to be taking it easy for a while.
The dilemma for me, though, is now that I have my enthusiasm for running again, I'm anxious to participate in challenging trail races as soon as possible. I'm giving myself a full month before "racing" again, though. Don't worry.