“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.

Read more from our experts.

10 Runners. 26 Days. Follow Their Journey. Find Your Finish Line.

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