Category Archives: Uncategorized

Detroit Women’s Half Marathon

Okay, in an effort to fully release my thought process of reliving the Detroit Women’s Half Marathon, I have laid out my entire thoughts and conversations below. So……a peek into my brain. This entire thought process is over the course of 4 hours and 15 minutes, so, calm down. I know I am crazy!

Pinkish is my brain thoughts.

Green is my verbal discussions.

Blue are my actions.

(At start grouping)

Ugh. My tummy is cramping. What the hell. Maybe it will get better. Maybe I am nervous.

Okay, here we go. 13.1 miles. You’ve done it before. It can’t be much worse.

This isn’t bad. Looks like it will be flat. YAY!

It is hot and muggy, ugh.

Oh, my tummy is better. Just nerves.

Crap, I forgot the bug spray. My luck I will get West Nile.

Oh, look. A dead frog. Poor thing.

(checks watch)

Wow, I am on a pretty good pace. I may finish this with a PR.

Another frog. Ugh. Come on frogs!

Shit. Sunscreen. Forgot sunscreen. Ugh, I am gonna be a big lobster tomorrow.

(going along pretty good)

What? Mile 2? That’s it? Ok, that only a little more than 10 miles, or so. I’ve done that before. As long as I don’t cramp.

Oh, people are turning already! Oh, 5k people. Damn.

Where is the shade? Geesh! All these trees and zero shade. I am totally gonna be burnt tomorrow.

Ok, if I don’t die of West Nile, I will probably die of skin cancer.

Wait? Mile 8? Shit. I gotta make it all the way back here to get to mile 8? That is super disappointing.

Still on good pace, though. Ok. Just breathe.

(pain in left foot)

What is that? My foot? What’s that pain? Ugh, okay. Reset. Walk a little. See if it subsides.

Oh, there is the finish. People are finishing already? The hell! Oh, wait, there was a 5k and 10k option. Why didn’t I do the 5k or 10k instead? I could be done, or mostly done. The fuck was I thinking? But then I wouldn’t get that double medal. Fucking medals. Suck people in every time!

(pass Ron the first time)

Ok, my foot is hurting more. This isn’t good.

Mile 5? Okay. 8 more miles. 8! Shit. That’s a lot. Okay, just keep moving.

Oh, here is a lady at a sign. Okay, people turning towards that mile 8 flag. WOOHOO!

Wait, (reads sign) “first loop straight”? STRAIGHT?!?! OMG! I can’t do this!           

Where was that bathroom? It was by mile 8. Maybe I can, you know, run through the part to the bathroom, then come out the other side……. No. Maybe. No.

(thinks of the article on the Mexico Marathon where 2500 people cut the course and got caught)

Ugh. Both my feet hurt. Are they bleeding? I don’t want to know. Just keep moving.

Oh, a timing mat! See, they read the Mexico Marathon article, too. They knew I would want to cut the course to save my life. Well played, Epic Races. Well played.

Okay, keep moving. Gotta be close.

Oh, a med tent. I need medical. There is a table there. Maybe she will let me just lay down for a few minutes. No, if I stop it will be worse.

There is that yacht club place. Getting closer the that mile 8 flag.

(sees people throwing sticks to their dogs in the water)

Oh, puppies playing in the water! I wanna play with puppies! It would be more fun than this. And cooler. But they don’t give medals for puppy play time. Though, they should. I should work on that.

Holy hell my feet are on fire. I have never felt this much pain before. What the hell is the issue? THE SKATES! Those fucking roller derby skates! They have fucked up my feet! That’s it, no more skating. I will not give up running and triathlons for being wobbly on wheels. I am not good on the skates anywho. Nope. Derby is done.

Man, there are a lot of people using the race area for bike riding. I could use a bike. I won der if I can bribe someone to allow me to hitch a ride for a bit.

Okay, let’s be real. You are not going to stop Derby. But, geez! If it is the skates…..*sigh*

I feel like I am gonna pass out. Crap. Okay, you packed a protein bar in the bag. Get that from Ron. He better not have eaten it! My lord, if he did he is going to carry me, damnit!

(Second time passing Ron. Gets protein bar)

Me: “My feet hurt so bad. I don’t think I can finish this. I think I might pass out.”

               Ron: “You’re doing good. Just keep going.”

(Ron starts to follow me along the course)

Me: “What are you doing?”

               Ron: “Well, if you pass out I want to know where you are.”

(back to eating the protein bar)

This thing is gross. But I need to eat it. I will not make it the rest of these 4 miles unless I do.

Me: “My feet hurt so bad.”

              Ron: “I know. Just breathe.”

              Me: “I have never felt pain like this.”

              Ron: “I know. Just breathe.”

(glares at Ron)

Me: “YOU DO NOT KNOW! AND I AM BREATHING!!!”            

I think I may need to take my shoes off. I am afraid. I don’t want to stop. I need to stop. Wait. Is there a cut off time? There better not be a cut off time! But if there is, that is a good reason the stop.

Where is that second loop sign lady? I just need to get to that lady. Keep moving forward. Forward. Am I moving forward? I can’t even tell anymore.

THE LADY! Wait, what is this guy doing? (Guy who works for the race running towards me)

        Dude: “How are you doing? Are you still in the race?”

No, jackass. I am crying and walking in seering feet pain because I am a masochist and enjoy the feeling of my feet feeling like they have been smashed with a sledgehammer.

Me: “Um, yep. I am moving. Not doing good, but still moving.”

                Dude: “Ok, you are getting close to the cut off time.”

HE JUST SAID WHAT????!!!!?????

                Me: “When is the cut off time?”

                Dude: “Noon. But if you hustle I think they will wait for you.”

Hustle? Hustle. Says the guy who drove here to tell me to hustle. Dude, I will throat punch you in a snap second and beat you with my shoes.

Fifteen minutes. 1.5 miles. No way. Running, yes. But not like this. Just keep moving. Fuck that guy.

Me: “There is no way I am going to make it, but I will try.”

I could stop. My feet would thank me. No. Only 1.5 miles. I have made it this far.

This is the longest race of my life.

(Dude 2 pulls slowly beside me in a vehicle)

Dude 2: “How ya doing?”

                Me: “Not good. But I am still upright.”

                Dude 2: “Do you want to stop? I can give you a ride back.”

                Me: “Am I close to the cut off?” (I look at my watch and it is 11:59am)

                Dude 2: “I don’t think there is a cut off.”

                Me: “What? Some asshat back there told me it was noon!!!”

(I make note to begin a plan of attack on Dude 1 after the race!!!)

Dude 2: “Well, I drive the truck that has all the stuff, so they are not going         anywhere if I am here talking to you.”

                Me: “Well, I want to finish if I can. I am almost done.”

                Dude 2: “Ok. Everyone else behind you got taken in. But I will let them know you are still coming.”

                Me: “Thank you.”

Ok. Pick up the pace. Yes, I know you can’t feel anything below your waist, but try.

(LIGHTBULB REALIZATION!)

Hey…..I have not cramped! Holy crap! Bonus!

I see that finish banner. Okay, you can do this. There are still people there. Is the time clock off? Oh, who cares. Screw my time…..just make it to the barrier there and you can run to the finish.

21617809_10155772879408559_7319709908954952077_nI have to run across the finish. Hobble. Crawl. Fuck it…..just make it across the finish.

 

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2017 Come Clean Duathlon

A couple weeks ago I participated in the Come Clean Duathlon in Lansing. This is the second year in a row I have participated in this event. I really enjoy this event. The area and scenery is beautiful, the volunteers and those that work the event are great and everyone that participates is super supportive.

Last year I had my mountain bike. This year I had my road bike. While my overall time was only 2 minutes faster than last year, my overall bike time was 8 minutes faster. I definitely felt more comfortable and enjoyed the race more this year.

Last year I was last. And it was the best I felt at any race that I came in last at. The people, the support, everything was in place to not make me feel like I was a failure. I laughed, joked and had fun with the officers and support staff. This year was no different. They were supportive, welcoming, and overall great people.

The day was perfect. The scenery was amazing. The race….simply……fun.

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Don’t Feed The Monster

So, I have been struggling the last month with intermittent depressive and anxiety bouts that have been peeking through. No idea why this is happening, but there have been some pretty concerning moments. There has been talk of a medication increase, of group therapy in conjunction with my meds and individual therapy and even talk about a short committal stint.

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That being said, one thing I have been struggling with lately is this question. How in the world can I be someone who is qualified to help people with addiction issues when I cannot even seem to manage my own life at times? How can I help others calm down, work through struggles, focus and grow when I only want to run and hide?

That little depressive voice in my head likes to tell me these things. How unworthy I am to help these people. How, if they fail it is because I did not do enough to help them through. How I have totally made the most wrong decision in my life about my life. Dear baby Jesus, what have you done? YOU ARE GOING TO SIMPLY RUIN PEOPLE!!!!!!

Negativity sucks, by the way. And this coming from a super pessimistic person. But when I start to question my daily worth, all I am doing is feeding the monster in my head. That is how my psychiatrist explained it. Respond to the monster talk with “yes” or “no” answers then move on.

“Do you really think you are making a difference?”

“YES” 

“Do you really think these people are listening to you?”

“YES”

It never fails that when I have bouts of good days (and even months) that this fucker comes back into my head. Of course, this time it was much more intense. So……..plan……..Refocus, increase medication, continue to do what makes me happy and keep moving forward. Sometimes, I am even happy with simply standing still. Why? Because it isn’t backwards.

Much Love!

 

Are You Aware?

 

are you aware the shape I am in?

my hands they shake

my head it spins

i am exhausted from trying to be stronger than i feel

trying to stand tall, yet i can only kneel

it hurts, but i am okay

“i am used to it”, i say.

but i haven’t felt alright for a really long time

surrounded by those whom show love and care

yet loneliness is felt almost everywhere

i know the signs and i have a plan

but the longer it takes to feel “right”

the more i am not sure that i can

because behind my smile is a hurting heart

even though i laugh i am falling apart

if you look closely at me

i guarantee you will see

the person i show you is not really me.

Promises, promises…… Or, When you are no longer you anymore.

While I feel empowered by talking about my depression, about accepting my depression, and about growing from my depression……I utterly despise that part of myself.

Sometimes I honestly think that my pharmacist slips placebo pills into my pill bottles. Occasionally, it’s like my meds simply do not work. Now, there are times when I do not take my medication as I should. Many people whom rely on medication to make them “right” tend to test the theory of whether or not meds are still needed. So when I test it and my symptoms rear THEIR ugly side…… My bad! But when I take them and they don’t work……. Who is to blame?

The past few days have been a constant, non-stop ride on a rickety struggle bus. Anxiety attacks, a “resting” heart rate of 95 bpm, and crying while sitting in a seminar because the room is simply too cold.

My brain, in my opinion, is trying to end me. It’s scary to say, and I’m positive even scarier to read for some of you, but it really is trying. And sometimes, it comes startlingly close to convincing me.

Today, as I drove back to my home I had apparently stopped at a rest stop. Not one of my routine rest stops, an unfamiliar one.  I didn’t sleep. I didn’t get out. I didn’t even shut off the car or take off my seatbelt. Next thing I know, as I “came to” I started crying because I couldn’t even remember driving to where I was. What I could remember was the thought of driving my car into the picnic area until it was stopped by something stronger than the gas pedal. No, there were no people in the picnic area (I’m not that much of a monster). But for how ever long, it just all seemed so right. So simple. So…….. Easy.

Sometimes……. I’m scared. Many times…… I’m scarred. And more and more, I feel as if I am forgetting who I am. More and more the “sometimes” gets closer to “every time”.

 

💜💜

A Feel Good Decision

Last week I ran with my run group on Saturday. We are utilizing a new training method, Lydiard Training, which helps to build the legs in longer, slower flat running to create a good base of running before adding in hill training and speed work. It is different, for sure. I have gotten myself into a groove with my interval training of walking and running. However, I was willing to try the change. I decided I would basically forgo all of my previous training with running and try this to see how it made me feel.

Change is difficult. The daunting thought of treadmill running for 45 minutes was definitely a downer. And trying to figure out which running workouts I needed to use for my biking workouts was confusing at first. However, I used Saturday as a way to look at how I was feeling overall. Up until that time my recommended pace to run at was at a walking pace.

I did not end up running as far as was recommended, and I ran faster per mile than it recommended as well. But I realized a few things on this run…….

  1. I was able to run longer periods of time before deciding to walk than I had prior.
  2. I am still not fast, but I feel a lot better after every run overall than I have before.
  3. While I am using this training time to training for the Detroit Women’s Half Marathon, longer distances are simply not for me.

I love running. It has afford me so much since I started 3 years ago. Stress relief, time to process thoughts and emotions, better health and most importantly, amazing friends. But in all honestly, running more than 6 or 7 miles causes feelings of displeasure for the miles after that. I do not want to hate running. And right now, I think that the longer distances have not afforded me enough to want to continue.

I have been going back and forth with the thoughts of this for a while. However, I was still on the fence and able to look at things and tell myself that I was not ready for that decision yet. Now, I am and I feel good about the decision. And this does not mean that I will not look at longer distances in the future, but for now……I am happy!

Much Love!

One In Five Marathon Relay

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On May 27 myself and four other amazing women got together to run. We ran for ourselves. We ran for each other. We ran for mental health. The Hope Network One in Five Marathon Relay focused on and assisted in benefitting services for those currently battling mental illness.

(Megan, Tina, Me, Ashley, Debbie) Before the Run18671159_10158688113745291_8598569898377047907_n

Now many of you know that I myself suffer from severe depression and anxiety. Over 40 million individuals within the U.S alone will experience symptoms and episodes of  mental illness. That is one in five Americans. With that, I am One in Five. This is also true of my four teammates who ran to support  others who suffer as well.

The unique aspect of the One in Five Marathon Relay is the fact that it is not a true relay in the sense of what we know. There are five legs of the relay. The first four runners run 5 miles each, with the last runner running 6.2 miles. This runner represents the one in five. The biggest difference, however, is that there is no hand-off. Starting at 8am, the first runner leaves. At 8:15am, the second runner. Then every 15 minutes until all runners are on the course. All runners, running together, different paces, different abilities, some going 5 miles, some 6.2 miles. All of us representing some part of the statistic.

The day was beautiful, the course was beautiful, the cause was beautiful and the people were wonderful. The four other women on my team, Phoenix Rising, came together that morning before the race to “officially” meet. While some of us knew each other, we had all never been together until that day. Sporting our green (the color of mental health support) in various ways, and making our own “one in five” mark, we prepared. We would wear green bandanas, one of us wearing white. We would sport white star stickers on our faces, one of us wearing green stars. And our amazing connector, Sasha Wolff of Still I Run, made us all bracelets to represent our own words of strength.

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The take-away from this day? We are all who we are. We are the one in five. We are unique. We are slow. We are fast. We are determined. We are women and moms. We are runners and Spartans. We are triathletes and marathoners. But what none of us are is our mental illness. Yes, it is a part of us, but together we are so much more!

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The Gazelle Girl Pre-view and the Gazelle Girl Pre-pare….Or What to do When Your Body Wants You to Stop Progression

So, last weekend I ran the Gazelle Girl preview course for the half marathon. Now due to the rain and such, Riverside Park was slightly moist, so we had to be re-routed for the half marathon course. I was excited to do this course because I had such success with the weekend prior and not issues with calf cramps or IT band pain. So I made sure to do all the same preparations. It was a little bit colder, but I was hoping for success still.

However, around mile 1.5 I already knew that I was going to have issues. I tried to walk things out more in hopes that I could get on track, but it was not something that was going to happen. I decided to turn around at the 10K turn around instead. If it was a minor issue, I did not want it to become a major one before the race.

So, my body was speaking to me. And it may continue to do so after the Gazelle Girl half. And I may need to change my future plans for longer distances, at least until I can get some things figured out. However, it is important that I can keep things in check and not get too down on myself for the temporary potential failures. I have accomplished so much more than so many people. I have accomplished so much in the past 3 years, alone. I may not be able to do an Ironman Triathlon, but I can do a sprint distance triathlon. I may not be able to run a half marathon, but I can crush 5k’s and 10k’s. I can continue to better myself and still be able to progress forward. Forward movement is still progress. It just needs some adjusting!

 

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Much Love!

Keep Running!

 

I Am This Close To Losing My…….

As someone who struggles daily with symptoms and thoughts of depression and suicide, I find that there are easy days and there are hard days. Sometimes a hard day comes from something as simple as a comment. Today is one of those days. A super poor attempt at making a joke at someone else’s expense.

The lack of tact, understanding and insensitivity of some people who work in public service is quite disappointing. One does not simply understand mental illness because they have a loved one who suffers from symptoms of it. One does not simply understand thoughts of suicide because you come in to contact with some people throughout your day that may or may not have thought about it themselves.

A kid gets drunk and decides he wants to kill himself. He decides to take his car and run it full speed at a tree. Ultimately he fails at the suicide and survives. How shitty is someone who looks at this scenario and says, “well, there were bigger trees he could have ran in to.” Really? You just said that? Out loud? With words….from your mouth? Well, guess what…..there are more non-abusive ways of voicing your poor joke. I mean, yeah, there are better ways of everything. I mean, sometimes I literally think that a safety pin being dug deep into my wrist and carved along the vein will work. It doe not. But hey, you know everything about everyone because that little piece of paper in front of you tells all.

My response…..fuck you. Fuck you for thinking that making an attempt to “joke” about someone else’s situation is appropriate because you are in a room with a bunch of people that may get the “joke”. I got it. And it was not funny. Some statistics:

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages. (CDC)
  • Every day, approximately 105 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)
  • There is one death by suicide in the US every 13 minutes. (CDC)
  • Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year. (CDC)
  • Suicide takes the lives of over 38,000 Americans every year. (CDC)
  • Only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment. (NAMI)
  • 80% -90% of people that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication. (TAPS study)
  • An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors (AAS).
  • There is one suicide for every estimated 25 suicide attempts. (CDC)
  • 12.7 in 100,000 young adults ages 20-24 die by suicide each year. (NIMH)
  • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year old Americans. (CDC)

*statistics from www.save.org

So, just think about things. We all say things we do not mean at some point in our lives. Just understand your audience. Understand that just because you work, or even live with someone does not mean you know them. Trying to find out about them is more productive than jokes………and in some cases, safer.

Much Love

Getting Back On Track

So…..I completed 8 miles on Saturday. EIGHT! This is a big step for me given all of my issues that I have had since the end of last season. First trying to figure out my calf cramp issues, changing of shoes, addition of insoles, change of insoles, IT band flare up, then I caught the plague of potential death, but survived, then the Michigan cold that my IT band and knee really loved…….ugh.

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So, needless to say, Saturday was a great day! This makes me feel like I am more on track with my goals. Set-backs tend to really bog me down with thoughts that I am totally setting myself up for failure. I am setting my goals too high? Am I able to actually fulfill the goals I have set for myself given my training capabilities? Am I actually crazy? Well, at this point, it all is what it is.

This season is for this season. This season is not for next season. It can only assist in next season’s goals. So I will continue to do my gym workouts, yoga stretching, run camp running and I will make it through this season successfully……then plan for next season!

Keep Running!

Much Love!