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!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

THE Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon

It's done. I did it. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful run! I am so grateful for the opportunity to run, my ability to run, and for all the support you guys have given me over the past 15 weeks. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Here's how it went:

It was an incredible day today in one of my favorite places on earth. Made it a bit easier to awaken at 4:25 AM to catch the bus to the start of my favorite half marathon--The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon (run in conjunction with Grandma's Marathon today). Fifteen weeks of training culminated in one extended moment--this goal race. Like I said, it was an incredible day.

I had a goal today. I had a time I wanted to meet--a time that would assure a better starting position in the BIG goal race--The Twin Cities Marathon, October 5, 2008. That's important to me for two reasons--pride (I know, I know) and qualifying. The Twin Cities Marathon will hopefully launch me into the BIGGEST goal race--The Boston Marathon, April, 2009. So my goal today was just the first step of a 3-step plan--qualify for and run Boston, 2009.

Today's first step could have gone a bit better. I didn't meet my goal. Instead, I had a lot of time to practice patience like when they ran out of buses to take me and several hundred other runners to the starting line. We made it there, after a 10-15 minute wait while more buses were summoned, which meant I got to practice acceptance while sitting in the port-o-potty as the National Anthem was played! (For the non-runners out there, like any other sporting event, the anthem is played just minutes before the starter's gun goes off!) I had just enough time to tighten my shoe laces before we departed--more acceptance practice, as my usual starting line routine was severely shortened and discombobulated! Gratitude and joy quickly took over, as we ran along beautiful Lake Superior in the early morning sun. I had my plan and despite the rough start, I felt comfortable and was running well.

But just as I started to envision realizing my goal, the interrupted starting line routine came back to bite me in the ass (pun intended), as I spent over a minute and a half waiting for the port-o-potty at mile six. I knew NOT panicking and racing too fast after this delay was going to require the full depth of my acceptance and patience. I knew that. Yet I jumped back onto the course and took off--ZOOM--way too fast. I spent the rest of the miles chastising myself for my conscious "mistake." It looked like my goal today was out of reach.

Soon an old skill in which I am quite well rehearsed took over--rationalization. If only we had gotten to the starting line on time... If only I had been less fatigued and done more training over the past few weeks... If only I had arrived at the bus pick-up location earlier and made it onto one of the first buses... If only I wasn't 40-years-old!!! I had to beat the thoughts back with my metaphorical stick for several miles!

Despite the intrusive thinking, I hung onto my goal. There must be a good recovery skill in doing that, huh? Perseverance? Anyone? At mile ten, I looked at the clock. I had about 24 minutes to get to the finish line if I wanted to reach my goal. "I can run a 5K under 24 minutes," I thought, as I simultaneously walloped the "yes, but not after running 10 miles first," realistic thought connected to it. Who needs reality at a time like that anyway! I made one last desperate push for the end. "Only 3.1 miles," I told myself. And then, "I can do anything for two miles--just two more miles." I ran as fast and as hard as I could, but by mile 12 the ending had been written. Unless I could sprint that last mile in 5 minutes (I wish!), my goal today would not be.

I didn't meet my goal. Even without the pit stop, it would have been very close. I was (and am) disappointed, but it's not going to ruin a minute of my day. I ran as hard as I could, especially at the end, but today it wasn't meant to be. I have things I can improve upon during this next phase of training. Many things...and that's what is occupying my mind now. I am already looking ahead. Another goal awaits.

It is still a beautiful day. I had the opportunity to run one of the most popular half marathon races in the country in one of my favorite places on earth. I am so grateful for that. I accept my result as the best I could do today, and I am grateful for that, too. It's a beautiful day.


la said...


Bradley said...

Great job!

Btw, how dare you mention the Grandma's run. Now I'm hungry.


crackedheadblog said...


You're It.

Addiction Treatment said...

you deserve this happiness.