Running for Myself

Typically on this blog I do not post things about my personal life. Sure there are a few posts about vacation, rock climbing, etc, but they are few and far between. I try to keep it knitting related.  This time however I’ve decided this needed to go on here. It’s been a part of my life for the last 4 months.

Sitting on the Sidelines

Over this past summer I went through a bout of depression. Now this wasn’t doctor diagnosed but self-diagnosed depression. I was really down. I felt like I didn’t have any friends, I didn’t want to do anything, I was tired, crabby, unhappy with myself. My pants were getting tighter and I kept yelling at the dryer for shrinking them. Sure I got out and about with the knitting group, and sometiemes the climbers, but it just felt like I was absent or waiting on the sidelines. This probably doesn’t make much sense to someone who hasn’t been there before, but if you have you know what I mean.

I kept looking around for a change. Something to come out of left field and smack me upside the head or something. I don’t know what I was waiting on. I wanted change but I didn’t want to work for it.

One morning I got up and decided I could a) sit around and be mopey about my life or b) I could do something about it.

Doing Something About It

I’d been following a couple folks in a group on Ravelry that were starting the Couch to 5K program. They had the app on their phone and would continually encourge each other in our Common Room on the forum. I decided to join in. I strapped on my shoes, downloaded the app and went for my first run in years.

That first run was rough. It wasn’t even running. It was a run, walk, run, walk cycle. Nothing more than a minute a piece. It was painful. It hurt. My legs, knees, and feet wanted me dead. I finished it.

I went online that night and posted my run for the group to see. Many shouts of encouragement and virtual high-fives were doled out. It felt good. I was happy.

Like the program suggested I skipped a day and did Day 2 the following day. Again it was painful, long, and I thought I was going to die. I however had that evening to look for some more words of encouragement from a group of folks I’d never met in person. This kept on for several weeks.

Nearing the Week 5 of the program I could feel my body wanting to run more than the 5 minute interval during the workout. I would start to run through some of my walking periods. I got up to about 2.25 or 2.5 miles. I ended up overworking my achille’s tendon in my right leg. I had to take a week and a half off of running to let it heal itself. Then I went right back outside and did some more running.

My husband had started noticinga change in my personality during this time. I was sleeping better, I felt better, and my self-confidence was boosted.  I even requested running pants instead of yarn for my birthday. I think that was the point at which I realized this “running thing” was here to stay.

Change

After Week 6 of the program I ditched the C25K and started free running. I had downloaded the Zombies, Run! app for the phone on several people’s recommendation and started using that. I’m loving the storyline it provides and it intermixes with my running playlist quite well. Most runs I’m averaging right around the 2 mile mark.

Now that the sun is going down earlier I’m not able to get out nearly as often as I would like, but I’m still keeping with it. Last night I went out after not running for 3 weeks and did a 2 mile run. I felt like a million bucks. I hit the runner’s high and felt like everything was in sync. This weekend I’m going to try for my elusive 3 mile run I set out to accomplish a few months ago.

I can definitley tell a difference in myself when I have been running and when I haven’t. It allows me some time to be outside and work through things in my head. It keeps me feeling great physically and mentally. I’m not depressed like I was this summer. I realize that even though friends might not be “real” they can still help you move mountains or at least, evade some zombies!

I do have the personal goal of doing a 5k sometime in the future, but I can’t get past the idea of 1000’s of other people running at the same time. Perhaps this spring I will suck it up and sign up for one. Until then I will keep running for myself.

Until next time…

-AMU

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6 thoughts on “Running for Myself

  1. I don’t believe for one second that the people you meet and feel close to online aren’t real friends. They may not be able to join you for coffee or look after your home when you are on vacation, but they are no less real than the friends who can. You’ve been very persistent in your running, I am impressed! (Says the gal who hasn’t run in ages!)

  2. Maybe I too should try running.

  3. Big kudos to you! I’m sorry you were feeling down. Thank goodness for healthy endorphins, yeah? My gosh, I need to get my arse off ‘da couch too.

  4. Depression can really sneak up on you.

    It makes me want to get back on my bike again. It is easy to find excuses when you are down.

  5. Wow!! What a great way to kick the funk to the curb!! Good luck with your runs! I had just started the program before I got pregnant and plan to go back to it after i have this baby! Enjoy your running!!

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