Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 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!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A New York Qualifier!

I ran the Med-City Half Marathon in Rochester, MN, this morning. This is how it went. I woke up at 4 AM, as usual before a race starting at 7 AM, in order to eat and have my coffee. I set out for my warm-up miles at 4:45 AM. I don't usually run "warm-up miles," but today was my last scheduled long run prior to Grandma's Marathon (in 3 weeks), so I needed to run 18-20 miles today. I ran 6 miles prior to boarding the bus for the start of the race. One hour later, the race began.

I lined up with the 1:40 pace group. Within the first 3 miles, the 7:38 pace proved to be too fast. I let the group go. I knew there was a 1:45 pace group somewhere behind me. That was important because I needed to run under 1:45 in order to qualify for The 2012 New York City Marathon. I decided not to look at my watch, focus on keeping my pace, and hang on for as long as I could while hopefully keeping that 1:45 pace group from passing me for the rest of the race. And that's exactly what happened. I focused on my form, didn't look at my watch, battled my negative thoughts, ran as hard as I could, and I qualified!

To say it was difficult would be an understatement. It was hard! Really hard! I had to battle my negative thinking for at least the first 7 hilly miles. I was chastising myself for running too fast, running too many miles before the race, expecting too much from name the negative thought, I had it! By mile 8, I no longer had the luxury of so many thoughts. I had to focus on one mile at a time. By mile 11, I was down to focusing on one step at a time. My legs were so tired, but I just kept pushing forward and tried not to walk. With the exception of a couple of water stops, which I walked through, I ran the entire way and met my goal.

I qualified for New York. Mercifully, I made it to the finish line with one minute to spare. My official time was 1:43:55. I placed 81st out of 598 runners (male and female), and I was third (shocked!) out of 70 women in my age group. I think I'm even going to get a cool little award for that! I'm pleased. I'm grateful for the ability with which God has gifted me. I'm pleased I was able to run under an 8 minute per mile pace, especially after running 6 warm-up miles. And I'm really glad I've qualified for New York! It was a good day.

ADD: I just looked up the NYC qualifying times, and I actually only qualified with 5 SECONDS to spare. Apparently they've changed the qualifying time from 1:45 to 1:44! Whew! Glad I didn't walk through any other water stops!


A. Paige Turner said...

Congratulations Etta.....As a 'non-runner' I can't comprehend what it takes to keep your body going when it wants to stop. Pretty much when this bod says, "Stop!" I say, "Okie-Dokie!"

((SMILE!!!)) As always ~ proud of your drive and your accomplishments.

Maggie Beth!

Anonymous said...

i didn't know you were running today and then i saw you whiz past me and yelled your name and you flipped the peace sign! I smiled and thought she's got this covered! I am very excited for you and this achievement! one mile at a time; one day at a time. moments come and go but you grasped this and the glory is yours! CONGRATS! sm

etta said...

OMG! I actually only qualified by 5 SECONDS!! I thought I had to run a sub 1:45 when I actually had to run a sub 1:44!!! Yikes! So glad I had those 5 seconds to spare!

Divas said...

CONGRATS!!! This race was meant for you!

Team R.E.D. said...

Great job at Med City!... everytime you set a goal.. and reach it, it's cause for celebration!

I'm heading to the NYC marathon this November.. I'll be sure to give you the inside scoop, as it's sort of a secret operation!