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, October 14, 2014


The Chicago Marathon has come and gone. It was a great event. I enjoyed it, and I'd definitely do it again. I had a decent performance. It wasn't my best. It wasn't my worst. But I admit, I am a little disappointed. I made a couple of mistakes which cost me time in the end. That's one of the reasons I'd like to do it again, to correct those mistakes. Nevertheless, I had a good race on a perfectly gorgeous day.

My first mistake came early, but it wasn't entirely avoidable. I didn't want to start too fast, probably the most common mistake marathoners make. Unfortunately, within the first two miles, we ran underneath a couple of very wide freeway overpasses. My Garmin GPS watch couldn't get a signal, as we were essentially underground for an extended period of time, so I couldn't see how fast I was going. I did my best to run conservatively, but instead of the 9 minute pace I was shooting for, I learned afterward that I actually ran an 8 minute pace those first two miles! Way too fast!

Despite the fast start, I felt good and ran really well through mile 17.5. I was on a fairly steady 8:30 pace. Unfortunately, my second mistake, which came between miles 10 and 15, caught up to me by mile 18. For a variety of reasons, one of which was to just enjoy the experience, I stopped looking at my watch after mile 10. For 5 miles, I just ran. It was nice, but eventually I had the inkling that I was going too fast, and I began looking at my pace again. I should have kept track all along, as I ran mile 13 at a blistering (for me) 7:40 pace! Way, way too fast.

I was enjoying myself, but my day got a little longer after 17.5 miles. By mile 18, I had to slow to a walk for the first time. My legs left me. My mile pace gradually slowed. I ran and walked the rest of the way to the finish. Between miles 21 and 25, four out of the five miles took over 10 minutes. On pace to run around 3:42-3:45 most of the race, I ended up finishing in 3:55:41. I know I was in shape to run faster, and I have no doubt those fast miles came back to bite me. I was very happy to see and cross the finish line.

D was there waiting for me at the end of the finishing chute. That was nice. He gave me a big hug. Overall, the Chicago Marathon was a good experience. The race, which catered to 50,000 runners this year, was very well organized. Everything went smoothly. I was satisfied with my result, but like I said, I know I could have done better. That's the beauty of the marathon. This was my 26th finish, and I still haven't got it figured out! I guess I'll just have to keep trying.

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