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, June 15, 2009

Final week heaviness

The marathon is a unique challenge. No matter how hard you've trained, no matter how excellent your condition, no matter the forecast for the day, anything can happen. Another unique oddity of marathon training is pre-race heaviness, which is what I'm experiencing now.

You'd think a person would feel light and free and fast these final days. After all, I'm running many fewer miles at increasingly relaxed paces. Yet, rather than a speeding cheetah, I feel more like a beached, pregnant whale. How's that for a visual?? Heavy...slow...foggy...

This is not a pleasant feeling even in the best of times. Feeling this way prior to a race is hardly conducive to rising confidence. I feel more like taking up my bed than stepping to a starting line! Alas, I should be used to the heaviness by now. It's happened previously. Yet, I can't help but worry.

I shouldn't worry. I know it's actually common to feel sloth-like prior to a marathon. The sudden decrease of hard training leads to a build-up of energy stores, a good thing that makes one feel like lead--at least that's what I've read. But I'm never too sure when I feel like lead. How can feeling heavy and slow be a good thing? I'm worried.

Unfortunately, there is nothing more for me to do now. I can't go out and run bunches of miles, decreasing my energy stores and thereby lightening my load. I can't go on a crash diet and lose ten pounds. I can't change any of what's already been done. I'm either prepared, or I'm not, and right now that's tough to accept.

Regardless, I must accept. I must accept the heaviness, stop the worry thoughts, and try to relax before the run. If I don't, I'm going to drive myself crazy before I ever step to that starting line!

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