Like many things that impact your life there are associated highs and lows with a big running event. You become almost manic-depressive in the time leading up to and after an event. During a set of in season events it becomes an emotional and physical roller coaster. My favorite time frame is the last week before a race. Many people don't like this time because of the tapering involved, muscles seem to hurt, anxiety sets in, you feel like you're getting fatter, lots of things make this last week a mental struggle. I happen to love the last days before a race. I think about every nuance of the race from gathering at the start to how the competitors will settle in during the cool dawn moments before the heat and meat of the competition grabs them.
Of course, with that emotional high comes the week following an event. What now? I'm achy. Did I just eat a half gallon of ice cream? I feel fat. That one cloud up there looks like it may open up at any minute into a severe thunderstorm-I better just take another day off today. All these thoughts settle in and rise up around me like heavy, wet sand in the week following an event.
I've pulled out of it this week by getting out for a couple of shorter (7mi and 6mi) runs and then a longer outing of 3 hours and 4,000 climb today, exactly one week since the North Fork 50 miler (and my subsequent melt-down). I also fought off the post-ultra depression by focusing on upcoming races. Next month I have the honor of pacing Tim W. at the Leadville 100 mile. I just hope I can keep up with him for 50 miles even with 50 miles already on his little tootsies. Then (and I've been thinking about this race for 2 years) I decided I'm doing the Bear 100 miler in Utah (well, and in Idaho technically). I figure why waste my time with easy hundreds like Rocky Racoon, Leadville, or even bother with Western States. I'll just go for the big banana and run one of the most difficult in the country (save Wasatch and Hardrock, of course).
So, the world is spinning at the right speed for me and life is humming at the right frequency again now that I have events with which I can soak my mind in planning, anticipating, training and general daydreaming.
Off to buy more ice cream.