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, December 27, 2008

getting back to running...and acceptance

The worst part about any running layoff is starting up again. One run here and there feels good, but once I start back a bit more seriously, it sucks! For example, I ran Christmas morning prior to visiting with my family. (I didn't realize until we were out and away from the hotel that it was actually -15 degrees outside!!) Despite that, and because of that, I ran quickly through the cold. I felt good. I marveled at Puck's frosty goatee and laughed when my eye lashes began to freeze. Call me crazy, but it was fun. That was two days ago.

Thinking ahead to the upcoming racing season and my still unfulfilled Boston goal, I ran again today. It sucked! It sucked like all other returns to running have sucked. I hate it! Does this happen to anyone else out there?

Today, as in other returns previously, nothing felt fluid or coordinated. My lungs felt stiff--unable to expand enough to fulfill their oxygen requirements. I was short of breath way too soon at a pace which should have been way too slow. My high heart rate bugged me again. That one really pisses me off! If I didn't have to take these damn meds to stay somewhat sane, I wouldn't have to strain at the upper end of my heart's capability--again at a much too slow pace for such a high heart rate! I ran three miles. It felt like ten, and my heart rate monitor screamed, "slow down, slow down," half the time!

Feeling this poorly, doing something which used to feel so easy, reminds me of several humbling realities of which I am not fond. I'm getting older and therefore require more time and energy to run and to recover. I'm a little heavier and therefore slower. I have depression and therefore require meds with unpleasant side effects. I require meds with side effects which directly impair my running and racing ability. In summary, I am older, heavier, and taking medication to control a chronic illness. Each factor by itself has the power to slow even the most competitive runner, which I am not. Combined, these humbling realities remind me I need to practice acceptance.

Acceptance...seems to have been a theme this week. Okay, I'll work on acceptance of my current reality, but that doesn't mean I have to like it! I still hate getting back to running. It's difficult, and I prefer easy. But I also know today's difficulty will be tomorrow's reward. that case, I can't wait until "tomorrow!" It's much easier to accept "easy" than it is "difficult."

1 comment:

N. said...


I began running again too recently. And its cold here too. Up to 3-5 miles now, but with a lot of pain and stiffness--for me its definitely age ;).

Good luck. I enjoy your blog. It motivates me.