The one question anyone will ask themselves once achieving their goals: “What now? What do I do now that I have completed my goal?” My primary focus for the ‘first half’ of the year was to do theTwo Oceans Ultra andAfricanX (trail stage race). Usually, I would search the internet, ask around to anyone about what races are coming up. But this time I feel I deserve a little break…. for now.
It’s been two weeks since I did African X and wow, what an experience that was. 90km over three days with 3500m of climbing in the most spectacular mountains. You partner up for this event in two’s. I partnered up with my best friend Erni for this. The general vibe is one to experience. A bunch of frothing trail runners all about to conquer three days of running with laughs, wine (started and finished on a wine farm) and sore muscles in between. Will I do it again? Definitely! Meeting amazing new people and sharing such an experience with fellow running enthusiasts in the most beautiful surroundings was a highlight for me.
Let’s rewind to two days after African X. It wasn’t pretty. The high was starting to wear off. My body felt great, not too sore. It was my head. My brain felt foggy; I couldn’t quite explain it to people. Then the tears started. Over what, I have no idea. The smallest thing would set me off. Ok, now I was beginning to worry as well as my husband looking at me like ‘who are you and what have you done with my wife’? Is this what they call a ‘runners low’? Or was I generally losing the plot? After conversing with my friend Erni, I learnt she was experiencing the same thing. Phew, I’m not crazy, or maybe we were both crazy? I started to do some research in my desperate attempt to keep my brain busy and found that it’s quite normal.
Here’s what I was dealing with and how I overcame it:
So, what now and what have I learnt? Well, I am feeling myself again. Back to running but not on a programme. Still running with my crew some mornings but if I want to sleep in and run later, I will. If I want to run early, I will. I have also started Sweat 1000 again which is an insanely awesome high-intensity workout with loud uplifting music that will have you leaving glowing and smiling ear to ear. I have a few overseas trips planned in the next few months to visit family in Germany and local trips which will enable me to pack my trail and road shoes to run and explore new territories. Regarding races? I will mainly be focusing on trail races for the rest of the year until around September/October when I start to get hungry for Marathons when my inner-competitive voice starts chomping at the bit.What have I learnt? I now know this is a typical process. At least for next time, I have written everything down, and I have gained so much from this normal process. That it’s ok, it will pass and to be easy on yourself and give yourself the rewards and rest that you deserve. While I am a naturally competitive person when it comes to sports (mainly with myself and whoever is ahead of me) I learnt to remember that there is also more out there other than waking up, training, competing, eating, sleeping and repeat. Allow your mind and body to catch up with each other again to find that perfect balance of physical and mental harmony. Then get ready to kick ass again!