Comparison is the thief of joy.

About 3 days after I completed my marathon, an awful awful feeling started creeping in.

Days 1 and 2 were filled with a little bit of disbelief.  Except for the profound ache in my quads, I wasn’t quite sure I’d done it.

And then came the postpartum depression.

Literally, I was overwhelmed by this sense that I could have done better.  That I, and my race time, was a disappointment to friends and family.  That I hadn’t worked hard enough initially, and that’s why I hadn’t pulled an Olympian time.  I started to feel antsy.  That I immediately needed to sign up for something else, to begin training, and to “redeem” myself in a sense.

I explained this to Yoga Kerri a few days later at work, and she, as well as a few others, explained that the race was about me, and not anyone else.  It doesn’t matter what anyone else thought.  My time was nothing to sniff at.  I’d done it.  I’d enjoyed the experience.  And I wanted to do it again, and if I did it better (and one day qualified for Boston and then had a really sweet jacket to proudly wear about as people marveled about my beauty and strength), then so be it.

I don’t know who I was comparing myself to.  But I have a lot to be proud of.

      • I finished a marathon
      • I ran the entire time, the way I wanted to
      • I felt relatively good the entire time
      • I created a training plan, and stuck to it
      • I’d gladly do it again

So raise your glass (of low-cal Gatorade), and cheers to not comparing yourself to anyone else.  Do you!

Look at that fine behind!
Look at that fine behind!
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4 thoughts on “Comparison is the thief of joy.

    1. You’re right! But after all of that prep, it’s almost like an emotional crash came over me after – apparently that’s somewhat common with the first marathon, so I’d like to see how I do with my second in November.

  1. Cheri,

    Really interesting post…I ran a marathon with my wife about two weeks before we were married, and I experienced similar mental anguish (though weeks later). In fact, I think it altogether deterred me from running another marathon. That being said, I’ve since been lifting and running minimally, but your post is going to make me re-examine my reasons for running/training. I do miss the runner’s high!

    -Matt Hohn

    P.S. I shared one semester at Elon with you (Jack Beggs and I were freshman roommates if you remember!)

    1. MATT! It is so good to hear from you! I’m do happy to hear that you’re married and doing well! I hope Jack is well, too.

      That said, when, or if you DO come back to a marathon, just relax. You’ve done it once. You know you’re physically capable. I think it IS like having a child in a sense, you build it up, and you’re left kind of sore and it disbelief when you’re done – it’s a lot to process!

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