Anticipation is high and the excitement is thick! There are more A races looming than hot days ahead of us (hopefully).
Months (sometimes years) of hard work have gone into preparing for your A race. Your family life, work life, and social life have been affected by your A race. The A race is sacred; it's a big deal!
But what happens the day after your A race? How about one week after? Have you thought about how you will feel after your A race is accomplished?
There is no shame is comparing your A race to a wedding, college graduation, or milestone birthday. It's that big of a deal. If you participated in any of the aforementioned major life events, how did you feel after those events were over? Did you have a period of let down or was it easy to move on with your life when the day ended?
A high level of emotional stock placed on one particular day will more than likely lead to a severe let down afterward. I'm not implying that A races shouldn't be a big deal and shouldn't be celebrated, but if they are kept on a pedestal and the only thing that matters in one's life, then there's a possibility that the come-down after the race will have a major impact on your mental and physical health.
If you subscribe to Eastern medicine principles, then you'll have an appreciation for the idea of yin and yang. Even if you don't practice Eastern medicine, I'm sure you can appreciate the idea of balance.
To protect yourself from a major let down along with mental and physical stress following an A race, finding balance in the levity of the A race may be helpful. Here are a few strategies that may be helpful for beating the post-race blues to the punch:
1. When the day of your A race comes, live in the moment! Capture the most meaningful moments to your memory. Don't think about how you want to portray your day on social media - think about how you want to remember your day as each moment happens.
2. Consider the true meaning of the race to your life. What makes the race so important to you? Is the A race part of a continuum of growth for you or is the A race the holy grail?
3. Think about and visualize what life will be like when your A race is over (particularly 3-4 weeks after your A race). What will you be doing, how will you feel, what will matter and be important to you then?
4. Don't suppress the excitement of race day. Schedule one-on-one lunch/dinner dates with friends who you know really care about your big day. Celebrate and re-live your day with your friends. Having the ability to talk about the day in detail will be very helpful for managing your emotions and the events meaning to your life.
5. Recognize that there will be people in your life that may NOT share in the same excitement of your A race as you. Don't force details of your day on them. Find peace in the fact that you've accomplished your A race for you.
6. Write about your special day in detail, but write about it as if you are looking back on your emotions 10-20 years from now. What details will matter to you in 10-20 years? What will you want to remember most about the day?
7. Put something on the schedule. This doesn't have to be another race - anything that you look forward to will help. A hike with friends, vacation, new sporting activity, educational opportunity, etc.
Enjoy and relish in your special day, but keep in mind the impact that this one day has on your mental well being. It may be helpful to accept the A race as a day in the continuum of your evolution as an athlete and person.