It has been just over a week since the Ultra Beast, and I have thought about this race every single day. For most of the week, I have been dragging my feet, skipping my workouts and eating cookies.
This time last week, I was packing my drop bin, I said on Wednesday. This time last week, we were picking up on race kits, I said on Friday. This time last week, I would have been running for 3 hours, I said on Saturday morning. This time last week, I would have just crossed the finish line, I said on Saturday night.
Last Sunday, as we were having a mid-trip lunch in Syracuse with Mike, the missing member of team Trifecta, the conversation shifted (yet again) to the Ultra Beast.
“Are you doing it next year?”, Mike asks. I smile, and then patiently explain that it is a silly question so soon after the race.
“Of course, I’m going to say no – I’m hurtin’ all over. This is like asking a woman right after childbirth, if she is ever going to have another child. The answer is always absolutely not. Then some time passes, amnesia sets in, and the next thing you know you are picking out baby names… ummmm…. I mean, races to run.”
Over the past week, I went back to that metaphor, cycling through at least some classic postpartum symptoms – changes in appetite, loss of concentration, loss of energy, and trouble sleeping. The Ultra Beast has been my A-race for months. Now that it’s over, I find it difficult to reboot.
Post-race blues is a fairly well-known phenomenon in the running circles, although to a beginner it can be quite a surprise. I mean, what is there to be sad about? I was one of few women to complete the Ultra Beast, and I managed to do that without injuries – which is more than a lot of my fellow Beasters and Ultra Beasters can say.
Despite the sense of accomplishment, however, there is still a residual sadness to the experience being over. There will never be another “first ever” Ultra Beast.
They say you never forget your first…