Post-race euphoria. That feeling when you cross the finish line and emotion rushes over you like a wave. You want to cling on to reality for fear of being swept away. But you don’t. You let it carry you far, far to sea, riding on the endorphin crest.
You’ve been training for this moment for what seems like an eternity. You’ve sacrificed a ‘normal’ life; training sessions over evenings in the pub. Early morning runs rather than Sunday morning lie-ins.
And then it’s over and reality resumes. Back at work, back to normality. After the congratulations it’s heads down. Let’s just get through the working day as quickly as possible.
Then you come down.
Physical stiffness sets in, mental fatigue takes hold. Everything feels, well, a bit hollow. The race feels like a distant memory. You double check your medal; did it all really happen?
The post-race comedown really sucks. But, as you listen to your body, post-race, take time to listen to your mind. As you re-fuel on protein, have a sports massage and take a recovery break from exercise, take time to allow your mind to regain its equilibrium. Do things that make you happy. Watch your favourite film. Laugh. Spend time with friends. People that make you feel happy and good about yourself. Hell, plan your next race.
Go to a place you love, a place you feel at one with. Breathe deeply, slowly taking in your surroundings. My post-race blues tend to take me to Pen Ponds in Richmond Park. Sitting on a bench, watching the world go by, thinking about nothing in particular. Letting go, allowing the mind to slowly reset itself. Because spending time in a place I love lets me reconnect with myself and recharge mentally.
It’s normal to feel down after a big race. It’s not a reason for concern or the root of a more serious problem. But realising this can be the first step to recalibrating the mind and riding out the melancholy.
There are plenty more races out there, races that won’t enter themselves. After all, don’t be sad that it’s over, be proud of what you achieved.