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!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Strong, Free

I am strong. I am free. That's my new running mantra. I came up with it 3 weeks ago during my first 20-mile training run. That's right, I said first. I used "I am strong, I am free" again during my second and final 20-mile training run a few days ago. And tonight, during a very strong, very free tempo run, I used it again, and I ran fast!

I am strong. That's self-explanatory. I am free. That's the more important, meaningful half of my mantra. During that first 20-miler I was so thrilled to be running and feeling good, I felt free; free from worry, free from despair, free from fatigue, and free from depression! It was a magical run, a run I couldn't have predicted or completed just a few short weeks earlier.

I had another great 20-miler this past Sunday. I wasn't sure what to expect, as I didn't run the entire week prior. I was resting my sore Achilles, which had flared up again. During the week I got my miles in on my ElliptiGo and bike. Running the second 20-miler was really important to me, though. I felt like I needed to do it in order to build confidence for my upcoming marathons. Again, I was thrilled with the result; a good, solid, not too difficult 20 mile training run. Freedom, once again.

My confidence continues to build. Tonight I ran 6.2 miles at 7:55 pace. That's a good 20 seconds per mile faster than I ran the same workout 4 weeks ago! And it's likely faster than I've run that distance in years! I used my mantra. I felt strong, and I definitely felt free. My mood continues to be good, but the confidence I gain from running these key workouts without too much difficulty is priceless. Running well reinforces that I'm doing well.

I'm so grateful to be feeling free; free to work, free to socialize, free to run, and free to take care of my responsibilities. I begin my final week of TMS treatments on Monday. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous about what may happen when the treatments stop, but I'm doing my best to stay in today. I've strung together a nice, long string of good days free of depression. At times I still can't believe it. It was a long way back. I'm trusting the good runs and the good days will continue.

I am strong. And I am free.


The Real McCoy said...

So happy for you!

Nathalie said...

Well done work so hard to aid your recovery when you suffer your (agonising) depressive episodes.
I am so glad you are feeling much better.

Wendy Love said...

Your good news is good for all of us. Just what I needed to hear today, someone having success. So happy for you and thanks for sharing.

Katheryne Patterson said...

I am so happy and proud for you!!! I'm sorry you are sick right now. I hate it when I am physically ill, also. It is confusing. I think you are just dealing with a virus, and it is not related to your mental wellness. Wow, two 20 milers. That is great!

Ritika said...

Thats awesome etta. I am also suffering from depression and learning to get away from it. You are truly an inspiration . Now after reading your blog, I am more motivated and working on depression. Thanks