Allow Yourself To Go Through It
You’ve spent a lot of time with yourself preparing for and participating in your chosen event. Spend a little more time with yourself through the post-race depression phase. It’s not pleasant. There’s several questions you will struggle with answering, but recognize this too is part of the process and so you need to take the good with the not so good. Also, recognize you are not alone. This is a very common phenomenon. There are lots of articles about this post-race state of mind.
It’s About The Big Picture, Not A Moment In Time
Yes you worked extremely hard to do your best at the event, but if you look at this as an event or point in time instead of a lifestyle, then you are missing the point, aren’t you? Without exercise and good diet, I personally would be overweight and angry like I was 5 years ago when I was a couch potato. If I don’t have some type of exercise daily now, I’m difficult to be around. So for everyone’s sanity, not just mine, setting big goals keeps me focused, in the saddle and makes me much more pleasant to be around. It’s part of my life now. Something that centers me on a daily basis and has significant tangible health benefits from lowering my cholesterol and blood pressure to allowing me to try lots of different activities that I otherwise would not be able to do.
Find Solace In Your Coach
I can’t express enough the importance of a good coach. Not someone that just puts together a plan for you but someone that cares as much as you do about what you are doing. Because if you aren’t winning, then what’s it about? It’s about you being better today than you were yesterday and there’s nothing like a good coach to console you and get you back on a plan to recovery and then onto the next event.
Mix It Up
If you get too close to a sport, my opinion is that your expectations of improvement generally correlate with the amount of effort you put in. However, there is generally a point of diminishing returns for us age-groupers that we all need to figure out for ourselves. If you find yourself plateauing, consider trying something else to mix it up. Try an obstacle race, a running event, or something that sounds interesting and challenging. Talk with your coach, get it scheduled and start planning for it.
This Is Life
At the end of the day, there’s no ticker-tape parade celebrating your achievements. There’s no speech honoring you and your sacrifices. There’s not as much social media buzz or local neighborhood envy as you might think. It’s really about you and how you choose to live your life. So are you willing to continue to work as hard as you can even to get slightly above average in the next race? I am. It’s just who I am. So be that as it may, I will always go all-in for any event I sign up for. It’s just me. Where I finish is where I finish. Not much more I can do about that, but I am alive and I am able. So I will continue to do it and be proud to be…average.