Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 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!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Vacation cures all

I'm back in the cold after thriving for one week in the sunshine and warmth of Austin,Texas. The time spent with my friends seems to have been the cure for what ailed me. My mood is much improved. The sunshine, warmth, laughter and friendship was just what I needed. Seeing the newest and greatest running gear was helpful, too.

I attended 3 full days of The Running Event, the largest retailer event in the country for specialty running stores. Basically, companies participating in this event try to woo shoe store owners to carry their product, and they go to great lengths to convince owners (my friends) of this. There were probably 500 different companies set up in the convention center, from tiny start-ups to the largest shoe and apparel companies, like Brooks, Hoka, and UnderArmor. I got to see, try, and frequently even keep the latest technology in running shoes, apparel, socks, outerwear, and nutrition. Yes, it was heavenly.

The highlight of my week came when I got to meet and chat with two running pros, Des Linden and Jared Ward. Des is sponsored by Brooks, so she spent a few hours mingling with customers in the Brooks booth. Jared did the same with his sponsor, Saucony. While I spent more time chatting with Jared, 6th place at the Rio Olympics, I was absolutely thrilled to meet two-time Olympian and Boston Marathon Champion, Des Linden! She won the 2018 Boston Marathon! I have followed her career for years, so meeting her was special.

Des Linden!
Jared Ward
Austin, itself, was special as well. It's a unique city with lots to do, but I was most enamored with the weather. It was sunny and in the 70's the entire week. The sky was a brilliant blue every single day, and the warmth of the sun felt so good. It was so nice, I was motivated to go for a run. Actually, I ran 3 times! I couldn't resist the opportunity to spend as much time outside as possible. I explored the University of Texas campus during one run. Everything is huge! During my next two runs I enjoyed the beautiful path which winds along the shores of Lady Bird Lake and the Colorado River. It was very motivating to be surrounded by tons of runners and cyclists. Running felt slow and at times heavy, but I was happy to be moving, nonetheless.

View from the path around Lady Bird Lake
I'm so grateful to my friends, Mary and Jim. I am humbled by their generosity and kindness. They thought I'd enjoy and benefit from this trip, and they were right. I'm feeling so much better today than last Sunday. Amazing that one week of friendship, warmth, and sunshine could make such a big difference. But it did. I have no way to thank them enough, but I hope they know how much I appreciated our time together.

Jim and Mary under a really cool tree
I returned to my life today. I go back to work tomorrow. I'm hoping my mood will hold under the stress of returning to work, remodeling and repainting much of my home, and the basic, everyday tasks of life. I'm celebrating every moment of feeling better, but I must confess I'm also waiting for the other shoe to drop. It's hard not to do that, but I'm doing my best to stay focused on feeling well instead. Forward I go.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Gifted a trip

I'm one lucky woman. I have some great friends. They own a running shoe store in Duluth, Minnesota, which is quite convenient for a shoe lover like me! But that's beside the point. My friend, Mary, contacted me last week and invited me to join them on a business trip to Austin, Texas. She thought I could use some sunshine. Fortunately my employer agreed. Sunshine here I come.

If you've been following the weather you might know Minnesota got hit by a massive blizzard this weekend. I live in southern Minnesota and only got freezing rain and sleet, but Mary had to dig out from under 20 inches of snow! We will be leaving it all behind tomorrow. I hear it's sunny and 70 in Austin.

I've been to Austin. I ran the marathon there several years ago. It's a very cool city. I'm looking forward to going back, feeling some warmth, soaking in some sunshine, and taking in all that Austin has to offer. We will be attending a huge shoe retailer show...more shoes, yeah! But we'll be playing, too. I'm really looking forward to getting away and spending time with two people I enjoy.

My mood is still fair to poor. In fact, even though I was preparing for something I'm looking forward to, it took maximum energy for me to pack for this trip. My resilience is low. So today, when I've been battling a migraine, my mood has dropped further. It hasn't helped that I've been unable to exercise for at least 6 days. That's a really long time for me. Motivation is gone. I'm hoping Austin sunshine will help me get back on track.

So I'm off. I'll let you know how things go. Thank you all for your continued comments and support over the last few weeks. This continues to be a very tough time, and I appreciate your kind words, wishes and prayers. Thanks.