October 13, 2011 at 7:38am
The Chicago Marathon has come and gone and while most have moved on, some people are suffering from Post Marathon Depression (PMD). While I did not run this year, having completed 21 marathons, I can attest to runner PMD. You go through training and have good long runs. You got your gels, your shoes and your running gear ready. You’re prepared and think you’re gonna set a new PR, maybe even qualify for Boston. Then the big day comes and before you know it, you’re at the halfway point struggling to just finish. Somehow the marathon just didn’t go the way you planned.
You’ve heard of the five stages of grief, well I give you the five stages of PMD:
•D – Disappointment
•A – Anger
•F – Frustration
•F – Faking It
•I – Insanity
Disappointment: Every marathon has a goal, and it usually isn’t “just to finish”. After 18-20 weeks of training you kinda get an idea for what you can do based on your 20 miler training run and you’d like to do a tad better on race day. Assuming your goal was realistic, you really don’t want to hear things like “at least you finished” or “not everyone can run one of these.”
Anger: Just like coping with Death, you are pissed off at someone, especially after hearing cliches like those above. Maybe you curse Mother Nature for the weather or God for making you a partying iguana instead of a speedy gazelle.
Frustration: you cannot believe you spent 18 Fridays going to bed at a decent hour during the socially active summer a one shot Sunday. If you have a bad 5K, you can make it up next week, but your garden variety marathoner needs at least a month to fully recover before running another race competitively. Eventually you realize that you rarely get to run the marathon you want, you only get to run the marathon you are given.
Faking It: After a week or so of bitching, you have to at least pretend you are over it or your friends, loved ones and/or co-workers will arrange your death. Seriously, stop bitching about it. See my point above about running the marathon you are given.
Insanity: By week’s end you might join your running mates for an easy, untimed recovery run. You rediscover what you love about running and you quickly get over it by planning your next marathon.
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Filed under: Marathon Monday