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8 All-Too-Real Struggles That Happen After A Race

You’ve trained for months, so naturally when you cross the finish line, you feel like you’re on top of the world! You trek through the post-race chaos, wearing your medal with pride. Then, all of a sudden you become very aware of the immediate post-race struggles that are very real. Whether you experience extreme pains or lack of celebratory beers, the post-race struggles that can ensue are very real to a runner who is tired, hungry and really needs the bathroom.

Bathroom line is out of control

When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. There’s nothing worse than standing in line to use a porta-potty after you just spent the past couple hours running. You can do the pee dance all you want, but the wait feels like hours! #TheWorst!

the worst

Where’s the beer?

“I crave 14 beers, not just one after a race” – Ross, @RossKnowsBest

There’s nothing like cracking open a cold one after a race. The bubbles against your lips make the pain from your legs go away. Whether the keg’s been tapped out or the line is just absurd, trying to get a beer after a race can be a struggle. And without it, you just might want to scream!

homer

Chafing

Well ladies, when it comes to chafing, I guess we can be glad we’re not men! While most men experience painful chafing on their nipples, we experience it on other parts of or bodies—and it’s definitely just as bad! Underarms, inner thighs, side of the stomach–the post-race pains start to set in after you cross the finish line, and the fire-burning sensation is just brutal! Lesson learned—use glide or lube before you hit the course to prevent such agony.

Post-race fuel

To eat or not eat, that is the question. “Right after a full marathon I’m not hungry. I think my body is just tired and confused like, ‘Why did you do all that running?!?!’ So it’s a challenge to find something that sounds good to refuel myself. The real post-race hunger usually doesn’t hit me until the next day.” – Monica Olives, blogger at Run. Eat. Repeat.

Related: How To Avoid Runger

No thermal blankets!

You see marathoners wrap themselves in thermal blankets after a race. Many non-runners question why they do this since they’re hot and sweaty. Well, the truth is about five minutes after a race, your body cools off and you start to freeze. All the sweat on your body makes you cold and without a thermal blanket, it’s just plain miserable—kind of like you’re stuck in a miserable snow storm (kind of).

jon snow

The right post-race drink

“I have to have chocolate coconut water afterwards,” says runner Maile Proctor. “I get really angry and thirsty if I don’t have it. If a race doesn’t have it, I try to buy the regular coconut water instead, but then realize I don’t like regular coconut water and throw away half the bottle and get upset that I wasted money on regular coconut water.” #FirstWorldProblems

cry baby

To stretch or skip?  

“My biggest struggle right after a marathon is that I feel exhausted, but know if I sit down immediately I’ll tighten up and it will be hard to get up again. As much as I want to just collapse I walk around to stay loose. I’m way too tired to stretch out, but I will try and walk around and stay on my feet for a bit before sitting or laying to rest.” —Monica Olivas

Not having the normal post-race ritual

“I am Type A and have my post-race down to a science and if it’s not executed properly—watch out, people. Washroom, Electrolyte consumption (preferably Pedialyte), feet out of shoes and into flip flops/sandals followed by an Epsom salt bath as soon as possible!”   —Sasha Faith Exeter, Creative Director at So Sasha

Related: Post-Long Run Rituals That Will Help You Recover

Fara Rosenzweig

Fara Rosenzweig

Fara Rosenzweig is a writer, editor, and certified personal trainer. She got her first taste of the gym at age 14 and fell in love with the fitness crowd. After suffering a back injury her freshman year of college, she had to set her ballet slippers aside and rehab her back. That’s when she found her passion for teaching fitness and helping others challenge themselves. Her senior year of college she ran in her first 5K and traded her ballet slippers for the latest (and brightest) pair of running shoes. Fara loves talking health, sports and fitness with any one and everyone. Her love for storytelling earned her an Emmy Award and has been seen in many other publications, such as Refinery29, Active.com, MyFitnessPal and Health.