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!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fatigue, Pain, Worrying, and Running

I've been having a tough time writing lately. I don't feel I have anything interesting or valuable to say right now. I'm just feeling a bit blah. Training again after my DNF (did not finish) at the Twin Cities Marathon.
I'm tentatively planning to run another marathon November 2nd, but not feeling nearly as confident of meeting my goal, which is qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I did have a good 20-miler on Saturday, but still... I'm hoping I can improve my confidence over the next few weeks, otherwise I am doomed. I think not finishing has effected me more than I thought it was going to. I'm having a DNF hangover.

I wrote the above paragraph a few nights ago, but I never got around to posting it. I guess that fact only reinforces what I wrote. There are some big changes going on in my life right now. Nothing I am prepared to write about yet, but suffice it to say the impending changes are likely draining my energy stores.
I'm also worried about the pain in my right leg. I've got some pretty severe shin splints going on. Trying to decide if I can baby it along, yet maintain enough fitness to run a quality marathon in 3 weeks, or if I should take a break now, let it heal (hopefully), and shoot for a marathon in December.
It's a tough decision. If I stop training, I fear losing the fitness I have built up over the past few months. That's an awful lot of work for nothing! However, continuing to run through the pain has consequences, too. The pain forces me to alter my stride and hinders my running efficiency, which means more energy expenditure and a slower pace. As a result, I may not be able to run a qualifying pace for 26.2 miles. Typical worries of the long distance runner...

Now that I've written down all of those worry-thoughts, I guess it's no surprise that I've been really wiped out for the past couple days. After working just four hours today, I collapsed in bed for two hours. I had a ten miler on my running schedule yesterday, but I was unable to do it secondary to fatigue and leg pain. So I rested yesterday and moved the ten miler to today. I wasn't hopeful about accomplishing the distance today either.
After collecting myself from bed this afternoon, I set out. During mile one, I stopped 2 or 3 times to readjust my shin wrap and contemplated quitting. In the second mile, I was certain I would turn around any minute. With the leg pain and fatigue, my body felt totally discombobulated! I wasn't sure what was going on down there! Whose legs were those flailing about? At mile 2.5, I was able to let Puck off leash. I always enjoy watching him romp around. He's so damn happy!

Before I knew it, I had settled into a comfortable pace, and it was fast! Even though I was still having some pain with each step, my body at least felt like my own. I was able to maintain my pace for the rest of the run. By the time I got home, I felt great.

I chuckled as I entered my house. This sport is a constant surprise. In the span of 9.5 miles, I went from lethargy, pain, and frustration to energy, less pain, and freedom. Getting those miles done makes me feel a lot better about hitting the pool, rather than the road, tomorrow. appears I've made a decision, for today anyway, to continue training.

1 comment:

Shiv said...

I'm not the best person to be giving health or fitness advice, but for my part I'd recommend you hold back and let it heal first. Like you say, there are risks involved and there's a slim chance that you'll end up doing poorly on this marathon thanks to the injury *and* not being able to run the next one becuase you've made the injury worse.

Is it worth the risk?