Mind Games

The high I felt after T-Day was so incredible I was convinced that it would never end. For over a week I left my wristband on proudly, clicked through all the pictures at least once a day and as we all know, quickly signed up for my next triathlon. I was on a cloud that seemed untouchable. Then suddenly I woke up one day and realized that my bracelet was getting tattered, my sharpie tattoos had faded and I was left with this gaping “now what?” feeling. Glory days = officially over.

I mean, could you blame me for not wanting to take them off?

I mean, could you blame me for not wanting to take them off?

And with the end of my triathlon high came a whole lot of complete lack of motivation. After literally spending almost every waking (and sleeping) moment of the last several months planning, worrying, training and talking about Iron Girl I suddenly felt empty and without direction. Even with another triathlon on my calendar, my brain developed this “Eh I don’t have to really try” mentality. No bueno.

The good news is that apparently this is common, and after doing some research online I learned that it happens to marathoners and real athletes. It’s a relief to know I’m not crazy- or alone. The bad news however, is that Falmouth is oh, THIS WEEK. And with all the biking and swimming that I had been cramming in lately my running has gotten well.. pretty shitty. Not to mention I’ve spent an entire summer training and to be honest- I’m getting tired. I put every last ounce of myself into that triathlon and it’s been hard for me to regain momentum. Signing up for this three weeks after it now seems like a terrible idea. My last “long run” almost resulted in a trip to the emergency room for some hydration issues and I’ve had a nagging pain in my hip ever since. I’m not even sure I can run 7 miles. Combine all of this with my new “EH” mentality and we’ve got ourselves a recipe for disaster.

Suddenly that little voice has crept back in- remember her?She likes to show up when I’m feeling unmotivated. She’s in my head saying “Running up this hill is hard.. let’s walk“You don’t want to run 7 miles? Screw it- me neither” And unfortunately- my body has been doing exactly as she says. She sucks, she tries to persuade you that running is miserable, and she’d undo all the hard work you’ve done in a moments notice.

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Ugh hills. So painful I have to write them on my hand so I remember where to go.

So somehow in the next couple days I’ve gotta rally up, and get her out of my head for good. Falmouth is an experience, a bucket lister, a race that many people wish they were running this year. Not to mention that in the beginning I was running it by myself, but now all of my favorite running friends have gotten numbers so I won’t be alone. The voice has shown up for a few races before- and I don’t want this to be another time where I cross the finish line and feel regret. Go away voice in my head, you are NOT invited to Falmouth this weekend.

you-are-so-much-stronger-than-you-think

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About Kathleen

When your legs get tired run with your heart.

Posted on August 7, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Yeah, having an absolutely AMAZING race experience is pretty wonderful, except for the fact that everything else pales in comparison. My advice is to take a day or two off, and then go out and just have fun at Falmouth. Don’t have any performance expectations, just make it fun! And don’t forget about that HUGE thing that you accomplished 🙂

  2. I get a bit depressed after every race too! At first it feels wonderful, like “ah, now I can relax, have my life back, and SLEEP!” But after a few days I gain weight and feel like a lazy bum. So then I sign up for another race and start all over again. Vicious cycle 🙂

    • I haven’t put as much pressure on myself for most of my other races, so I’ve never felt this way before- but I’m glad that it happens to others! I guess I’ll just constantly have to be updating my calendar with races so I always have something to look forward to/torture myself with.

      You runners are crazy people;)

  3. I have 2 – 3 “A” races a year and then other races. Your tri was an “A” race. Enjoy the experience at Falmouth, try and do well, but don’t worry about it too much. You can’t be awesome for all races if you tend to race a lot (which I do 🙂 ).

    It’s also expected that your training year has cycles: build, peak, recover. Physically and mentally, it’s hard to be on all the time.

    Enjoy your race!

    • HAHA Michelle, I’m pretty sure by my standards you’re pretty awesome at ALL your races 😉 But I agree, you can’t expect everything to be your best performance. Looking forward to a fun day with some of my favorite people to run with 🙂

      • Aw, you’re sweet 🙂

        The SF 1/2 marathon was one of those fun races for me. I had just finished my “A” race (a 5K), so I had been really speed focused. I knew the course was hilly and I wasn’t trained to PR or anything, so I just went out and enjoyed myself. I was a wonderful experience. It just felt great to be out there running with a bunch of like-minded people in a different place while getting a break from the heat. Sometimes it’s good to remember that all of this is a hobby, even though I love pushing myself and getting better.

        I need to do my write-up for that race…

  4. Enjoy the race this weekend! You are going out there and doing it – and that’s all that matters. You can’t be 110% all the time! I’m sure it must be a beautiful course – enjoy the scenery and have fun this time around.

    • Thanks! I’m a total beach person- so I’m telling myself it’s a nice run along with water with friends… and pretending those hills just don’t exist 😉

  5. I know I already commented on the Falmouth thing over on FB (t-minus 3 days to the run PARTY!), but about the burnout/motivation thing: I have to take a break from running every 4-6ish months to get my head back into it. I don’t do a lot of “goal races” that I train specifically for, and I can only imagine that would compound the problem…I just need a break every once in a while! Sometimes it’s nice to spend a few days just living life instead of planning around a workout (even if “living life” = “marathon watching a TV show in pajamas while drinking wine” and not something more exciting). It’s okay to take a break! I find that after a few days off days I’m itching to get back to running – AND that running feels good again.

    • HAHA, and what a run party it will be! At first I regretted not signing up for the B.A.A. half with everyone- but now I am SO glad that I am waiting until the spring to attempt such a thing… I think I would literally collapse if I started half marathon training after this summer of madness.

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