Tag Archives: #andierunsaway

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!

The Good, The Bad And The…….

 

We all have good days and bad days. Hell, we all have good weeks and bad weeks. And I know what constitutes “good” and “bad” is relative to each individual person. And sometimes, we may feel that dwelling on our “bad” is not appropriate given the “bad” that some around us are experiencing. But hey, that does not mean the “bad” for you is not just that…….”bad”.

Luckily, for me, I can feel my emotional “bad” days coming. Sometimes, I have no idea how they come into my brain. Sometimes I do. On occasion I swear it is because my medication is playing a funny little placebo joke on me. You see, when I have a “bad” day that I cannot explain, my whole mood changes. My body, my mannerisms, my speech, everything. Most of the time I am at least nice enough to give those around me (usually my co-workers) a heads up. “Hey, guys, just so you know, today is not a good day”. I am sad. I want to cry at everything. Like the time my pen ran out of ink. I mean, I have like 2500 ink pens in my office. But that pen….THAT pen I loved. Silly, I know.

The sadness breeds thoughts of what I hate about myself. Things I have done. Things I have not done. Where I am in life. Where I wanted to be in life by now. Did I make the right decisions about my life? What if I had done this instead of that? Or that instead of this? Sometimes it brings enough for me to think about running away. Starting over. Maybe even not even finishing.

I am always very open with my counselor about my past, and occasionally current, thoughts of suicide. The plan. It is pretty detailed. Not that I do not care for those in my life, but they would all be okay. Because in my mind there is not much that I have contributed to their lives and well-being. But my furkids would not understand.

Sometimes I wonder whether or not I am the right person for the job that I do. How can I, as messed up as I am, be someone who can appropriately counsel people that suffer in ways I am not familiar with. Sure, I know of addiction. I grew up with it. And I am a pretty smart cookie. But alcohol addiction is not a personal experience for me. And some of the people I work with are just not smart. They do not know if they have a problem. Some don’t even care if they do. And hey, more power to ya, but that’s on you if you drink and drive again. But, knowing that we are all broken in some way or another, maybe even my hot mess self can contribute to the lives of these people. Misery loves company….and I am pretty fun to be around.

Sometimes the “bad” day lasts a few hours. Sometimes days. I am working on bringing myself out of the hole when it happens. See more clearly what I have accomplished in my life. See that yes, there were some life detours, but they were most likely meant to be. See that, occasionally, the people that have come into my life most recently, or even comeback into my life again, hold a special place in my heart and life. Those that needed to leave, never deserved to be in that spot in the first place. That even if I do not speak to some as often as before, I think of them daily and send “Andrea posi-vibes”.

So there will be peaks and valleys with my depression. And it is quick and easy to ride that valley down. And it is a struggle to climb back up. But I am getting quicker and quicker at hitting the top of that peak Every.Single.Day!

 

 

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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Gazelle Girl Half Marathon or…. WHY MY RUNNNG PEEPS ARE SO GREAT!

Okay, so this is a little late, but, better late than never, I suppose. Gazelle Girl weekend was great! Volunteering at packet pickup the day before was fun. Great to see all the amazing women whop come out for such a great race! Whether is was to do the 5k, the NEW 10k addition, to the half marathon, simply empowering!

This would mark my second half marathon. I had trained,. I had hopes. I just wanted to be done in under 4 hours and not cramp. It was warm. It was long. And around mile 6.5, my calves gave in. It was frustrating. I had been hydrating well. I made sure to get in enough electrolytes. My nutrition was on point. My legs just were not having it, though. So, I walked. ALOT. I cried. I yelled. I laughed. I smiled. But, I was not……WAS NOT going to give in no matter how much I wanted to stop. At some point they started the progression of opening the roads up to traffic. My main concern was the need to cross the road and have to stop to wait for cars. I knew if I stopped my calves would seize up and I would fall. Luckily, that did not happen. Luckily, around mile 8 was my Gazelle Guys….. Tim, Mark, Andy, Barry, Matt and all the others talking me through my tears and reminding me of who I am. And around mile 10 my Road Warrior savior, Jim Bomhoff, who was finishing at the aid station and walked with me. He talked me down from the ledge. Got me to continue to keep up a good pace of walking. Got me to my training coach, Rob Andro, who had to listen to me complain about the fact I DID NOT want to go up Scribner hill. He reminded me that “hills help make legs”, so……I went. My team leader, Katie Olson was just ahead of me making sure to tell traffic officers that I WAS NOT ALLOWED TO STOP MOVING!

Then, as I got closer and closer to the end, it all got great! No, my legs did not stop cramping, they were not releasing that hold. But it was my people. MY PEOPLE were there! The last half mile. One, then two, then five…..cheering, in my face telling me how awesome I was, getting me through that forward movement. Colleen, Amy, Joann, Stephanie, all of my girls pushing me enough to deal with the severe calf cramp pain and actually manage to run across the finish.

Was it pretty? HELL NO! Was it fast? That is not even a serious question. Did the race feel good? Physically? NO. Mentally? Eh. Emotionally……YES!

As someone who is frequently at the “Party in the back”, it is SUPER difficult to come to the end of a race that tested every ability within you as a person, to no one. I can honestly say, however, that does not happen with my people. With my group. And at this race, with my girls. Because as someone who would rather run alone, listening to music, releasing all my demons and frustrations out into the environment…..the end is where you need those people. Because it is hard, but it is the hard that makes a finish fabulous!

 

Much Love

Keep Running!