Depression Marathon Blog

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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!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Seven Days and Counting

I am seven days away from The Boston Marathon. It's hard to believe. It's been quite a journey!

Let's start the journey with qualifying at Grandma's last June. I ran a personal best, 3:35:46, despite walking several times. It was my fifth marathon in the span of seven months, and I knew I could go faster. I had planned to run The Twin Cities Marathon in October, but in August I hurt my knee running The Eisenbahn Marathon. I dropped out at the halfway point and was unable to run again for the rest of the Fall.

On October 8th, 2011, just 6 months ago, I had surgery to repair the damaged knee. I didn't know if I'd get to Boston, as my doc thought it might take 6 months to return to running. Fortunately, I was able to get back to gentle jogging in December, but the layoff had apparently already taken it's toll on my mental health. I ended up in the hospital just before Christmas.

That was the first of two recent hospitalizations. Depression had me in its death grip. The second hospitalization knocked me out of running commission until the first week of February, 2012. Yikes! I was very far behind schedule and my mood and motivation were both lacking. I'm looking back at my training calendar right now. That first week I ran 2 miles and 4 miles, and my long run was actually a walk/run of 6.4 miles! Wow. That was just over 8 weeks ago.

Things were going great for about 3 weeks, and then struck what I thought was the final disaster. I developed sudden, debilitating knee pain. It was a floating body, probably a piece of damaged cartilage which broke free, which lodged in between the bones of the knee joint. Walking was painful, and I couldn't run a step for about 10 days. Things looked grim. Boston was only about 6 weeks away. Then, just as suddenly as it came on, the pain disappeared. Apparently, the floating body dislodged itself. I got back to work.

Since then, my abbreviated training has gone well. I've run long runs of 17, 18.5, and 20 miles. In a typical training cycle, I probably would have run each of those distances at least twice. But, as noted above, this was anything but a typical training cycle. This was a convoluted, detoured, meandering journey. And now here I am, just seven days away from the start of The Boston Marathon. It's hard to believe. I think I better savor the experience.

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