Apparently I am suffering from a mild case of PMS/PRD (Post Marathon Syndrome or Post Race Depression). Just ask my wife who I snap at all day, or my co-workers who have noticed the exhaustion and sleepy eyes at morning formation. Post Race Depression is common and happens to 75-90% of all athletes who complete a major physical goal. The problem is I have ran over 13 marathon or distance races and have completed multiple obstacle course runs without ever feeling depressed, so why now? Before we get to my complaining I did some research and here is what I discovered about PRD.
It can be categorized as feeling in a “funk” or loss of energy, the ultimate goal has been attempted or even reached, generally and athlete feels “whats next” and becomes overwhelmed with trying to find another race or even another workout. Toeing the line for a workout can be taxing and draining, the lethargic feeling of helplessness takes over and focus is generally lost. The athlete now has excess free time due to shortened workouts or no workouts at all, so that extra energy turns into anxiety or over stressing. Lastly, the athlete will sometimes rush back into a workout routine with no goal in mind only to watch it fizzle.
Ok,back to me. After the Death Race I returned to normal Army life which consisted of a four or five mile run Monday morning. I was in no mood or state to complete such a run so I hobbled my way through it without any enthusiasm. For the next few days I could shake an extreme exhaustion, I would make it home after work and flop into a chair or on the couch and nap until dinner, then up at dinner only back to bed right afterwards. I didn’t feel like doing anything, I would mope around while grocery shopping and couldn’t even keep pace with my wife and the shopping cart. I would sit in front of the computer trying to put down what happened at the Death Race only to take a full week to get the entire story typed. I was in a major funk and couldn’t get excited about much, unless it was planning next years Death Race. After some brief research I found I had a small case of PRD, this is unheard of, I am as optimistic and happy as they come. I fought the idea and put it off as just regular fatigue from an abnormal race. About a week in I still could shake the feeling so I looked into ways to counteract PRD. As I discovered I needed endorphins, and lots of them. I needed to find another “rush” so I signed up for The Winter Death Race as early as possible (back to Vermont I will go). I also began working with a TRX and started scouting out local races I could do, to my dismay anything over a Half Marathon was either sold out or canceled. I then discovered only 30 miles away across the border in Canada every weekend there are 100′s of races, I then cussed myself silently for not getting my Passport Card a few weeks ago. I would have to settle for a local 23 mile Kayak race, problem is I don’t own a Kayak, and have only Kayaked twice in my life ( both on calm water). Thus began the adventure of finding a Kayak at the last minute, I proceeded to Fort Drum Gear to Go where I was told I needed a four hour class or I could just take a test without studying. I had already missed the class so I gave the test a go, unaware of 90% of the NY state waterway laws since I have only lived here a month I made an 18/25 on the test. I needed a 19/25. No luck there, I decided to try other rental places only to find that the weekend before July 4th is pretty busy in the Kayak rental world. Dismayed I settled down and realized maybe I need to relax, and enjoy the calmness of a weekend without a race on the horizon. I was still getting into quality workouts and just began a goal oriented Spartan 30 Day Challenge in 15 days with my co-workers ( we are now on day 12). Three weeks post Death Race and I finally feel like I am back to normal. Well as normal as I can be with only 3-8 races in my future. My friends have declared me a race junkie, an adrenaline junkie and even suggested I go as far as have an intervention ( I hope that was only a joke). The point to my entire rant is that sometimes to get over some depression or get out of a funk you need to step back and enjoy the things around you in your daily life. These things are my daughter who is almost two and screechs randomness at me and motions in baby language to do her bidding, or my four year old that thinks when I am asleep he should climb me or use my face as a smacking post. Or my wife who loves me so much she watched me race in Vermont on Mothers Day and Fathers Day and was even willing to let me do a Kayak race on her birthday. These are the things that bring a self proclaimed “adrenaline junkie” back to life. So three weeks post Death Race I feel bounced back, or bounced on if your viewing it from my sons view point. Overall the last three weeks have taught me that no matter what race you run, afterwards you are going to miss the race. The problem is while sitting around reliving the race you miss your life.
P.S. Also, I was given an amazing gift of a Free Spartan Race but that’s a story for another day.
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