Post-Race Letdown: So…Now What?

The euphoria of running a half marathon has died down considerably, and my quads are finally no longer reminding me of the 13.1 miles I ran on Saturday. Now it’s a time of reflection and wonder about what’s next.

It’s funny how you spend so much time preparing for one event, then that event happens, and there’s that letdown at the end. Oddly enough, I know I’ll be experiencing this once again later this year with my wedding. But for right now, I’m suffering half marathon postmortem letdown.

I’ve already decided I’d like to run another half marathon again. Now that I proved that I really can run 13.1 miles, I want to do it again, and again. I loved the weekly challenges I posed to myself with every long training run, and I really loved the feeling of seeing that finish line come up. I want to experience that again. Unfortunately, my life won’t allow for more distance training this year–all the half marathons I’m interested in this fall are in October, and I can’t afford the training time with wedding preparations. So I’m already looking at Spring 2013, and possibly doing two (maybe the Carmel Half Marathon and the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini Marathon again?).

Until then, I’ve got a couple of other running events to look forward to and train for. I’ve signed up with some co-workers for the Warrior Dash in Elizabethtown, Ky., June 23 (more on that in a separate post) and I’m finally going to tackle the Bluegrass 10K that I was aiming for last year on July 4. I also have a goal of bettering my 5K PR from last year’s Race for the Cure of 27:26 at an upcoming 5K (just haven’t chosen one yet). So there are things to look forward to when it comes to running and training.

I’ve also decided I’d like to continue running longer distances of 6-8 miles year-round. I know I can do it, and after running 7 straight miles without stopping on Saturday, I know I can work on my timing with that mileage (I’ll have to with the 10K in July, anyway). I don’t mind trying to get in an hour for a run, but it was the two-hour runs that was hard to fit into my schedule as it got closer to the half. At least this way, I’ll already be working at those distances, which I hope will help me with future half marathon training.

And, yes, as I type these words, I can’t believe they are coming from me–who would have thunk I’d say I enjoy running for an hour or working on better an 8:51 average pace in a 5K!? This is the same girl who, in grade school, could barely muster a 12 minute mile!

What do you do to get over your post-race letdown?


One thought on “Post-Race Letdown: So…Now What?

  1. I totally understand the post race (and post wedding) let-downs. Two and a half years after my wedding, and I’m still sad that it is over! I signed up for another half marathon right after finishing my first, and I’ve kept racing ever since. Always having another race to look forward to not only keeps me exercising, but it helps me avoid the “low” of reaching the goal that you’ve spent months working toward.

    Great job on your first half marathon!

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