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, July 11, 2019

Training again

It's only week two, but I'm pretty excited to be officially training again. My goal is the Twin Cities Marathon, October 6, 2019. Week one of my training could not have gone much better. I ran a total of 27.8 miles, including a long run of 11.2 miles, and I hiked another 6 miles. I felt good. I explored new places. I ran in the sunshine and in a delightful downpour. It was a good week.

That downpour occurred on my way to Duluth last Thursday, July 4th. After a sunny 3.5 hour drive, I stopped at my brother's house to check out a bike trail. I had to do 4 miles at tempo pace, which is currently about 8:12 per mile. It was going to be a hard run. I figured the bike trail thru the woods would be scenic and flat. My brother lives about one mile from the trail, so it was a great excuse to visit him and get my run done before beginning my holiday weekend in earnest.

I visited with my brother and his family for a few minutes and then got ready to go. But by the time I changed into my running gear and got directions, it started to rain...hard. I waited it out. I ventured outside when it had calmed down to a sprinkle. Unfortunately, within the first 1/2 mile it began to pour again.

As long as it's warm, and it was, I don't mind running in the rain. Good thing, because it poured the entire time, almost an hour! After a one mile warm-up I began my tempo pace, but it was raining so hard I could barely see. I missed the trailhead and had to double back, meaning most of my miles were completed on the side of a busy road. No worries, there was a wide shoulder, but I must have looked a fright, as one woman even pulled over to ask if I wanted a ride! Despite missing the trail, it was actually kind of fun running hard in a downpour. I hit my pace, didn't need a shower, and once I changed into dry clothes, I was on my way.

I had another wonderful run Saturday morning. My friends, with whom I was staying, live just up the road from my beautiful alma mater, The College of St. Scholastica, in Duluth, Minnesota. I don't know what I was doing during my four years there, studying and playing volleyball, I guess, but I had no idea there was a network of wooded trails behind the school! Well, I discovered them, totally by accident, during an easy 6-miler Saturday morning. There was a cemetery where all of the nuns have been buried, several Catholic statues, and even a Stations of the Cross nature walk! Who knew? I love discovering new places! I could have run around back there all day.

Finally, I ran my long run on Sunday along a new-to-me section of The Duluth Lakewalk. It was a gorgeous morning. Lake Superior was flat calm and the sun was glinting beautifully off the surface. Many boaters were enjoying a nice morning to fish. I ran 11.2 miles while taking it all in. Afterward I iced my legs in the big lake at Brighton Beach. It was a bit warmer than the 40-ish degree water up the North Shore where I took a dip after my hike on Friday, but it was still a perfect ending to a long run.

I love running. I love discovering new places. I love exploring while cruising along in my running shoes. I'm so grateful to be training again. It's only the middle of week two, which has also gone really well, and I'm feeling hopeful. I'm feeling energized. I have no idea what will happen from here on out. I'm aware another injury could crop up anytime, but I'm doing my best to take care of myself. And so far, I'm enjoying the ride.

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