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Monday, October 19, 2015

Goals Achieved! I Should Be Happy, So Why Aren't I?

When I finished my 100th marathon and first 100 mile ultra marathon, I envisioned my finish surrounded by friends, who were as happy for me as I was. I envisioned a celebration. This race was the culmination of the huge goals I set for myself and, while I knew that going out of town and doing a 100 mile race for my 100th marathon would not draw a lot of my close friends and there would not be much fanfare, I never dreamed that it would end with me devastated and in tears. I felt robbed of the joy I had worked so hard for and imagined I would feel.

I thought the sadness was about me being exhausted or the fact that I had a very traumatic indecent earlier in the night that left me devastated, betrayed and feeling dizzy and ill to the point that dropping was a real possibility, but I rallied physically and found a way to get through the rest of the race. Mentally however, I was a mess.

This race was supposed to heal me and help me find my balance, but since I have finished I have just felt this HUGE void. Instead of feeling like a top spinning smooth and balanced, I have felt like a top as it slows down, frantically trying to stay spinning just before it crashes to a stop. 

I wanted to feel like a spinning top when I finished my goals for this year.

I had a great time at the Maniac reunion in Victoria, but I got to the airport to go home and I felt so emotional, I started to cry and the last two weeks, I cry at the drop of a hat. Running without a goal feels tiring and monotonous. I am really depressed!

I used to feel the same way when I worked for fashion designer, Betsey Johnson. We would work day and night for months sewing, cutting and gluing garments for Betsey's show during Fashion Week in New York City. Show day was busy and exciting. We would get to see our work on the models as we shoved them off on the runway. In 30 minutes it was over. Then the "now what?" feelings and the post show depression enveloped all of us.

I worked so hard and am proud of what I accomplished, so why aren't I happy? I guess I need to either set new goals or learn to relax. Both feel equally hard. Does anyone else get depressed after they accomplish their goals?   


David said...

It may seem counter-intuitive, but it can be a big let-down when you reach a goal you've been working on for a long time. It's like losing a part of yourself. Reaching two big goals at the same time makes it worse. I try to always have something else on the horizon.

Joann said...

I feel a small dose of what you've described after nearly every marathon or ultra. I enjoy the process: planning, training, traveling, the novelty of visiting a new city or town or country road. Then, it's over. I think David's comment about TWO big goals at the same time made it particularly difficult. Many runners have described this: post-race depression. Feeling like crying easily is a sure indicator to rest and evaluate your goals, but also to seek support from those who know and care about you.

Jessica I said...

Do you want to go to lunch? I could see how there is a letdown. I wish I could have been there to celebrate with you.....I do remember that when I finished my second marathon there was noone there at the finish line to celebrate with me I took that very hard. It is nice to have someone there that you care about to share such a huge moment with.