surviving post marathon

In the end of March this year I decided that I was going to run the NYC Marathon.  That was seven months ago.  Seven months of life changing dedication to one single thing.  My habits changed.  My conversations with others shifted.  Everything was focused around the marathon.  There was many times I had to say no to things I really wanted to say yes to simply because I had to run.  

As I type these words I am on the other side of that accomplishment.  The training has been done.  The race has been complete.  Where do I go from here?  How do I adjust to life that does not include hours and hours of marathon training?  What do I do with myself now?  

Having one lofty goal to concentrate on narrowed my focused.  It made me see that I can push myself towards one thing and make it happen.  Usually my mind is all over the place, jumping from one thing to the next.  Training made me hone in and stay on track.  It also made me realize how much stronger I am than I ever thought I was mentally.  

However, all of that is gone now.  I still desire to run but when I struggle up that hill I am no longer thinking; "you have to push yourself in order to prepare for the marathon."  Now it just another run.  The roads that I trained on are now just roads again. Before they were a glimmer of hope, a challenge. 

What is the next hill I want to climb?  What is the next journey that I want to take.  I know that I will never be complacent in this world.  I constantly must be pushing myself forward. Seeking out new challenges and discovering new things that bring joy to my life.  I never thought running would be a place of joy, but it has become that.  

Life after a marathon isn't easy.  I took a bath with epsom salts the day after to help heal my legs, but how do I heal this yearning in my heart that is sad that it is over?  I know that I must remember the way I felt.  The accomplishment.  The joy.  The pride.  Hold onto all of those feelings and bring them with me on my next challenge.  Because the roads of training aren't always filled those types of feelings.  

Today I am stepping into new territory.  Navigating a braver me.  Stronger. Ready to take on anything that comes my way.