It’s been about 4 months since my goal race for the season, the Door County Half Iron, and just a short month from the Super Bowl of triathlon, the Kona Ironman. Instead of bore you all with a long race report (and let me tell you, this race was no easy feat!), I thought instead I would focus on what happens post-race. It doesn’t end after the medal is placed around your neck by any means. After the first week of recovery time, the luster wears off and you’re left with what feels like a hole in your life.
Most people involved in triathlon, cycling or running races typically put together a race calendar with one goal race that they are working towards. Early mornings and weekends are dedicated to training, and we keep to a strict schedule throughout the week. Every minute of training is dedicated to our goal race, and once it’s over, we’re left with more than just a hole in the training schedule. Most people can just shake it off and sign up for another race, but for some, the post-race blues lasts much longer than expected.
I was hoping that throwing myself into school would help me fill that hole, but I found myself losing interest and enjoyment in going out biking and running, and it became a struggle to schedule workouts. My race ended in the middle of a quarter of school, and it was quite an adjustment to suddenly not have the need and push of training to use as a stress reliever. I wish that I could say that it’s easy to bounce back after the post-race blues, but I honestly can say that I am still figuring it out. With grad school taking up the majority of waking hours, I find myself sorely neglecting my bike, and with the winter months upon us in the beautiful Midwest, my daylight hours and warm weather are also diminishing.
My winter quarter is about to begin, and starting fresh is sometimes the best! I’ve signed up for my next few races, and having a few items on my race calendar has already sparked me into action. I know that it’s not going to be easy once the classes start piling on, but as I’ve talked about before in my posts, life is all about balance, and just like learning to ride a bike, finding balance in life has a learning curve and its own ups and downs. Life frequently sends curve balls, rocks in the road that can deflate your tires, and gigantic hills that seem impossible to climb. It’s all about how we approach them, and how we come out from under them. I know that I need to remember to just keep pedaling and stick to my goals this quarter and I will bounce right back.
The post-race blues are something that not many people talk about, but something that is really important to seasoned athletes and newbies alike. It is by no means something as dangerous as depression, but it’s definitely on the spectrum, and something just about every athlete has to prepare for.
Jennifer is a born and bred Badger, and growing up in Madison, WI she spent a majority of her childhood on a bike. She is currently training for a Half Ironman and will be beginning PA School in Chicago in May. When she isn’t swimming, biking, running or eating, she can be found with a cup of coffee and a good book or baking yummy treats. She is extremely excited to bring her training and health education to the Schwinn Ambassador program, and will be focusing on the health side of cycling. She has always loved the Schwinn lifestyle and mission of getting everyone on a bike, and is excited to use the Schwinn Ambassador platform to show how triathlon is so much more than just training.
Follow Jen on Instagram: @jen_beth
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