Grete’s Great Gallop/Mental Health Update

Today’s Happy Note: The sunshine on my skin in the afternoon.

Mental Health Note: I have been struggling a bit lately, I must admit.  I don’t necessarily feel sadder than usual — in fact, I feel more in control of my depression than I have since, well, before I was depressed (which was long, long ago — like middle school long ago).  It’s the body image stuff.  It’s miserable.  It’s painful.  It makes me want to die, in certain ways. I feel like I’m being taken back to a dark place in my life — say 2-4 years ago — where my body was never good enough.  Every single day was spent hating myself, because of my body.  Everyday.  I thought of so many ways to say “I hate you” that it isn’t even funny.  It wouldn’t even make a bad comedy routine.  It’s too sad.

So this moment finds me facing difficulties with my body and my weight, and, as a consequence, my mental well being.  The most frustrating thing about this anxiety and weight gain and hatred and queasiness — whatever you want to call it — is the fact that I know better than this. I know not to do this.  Not to work myself up into this state.

I guess that admitting how much I am struggling is a good first step.  Better than outright saying “alright, I’m a failure, I’ll just give up and let it all get worse.”

Also, I surprised myself and opened up to USB about it.  That was a big step for me, I think.  A really big step that I’m proud of.  And L, as always, has been there for me.  I think I sent her an email late last night and she responded today, a Saturday, with a long comforting response.  I guess I haven’t talked a lot about therapy/L lately, as things have become more and more private, I guess.  It’s a really beautiful feeling to know that someone is there for you 24/7, no matter what, when, where, why.  She’s there.  And I need her, very much, at this moment in my life.

Grete’s Great Gallop Race Report!

This morning was my third official half-marathon! Unlike my first two (read my recap of the NYC half here), I was not going into this one with the goal of running fast or PRing.  I had two goals:

1. Get into a “race mentality” — early wake-up, race breakfast, getting ready to run fast.

2. Run slightly under Marathon Goal Pace.

That’s it.  Plain and simple.  And I satisfied those two goals, which means that I am happy with the experience.

A few notes:

~I probably should have slept for more than 4.5 hours last night.  USB is such a wonderful, wonderful distraction though…I’ll be sure to get 8-10 hours of sleep before the marathon.

~I went out at a solid 10:00 pace and worked my way down to a 9:00 (overall average pace was 9:36).  This is good.  I would like to replicate this slower-to-faster strategy on marathon day (although probably being a bit slower overall).

~I think GU Shot Blox are my favorite mid-run fuel.  I had to take a clif mojo bar today which wasn’t ideal.  I also need to figure out my ideal method of carrying fuel or water.

~It’s time to get new shoes!

~If I can run a half marathon in 2:05:50 at the end of a 57-mile week, with relative ease, I most definitely can run a marathon, while tapered and well-rested and properly-fueled, under my goal pace of 4:30!

So today was an experiment of sorts.  A happy, succesful experiment.  I’m pleased.

Oh, and USB took me to get a foot massage afterwards.  I can’t really explain what I feel for him.  But just know that it’s a lot.  I feel a lot.

Tell me about your weekends thus far?!?!  Any races? Long runs?  Non-running related exciting happenings?

What do you do when you feel like you’re in a mental health rut — like you’re slipping and you want to be able to get a better hold of things but you don’t know how?

Goodnight friends!


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joanne
    Oct 03, 2010 @ 07:55:35

    Maybe it’s something to do with this time of year because I’ve been struggling a lot with weight/body image issues lately as well. I have definitely gained weight since getting injured. A fair amount. And I definitely want to lose it (enough so that my jeans fit again). But I just keep getting into this self-pitying/self-destructive mentality where I swear I HATE myself at times and it just sucks. We are so much more than this and, when I can rationally think about it, I hate that two such accomplished impressive women as we can let this superficial crap get to us so much. ARRGH.

    Congrats on your race! That is so awesome and I’m SO happy for you! I love the idea of really just focusing on getting into a race mentality the morning of. Good call.

    And yay for USB. I’m still so happy for you. 😀


  2. Kb
    Oct 03, 2010 @ 11:51:07

    Hi there… Thanks for having your blog. I myself have started feeling depressed over the past couple months and am seeing a therapist. I am seeing her tonight and going to ask that she allow me to take time off work. This is going to be hard as I have a lot of pride and am very scared to call my boss to tell him.

    Are you working currently? If so, did you ever have to take time of work to help heal?


  3. mymulticolouredlife
    Oct 03, 2010 @ 12:29:05

    Noticing that you are having difficulties is a good thing, and even more so sharing it with others. I often find that when I struggle it seems easier to hide it from others, when in fact I need to do the opposite. Just think, you have been in a good place before regarding body image, as some of your previous posts implied, so you can get back there and beyond. I think loving your body is a difficult thing, and it takes practise. Usually for me I start hating my body when there is some other stress in my life…hating my body is usually a cover-up for something else. Coincidentally, I’m doing my personal art project for college on body image!


    Sarah x


  4. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine
    Oct 03, 2010 @ 17:26:11

    In my experience, realizing your feelings before they take deep root always helps. I’m glad you’re trying to work through them in a constructive way…hang in there love 🙂

    Way to go on the half!! It’s crazy to think that a half marathon is really just like a long training run for you….marathons are intense!!

    Hope you’ve had a great end to your weekend!


  5. Ameena
    Oct 03, 2010 @ 22:16:30

    I’m so sorry you are struggling Coronae! I agree with you and another commenter that it’s great you can acknowledge that you are struggling. That is definitely a step in the right direction.

    I hope this week is a better one for you! Hang in there.


  6. ~Jessica Zara~
    Oct 04, 2010 @ 11:42:21

    Huge congratulations on your half marathon: your confidence related to the race is so clear and you seem right on target to meet if not exceed your goals in relation to the marathon.

    It’s so sad that despite this success you’re still struggling with your body image. It’s as though neither of our minds can allow us to be happy, contented souls. I often find that directly after a good race I experience a huge downward spiral in mood and behaviours…as if hating myself is a ‘default setting.’ Please, please do not believe those thoughts because every picture I have ever seen of you makes it more difficult for me to see why you are still plagued by such horrible voices…you are such a strong, fit-looking woman, no matter what a scale may say.

    Opening up to someone is such a great step though! Being alone with those thoughts is often the worst element of the whole process.

    And thank you from the bottom of my heart for your comment and acceptance. I am not ashamed to say I had a good cry after reading it…I was so touched.




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