Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 18 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, April 13, 2013

A Halfway Half

I'm about halfway through my 18-week Grandmas Marathon training plan. My schedule called for a half marathon race this weekend, so I found the only one I could and ran it. The race was 2.5 hours from my home in a small Wisconsin town. I drove over with Jet last night after work in preparation for the early morning start today.

It was a nice, small town event benefiting the local veterans' memorial, so there were many vets in attendance. I shook as many hands as I could, thanking each vet for his service to our country. The older ones always look so surprised when I do that! I love our veterans, and I'm honored to work with them in my profession.

I haven't raced since The Dallas Marathon in early December, and I didn't taper at all for this event, so I wasn't sure what to expect today. To get the most accurate picture of my fitness I decided to run purely by feel. I did not look at my watch, and thankfully there were no clocks on the course, for the entire race. I had no idea what pace I was running, which kept me from freaking out about running too fast or too slow. I just ran.

Our weird weather continues, so I awoke to snow and 30 degrees. A cold wind was blowing, and as I soon discovered, the course was quite hilly. Conditions were not ideal. The wind was in our faces for the first 6.5 miles. Thankfully, it was only intermittently directed right at us from there to the finish.

The hills were tough. There were two back to back, long, steep hills between 4 and 6 miles. They were really long and really steep. I refused to walk them, though many runners did. They hurt! After 6 miles the hills leveled out a bit, and there were long stretches of flat country road. Unfortunately, that niceness ended just before mile eleven. It's just cruel to put a hill at mile 11 of a half marathon if you ask me! It was also a little sadistic to put the finish line on top of a long, gradual incline, but that they did. I guess it did make crossing the finish line that much more relieving.

I finally eyeballed my watch as I turned it off at the finish. I was very pleasantly surprised! I ran a 1:42:25, which is a 7:50 average per mile. I placed first in my age division, which was also a nice surprise. Running by feel turned out to be a good decision. I was more relaxed out on the course and spent less time in my head. I pushed myself to the max, but I wasn't fretting about it like I would have if I had known my quicker-than-I-thought-I-could-run pace. It was a good day, and now it's time for a well-deserved nap!


Tina Fariss Barbour said...

Congratulations on the great race! It sounds like it was more relaxing overall to run by how you felt and not by looking at your time. I'm glad that you felt good on the run, too. Those hills sound hard!

It's so cool that Jet goes with you on your trips.

Anonymous said...

Great success with the odds against you. Good job!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, that is a fantastic finish time!!!

midnight rainbow said...

I love when I can just do things by just feeling and not by time. Sounds like you had a great run by doing that. I don't envy those hills though! lol Glad you conquered them and found the determination to just do it.

Erin said...

Congratulations on your achievement! It is really true that hard work really pays off when you give your full commitment to it. :)