Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Marathon Recovery

Last year I wrote about recovering physically from a marathon. What I didn't touch on is mental recovery.

At some point during a marathon, well, at least most the runners I know, you find yourself questioning your sanity. I signed up for this? I thought this would be fun? I trained five months for this? This hurts!

If the mental game hadn't started during the taper, it surely appears around mile 22. That voice gets louder and clearer, until you stop running. But that's the lure of the marathon. You've trained your body to physically complete the task at hand. The mental side is the tougher part.

After crossing the finish line, I think most of us experience a moment of euphoria. We've accomplished a great task that not many have. As the euphoria fades, your conscience returns. He's saying something like 'Never. Again.'

A few hours after the first marathon, I announced I wanted to do another.

This year, it's taking a bit longer to come to that conclusion. In the two weeks following the race, a head cold was getting the best of me. The runs up until Hot Chocolate on November 3rd were pathetic attempts. I wondered if I should hang up running for awhile. Even at the start line of Hot Chocolate, I wasn't completely sold on doing the race. I had signed up just days before. I knew I needed to run another race to get me out of my slump. The post-marathon slump.

Since Hot Chocolate, I've had some good runs which is motivating me to run through winter. Even still, 38 days after the race, I have not decided if another marathon is in the cards. My brother commented that he wants to run Chicago next year. If he signs up February 1st, I know I'll be right behind him.

But for the time being, the brother scenario is the one exception. I'm just not ready to talk about it. Yet.

My friend Carrie announced her retirement shortly after completing the Berlin Marathon this year. Though I have since heard that she would consider coming out of retirement for the right race.

And the cycle continues.

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