Well, you did it! You are a Marathoner! Let that sink in for a minute before you read on…..
When you finished the race, it may have seemed a little surreal. I remember that feeling well. And, honestly, I still feel that way at the finish. The planets were aligned, nothing major went wrong, and I was able to finish.
Because, let’s face it, things DO go wrong on race day. Sometimes, no matter how great everything was leading up to the race, for whatever reason, the race just doesn’t go as planned. Sometimes, you run into that dreaded “DNF”. It happens, but you have to move on.
But, you DID it. You toed the line, and you owned it. All of that work, all of that preparation, and you followed through. Sometimes, it doesn’t hit you right away. I remember my first finish, and how I started to cry and hyperventilate all at the same time. It was a scary feeling, yet I was so elated. Crazy. Surreal.
And then, there’s the aftermath. There are some things you will need to deal with, most likely. When you get home, and the dust begins to settle, your mind may begin to work. I don’t know about you, but when I had showered and finally had a minute to sit down, I felt a little upset. It’s like your wedding day. You plan and prepare, and then….it’s over. Just like that. There’s relief, no doubt. But, there’s a bit of a let down, too.
Lucky for me, my sister-in-law brought me out of my funk. She saw the picture of me and my husband at the finish line on Facebook and commented ,“YOU ARE NOW A MARATHONER!” Wow. That made me think. Yes, I am a marathoner. It was a bit life-changing, I have to admit. It became a way that I would identify myself; as well as how other people would identify me.
So, no matter what happened at your race, resist the urge to pick it apart until all of the magic and pride you feel have disappeared. You finished. You did it. You completed all 26.2 miles. Who cares if you walked a little or a lot? Who cares if you took some time for an unplanned restroom break? Who cares if miles 18-24 were the worst minutes of your life? You finished. That’s it. Take the experience and enjoy it for what it is.
Also important, and I can’t stress this enough, is that you need time to repair now. Some people don’t even want to think about running for a good long time after a marathon. Others can’t wait to start up again. No matter what category you find yourself in, know that you are not alone.
Take the week to relax and enjoy a nice walk on your favorite trail, go for a relaxing swim, take an easy bike ride. But, whatever you do, make sure you rest, refuel, and repair. Wait a few days to get a full body massage. When you do get that massage, make sure you are drinking plenty of water afterwards.
Enjoy every moment of your success. You made a commitment, and you came through on the other side tougher and stronger than you could ever imagine. Congratulations!
Run Happy. Run Long.
Amy is a marathoner and triathlete, a mother of four, an Exercise Physiologist and a Physical Therapist. She lives with her husband, Dan (also a marathoner and triathlete), and kids in Lewis Center.