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, August 8, 2009

Progress.

In the end, I was happy. The 10K this morning was far from easy, but I felt so much better than last week, I was happy.

We started under cloudy skies with rain threatening. It was humid but relatively cool. I knew the course was a 6.2 mile loop, not out and back, but that was all I knew. It became clear within the first few miles that it might also be hilly. It was. I started faster than I thought I should but kept it up, as I felt okay with the pace. I was running within myself.

I believe I was somewhere among the top five women at the first mile. Between miles one and two I passed a few young men and a woman. One young man stayed with me almost stride for stride for the next 4.5 miles. He couldn't have been more than 16, but he was not going to let me go. It was okay. After awhile, I was almost glad for the company.

The paved bike path meandered around the countryside. It was hilly--up and down, up and down. Light and strong, light and strong--those were the words I repeated to myself. At 3 miles I had two women in my sights. They were at least 50 and 100 yards ahead, but I liked my chances. I was feeling okay. Light and strong, light and strong--breathe in, in, out, out. I was in a rhythm.

Then we hit it. Maybe it began at mile 4 or 4.25. I'm not sure when it started, but I can tell you this, it was the longest hill I have ever seen in a race--ever! One and a half miles later and we were still running up and into the wind. Isn't that always the way--up and into the wind! It was a cruel hill, that's for sure.

Somewhere on the way up I passed the woman who had been 100 yards ahead. But that woman right in front of me, she never came back. My sidekick and I survived the wind and the hill. The last 1/3 of a mile was gratefully flat. In the end, he raced ahead. I came in one second behind, the third woman overall at 49:24; an average just a smidgen under 8 minutes per mile, and good enough for first in my age group.

I'm happy. It was a very, very difficult course, and I was able to maintain what felt like an even pace. Most importantly, I didn't hit the wall! I'd like to be faster, but I'll take it. It was a good day.

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