Six in the morning, just last Saturday I sat on the back seat of one of many crowded buses heading for the start line of the Georgia Jewel 100,50,35 and 17 mile trail race. While the buses navigated the small Georgia backroads, I chatted with those sharing seats around me. I am terrible with names, but I remember Robert from Virginia and his cadre of first time ultra runners. Heavy with anticipation, the conversation focused on the day ahead, the nervousness and excitement that is race morning. After an hour, we arrive at the parking lot and the start of the race. I mill about and run into new and old friends, all eager for the race to start. Eventually we line up and start our races, heading back to where the bus ride started. I run my race, struggle and eventually finish.
After 17 hours of running and close to twenty four hours of being awake, successfully finishing my race, I finally shower and pass out. How did my friends running the 100 fare? What about my bus time compatriots, did they finish? These questions, moments of struggle and elation fill my following waking hours. Days after a race I frantically search for any news of my fellow runners. I share and delight in stories on Facebook and race report blogs. For days after a race, I cannot get enough of anything relating to the race. Unfortunately, days later the fun ends and we all go back to our lives and move on to the next big challenge or goal.
The post race doldrums have begun. I miss the shared comradery of the past several months. I miss tales and updates from the trails on race day. Eventually my reverie will end and I will move on to focus on my next challenge, with a slew of new and old friends to share adventures.
How do you deal with post-race blues?
Til next time.