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!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Dreaded Taper

I used to really look forward to tapering for my marathons. I think that must have been when I was less experienced. I mean, what's not to love about slowly decreasing my running mileage over a period of three weeks? You'd think I'd feel rested and fresh by week three. Well, this is week three of my taper, and I feel like crud! Fortunately, I've learned from my experience. Crud is normal.

Yep, feeling like crud in the final days before a marathon is fairly normal for me, and I dislike it very much! I feel tired, and heavy, and slow. My legs ache, are as heavy as lead, and I swear I've gained 10 pounds. Despite running less, and as of this week, no longer lifting weights, my body feels fatigued. Even stranger, I tire easily, at work and at home. I just want to take a nap. It's weird, but it's normal.

I've been through this at least 21 times before. Over the last three weeks, I've gone from running over 50 miles a week and aggressively lifting weights to barely running and not lifting weights at all, yet I feel weary and dense. Thankfully, it will all be over soon. In 4 days I'll be on the starting line. I can't wait.

I can't wait to run. It's hard to know if I'm prepared when I feel like this. Certainly I don't feel prepared right now. I need to constantly reassure myself. I know I've done the training. I've run the speed workouts, the long runs, and all the miles in between. I've pressed, swung, and lifted kettlebells to condition my muscles, and I've further strengthened my core with suspension training. I put in the time needed. I can't allow myself to fret about feeling crappy. Soon it will end.

The only thing left to do now is wait. I've packed my bag, although I'm sure I'll check it again. I've lined up the dog-sitter. I've planned my meals, my clothing, and my race nutrition. I'll leave Thursday morning for the 3.5 hour drive north.

I'm going to spend some time with my family before Saturday's race. It's always nice to run Grandmas, as some of my family, including two of my young nephews, are usually able to watch. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate. And I hope my fatigue and heaviness give way to lightness and speed on race day. We shall see.


Tina Fariss Barbour said...

That's really interesting that you feel that way before a marathon. I don't have the experience with running that distance, so it's neat to get an inside look from an experienced runner like you. At least you know this is a normal way for you to feel. Maybe it's your body digging deep for the strength for what's to come.

I just (finally) got out of my ortho boot. The fracture is not completely healed in my foot, but I can walk while wearing an ankle stabilizer. I went for a walk for the first time in over 3 months last night. I went for 15 minutes and felt like it had been an hour! I was so sore and tired. But in a good way.

Good luck for the marathon! Run with lightness and happiness. :-)

Anonymous said...

I also get the taper crazies. Hang in there and good luck with the race!!