Run For Your Life

Well the point is to start somewhere, so today it is. Just so happens to be Wednesday, middle of the week and near the end of May, and no, I didn’t even run today. You’re thinking to yourself, maybe not the best day to start then?  I mean Monday’s are the go to start day, or maybe the 1st of the month to begin, but more importantly, probably a day that actual running has occurred? But there is always more to it than that isn’t there? And so today I begin my journey, sharing with you the real honest life of a runner. A runner struggling with anxiety, depression, and the trials and tribulations of life and how to run through it. In hopes that I can reach a few hearts and a few shoes, to know that you are not alone is this, and we are all running for our lives.

Currently I’m on a scheduled running plan because I am in training to compete in a half marathon this August (Mt. Sneffels ). This means my days are nicely quartered out in a clean printed off worksheet indicating my work-out or run for each day. I set my alarm for 4:50 am, roll out of bed, turn on the coffee and lace up my sneakers. Some days I go to the local rec center, while others I take my dog (Setsuna) out on a trail. IMG_20170708_075642337Today that work-out was supposed to be 3 miles and a circuit lift. I had my gym bag packed and my alarm set. This just so happens to be one of my favorite work-outs. I always think of it as my “easy” day. These 3 miles aren’t time sensitive and I just go at whatever pace suits me. The circuit lift works my full body and leaves me comfortably sore. All in all it’s a work-out that I don’t begrudge and rarely skip. So why didn’t I go today? Because an overdose of depression and anxiety rooted me to my bed this morning with barley enough will power to get me in late to work. For anyone who has ever experienced this, I am truly sorry, it is a war with many battles. Today I lost a battle and it went something like this.

Alarm sounding, immediately shutting it off. In my mind the following occurs:

“Get up man, the alarm has already went off, you are already awake, easy work out today, just go”

“Why bother, nothing matters, just sleep and make it all go away”

“You can’t be a runner if you don’t run!”

“Nothing matters anyway, running doesn’t matter. You feel like lead, like your blood is sand, good luck running like that. And you are tired, oh so unbearably tired”

“You went to bed SO Early! You’ve already gotten 8 full hours of sleep. Shake it off!”

“8 hours! Ha ha ha ha! You need two weeks of sleep before you could even begin to feel normal. Put your head under a rock, society can’t take you like this. Nothing matters, you’re worthless, just sleeeeepppp”

Resetting alarm for as late as possible, hoping I will make it into work this morning.

I think perhaps one of the hardest things for me is my awareness of my own depression. Its times like these that make me feel like I have a personality disorder, I’m literally arguing with myself! Don’t think I underestimate the craziness in that. But it’s the arguing that gives me hope also, at least I’m fighting back. At least Runner Girl is in there and she’s trying. Don’t get me wrong, all day it was hard for Runner Girl to stay positive, knowing I missed a workout, knowing I’m getting down to the wire in my training and I needed that run today, for my legs, for my lungs, for my mind. But here is the point of my ramblings today, I didn’t run, and that’s okay. It is not a sign of defeat, it doesn’t make me less of a runner. I have tightened my defenses for tomorrow morning and am more prepared for the next battle. As any runner struggling with depression can understand, we are fighting for our lives here, fighting for our lives to run.

(This is me running the Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon in August! I did it even if I missed a training day.)

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To Race or not to race . . .

 

For me, every year represents a different aspect of running. Well hello to 2018. This is a particular momentous year for me as I turn the official three-oh, which has me a bit freaked out! So immediately I assumed I should run my first marathon this year. Seems fitting right? Well, maybe not so right. As I printed of my running schedule, 3 miles Tuesdays, 6 miles Thursdays, run during lunch here, early morning here, after work here, I began to have second thoughts. Looking at my 25 mile a week schedule I was already feeling guilty about missing runs. I am gone for work 11 hours out of the day, I have a toddler, a husband, a dog, and also a life. It dawned on me this isn’t my year to run a marathon, or more aptly this isn’t my year to train for a marathon. I want to enjoy running this year. I want to run whenever, wherever, however long I can and feel like. This year is not a year to race for me, this year is a year to bond with the run and enjoy it. To still feel young and free and let my legs fly because they can and because they want to.  Not that I’m saying marathon training can’t be enjoyable, but it requires structured and timed runs, and with the limited time I have in my days I want to choose what runs I’ll do. This was a rather big decision for me. Running a marathon is an important To-Do on my bucket list, and I am still confident I will get there, but I want it to be the right time, for me and for the run.