How to beat the post-race blues and Destiny’s Child.

It happens to a lot of runners after they finish a big race——>  THE POST-RACE BLUES.  

Order of events:

You set a running goal and sign up for a race, you train like crazy for it, it consumes a chunk of your energy/thoughts/prayers;)/day, you run the race and then whether or not you hit your goals—>  the race is OVER!!!! You feel a sense of accomplishment and take a few days off and then BOOM.  You realize your key race for the year is over and it will be quite some time until your next race again.  And then you get sad.  

I have experienced the post-race blues a number of times (not really this time around because I think I almost died on Sunday so I am pretty content with not having a race on the agenda right now) and these are my tips to help you get through the post race blues:

-There are a million other hobbies/talents/skills that you can work on to help you to feel that ‘sense of accomplishment’ that we get from a good run/race.  Try a cooking class, read more, volunteer, try different types of workouts, take piano lessons, learn a foreign language… the list goes on and on forever.  Dive into a new skill to practice and before you know it you will be training again for another race but you’ll have some other new interests up your sleeves too:)  I’m going to learn how to jump during this time off:

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-People.  People.  People.  You’re not running as much = you’ve got more energy and time on your hands = focus in on your relationships.  When you get sad about your race being over then reach out to the peeps in your life and you’ll feel like a million bucks.

-Repeat to yourself 4,596,294 times, ‘RECOVERY IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE TRAINING.’  That will help to remind you that no, you are not being lazy by taking some time off before training and racing again… you are doing the RIGHT thing for your body.  You are letting it repair itself so that you can build it back up even stronger during your next training cycle.  

– ENJOY THE EXTRA SLEEP.  Think about all of those mornings when your alarm clock went off and you wished SOOOO badly you could just stay in your warm and comfortable bed instead of getting up?!  Well, now you get to.  Take advantage of it and sleep more now that you don’t have a race to wake up extra early to train for.  

-Sign up for another.  Think clearly about the right amount of recovery time that your body will need post-race and then find another one to sign up for. Knowing that there IS another race will help you feel excited again.

-Be proud of yourself.  It is so easy to fall into the trap of wanting more and more or to be faster and faster.  Take time to feel proud of yourself for running your race without feeling like you need ‘to be doing more’ all of the time.  You did it.  Awesome.  Be proud.  Keep on dreaming but at the same time pat yourself on the back and that will help with the post-race blues.  

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Today I decided to go hit up the gym to visit an old friend (actually, I wouldn’t dare call this thing a friend because it is so dang hard) for 20 minutes—> the stair climber.  I enjoyed some Destiny’s Child music videos while I climbed the stairs and it took me way back.  After the gym I did a core workout when I got home (I’ll post the workout tomorrow morning).  

PS I always wear my non-Brooks shoes for cross-training.  Gotta save my golden shoes for glorious miles up ahead of me.

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Always the best to run into Megan at the gym.  PS did I ever tell you we grew up together?  Probably.  But anyways, she’s a good one.  

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It is Brooke’s favorite day of the week because Thursday means we get to party hard all day with her bff.  

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It’s never too late to start your advent calendar… well, actually it probably is a little late but we can easily make up for the 10 days we’ve missed so far.  

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I just have to share this picture that Niki took of our mountains.  It gave me the goosebumps.  I love these beauties.  PS I am real real real excited to get back into running in these mountains again for some trail running.  

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PS this was the hill at mile 23 of the Tucson Marathon that looks like a little tiny ant hill when you are driving it but feels like Mt. Everest when you are running it.

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I hope your Thursday is going really well!!  

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Ever had the post-race blues?  After which race(s)?  How do you get over it?

What is your FAVORITE day of the week? 

What are your Thursday night plans?

Reading anything good right now?  PLEASE SHARE!!!

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49 comments

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I have experienced the post-race blues for sure. It’s tough when things don’t go the way you planned, but they are definitely good learning experiences!

My favorite day of the week is Saturday. Hands down. I love it when I don’t have big plans and can relax and watch college football on my sofa all day.

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I struggle with the post race MOOD SWINGS rather than the blues! I’m loving my little break from running post-St. Jude marathon, but oh my goodness I’m all over the place. One minute I’m crying for no reason, the next minute I’m on cloud 9 for the time I got, the next minute I’m dwelling on not getting my goal, and then I’m perfectly content with all things non-running related. Needless to say, my emotions are used to being put into check from running and with the first week off I’d had all year they are all sorts of crazy!

But that’s also part of being a girl.

I love Thursdays and they were my favorite in college. Tonight I’m baby sitting my boy friend’s niece and nephews and crossing my fingers that they want to watch Inside Out… that movie understands me right now!

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That is a gorgeous photo of the mountains!!

I’ve had it before. Anymore I race so often that I’m almost always training for something, so signing up for another race is usually what I do! I currently don’t have anything planned, which feels weird, but its nice to have extra time to do other things. It always amazes me when I’m resting after a race or even tapering how quickly my time gets filled up with other things!

I’m currently reading Same Kind of Different as Me. I’m not very far into it yet so I can’t say if I like it or not. My favorite book I’ve read this year was Reconstructing Amelia. I couldn’t put it down!

Favorite day of the week – Friday! Almost here!! :)

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I haven’t experienced post race blues yet. Usually I’m happy with the race and ready to rest and recover for a while. Fridays are my favorite day of the week: they’re my long run day and then we usually make a special dinner and catch up our all of our favorite shows from the week.

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I totally had a the blues after my last race, but like you said I got over it by planning for my next race! I honestly don’t know what my favorite day is, probably Friday? My plans for tonight involve finishing my LAST presentation of grad school and sitting down to read for pleasure for the first time in months. I need to finish “Allegiant”, then I want to start “Room”!

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“Room” is so good! You will love it!

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Me and my sister Makena beat the Blues by staying up late writing persuasive essays to janae to come visit us in Hawaii and to run Honolulu and I think we might mail her some diet cokes milky ways and apple fritters from yummy bakery’s. we’ll see tho.

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THAT would be amazing!!! Seriously. Amazing! Are you running it Tristen? I wish I could but I’m taking a break from marathons for a bit!

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I think there’s always a “blues” period when a big event is over, especially when so much work went into it.

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Yes, I’ve definitely experienced this! I usually deal either by focusing on another race, or diving into something non-running completely, like yoga last year! I’ve always experienced the letdown after a marathon, usually a week after once the initial high wears off.

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My favorite day of the week is Friday! It is my rest day so I get to sleep an extra 2 hours (GLORIOUS) and then after work is over it’s the weekend! Though Saturday is REAL close as my favorite day!

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I totally understand what you mean! Right now I don’t really know what to do with myself! I have two races in January but I haven’t really been running all that much since running the NYC Marathon. It’s been kind of nice to be lazy! Haha

My Thursday night plans are super fun and crazy – cleaning and doing laundry!!!

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GOOD FOR YOU girl to be lazy after your marathon! Remember how we hung out when I was there for the marathon? I need you to move to Utah… that would be the best!

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I love Friday for obvious reasons, but Thursday is actually pretty good too. It’s almost Friday and most of the week is behind you already. Those mountains look gorgeous!

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I get the running blues ever time I don’t have a race planned. And then I lose all motivation to run and work for it.

Some how growing up my favorite day of the week was Wednesday. Most of the time all the days blur together now though and I’m not sure I have a favorite.

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WEDNESDAY!?!? What do you do Wednesdays? I am the same way… races ARE my running motivation!

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haha, I think it goes back to my jr high days. Monday and Wednesday were my mom’s day to drive for carpool so I knew I’d never be late to school or have to wait a long time to be picked up. In high school Tuesday and Saturday were race days, and back then I would get super nervous for races so I kind of dreaded those days.

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I skip post race blues by racing every weekend…ha ha…

I have had post race blues after the two marathons I’ve done. I feel like you put all of your eggs into one basket and if it goes well…awesome…if it doesn’t well that isn’t as awesome. Either way it takes a long time to recover.

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I definitely experienced the post race blues after my first marathon. Training had consumed so much of my time and energy and I felt a little lost afterwards. But time heals all wounds (as I need to remind myself right now going through a breakup). My favorite day of the week is… Saturday? Maybe. I’m not sure. Struggle is real right now. I miss running (injured, boo). I am going to a TRX class tonight taught by a fellow Minneapolis blogger I met online and am excited to meet in person!

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P.S. I miss the mountains! I lived in SLC for 2 years and did my marathon training there and I miss it!

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I haven’t ever had post race blues(still working on the post race part), but when I had to take some time off from my foot acting up, I tried new things like yoga and did a lot of cycling. I mainly tried to think of what I could do so that when I was able to run again, I wouldn’t lose my pace or strength.
My favorite day of the week is probably Friday because I usually don’t have any hard/long runs plans and I get prepared for my long run on Saturday. Tonight I’m resting after my workout and watching Once Upon a Time!
My current reading is A Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers.

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Sometimes, I even get post-run blues… like, if a run was extra special, was with great friends, or I had a “wow, I am lucky to be alive” moment, I get sad an hour later that it is over. But hey, life’s a marathon! That means there are SO many smiles and miles ahead. SO many :)
I am currently reading Kristin Armstrong’s “Work in Progress” and it sure is a good one!
Thursday includes gingerbread house making and texting the PIC spiderman jokes because you know, maturity ;)
p.s. I am pretty much the only girl alive (that I know of) that likes Monday the best.

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I have some post-racing blues… my first racing season was quite successful, and though I am excited for my first half marathon in May, it seems very far away and I have absolutely no motivation to start increasing mileage for it (I’ve become stuck in the 5-10k mindset).

My favourite day of the week is Friday because though it is technically the same as every other school day, there is the promise of a late night (aka 11 instead of 10) and laziness the next day (which really just means a rest day which really just means I’m bored out of my mind AKA why Saturday is not my favourite).

My Thursday night is just ending and it included an essay, a novel, and Netflix!

I don’t think that you read Teen books, but if you’re ever in the mood, I’m kinda obsessed with reading so I have lots of recommendations :)

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This is SO incredibly encouraging to me because that’s exactly how I felt post marathon a month ago, and then got a stress fracture. It was a PR so then it was like WHOMP WHOMP afterward, and I’m doing an ironman this year, so I’ve been able to focus on biking and swimming but it still helps to know that others feel this way, and I need another hobby too!! LOL!

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I typically don’t get the post-race blues because I am just so excited to sleep in and have lazy mornings on the weekend again. My first month or two post-goal race this summer was spent going to brunch almost every weekend. It was great. :)

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oooo- the mountains look incredible!!

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I was SO sad after finishing a race a few months ago! I cried and was depressed for a couple days. I couldn’t even reason why I felt so horrible but I did… and eventually life went on. :'( Looking forward to doing that race again!

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Ummm excuse me. Could you please use a different stair master? This is the only one that works for me. #KThanks

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The post race blues hit me hard. Thankfully this time around I have a great support system in place.

I grew up with advent calendars and LOVE that you have them too!

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I LOVE Destiny’s Child !! ‘Independent Woman’ is my favorite song ever! I think ALL women and their girls should listen to it!

I don’t suffer from post race blues because I race quite often so there isn’t enough time.

After the many months of hard marathon training and then the race itself, we severely deplete our bodies of minerals…calcium, magnesium and potassium. It’s really important to build these back up when recovering, through good food and a vitamin mineral supplement. :)

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Me running into you at the gym was the best ever. For reals. I like seeing you 18 times in one day.

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Hm.. I can’t concentrate if watching and running at same time..

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I love Friday evening and Saturdays…as I’m sure most people do ;D I need to pick up a good book soon…believe it or not the last book I read was Gone Girl…sooo long ago :/

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My ultra! Major post race blues. I wanted to run but I had terrible plantar fasciitis and actually, I was so sore I could barely walk.

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So, this is the first year I’ve done an advent calendar, and I think I did it wrong. Am I supposed to start at 24 or 1?

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I usually start at 1… that is a great question:)

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I am doing the stair climber at the gym every time I go! I hate it but it is so good for my legs!

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Great tips! I experienced the post-race blues after my last training cycle and they are not fun. I tried to focus on other activities, the extra rest and looking forward. I recently read The Girl on the Train and loved it!

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One thing I do to keep the post-race blues away is that the week immediately following any big race is Gluttony Week. Want to sleep in? This week, do whatever. Want to eat donuts for dinner? This week, do whatever. There are no workouts or diet restrictions –just pure gluttony! Knowing during training that I have Gluttony Week ahead of me helps keep me disciplined about training and fueling prior to a race, and helps alleviate any guilt I might feel about taking time to rest/recover after the race.

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I love this idea! I’m stealing it and using when I hit my next training cycle.

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I LOVE THIS IDEA MARY!! I am totally going to copy you!!

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Always get the post-race blues (especially after my fall marathons). After a few weeks though, I start to LOVE sleeping in and feel happy again :)

I REALLY wanted to run a marathon in January or February but my toe is still not 100% healed and I feel like going into a marathon untrained is probably not the best idea.

Thursday night plans involved Adults Night Out @ Zoo Lights!! Such a blast!

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I love this! Running is amazing, but there are so many other great workouts too!

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I’m not currently training for a race right now, I’ve been looking for new videos to do before work in the morning to get my blood flowing, so Grokker seems wonderful! Thanks for the free trial! I just signed up. Love the set up of this site, especially the calendar and reminders – looks awesome so far and can’t wait to start! Have a wonderful weekend of rest and relaxation and family time!

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I get the post-race blues a bit, but I like to keep a good amount of races on my calendar, of distances of 13.1 and under, so there’s always something out there to keep my sights on, even if it’s just run/walking a 5k with kiddos and sister-in-law.

Favorite day is probably Friday, especially b/c I have alternating Fridays off.

Currently reading “Meb for Mortals” and liking it, but I have a feeling that’s not what you’re looking for right now. :) I’m also listening to the audiobook version of The Girl with All the Gifts and it’s really good. I read Station Eleven recently and that book was really lovely all around. I enjoyed it enough that it earned a permanent spot on my bookshelf- will definitely re-read it.

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After my last race I had some post race blues. Mostly because I knew it would be my last race for awhile. It’s been a bit tough running with no real training but refreshing at the same time.

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I hadn’t really had post-race blues until my first marathon this year. Marathon training takes up so much of your life it feels really strange when it’s suddenly over.

Saturday is usually my favorite day of the week. I get a trail run in with friends in the morning and get to do some relaxing in the afternoon.

I just started reading The Nightingale because it has a ridiculous number of good reviews on Amazon. I just finished a book called Silent Scream, which was less suspenseful than I wanted it to be.

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I’m going to plug this book because I helped edit it and blurbed the back.

It’s a spy/action story so may not appeal to your blog demographic. It’s also depressingly based in the real world of the last 15 years. But its extremely entertaining and we’ll written by a dear friend of mine.

Also great reviews so far and a fast read.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01259J2ZC?ie=UTF8&redirectFromSS=1&pc_redir=T1&noEncodingTag=1&fp=1

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I totally had the post-race blues after my first half. I’d built it up like a wedding or birth in my head and mentally crashed without an agenda. I took a couple of weeks, did some different classes at the gym, then signed up for the next adventure.

Favorite day of the week is Sunday in my house. It’s so long, lazy and yet, oddly productive?

I read a lot of YA lit since I teach middle grades; currently reading “The Sky is Everywhere” by Jandy Nelson. LOVE IT.

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