The Slump

So I ran a marathon, it went pretty well, I loved the experience, and I loved the achievement. It was probably the proudest day of my life. After spending months training and obsessing, I crossed the line on a massive high and then slumped down with a beer and a smile that I was sure would stay with me forever.

I was wrong, it shifted, and this time I slumped for real.

Gosh why an earth do I have to have these huge crashes after massive highs. I’m told I’m not alone in this, but boy did I feel it! I understand there are bound to be some post marathon blues, but I wasn’t really ready for this crash.

Life was slow again, not that 4:41 was fast, but I was back to reality and everything had halted. From 9-5 things were a little slow at work. I was on the cusp of kicking off a big project, but things hadn’t quite got the momentum yet. At home my mind had more time to dangerously wander, my diary freed up and our impending house move seemed more and more like an impossible pipe dream. To make it worse, social media kept me plugged on everyone else’s sporting achievements and life milestones! I started to belittle myself.

In just 3 short weeks I had gone from being the proudest I’d ever been of myself to a self-loathing, critical meany (for lack of a better word)!

I kept running, working, and writing, but my inner voice kicked in to tell me that I was in fact useless at all of the above. I got tired, sluggish and irritable. I withdrew from my people, slept through my morning alarm, rushed out the house to get to work, and felt too tired in the evening to do much. Officially slumped!

I’m well aware of the warning signs to my condition, and this felt all too familiar. Sure we all have off days, but an off day for some can easily turn in to an off month for me. Before I know it, time has slipped uncontrollably by and I’ve missed out on the beauty and joy that exists in those little in-between moments (I’d been ignoring)!

That little life reminder that control can be so easily lost.

On Sunday I was once again going to ignore the calling, and in fact let a friend down to stay in bed a little longer. I looked back over my blogs, of course picking out the grammar and spelling mistakes aplenty! I came across the post I wrote about why I ran for Mind. The following line hit me “Running was/is a place where I have to be nothing but myself, it is an escape from my mind, something I have total control over and somewhere I can truly release.”

That little life reminder that control can also be regained.

I got my shoes on and left the house not really knowing where I was going to go or if it would help. I ran to the beach in the sunshine with the wind behind me for most of the way. I stopped to take my standard blog picture (below), and instead of going off again, I just sat and focussed on what was happening in my world.  I noticed the sun, sea and sand (well pebbles), and remembered how grateful I am to be here, at this very moment in time. The universe worked hard as it always does to get me to where I needed to be.

“Running is not just for those who are fit and healthy and strong.
Running is a life-breathe for those who struggle with physical and mental illness, self-doubt, loss, anger, regret and other unspeakable pains.
Why? Because running has the power to heal, to bring perspective, to instill confidence, to restore sanity and to make us believers again. This is why I run.”

Susan Husband

I came home reinvigorated and ready to make some positive changes. I booked a personal training session, downloaded a sleep app, made healthy breakfast and lunches for the week ahead, put in my masters application, and got excited about my race schedule leading up to Amsterdam.

One thing I remind myself often as an ex-depressive, is that I always have options, I always have the choice to change my own narrative, and no one can take that from me; even when the pull is so hard in the opposite direction, one slight shift can redirect me completely.

I’m not really sure why I’m writing this, as another reminder for future-me? To draw a line in the sand on my post marathon slump? Or maybe just to let you know that if you struggle sometimes, I do too, for the most part with no obvious logical reason, but I think that’s ok.


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