Depression Marathon Blog

My photo
Diagnosed with depression 17 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, June 18, 2011

A New Personal Best!


It wasn't easy, but I ran a new personal best time today. I beat my old personal best time, set in December, 2010, in Dallas, by almost 2 1/2 minutes. I had a goal of 3:35, and I was pretty sure that would be doable on a perfect day. But I really didn't expect I could achieve that time today after suffering through some sluggish training lately. Today was not a "perfect" day, but it wasn't too far off either. 

At first, it didn't appear the weather was going to cooperate. It poured rain all night long. It poured rain from the time I got up, to the time I boarded the bus to the starting line, and through the entire bus ride. However, when we stepped off the bus 40 minutes later, it magically cleared to a mere drizzle.  At around 50 degrees, it was hardly comfortable, but again, it magically stayed dry for the duration of the marathon. So it turned into almost perfect running conditions. Temps were in the 50's, clouds covered the sky, and there was a fairly steady, albeit brisk, tailwind. Personal record conditions.

Physically, things were slightly less than perfect. I started great, felt great and was running around 3:30 pace through approximately seven miles. Unfortunately, mile 7 was the start of some vicious, take-your-breath-away stomach cramps. The cramps brought me to a stand-still 3 times between miles 7 and 12. I wasted at least one minute on the sidelines trying to work out cramps I've never really experienced before. It was baffling and frustrating, and I never thought they were going to let up. They did, but they never totally went away. I did, however, regain my pace later in the race.

Other than that, I have no complaints. It was tough, but marathons are supposed to be hard. I found out, however, that when you run faster you hurt sooner. So I began walking through some water stops around mile 17, and I walked up the "Heartbreak Hill" during mile 21 (my slowest mile). I had to really push from one mile to the next during the last 6 miles, and especially through the last two. But I did it. Here are my mile splits: 8:16, 7:53, 7:55, 7:55, 7:59, 7:58, 8:33, 8:03, 8:26, 8:14, 8:13, 8:16, 8:05, 7:59, 8:09, 8:22, 8:34, 8:05, 7:57, 8:33, 8:45, 7:48, 8:37, 8:00, 8:26, 7:57, 2:49 (7:34 pace). 

Overall, I'm ecstatic. Like I said, it was hard, and I did have the thought (more than once) that I'd just like to do this "for fun" from now on, but I doubt that will hold true. I'm planning my next marathon for August. What else can I say? I'm really pleased. I'm really pleased.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kindred Spirit said...

You are unbelievable! congratulations!

Jen Daisybee said...

Good for you!! Keep going!

Michele said...

Congratulations! A wonderful achievement.

Kinza said...

Congrats! Given the cramps problems, there must be 3:30 in you...
Get some quality rest now!!!

Jojesek said...

How great for you. I'm always amazed that you find the strength to run, it's inspiring.

Maggie Beth said...

I'm really pleased....really pleased too!!