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, April 11, 2009

First Race of the Season

It wasn't my best time ever, but then again, I haven't run my best times since 7 years and 10 pounds ago. Nonetheless, it was the first test of the season. Having only run three times per week for the past three weeks, I wasn't sure what to expect.

Fortunately, it was a beautiful day for a 20K--warm (for spring in Minnesota) and sunny, with only a slight breeze. I struggled with negative thinking, per my usual, throughout the first half. I fought off worries that I was running too fast for the distance as well as self-criticism that my pace was too slow. Comparing myself to my previous self is never productive, but I seem to do it anyway. I guess my body and brain were sufficiently tired by 6 miles, as I was finally able to simply focus on running.

This was a unique, equalizer race. The women started 12 minutes ahead of the guys. That way the first person to finish is truly the overall winner. It was nice to have the road to ourselves for a while. I didn't get passed by the first men until after the four mile mark. I'm not sure when they caught the lead woman, but I think she was into the latter stages of the course before that happened. I enjoyed the format.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I finished in the top twenty women and second in my age group. That was a surprise! I averaged 8:16 per mile. I was in pain over the last few miles, and I could feel my form go to hell. More than once I just wanted to quit. I kept myself going with a mantra about speedwork--i.e. I reminded myself I was tough because of the speedwork I'd done.

Overall, it was a good day. I'm proud of the fact that I wasn't passed by any woman after about the 3 mile mark. Passing and not being passed are always goals. I'm also happy with my time. It gives me a reference point upon which to plan the rest of my training. I'll definitely have to get faster if I want to qualify for Boston, but this was a good start.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Wow! I volunteered at this race and the Women were Amazing. I cheered everyone on, and am someday hoping to just complete this distance (20K) - I am usually close to last (in shorter races) and always feel good about participating and finishing. Wow to you I say!

Anonymous said...

You have a gift.

etta said...

Thank you both.
Volunteers make the race! Without volunteers, there would be no races, so thank you, thank you, thank you. You guys are way more important than any of the runners!

Harriet said...

Wow - I'm impressed! Good for you! I'm training for a 5K - small potatoes compared to you, but I've never run and I'm 48. I still can't run the full 5K, but I'm hoping by June I can do it. You're an inspiration.

etta said...

WAY TO GO, HARRIET!!!! We all start somewhere...keep up the good work! And let us know how it goes.