Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Achievement Letdown

If you read my Muncie Recaps (Part 1 and Part 2) then you know that I actually did complete the Muncie 70.3. It was the best and worst day of my life. It's easy now to look back on it and say that it was magical and I loved every minute of it, but don't be fooled: it was really really hard. As weird as it sounds, the hard is the easy part. That's what you train for. You train for the hills and the heat and the wind, you train for the parts that suck and hope you don't get many of them. That's what makes endurance racing so fun. Every time you come to a point where your body says, "Thanks but no thanks I"m done with this shit" your brain says "no." For someone who was a super unmotivated couch potato for a very very long time this is the most rewarding part for me.

The hardest part of Muncie for me was the hour or so after the finish line when those inevitable words crossed my mind: 

What's next? 

Whatever the goal, achievement is an incredible high. You feel immortal and untouchable. But when that feeling wears off, there is a gaping hole. An empty space where all of the want and anticipation had been. The high that comes with achieving these goals is a high unlike any other. And like anything else, it's a high you end up chasing. At least I do. I think that's how I got from 5k to half to marathon to 70.3. The constant push of that terrible question, "what's next?"  

So while I'm trying to remember that Mucie wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, I'm trying to also feel content with the accomplishment. I don't have any other races lined up right now - something I hope will change. But for now I'm just trying to find a 'normal'; how often should I be running, biking, and swimming without a training plan? What do I have to maintain in order to keep the weight (coming) off? I really don't know. So maybe that's the 'goal' for now - find a normal.

Muncie was amazing. It was everything I wanted and knew it could  be. But maybe now I'm training for contentment. I'm training for status quo. I'm training for normal. I feel like that one is much loftier than the other.

Happy Running!

Do you feel letdown after a big accomplishment or goal? How do you cope?

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