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!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Did I mention I'm training for a marathon?

I haven't mentioned it. I haven't written about it, because I wasn't sure it was realistic. Actually, I'm still not sure. Perhaps it's a bit more realistic today. My hip has tolerated three weeks of training, 30-36 miles per week. The injection into the iliopsoas tendon (hip flexor) seems to have worked. I tolerated a 15-mile run two days ago, and I've tolerated the energy expenditure so far. I've been able to run.

I think my training secret was also due to fear--fear of failure, specifically. If I don't reveal the goal, it's as if I never set one. No goal, no possibility of failure! How's that for some really screwed-up reasoning? Truthfully, setting goals is daunting for just about anyone. Setting goals when you have an intermittently debilitating, chronic illness takes audacity. I've written about the dicey-ness of goal setting before.

Goals are tricky things when you have depression. The evil depression constantly bombards my brain with condemnation. "You are worthless! You are stupid! You are slow! You will never be the person you used to be! This is it. This is how you are going to be the rest of your life! What a hopeless waste, you are!" (insert evil laughter here)
The audacity it takes to strive for a goal you may FAIL to achieve is enormous! Yep, goals are tricky with depression. With my illness constantly corrupting my thoughts, setting goals is often terrifying. If I fail to meet or exceed those goals, all of the nastiness screaming in my head is instantaneously reinforced. And once those thoughts are "proven" to be "real," they stop being thoughts and become me. My depression loves it when that happens. It gets what it was craving, and it is satiated by my desperation. Depression wins. (from goals, 01/17/08)

Well, here I go! I'm about to be audacious! I plan to run and finish the Twin Cities Marathon on October 5, 2008. My secondary goal is to run it under 3:50, which, I believe, would qualify me for The Boston Marathon, April, 2009. Wish me luck!


deepblue said...

Good luck! :)

Jenl said...

I'm fairly new to your site, but I have to say that your take on setting goals while depressed is spot on. I have struggled with that over and over some weeks daily as my only goals are to "have a productive and positive day at work" or "get through today without harming self or others".

As a recent "training for 5k" dropout, I totally admire you for doing the marathon. I am rooting for you 100%. Keep us posted on how it's going, ok?

Michelle (The Beartwinsmom) said...

As you know, I'll be rooting for you all the way!!! Sending you lots of prayers for a successful marathon training and a qualifying time for Boston '09!!!

Jennifer said...

I also understand how one can get side-tracked by depression. The goal is worthy and within your reach.

I will be thinking good thoughts.


Tamara said...

I'm usually a lurker on your site but I just had to jump in and say - WAY TO GO!!! I have run 10K's and dreamed of a marathon or even 1/2 but never gathered the courage. Good luck and I hope you have a wonderful time.

etta said...

Ooooh, Tamara, a "lurker." That sounds so devious! I love it. Thanks for peeking, and if you've run a 10K you can easily run a half-marathon and with a little more work, a full marathon! Go for it! I'd be happy to be your cheerleader!

Hey, jenl, same for you! Just 'cuz you didn't make that 5K goal this time, don't let it stop you from trying again. You can do it!

deepblue, michelle, and jennifer--thanks for your support!

Marissa Miller said...

Good luck! We'll hold you accountable for running but please don't feel guilty if your mental health ever gets in the way. I pray it won't!

Anonymous said...

Did you know that Mental Illness Awareness Week starts on Oct. 5, 2008 this year? How interesting is that coincidence?? Keep running forward; your goal is attainable and I am cheering you on!! sm