Oh, hey!

Hi.

It’s been a minute.

700,801 minutes actually.  But who’s counting?

Since the last time we talked, things have been a bit topsy turvy.  I haven’t really been doing a whole lot with running.  I sort of did the 10K at Marathon weekend this past year {and almost died, but Sara was there to save me}.  I have not been physically well and I have a lot going on in my personal life.  I go to therapy like 4 hours a week and talk about why I’m so sad and why I’m so angry (both in situational and in longitudinal ways).

And in the midst of it all, I gave up running.

Running, for me, is funny like that.  It’s like the old friend or dear family member that I truly take for granted.  Like things are really hard right now, I can’t deal with you!  or I’m so sad and eating all my feelings and you are the thing that is hardest because of it, I can’t deal with you!!!  Or even worse I can’t stand to be alone with my thoughts that long and YOU’RE the activity that forces that level of introspection, I can’t deal with you!!!!!

And running, even though it might make it hard for me to come back, is always there.

In the last year I’ve probably run a total of 20 miles.  And that’s generous.  I deferred the New York Marathon.  The longer I was away the more I was convinced that maybe running had given up on me for good.  And then recently I ran two twenty minute runs.  And there running was.  Like that old friend and dear family member.  Waiting.  Not without soreness.  And definitely not without some sadness.  But we are working through it.

OK, so what?

SO!  I decided rather than just GO with my bests to Walt Disney World for the Princess Half Marathon, why don’t I train for and RUN the Princess Half Marathon.

Training starts in mid-October and I’m excited about the ramp up {like these little 20 minute runs}, the cross training {Pure Barre, all the way} and sharing the journey back here on my little blog that I love so much.

Like I’ve long said, running is not about the races or the clothes or the medals, it’s about the community.  And man oh man do I need some community in my life right now.

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.

 

#WheelsUp 2017

Oiselle is the endless source of inspiration and kinship and support.  So, this year, when they proposed a monthly challenge to hone in on goals for the year, I am all in.   I’m so ready for 2017 — I’m excited to build a year around positivity, friendship, family and stillness.  So, participating in the Oiselle #WheelsUp2017 makes sense to help this happen.

wheelsup2017-%e2%80%a2-january-21

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Five Things Friday: Top 5 Things about 2016

This year was you know a dumpster fire.  Like couldn’t get the Christmas cookies right, elected a fascist, lots of lovely people were miserable type of dumpster fire.  BUT.  There were some really great things that happened this year and to lump al the awful together and pretend like the great things didn’t happen would be horrifying.  So, here are the top 5 awesome things that happened in 2016.

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June! Glorious June!

My first thought this morning when my eyes opened was “IT’S JUNE!”  May was a kind of off month for me in all aspects (except friends.  We had a great month with all of our near and far friends and for that we are eternally grateful). So, I’ve been looking forward to starting the new month off fresh and ready to go.  I don’t usually post monthly goals because I don’t set them.  Or if I do set them I forget about them.  But I thought today, Global Running Day, and Day 2 of BABs Summer ’16 was the right day to do it.  And yes, if you were wondering, I coined that hashtag for us courtesy of my best friend, Drake, who just gets me.  Also, playing dirty, not clean.  But I digress.

JU

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Whoa! We’re halfway there!

The last few weeks have been a little nuts.  We moved into our adorable new house, said goodbye to our nephew, I ran my goal half marathon for the year and registered to run the Walt Disney World marathon in 2017 for Team in Training!

I wanted to pop in and give a little update on where I’m at the for the year and where, at almost the halfway point, I think running and I will go!

PGH Half

pretty much my life right now

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Back to back to back

March has been kind of an big up and big down for me in almost all facets.  I started the month coming off of bronchitis that I picked up after Princess.  I’m you, know, still running a business, we’ve dealt with a few blows in my family, I’m sick AGAIN.  And we bought a house.

I had been scheming this post since we set our closing date.  In January.

In the midst of everything running has been an unbelievable constant (when I can breathe/don’t have  a fever) and my running people hold the ladder while I climb.  They keep me focused. With that kind of support I was able to knock out not one but two major PRs.

 

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