PGH Marathon Training: Weeks 3-6 (?)

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OK, so.  Running has not really been a big huge priority lately.  As you might have read, I’ve been suffering from a low point with my depression, which in turn makes me really disinterested in things that usually bring me joy.  I’ve been feeling better, but I’ve also gotten really really busy.  Busy means I’m tired a lot and still dealing with my depression does not really create an environment for running success.  Then I got sick.  And the sick held on for almost a month.  This week, I tweaked a muscle in my glute.  It hurt so bad I could barely sit, let alone run.

Earlier this week I was starting to panic.  I’m running a marathon in 5 weeks.  The farthest I’ve run is 12 miles.

And then, I started talking gently to myself and I decided to take stock of what I’ve done and what I’m able to commit to doing in the next 5 weeks.

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Running Real Talk: I Cannot Outrun Depression

I’ve been deleted and rewriting this post for a long time but I decided I’d just come right out with it:  I suffer from depression that I usually manage pretty well.  The last four months, however, have been particularly hard.  This isn’t to say that I haven’t had some really bright spots during this time.  But it is to say that even though I can recognize these times, most of the last few months have been spent in a fog.  An unhappy and very dense fog.

A lot of people write or talk about how running is free therapy.  While I’m not adverse to this line of thinking — running can in a lot of ways be very mentally therapeutic — I’ve personally experienced that this is a dangerous way for me to think about running.  Back in 2014 when I was finally diagnosed with chronic depression and began treatment, I almost couldn’t believe it.  I run, I thought.  That’s supposed to be enough therapy.

It’s not.  For me, it is just not enough.

Instead, my enthusiasm for or my lack of interest in running is sort of a canary in a coal mine for me and my depression.  When I’m not able to muster the excitement for my literal favorite activity, when putting on my running shoes is akin to my ripping off my skin piece by piece, when the finish line of my next race seems literally impossible — I know I’m in deep and I need to get some help.

That’s why, even though I’ve been training for and very excited about my next marathon, I’ve been less than consistent.  My depression was able to waft in and steal my joy for the cycle.  Zap me of my energy and motivation.  Help me say mean things to myself about my abilities and commitment to my goals.  I’m still able to train, sort of.  But the running isn’t making me feel better necessarily.  It’s just a symptom that things are on the upswing.

OK, so what?  I wanted to share for two reasons:  First mental health issues are real.  If you or someone you know is feeling depressed I cannot urge you strongly enough to seek professional, clinical help.  Also, mental health issues are prevalent  and underrepresented.  In this age of social media, everything always looks really smiley and happy (of which I’m totally guilty.  I’m not one to post my puss face or a picture of my third helping of ice cream with #depressedAF.  Not my style but also I recognize not that helpful) and it’s OK if for you right now it’s just not.  You’re not alone, ever. Second, it’s OK if you are a runner suffering from depression and you don’t feel exorcised by your running.  You don’t have to.  I don’t.  Some people do.  You do you, boo.  And get some help if you’re feeling down.

I’ll end with this.  I’m feeling better.  I’m lucky to have a great network, awesome doctors, good health care, rad family.  My training is starting to get back on track.  Things are looking up.   And I hope that if you’re not feeling as hopeful as I am right now, you know that I’ve been there and if you do what you need to do you’ll be on the upswing soon, too.

 

Cheer Squad Recap: The Princess Half Marathon

A friendly reminder: I’m a Disney travel agent that can make your next racecation super magical.  My services are free so let’s do it!

Last year, my Princess Squad rolled down and ran one of each of the Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend races.  So, of course, we had to do it again this year.  Because no one was trying to get up early 3 days in a row, the girls decided that this year, the half would be the race of the day.  We also decided that Holley would run her first half.  AND that it would be the first race back for LV after a major surgery.  AND almost all the Ohana came too!  Glory!

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PGH Marathon Training: Week 2

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This week started off OK and then quickly devolved into not sleeping, eating anything and trying not to cry about everything.  Thankfully, I was able to pull it together for the long run this weekend so the week could end on a very high note.

Historically, things are weird for me in week 2 as my body gets used to training again, so I’m not too freaked out.  Just freaked out enough to try to spend $1,000 on new Oiselle gear.  (that I didn’t purchase, you’re welcome Duffy.)

Monday img_4229

Friday

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PGH Marathon Training: Week 1

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It has been a little less than four full weeks since Walt Disney World Marathon domination.  I had planned to take the month off from running by getting back to my personal trainer, swimming and using the elliptical machine.  Wellllll.  I went to training twice, swam once and I think used the elliptical machine maybe 3 times.  I definitely took the spirit and letter of weeks of rest very seriously.

While I didn’t do all the working out on my rest month, I did do a lot of thinking about my next training cycle for Pittsburgh.  I did a lot of reflecting on my most recent training cycle and projecting for Chicago — training for which will start right after the Pittsburgh Marathon — and I settled on 3 goals for Pittsburgh.

A Goal:  5:15 would be a 7:42 PR, 12:05/per mile

B Goal:  5:22 would be a a :42 PR, 12:25/per mile

C Goal:  5:45 a solid marathon, 13:20/ per mile

So with some serious goals in mind, let’s get to training!  I’m going to go with a new different format for Pittsburgh training recaps.  Let’s go!

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Real Runner’s Virtual Summit

Have you ever thought to yourself man — I would love to go one of those super cool runner’s conferences.  But you think I can’t take a week off from work, I don’t have the time to travel, who is going to watch my dog, child, partner?  I have.  That’s why, I’m so excited to introduce the Real Runner’s Virtual Summit!

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The virtual summit, hosted by Katie Heddleston, registered dietician, run coach, mother runner and all around awesome human, will give you access to some of the most experienced voices in the running community.  From nutrition to choosing the best race for you — there’s literally something for every runner at every experience level.

Oh — and I had the express pleasure of working with Katie on racecations!

The summit begins February 20!  Early bird registration starts next week today so mark your calendars — it’s going to be great!

If you have a questions drop me a line!  Can’t wait to see you at the summit!

Race Report: Walt Disney World Marathon Part II

When you last left us we were riding a roller coaster and setting off for the second half of the marathon.

Miles 14-20

These miles are usually pretty dark and stormy for me.  Luckily, this time, I never really felt that way.  We headed out of the Animal Kingdom and met up with Charles — Kelsey’s husband — and her mother in law where they had sodas and fruit for us.  We ran past a marching band playing All I do is Win so I knew that these miles would end up OK.

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