The 5 Stages of Marathon Grief

I’m pretty sure I’ve been going through the five stages of marathon grief for the past three weeks. Yes, I’m still thinking about that stupid race. The good news for you is, I don’t have another race until the end of February and it’s just a half. So this will likely be the end of my bitching.


After the race, I wasn’t happy with my finish time but I was done running. Nothing temporarily clouds the the memory of your terrible race better than chatting about running with your friends afterwards and drinking that unlimited beer and eating that day old bagel you get at the finish line. All that matters is that you’re not running anymore and you’re not dead.


I like to stew on my bad race performances, especially when I think I might not get a chance to redeem myself. I did this with Savannah RnR until I decided to run Jacksonville Bank six weeks later and now I’m doing it with Space Coast. The thing that annoys me the most is that I walked at least three miles of Space Coast to come in only six minutes short of my Chicago time.


I came up with all the reasons that I didn’t run as well as I should have and what could have made the race better. If only the weather wasn’t so hot. If only the course wasn’t so crowded. If only the course wasn’t a mind-numbing double out and back. If only pandas didn’t spend 16 hours a day eating.


I ran a bad race. It happens to everyone. The world didn’t end. Still, it took me a bit to stop whining about it and to pull up my big girl pants. The original plan was to not run much (or at all) in December but I was on some post-race endorphin high when I changed my mind and decided to run another marathon at the end of this month. I didn’t get a chance to run long last weekend, so I was going to make it up this past Tuesday. Then I got the flu, which means no long run this weekend either. So now that marathon isn’t happening.


I know I’m not running that marathon at the end of this month but I keep checking race day weather anyway. So maybe I’ve only kinda accepted it. I hope it’s a nice balmy 70 degrees so I know I’m not missing anything. I’m half mopey and half happy about it. Getting the finish time I want sounds awesome but having to get off the couch to get it doesn’t.

So basically, I haven’t been running or doing much of anything for three weeks. I kinda like it and I probably needed the break anyway. I checked the pictures on my cell to see what I’ve been taking pictures of in hopes that maybe I have been useful to society in some way. But no. I just have four different angles of this:

I plan to spend the rest of the month perfecting my uselessness.



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6 responses to “The 5 Stages of Marathon Grief

  1. Melissa

    This is so perfect and so true. Sometimes I think you should just post one of our email threads as a blog post.

    I’ll pray for balmy weather on race day, too!

  2. If it’s any consolation, I know the feeling. All that work — WEEKS AND WEEKS — to feel “meh” about the final product. For me, NYCM was the one and only 26.2 I did this year, and yeah, it’s a big race, and yeah, I get that marathons are a big impressive deal to people who don’t (and some that do) run them, but the incessant “YOU SHOULD BE PROUD” celebrations from friends, family, coworkers after I felt like I completely screwed the pooch (why is that a saying, btw?) on this “dream” race made me feel even worse. Like, people, you just don’t get it. I didn’t want to “just finish,” I wanted to KILL IT. Le sigh….

  3. Haha this is great! Definitely made me laugh. And stare at JT a couple of times because it’s JT.

  4. I feel this way about all of 2014. So at least you ran two marathons. That makes you pretty awesome.

  5. Julie

    I can totally relate. You’ve described how I’ve felt after 11 out of the 14 half’s I’ve done. Hoping for balmy weather!

  6. Amazingly, these are the same feelings I experience after marathoning the extended Lord of the Rings trilogy in a single day…

    Sorry you weren’t able to end 2014 on a running high. Hopefully 2015 will be better as you know now not to sign up for the Space Coast!

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