How Will I Feel After Running My First Marathon? Reflecting On The Post Race Experience And Emotions
- You’ll feel glad it’s all over – Finally all of your training has paid off and you’ve completed your first marathon. This is no mean feat and you should spend this time being proud of your achievement.
- You will want to celebrate – Do not resist the urge to celebrate if this is your fist marathon. Wear your medal with pride and walk as if you’re 10 foot tall! I did exactly that in Tony Roma’s in Belfast only to be berated by the waiter for being so slow. I felt like telling him to fuck off, but I was terrified that he would shit in my spaghetti.
- You will feel mentally and physically drained – Once the hype of the marathon has died off, then you’ll likely slip into the post marathon blues. Whilst the last 4 months of your life were shaped mainly by your training schedule, you will find yourself feeling strangely hopeless with nothing else to do for now.
- You will start thinking about how you could have ran the race better – I ran my first marathon in 5 hours and 56 seconds and all I could think of for a week was “Why didn’t I just run 56 seconds faster in the last mile?”. Such questions will only drain you. The main thing is that you finished and you should be proud of that. This is why a lot of the experts recommend that you don’t set a time limit on your first marathon. If you don’t know how the last 10km of a race will finish, then you could well set yourself up for a bit of a disappointment.
- You might never want to run again – Sometimes training for a marathon can kill your motivation to run altogether. If you went into your marathon training schedule with little to no running experience before hand, then it naturally follows that the marathon will hurt a lot. The next races won’t hurt anywhere near as much if you just keep running and getting better.
- You might wonder why you can’t piss – I didn’t piss after the Belfast Marathon 2011 until 7pm that night. I was fucking terrified out of what would come out too. In my mind’s eye I could feel boiling hot Minestrone soup wanting to drizzle it’s way out of my plumbing. Fortunately I just pissed brown, had some ice cream and Pepsi and I was feeling fine again soon after.
- You might feel euphoric and think you can conquer the world – And who’s to say that you can’t do that either? Running a marathon will make you challenge what’s really possible in your life. Coast off the euphoria and use to transform your life even more. The sense of momentum that you feel after completing a marathon can and should be used to transform yourself beyond even your own expectations.
- You might feel emotional for no reason whatsoever – If you’re a man you might find yourself weeping for no reason at curtains, masonry or your dog. Let it all out. There is no shame in weeping. You’ve went through a lot to get to the starting line of the race, let alone the finishing line. Just don’t start blowing your nose on strangers, or your dog.
- You might feel nothing at all once it all dies down – This should have been the biggest event of your life, shouldn’t it? Well sometimes it can be easy to get lost in the hype altogether and to feel numb after run day. Don’t worry and give your body and mind time to recover from the exertion. It’s natural to feel nothing/numb at times.
- You might want to run all of the marathons – I fell into this trap on the 1st night after my marathon. I went onto Google and just started clicking on ‘Register’ on events willy-nilly and wasted a lot of money on flights and bookings. Don’t book any more races until you’re confident that you can maintain another training schedule. It’s seriously demotivating if you come to race day and you aren’t in any condition to do it. Give yourself a break, relax and then start to plan your running future.
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