1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Post Marathon Blues

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by GTfan, May 2, 2023.

  1. GTfan

    GTfan Well known member

    Hello all:

    I mentioned in another thread my struggles with anxiety in the pit of my stomach leading up to running my first marathon.

    I finished. I didn't quite reach my goal of finishing under 4 hours, but I showed a hell of a lot of perseverance after hitting a bad wall on mile 20.

    Training for this race was the number one priority in my life for the past 4 months. Now that it's over the stomach anxiety has almost gotten worse. Now today (3 days after the marathon), I have woken up in a brain fog. My body feels achy and lethargic. I feel like I'm getting sick, but I checked and I don't have a fever.

    I believe my pre-race anxiety has now shifted to the dreaded "Post Marathon Blues". Now that the moment of triumph is over, I feel lost and without purpose. No dedicated structured training plan this week. I'm on vacation for two weeks now. And I know also that extreme endurance sports can cause temporary hormone drops and the body tries to get back to equilibrium after the intense stress from race day.

    This is a self diagnosis, but I was curious if anyone had similar experiences and had any advice on how to get out of the rut and find happiness and purpose again.

    I realize that sounds really dark lol. I'm not in deep depression or anything, but I just feel down, lethargic, and out of it. I could very well actually be getting sick too. I'm sure my immune system is not 100 percent at the moment for physical and TMS related reasons.
    TG957 and Cap'n Spanky like this.
  2. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think this is just a function of anxiety. A few TMS practitioners talk about how some anxietal minds thrive on chaos. I think that just means distractions, monkey mindedness - it keeps us from feeling (some) our emotions and feelings. When life is quiet, everyday, more “boring” we are once again kind of faced with those, and the thoughts like “I have no purpose” running thru the mind. Perhaps purpose could be learning to be ok with not having a driving goal, forcing your best from you, reaching your limits. Just learning to be ok? Sort of a wavy flow of life, ebbs and flows. I’m sure you’ll find another fun challenge for yourself after you rest your body and mind.
    JanAtheCPA, GTfan and Cap'n Spanky like this.
  3. Cap'n Spanky

    Cap'n Spanky Well known member

    Hey @GTfan - I suspect your self-diagnosis may be quite accurate! Never a marathon runner, but I have experienced similar feelings after completing a big goal or milestone. You put so much work, heart and soul, worry, angst, (insert emotion here), and suddenly it's all over. It has to be a big adjustment. There may be some physical aspects too, where your body need a little rest.

    My suggestion: be kind, compassionate, and loving towards yourself; and give yourself a well deserved break.
    JanAtheCPA and GTfan like this.
  4. GTfan

    GTfan Well known member

    Thanks for the input. I'm sure it's something that will pass after a little R&R. But since I have an anxiety prone mind, of course I am worried now about not being able to enjoy my vacation if I'm sick or feeling down lol.
    Cap'n Spanky likes this.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is when writing shit down can really help. Follow the shit with rational assertions about how feeling bad on your trip is completely unnecessary, and ask yourself, on paper, if you are capable of visualizing a different outcome? Finish with something about the trip to be grateful for.

    Also - see if you can refrain from "Yes, but..." responses! They do not serve you!
    Cap'n Spanky and GTfan like this.
  6. Booble

    Booble Well known member

    Congrats on your marathon. Well done! That's impressive.
    Give yourself permission to be proud of what you accomplished and permission to take a break.
    Then start planning your next goal.
    GTfan likes this.
  7. GTfan

    GTfan Well known member

    Yep, I just started keeping a daily journal entry starting today on my phone lol. I am trying to look for trigger points instead of falling into the old familiar cycle of "Oh here we go" and "Oh great anxiety again" or "Man I have some fun things planned, it would really suck if I had stomach churning or anxiety pop up right about now".

    I think I have a good rational understanding of the TMS process, but I would like to be more proactive than reactive. In the past I have a injury, pain, anxiety, or symptom pop up. I freak out about it, come on here to vent and eventually it goes away. But I still fear it coming back and it usually does and then I repeat the process over and over. I want to be more proactive in this case now that I'm dealing with stomach anxiety and lethargic stuff etc (symptoms have been moving around and changing daily lately). I would like to lose the fear so I can be stronger overall and not just move the symptom somewhere else or until the next flare up.

    You talk about having a positive mindset. I set alarms on my phone for 6 times a day. Every time the alarm goes off, I pause whatever I'm doing and I do some deep breathing techniques. I focus on three mantras that I want to manifest in my life.

    I have changed my third mantra to: "I am happy and healthy in mind and body, and I feel great". I try to smile and visualize myself being happy and feeling phenomenal and having a good time with friends and family. I'm trying to emphasize this today especially. And I like what you said, "Why bother to have this unnecessary bad feeling? Why worry about it at all?"
  8. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I want others to know that I usually try to talk about having a "constructive" mindset which is subtly different. "Proactive" is an excellent word for this as well.

    I'm hesitant to promote "positive" thinking because that can be too easily misconstrued as a prohibition against allowing negative thoughts to enter your consciousness - a practice which goes against the work we do.
    Repression of negative thoughts is why we have TMS to begin with, after all!

    Thus we need to acknowledge our negative thoughts, allow the deepest ones to show themselves, and learn to love and accept ourselves for having them, because they are normal and acceptable.

    Thus our proactive mindset becomes "I'm having these negative thoughts and feelings, and I understand that my fearful brain would rather repress them and distract me with symptoms - but these have no purpose, and I can disregard them because in fact there's nothing wrong with my body - which I just proved by running a m-f'ing marathon for crying out loud!!! :joyful:

    Perfect examples of the type of catastrophizing What Ifs? which fill up our brains like a cage of rabid squirrels that never stop whirling around. Kind of amazing when you first start realizing how ubiquitous this is, right? Recognizing the chatter is a huge step towards learning how to turn it around into those proactive goals.
  9. GTfan

    GTfan Well known member

    Yeah I'm an engineer so I am well versed in proactive solutions vs. reactive solutions ha

    Problem is sometimes I think almost too rational and forget about the emotional aspect lol.

    Balance between accepting negative emotions and being ok with that, loving ourselves and telling ourselves we deserve to feel the way we do and we deserve to be happy, while also manifesting ourselves being in a happy mindset.

    Lol no kidding, I just ran a marathon (my body isn't really injured in any way) and I'm all anxious about a fluttering stomach and tight chest feeling. When you put it that way, all I can do is laugh at the comical aspect of it ha.
    Booble and JanAtheCPA like this.
  10. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    You could create your own forum signature/tag line with this...

Share This Page