Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 16 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

tired, tired, tired

busy, busy, busy leads to tired, tired, tired...apparently. yesterday, after briefly getting up to attend to Puck, I slept until Noon! I didn't get much done after getting up, either. every piece of my physical being felt weighted with lead. by 3:00, I needed another nap! after 2 more hours of sleep, I forced myself from my bed, but to no avail. I may have been standing, but neither my mind nor my body was awake. an entire day swallowed by fatigue.

I mentioned training for a marathon takes a ton of time. it may seem obvious, but I failed to mention it takes a ton of energy, too. I need to be very careful during this time. one step too many, and more days like yesterday will descend. one step--that's how it feels. it's like that old game, "Don't Spill the Beans" where each player piles a single bean on top of the precariously balanced kettle. bean number 9 might be fine, but bean number 10 empties the pot.

maybe sunday's mile 15.99 was my ninth bean, but mile 16 emptied my monday pot. or maybe it was the fact that I was busier than usual over the weekend. maybe those couple extra hours of work were enough to skew the balance, I don't know. with depression, life is a precarious balancing act. throwing marathon training into the pot makes it even more tipsy.

endurance training with depression requires extra vigilance. everything I do, I scrutinize. how will eating that food fuel my next run? will it help or hurt? if I have my coffee now, will I be able to run, or should I run now, risk getting a headache, and then have coffee? I have to do 20 miles this weekend, should I run saturday and work sunday or the other way around? if I run 20 miles at 7:00, will I have enough recovery time before the meeting? should I skip the meeting so I don't have to worry about it? you get the idea. everything I do I filter through my training needs.

this scrutiny may not be any different than that of normie marathoners. even normie runners are fatigued right now. this point in the training program, four to six weeks prior to the goal marathon, is always fatiguing. the long runs are really long (I really do have to run 20 miles this weekend) and the short runs are no longer short. my legs are constantly tired, and I rarely feel recovered prior to my next run. motivation is difficult. this seems true whether a normie runner or not.

the difference for me, a non-normie, is a day like yesterday may have dire consequences. a day of overwhelming fatigue and functional inability can drag me into the abyss. depression can cause fatigue, but unfortunately fatigue can also trigger my depression. that one extra bean, which upsets my balance, results in a bad run or even a bad day--as happened yesterday. unfortunately, that bad day may cascade into a full-scale emptying of my pot. barren days, weeks, or months could follow. it's tricky. days like yesterday scare the crap out of me. I am not a normie. I must be vigilent. balance is key, but training for a marathon intensifies and complicates that necessity.

1 comment:

Bradley said...

I just take a fast paced walk every day so I'm damned impressed with your ability to run 20 miles.

Keeping the balance does sound like it would be very difficult. I hope you are able to find that middle ground to keep up your pace so you don't spill the beans.



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