I’m struggling. And the struggle is real, my friends. This is not my normal struggle that involves fitting in training, figuring out how to run in the heat or finding a solution to a nagging injury. Actually it’s just the opposite, I’m struggling with not running. More specifically, not having a goal.
A lot of people go through a mini-depression after a big race or event. The build up, excitement and constant dedication and discipline required to hit a goal is gone – just like that – it’s over. Once the event is done, you get to ride a high for a while but eventually that high is gone. People stop asking about it, you can no longer brag about it and everything goes back to normal. Except things aren’t normal for the runner because their normal consisted of working out 25 hours a week, another 5 hours a week were dedicated to prepping for the workouts and add in 3 hours for chiropractor appointments and other miscellaneous things and a constant 24/7 focus on the end goal. Seriously… 24/7. And after the event, that focus is gone. And in its place is a void. A big gaping void.
At first the void is filled with blogging about the event, flipping through pictures and retelling the epic stories from the event. Then comes a bit of relaxation. The act of doing nothing or not having to go anywhere is a welcome change and it’s embraced. Then your time is occupied by projects, projects that have been neglected for the past year while training took priority. But once the stories have all been told, the relaxation gets boring and projects are done, then the depression sets in.
Watching friends set goals and get their plans together to hit those goals is so exciting. I was so looking forward to being a spectator this year and cheering on my friends from the sidelines. But instead of embracing my year off, I’m antsy and jealous.
I realized I need that carrot at the end of the stick dangling in front of me to help motivate me. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t become a couch potato, I’m still working out. But without an end goal driving me, I feel lost. I feel aimless.
What the hell?
Why, oh why am I lost and aimless? It doesn’t make sense. I’m still working out, I will still take part in events, I still have more than enough work/and jobs to fill my time, so what is it? What am I missing?
Is it the high of the “never-been”? The new goal, the thing that seems unattainable… is that what’s pushing me? Has upping the ante all these years pushed me to become “one of those people”? Is the need for newer, bigger, badder what motivates me and makes me tick?
Lord I hope not.
But I think so.
I think the past 10 marathons – some incredibly icon marathons – followed by an epic ultra has led me to become a bit of an endurance junkie. Granted of all the junkies there are – I’m thinking an endurance junkie is the best junkie to be!
But what happens when I can’t keep going bigger and badder? What becomes of me? Will this feeling of being lost and being without an identity eventually pass?
And more importantly, what will I blog about if I don’t have a goal race to train for? What will be become of my followers – all 20 of you – if I don’t post any updates for a year?!
Until next time,
Oh wait, actually I don’t have to run!