Post Marathon Blues

Good morning, My Friends –

Despite the title of this post, I’m not in a particularly low mood today, specifically, but my mind has been heavy the last few weeks, more so than the previous two marathons. I tend to be a Pollyanna more than a lot of people, but when I get low, I don’t really hide it well. Since this blog is cathartic for me, I thought it made sense to talk about it all here.

First: the marathon itself. I had similar feelings that I had postpartum: feelings of overwhelming joy about the event that finally took place that took me months to prepare and I knew it was going to change me… but now I miss the preparation portion of it and physically, I’m feeling slow and lumbering. The joy of my children as babies (and now as the incredible young men they are becoming) far outweighs the feeling after the marathon, but that is the closest feeling I can relate to for the first couple of weeks after each event. No offense or inconsideration intended – just trying to explain it using another experience that makes the most sense and of which I have the clearest memory. I have felt this way after all three marathons, but it seems to hit me harder this time, for reasons I’ll explain shortly.

Second: I’m less patient about recovery. The other recoveries have been slower and it took me longer to get back into the habit. Physically, I’m actually farther along than I was the other two times, but I am less patient this time than the other times because I know I can do better and I want to prove it to myself and get back in there and just do it already. I’m also suffering a bit from some marathon training burn out – mentally, especially toward the end of the training, I was emotionally burned out and I had a tough time making the runs happen and/or enjoyable. That does not seem to have disappeared yet, especially since I have had to walk run the first few runs. I hate having to walk/run, even though my runner maturity tells me I have to so I obey. Reluctantly. I am annoyed about it and almost indigently begin to take off like I want to… but, I physically can’t go as fast at this point in the recovery and I’m getting very frustrated by it. I am really having a hard time with that this time around.

Third: effing cancer. My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer two months ago, and as it has in the past, my emotional state is affecting my physical performance. She’s in good spirits and, so far, is kicking cancer’s ass, but it is early in the process and there is still a long road ahead. So far, it has been positive news (I refrain from using “good news” at this point because the only good news is that she is in remission), so I’m encouraged. Still… as her older sister and designated protector, I feel very helpless and there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do to fix this. I support her and buy her healthy foods (which is something she asks for, is grateful for, and graciously accepts), so I’m helping in the little ways I can. However… now that it is a first degree family member with the diagnosis, I’m at a higher risk, which means I have my own health to worry about now. I got my mammogram yesterday and am hopeful that there is nothing on it so I’m strong enough to help her through her battle without having to battle on my own – or alone. I have friends that would help, but I’m not sure how much help I’d get in the areas that mean the most to me.

Fourth: indescribable… I witnessed a horrific accident this week that has changed me in ways I cannot explain well in words yet. I’ve always valued life and have been immeasurably grateful for my own, but it completely changed my perspective having to witness someone else’s ending. I really can’t stop thinking about the impact they likely had on their families and friends and how much they would be missed. I never met that person, but right now, I miss him quite a bit and am sorry to have to had witnessed this – he will forever be in my thoughts and prayers, as will his family, friends, and anyone who was close to him. As a result, I have held people closer to me than ever before… much more than I have probably demonstrated because I’m still processing everything. In fact, it may seem as though I’m pushing people away, but that is not how I feel – I am just not good at stuff like this. I have always “run away” (not to be punny on this subject) from big traumatic events at first, and then gone back and dealt with it after I’ve had time to let it settle. I might need a little more time on this one, though. I’m very hopeful that my friends and family will understand and be there for me when I am ready to deal with it appropriately.

So… until then… I’m going to continue to recover…. and run when I can. I’ll likely use the treadmill to help me recover the right way from the marathon …and contribute to the emotional recovery for the other two.

My therapy.

Until next week…