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Post-race depression


cat-i
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Carine, does it keep you up at night?

 

Firstly it's a sign of really enjoying the race/trip. after finishing FC08 on a really emotional high I had one day off and then was straight back in the office. About four days later the novelty had worn off and I realised:"my life actually hasn't changed at all!" The reality is that it had, and I just had to look at my job from a different perspective - I lasted another year there before it was really time to move on.

 

My best advice is to turn the longing feelings into positive activities. ie. Planning the next one. You'll always have the memories, and its a lot of fun trying to top it. Try and assess what you learnt from the race/trip and use the knowledge to do better next time.

 

Steve

 

ps. there is a lot out there, and every experience is different in its own way. So you have NEVER done it all, ja not even Martin Dreyer.

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it lasted a long time for me.

 

it took me longer than 6 months to get back on the bike again.

 

it sucked big time !

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Still in it from the Epic.. But could just be missing CPT, moved up to JHB right after the Epic. And had to take up riding on the road.

 

Eyeing the FC for next year to get me going again...

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Yip , after Ironman. then you cannot train for a couple of weeks. Have to go back to work after a good weekend away...do something else. Hobbie. don't think you can suffer from post race depression having done a 100km roadie race.

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Post Race Blues is a common phenomenon. Here is some material I copied from active.com/running.

 

"You did it. You ran the race you always dreamed about, setting an incredible personal record. You'd set this goal almost a year before.

 

So you should be feeling terrific, on top of the world. Maybe you felt some brief elation, but then in a few days there is a feeling of emptiness, apathy, perhaps even mild depression. What went wrong?

 

Letdown Not Limited to Athletes

 

Many runners and other athletes have been puzzled by this common experience that often follows a major event, independent of whether they have performed well or poorly. Athletes are not unique in this post event letdown. The feelings are reported by politicians after a major election-win or lose; by students after earning a hard-won degree; by mountain climbers after climbing the highest peak. Although the experience seems to contradict common sense, it is common among achievement oriented people.

 

We have been taught that the attainment of the goal is the reward. Now the goal is attained and you are puzzled by your unanticipated unhappiness. The goal has turned out to be an illusion. The joy was in the dream and the process of moving towards your goal, in mobilizing your physical and mental potentials to their fullest. Once the goal was accomplished, the dream died. The joy ended. And now it's time to regroup and start over again.

 

Be Prepared

 

Some of the disappointment of the post-event letdown can be alleviated by knowing that it's normal and to expect it. For months, your life has been organized around this singular goal. Now, suddenly it's over and the disciplined, intensive efforts are no longer required.

 

This is the time to pause, reflect, and enjoy other aspects of life that may have been neglected during intensive training. Sleep late; spend more time with family and friends. Do things you wanted to do but sacrificed for your training. Plan ahead so that when the big event is over, you don't face a vacuum of too much time.

 

After this pause and re-balancing, carefully select a new, realistic challenge, a new long-term goal. This may be in running, another sport, or something altogether different. You need a new dream to fill with passion and energy and get your juices flowing again.

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I used to get it badly when I rowed at university. We would spend up to five months training for Boat Race, culminating in a week of racing and a massive afterparty in Port Alfred in September. Then suddenly it was all over and there was no more rowing until January. What made it worse was that you spend those five months almost living with eight other people and then suddenly it's just you again and you've got to go back to mundane studies and exams.

 

This is actually what got me into cycling. I was rather aimlessly looking for something to do when a buddy of mine suggested I buy a bike and do the 94.7. Through a number of work, injury and training coincidences I have, so far, avoided experiencing it while cycling.

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For me its the sitting at work after a great week end of racing thats the worst, or after JoBerg2c, it was difficult to come back to reality. I normally have the next goal all lined up, so I dont have much time to let it affect me to much.

 

I agree I found rowing depression worse.

 

@ Edman, You go to Wits? I thought it was you but I wasn't sure...

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@ Edman, You go to Wits? I thought it was you but I wasn't sure...

Yes I did.

Sounds like we've met. If I were to hazard a guess I'd say Master B Eight, 2006.

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Nothing beats it like a good retail therapy session. Those nice Bora's you always wanted cures ANY BLUES ! :lol:

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What about during-race depression, when you realise you're not making your intended time, that the finish line is a lot further than you thought, and you're feeling a little bonked?

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It helps when you set yourself many cycling goals through the year, like a race every month. Then when you've finished one you have to work towards the next one already

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