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, September 23, 2019

The tapering paranoia

Everybody around me is sick! Race day is less than 2 weeks away. I'm in my second week of tapering, and I am paranoid! I'm certain I'm going to get sick.

Something nasty is going around. We have a severe respiratory illness sweeping through the skilled nursing facility in which I work. So many of our residents are sick we've had to quarantine half of the building! Coworkers, friends, even my doctor has been sick!

I can avoid friends, coworkers can stay home (and have), but I can't skip work. If I'm well, it doesn't matter that my patients aren't. I still need to do my job, which means mingling with illness for 6-8 hours per day. Ugh!

It's fairly normal to worry when tapering for a marathon. Getting to race day requires so much time, energy, and devotion it's normal to feel worried about every little twinge or sniffle in the final weeks before the race. I'm used to that. I expected it. But never before have I been completely surrounded by extremely ill people, as I have been for the last 7 days. It's unsettling to say the least.

I'm terrified I'm going to get sick, but I'm trying to let go of that fear. Other than staying out of the direct line of coughs and sneezes, and washing my hands a bunch, there's nothing I can do. If I get sick, I'll have to deal with it. But I really hope I don't have to deal with it!

Other than being paranoid and terrified, I'm doing well. (Yes, that was supposed to be ironic.) Jet and I ran the trails in a local state park yesterday. It was a nice change of pace, literally, for my last long run. The footing was uneven and sometimes very muddy, so I had to run about 1 minute per mile slower than normal for at least 10 of the 12 miles. That was okay. It was a different kind of work for my muscles, and much more enjoyable than the road. I think Jet thought so, too. We were both tired and muddy by the end.

I don't expect any more tiring runs until race day. Mileage will be cut way back over the next two weeks. It's always nice to run fewer miles after so much heavy training, but I'd be lying if I said I was totally looking forward to it. Running less requires mental toughness, too.

I'd likely manage my anxiety and paranoia better if I ran more, but that would defeat the purpose of tapering. So I'll have to cope with my anxiety, paranoia and fear in other ways for a bit. I've tapered 28 times before, so like I said, I expected the worries. It's always been part of the process. But I really, really hope I don't get sick!

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