The Buddy System

So, I don’t run with people much these days. My stupid UC has sort of nailed me to the treadmills down at NYU. And when I do get the thumbs-up sign from my large intestines and get to run outside, I often have to stop during the first couple of miles anyway. Sucks.

But it wasn’t always that way and I miss the option of having a running buddy.

Yes, running is get-away time for me when I’m only focused on myself and don’t have to think/talk/fix anything I don’t want to for about an hour. I really enjoy this quiet time and cherish the energy I can put into my workout after coaching and pushing others through theirs.

But sometimes it’s nice to have company. And sometimes it’s fun to be with a friend. And the time always flies by when there’s someone running next to me.

Running with friends is fun. You can bring each other snacks, like PB & J sandwiches.

The other thing about a running buddy is accountability. Sure, one of you will want to back out of a run now and then, but you are far less likely to do so when your buddy will be waiting for you at dawn or after work. This applied to trips to the gym, spin, yoga and any other type of activity, too!

Tweety and I were doing yoga about once a week together before school took over for both of us. She’s wicked smart and up at Cornell now 🙂 and we both have to focus, but it was great while it lasted! Rainbow & KP are my spinning buddies and I love that they are up for anything, despite their sometimes crazy schedules.

Love how all my favorite people came out to ride with me on Saturday! Especially this lady who ate a half-marathon for breakfast in Nashville two weeks ago. Yay, Sam! (totally stole this picture from Sam’s blog: checkmypulseblog.com)

Listen, this country has a serious problem with obesity. By 2030, 46% of Americans will be obese. Why not have Happy Hour at the gym or pounding pavement in the park instead of at the bar? I love a mojito every now and again, but I get so much more out of a good workout than I do out of a drunken night on the town.

Mmmmm…mojito. Mojitos are a sometimes treat, like Cookie Monster says.

Grab a friend. Hit the gym. Keep each other on track. You don’t have to do it alone! And if you don’t have any friends interested in getting their sweat on, perhaps you should seek out some new friends who have the same interests and priorities as you. Just a thought. Lululemon stores, running clubs and Twitter (!) are great places to meet new workout friends. You never know, you might just make a friend for life!

Now go out and run!

Kiss Post-Marathon Blues Goodbye

I ran my first marathon in New York City. It was an amazing experience that I’ll always remember and cherish. I was so excited to have finished a marathon and to have done it in New York!

Me and my very first marathon medal the next morning. Yay!

But I also remember being seriously bummed out as the post-marathon high wore off. What the heck? Wasn’t I supposed to be walking on airs for at least a few weeks, basking in the glow of the finish line glory for all the world to see? Well, yes, buuuuuuut, that died down after about a week. People stopped asking about it and life, you know, moved on.

My high was gone and I was still in marathon recovery mode, so I couldn’t exactly just pick up and race again. So sad. I had reached my goal! Now what?

I eventually came out of my funk but it took a whole new experience to get me going again. That’s when I found Achilles International and started volunteering on Saturday mornings as a guide for disabled runners in Central Park. Running with these amazing athletes definitely helped me get my groove back and even gave me a goal for the next marathon season.

Me and my friend, Leol, who also finished the NYCM this year!

So what’s the key?

Do something else. Anything else. Maybe even do something besides running (gasp!) or do something running-related, like volunteering at a local race with kids or something cute like that. The Girls On the Run 5K is on December 10th, which I’m going to use as my post-marathon, holiday season, do-gooder, get-off-my-post-marathon-a** and do something new event.

But what gets YOU going after a marathon? A new challenge: triathlon, 30 day yoga challenge anyone? A new activity: indoor cycling/climbing/kickboxing? Something completely different: book club/rearrange your apartment furniture/clean out all your closets/volunteer at a homeless kitchen…what else?

Or maybe you caught the marathon bug and are already searching for your next race and a new training schedule to have an even better finish time. That’s what I’ve done after the past few marathons. I got to a place where my marathons didn’t leave me as spent as they did in the beginning (don’t get me wrong, I was TIRED and I worked HARD, but I recovered faster) so I decided to switch up my training schedule to accommodate two marathons a year instead of one.

The result was Jersey. Which…well, it wasn’t a success where time was concerned BUT it was a HUGE success where my training was concerned. I finished super-strong and on pace despite having a hideous middle eight miles. To me, that was the biggest success of my running career.

Yay! Proudest finisher at the NJ Marathon!

So, if you’re finding yourself down in the dumps post-marathon (or any other race/goal), set a new goal. Don’t have one? Sit down with a friend who motivates and encourages you and get the conversation going in the direction of a new goal.

I cannot stress enough to you how very real this problem can be. You’ve achieved a goal that many people never even consider attempting and that can be a very difficult high to come down from. This is the best way I have learned how to deal with the post-marathon blues. What are your tricks?

Tell me all about it and then go out and run!