PMD: Post-Marathon Depression

I’ve heard about having the post-race blues, particularly after a marathon, and I could see why this would happen. After training for months and months with a specific goal in mind it all culminates in the span of a few hours. And then you’re done. I’d equate it to wedding planning but we all know I have no experience with that. So…now what? Post-Marathon Depression (or PMD as I’d like to call it – not to be confused with PMS that often presents with similar symptoms) has hit me a little bit. I find myself struggling with the need to keep going and to build off the momentum that I’ve worked on for so many months. At the same time I’m also struggling with being tired and wanting to carb load even though my next race isn’t until April 7th (Rabbit Ramble 4-miler). Bring on the bagels and Girl Scout cookies, please!

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This is all somewhat strange for me since I am very goal driven and I thrive when I have something to work towards. While I know that I will definitely be registering on April 1st for the Philly Marathon, the race itself isn’t until November. And, there’s that whole "I need to see if I can stay upright for a marathon" deal that’s been coursing itself through my brain. I obviously can’t wait until November so what’s a runner to do? Register for a May marathon – obviously! I’ve mentioned it on Twitter already but I’m going to run the Shires of Vermont marathon on May 20th. Here are some details from the race’s website:

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The marathon is a point-to-point race from Bennington to Manchester Center, Vermont. The course follows mainly secondary roads through the villages of North Bennington, Shaftsbury, and Arlington, the campus of Bennington College, and rural countryside. Sections of the course will be closed to traffic. There is a net elevation loss of 160 feet, with 500 feet of vertical gain between Miles 2 and 13. The last six miles of the course are flat. About eight miles consist of hard-packed dirt, with the remainder of the surface paved.

Sold. I can definitely do this. It’s close to home, scenic, and the elevation doesn’t seem that treacherous. Running this marathon will help me build on the great base I already have and will keep me motivated and focused so I don’t continue acting like a caged animal who eats their carbtastic young.  I’m PRETTY SURE I can stay on two feet but hey, never say never. Oh, and there are some pretty sweet outlets in Manchester which will make running TO this cute little town even better. PMD diagnosed and cured!

Any advice for me running two marathons within 2 1/2 months of one another? Any cravings you had post-marathon? Depression??

9 thoughts on “PMD: Post-Marathon Depression

  1. Hey there!! I haven't been following you very long but I ran in the Little Rock Marathon apparently the same day you ran yours. I know EXACTLY how you have been feeling. It was funny when you made the wedding analogy because that had actually crossed my mind as well. I had run aarathon 7 weeks before Little Rock which is a little closer than the time frame you mentioned but I did a whole post a week or two ago on my 7 week training. I actually improved my time by 4 minutes so I think having 7+ weeks is ideal. It was almost like the first marathon was a long tempo workout for the second marathon. Having another big race pretty close helped a lot. I didn't experience any of this post race depression after my first marathon. After my second one though it hit big time. I am running in some shorter races but my next full isn't scheduled until NYC in Nov. I may have to add one in there somewhere. Anyway, didn't mean to write a novel. Excited for you and your next big race!!

  2. I'm so excited for you! I can totally relate to your PMD since Nola. I've signed up for a couple 5ks and a half in April. I know you'll do great!!!

  3. >Yay! (Even though I already knew about it).

    Too bad Mike and I are running three races before that race because we most likely would have gone to Schenectady for Easter to run that actual race. Mike's mom might be running it!

    I didn't have post-wedding planning depression. I was so glad it was over, too much drama with people!

  4. I'm one of your Twitter followers, and I thought I'd check out your blog 🙂 I always have PMD (nice!) after races. And if you are physically up for it, I think another race is a great idea. I only think it's a problem when it becomes a never-ending cycle – you just keep racing to avoid the PMD, never letting your body or mind fully recover. Plus, I think PMD is just a way for your body to protect itself – if you are a little depressed post-race, you won't push yourself into doing something unwise (really, I'm the last person to be espousing that, but felt like it needed to be said 🙂

    Good luck on your next race! It looks cool!

  5. Interesting post! I’m newish to running, haven’t run a marathon yet, but after my first half marathon I was aggravated, mad, depressed. I didn’t run for 2 months because I didn’t know why I would. I’m running again now though not long distances. It’s interesting to hear your experience. Congrats on signing up for your next one! And, so happy to be sweating pink with you 🙂

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