“Not Alone in My Frown-Filled Funk”

Thoughts on Celebrating Success by Sarah Bowen Shea

by Sarah Bowen Shea, Founder of Another Mother Runner & Author of “Run Like a Mother”

Day22 ExpertPostAfter I wipe away my tears of joy, pride, and, frankly, disbelief that I ran 26.2 miles 50 weeks after fracturing my ankle in four places and I start to stiff-leggedly hobble down Boylston Street toward my hotel, I have no plans after I find my finish line at the Boston Marathon. I suspect it’ll take a few days to come down off my marathon high. But I’ve run enough marathons (a dozen) to know a slight malaise will then set in. A slight blue period not strong enough to label myself “depressed” or even “disappointed,” just a free-floating feeling along the lines of, “it’s a bummer the race—and training—are over.” It helps to know I am not alone in my frown-filled funk: I’ve talked to countless mother runners who feel the same way post-race.

And as I tell those gals in blog posts and on the AMR weekly podcast, the best solution is to plan something to look forward to. For me, it’ll be a visit a few days’ post-race from my best friend who lives 3,000 miles away from me. Along with our kids, we’re taking a quick trip to the beautiful Oregon coast to take in the sights and eat some good grub. (Can you say, “guilt-free gourmet mac-and-cheese?”) After my BFF departs, I have another event to look forward to: cheering my BRF (best running friend), Molly, in her May 1 marathon!

Given that Molly and I have covered nearly 90% of our marathon-prep steps together, I imagine my true 26.2 celebration will be something I share with Molly after she crosses her finish line. She’s gunning for a PR (unlike me), and I know she’s primed to nab it. I get a little teary-eyed even now envisioning our triumphant hugs and high-fives. And these happy tears are a reminder to me that celebrating a major accomplishment like completing a marathon isn’t a one-and-done affair: We can always replay the pride and joy in our mind long after the finish line.

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