A Post-Marathon Crisis & Some New Goals

Riley_Finishes_Marathon

My wildest running dream came true when I made myself a marathoner last month.

When I say “wildest” I mean that literally. Less than two years ago I was struggling to run three kilometres without stopping, let alone 42.2…

And then I freaking DID it.

Achieving the dream was better than I ever imagined. I knew myself better on that course than I had on any other day of my life. I cried and celebrated with friends and family. I brought my medal into the office for my curious coworkers. And yet, after the week of resting my legs came to an end, I realized finishing the marathon left me with a new, weird emptiness.

Existential dread for runners

Suddenly I didn’t have any goal to push for—not a race, not an untouchable distance. When you aim for the highest, most impossible peak you can think of and actually exceed your own expectations… what then?

So now, I’m suddenly having a mini existential running crisis. (Who am I if I’m not getting up before dawn to drag my ass over a couple dozen kilometres?)

The knee-jerk instinct of the fresh marathoner might be to leap into the next race, setting eager sights on getting a faster time, or even aiming for a further distance. I don’t have that driving urge. I know it will come back, but for the mean time I’m trying to sort out now. I’m asking other questions.

Can I ask any more of myself?
What do I want out of my sport?
How can I give back?

And here’s what I’ve come up with—some new #rungoals.

Get Involved In The Running Community

After receiving so much Instagram support during my marathon I realized I’m officially in the running community… Maybe that was obvious to everyone BUT me. The only problem is, unless you’re about to reinvent the livestream, I can’t go running with all the amazing people I know on Insta.

And, since my friends and family are immune to my attempts to get them into running so that I don’t have to y’know… meet people, it’s officially time to get some new ones. (Sorry mom!)

This means fighting my instinct to avoid running with other people. It definitely means volunteering at races and getting my ass out there. I’m putting this here to hold myself accountable. The time for being a hermit is over!

Become A More Well-Rounded Athlete

Why is it so hard to find time for an hour of yoga, but easy to find one for a 10K?

A runner is a runner is an injured runner. (Maybe they’re also a runner with weak t-rex arms like me.) Basically, I’d like to work on building a better overall fitness base by incorporating more cross training and other sports/workouts into my weekly routine.

I’m also counting on the fact that changing things up will make the days that I DO get to run more just that much better… and that this will make me a better runner over all.

SIGN UP FOR More Races

Right before the marathon, I was freaked out. Ask anyone who was within a 10 metre physical-or-digital radius of me.

I got lost in grocery stores. I terrified Running Room employees. I sewed.

My pre-race jitters probably would have happened anyway, but I’m convinced they would have been considerably less intense if I had run more races this year. Races have their own energy, and I need to get used to being in that energy. (Plus, who doesn’t love a good finish line photo or some bling?)

Run Another Marathon (But Take Better Care Of Myself)

While working myself up to arguably the best shape I’ve ever been in for the marathon I wasn’t necessarily at my healthiest. I spent most weeks getting less sleep than I needed and struggled to eat enough.

In fact (warning, TMI ahoy) somewhere in the middle of training I actually missed a period. I’m pretty sure upping the weekly mileage without having an adequate meal prep game/sleep schedule had something to do with it.

Hopefully embracing these other goals will give me the physical strength and mental fortitude to tackle another marathon some day. And, when that day comes, I want to commit to a more wholesome training routine. The name of the game will be actually forcing myself to be regimented, replenished, and rested.

So that’s it. The new set of goals. New heights. New challenges to carry me into 2019. Has anyone else started thinking of running resolutions (WAY) in advance of the New Year?