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!

Monday, December 19, 2016


On the last day of my 48th year, December 17, 2016, I ran The 3 Bridges Marathon in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was my gift to myself, and it proved to be a tough gift. It was 72 degrees. Yes, 72 degrees Fahrenheit. When I left home in Minnesota on Thursday it was -9 F. It was only in the 30's in Little Rock on Friday, but it was 72 degrees with about 85% humidity on Saturday! Go figure.

Despite the heat, I actually had a decent race. I ran 14 seconds slower than I did in New York 6 weeks ago, but in New York I ran the second half of the race 3 minutes faster than the first half. In Little Rock, I ran the second half 3 minutes slower. The last 5 miles were my slowest miles of the day. It was a true test of perseverance. I refused to walk, but I could not lift my feet any higher or will my legs to go any faster. I was proud to finish without giving in to my fatigue and walking. It was my little victory.

I actually had another bigger, unexpected victory shortly after crossing the finish line. My 3:51:44 was good enough for first in my (old) age division. I received a very nice, 3 dimensional plaque for my efforts. It wasn't a big race. There were about 400 runners, I believe. I finished 27th overall and 10th among women. Overall it was a good day.

I arrived home from Little Rock yesterday, my 49th birthday. (I can't believe I'm 49 years old!) If you've been paying attention to the weather, you know my corner of the world has been extremely cold. I think it was -24 degrees, that's without wind chill, on Saturday night. It was 10 below when I got home yesterday afternoon. And I came home to two more unexpected surprises.

Despite arranging for a friend to clear my driveway while I was gone, it was packed with 6-8 inches of new snow. My friend chose not to clear the snow secondary to the dangerously cold conditions. Okay. Unfortunately, it was so cold my snowblower wouldn't start! I stayed out long enough to shovel the sidewalks and stairs, but the driveway went undone. Frustrating, but not that big a deal, really.

Later last night I had a much bigger, stressful surprise. When I attempted to take a shower I discovered one of my water lines had frozen while I was gone. Instant stress! I worked feverishly for almost 3 hours trying to get the line to thaw, all the while hoping it hadn't split and wouldn't burst, but nothing worked. Finally I gave up and went to bed. I was exhausted. I said a prayer, turned my heat way up, and left the faucet in my bathroom open overnight. At 5:11 AM, the water began to flow. Happy birthday to me.

I wasn't looking forward to paying a plumber to thaw my water line, especially if I was going to have to have my snowblower repaired, too. And did I mention my root canal will be completed tomorrow? As generous as the endodontist has been thus far, I will need to pay her a chunk of cash, too. Financial stress...not my favorite thing.

Thankfully, I was able to start my snowblower tonight after warming it with a space heater for an hour. So two potentially expensive, stressful situations were resolved without too much pain. I'm thankful for that. I was feeling a little snake-bitten last night. Now I just have to get through my root canal. Hopefully it will be smooth sailing after that.


Anonymous said...

Can I just say how impressed I am by you? Another marathon after New York! And then staring down those stressors in your return to normal life.

I understand that you have severe, even crippling depression, but I take a lot of courage from your posts and your chutzpah. I wish I could be more like you.

etta said...

@ paullamb: You know, flattery will get you everywhere! Seriously...thank you for your kind words. But I don't know if I actually "stared down" those stressors Sunday night. It might have been more like dejectedly glancing up at them. Thankfully, it worked out anyway. Take good care of you.

Rachael Wood said...

Well done Etta, give that plaque pride of place x