Sudden Drop in Mood After Ultramarathon

Am I the only one to experience this?  I complete an amazing event, I am super-uplifted (I am thinking of the Surfcoast Ultramarathon and the Salomon Trail Series final race), but shortly afterwards, the bottom falls out of my world.

I am great when I have a huge goal to aim at – a PhD, publishing a book, doing my first ultramarathon – but when these goals are accomplished, I fall into despair.  I don’t know what to aim at next, or the thing I am aiming at just doesn’t seem big enough or bad enough to inspire me.

And this, from someone whose job it is to inspire others!  Such a wonderful job, I have, but on days like today – when the big goals have been achieved, and my race kit is hung up to wait for the next big thing – it is a difficult job.

How to uplift when I am not uplifted?  Tomorrow I return to teaching my BodyPump classes after a week away, and I am struggling with what to tell the classes.  They’ve been there through this whole journey, from when I could only run 10km to when I finally managed 22km.  What I feel like telling them tomorrow night feels so very different from what I would have told them Sunday night after those races, when I was glowing with the achievement that we all had made happen.  I want that feeling back, is what I want to say.  Give me that feeling back.  Right now.

So my question (and I think I know the answer already), is do any of you feel this sudden down once your goals have been nailed?  And if you do, what do you do about it?

I suspect it is a case of Yin and Yang, where I am a Yang sort of girl, a go-go-go adrenalin junkie who needs to live a bit on the edge to feel fully alive.  It’s the opposite of this, the slowing, the being, the deep breathing I sometimes have trouble with.  Give me a big goal, give me a mountain to climb, a new country to settle in, a huge change – this I can manage.  But slowing down, waiting for the next thing with grace.  Uh uh.

So perhaps that is what this time in between events is meant to teach me.  To learn to slow with a bit more grace.

I am off to try meditation now.  I’ve been long away from a quiet space.

Send me your thoughts, and the ways you use to get out of this place, if, indeed, you get into it too…