I've been in a weird place for the past few weeks. I don't know when exactly these feelings crept in but I suspect it was some time since the marathon. It's in everything I do and is completely going against the grain of my past 15 months. I've been eating really lazily, making crappy choices like takeaways, cookies and ice-cream instead of my usual fruit, yogurts and pasta. I've been drinking loads of coffee and not enough water. I haven't been out running as I've been making even lazier excuses about the weather or how dark it is.
While all of these sound trivial, compounded they have started to stress me out. Why am I eating so badly? Why don't I care? I'll have another biscuit. Why do I need to run? Again, each of these individually don't amount to anything but for the past week or so, I have found myself lying awake at night thinking. My thoughts range from the simple to questioning the satisfaction I get from my career to imagining how much easier life would be if I won the lotto. I'm thinking about why I haven't completed certain things in my life yet or how I squandered opportunities that came knocking years ago, then I'm worrying about my NCT.
I'm thinking about old friends, books I want to read, my To Do list. I've started to get quite stressed out my the littlest of things. I can't fully explain it - I know it's irrational but it is so inhibiting to feel pressure from things that I've always taken in my stride. I like to think I'm an easy going, low-stress kinda guy, so these feelings of anxiety and stress are actually stressing me out even more.
On Sunday, I was still feeling stuck in the funk. I was out for lunch chatting away with my other half. In a moment of crystal clear inspiration, he said: 'Maybe the stress you are experiencing is some form of a marathon hangover?'. He went on to explained how for the past 10 months, I have been working towards something. A goal. And right now at this moment in time, I have no goal. With the marathon behind me, I have no goal to work towards, nothing on my agenda, nothing to keep me busy/focused/occupied.
He is 150% right. I have the post-marathon blues - a hangover!
A quick google revealed what I suspected
What's interesting is... I can't believe this is actually a 'thing'. It's kind of pathetic really thinking about it but I honestly think this is what I'm suffering from. I woke early yesterday morning, before the alarm, and instead of just laying there listening to the sound of the rain fall against the window, I got up and for the first time in two weeks I put on my running gear and headed off out the door in the rain and the dark (I did have my high-viz on).
As I ran, I thought about all the reasons why I love running. Running gives me time to think, it gives me a way to push myself and a way to feel better both in myself and about myself. It gives me something to run towards - a distance, a time, a pace. While I run, I can work through whatever issues are going on. I can make plans. I have time to think through ideas.
I thought about the person I have become. I thought about how much I like this me and how much I want to run another marathon. I thought about how I want to run faster, stronger, better. Running a marathon became a goal of mine that was never the end goal. So I've set myself a goal to keep me ticking over for the rest of the year.
Run 250km - I'll explain why if I reach it!