Sunday, May 11, 2008

Diagnosis: Depression?

There's nothing worse than a runner who can't run. I miss being a runner. It's been 2 weeks since Big Sur and I haven't run a step. My leg feels like it did before the marathon, nothing worse. I have an appointment with an orthopedic specialist on Wednesday. I hope he can give me a definitive diagnosis and come up with a plan that will get me back on the roads and trails.

In the meantime, I think I'm suffering from depression. Not the really bad, clinically depressed, "I hate my life" depression. Just a low grade, nagging feeling that I'm always feeling "down". I think anyone who has suffered (or is currently suffering) from an injury can relate. You try not to think about it but it's always there. I've surrounded myself with running stuff too. Ultrarunner, Runner's World, and Trail Runner magazines, and everyday on my commute I listen to Phedipiddations podcasts by Steve Runner. I also check out quite a few blogs to keep up on where everyone else is running and racing. And I can't stop eating. I have lost all control. I keep going back to my "comfort" foods and I eat, eat, eat. To top it off, I have no motivation to work out. I have been doing some workouts but not with the same spirit I had back in Feb and March. Add that up and you have WEIGHT GAIN! And that just adds to the depression. So I eat more. And I don't work out much. It's a vicious cycle.

So what to do? I was listening to Phedippidations this morning and he was talking about Dr George Sheehan. He mentioned that every day is a chance to be the first day that you change your life. Now I've heard that before and I'm aware of it but I just keep putting off that first day. But hearing it this morning it just hit me right. Today is my first day to change some things. A couple other things happened this weekend that also made me start thinking about how good my life is. My good friend sent me this great story about what it means to be a mom and how important our job is. It really struck a cord in me. I also stumbled upon The Fat Cyclist's blog again. I used to read it a couple years ago when I was doing a lot of mountain biking but got away from it. What I just read yesterday was incredibly sad and it made me appreciate everything I have in my life. So what if I can't run right now. I WILL get better and in the meantime, it's a chance to ride my bike which I also love but had forgotten. I have a wonderful family who loves and supports me, a good job with great co-workers, and I'm healthy. What more could I ask for?

Today is Mother's Day and I'm at work. Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful, special moms out there. This morning we had an assignment to take our fire truck to the local Moms On The Run 5K road race and hang an American flag from the tip, actually stretched between two of our trucks. It was hard for me to be there and not be able to run. I soon got over that and enjoyed cheering on all the hundreds of runners and walkers as they took on the challenge of completing 3.1 miles on a beautiful morning. I felt very patriotic watching that flag wave in the breeze as the National Anthem played.

Setting up for the start

One of Reno Fire Department's own

Great sense of humor!
Then the runners were off! Our very own firefighter, Shawn Lawrence, beat out the second place finisher in a desperate footrace right to the end. The crowd went wild. Every female finisher received a beautiful long stem flower. One lady was so impressive she had 2 kids in a double jogger plus one in a backpack. It was great to see all the families it made me miss my own. This race will have to go on the agenda for next year.

Shawn Lawrence just edges it out for the win

Flowers for the female finishers
So I guess the bottom line is, I'm tired of feeling down, fat, and out of shape. So I'm taking it upon myself to change my attitude and it starts today. I'm eating better, cutting down on the portions, more fruits and vegetables, and I'm getting back into my routine of weights and cross-training. And wouldn't you know it, my leg feels better than it has in a month.


Addy said...

That's amazing how similar our posts are :) Seems like getting sad and hungry (or just wanting food) is a pretty common side effect of not running. I found that starting back up some cross training did help, if only to make me feel a bit like an athlete again. We'll both get out of this, and hopefully will be all the stronger for our new discoveries and efforts that we had to take on in our time of no running :)

Scott Dunlap said...

It's a tough one not being able to run, but don't let it get you down. You're still a rock star to me. ;-)

When I had a month of downtime last year, three things really helped. First, I volunteered at a few races (which I know you do). Second, I got a new haircut! It's amazing how much that can change your outlook when you don't look the same anymore. Lastly, I became a big fan of swimming, still hands down the best 30-60 minutes you can do.

Happy Mother's Day!


Sarah said...

Ditto to your whole post! You're seeing the ortho on Weds, I'm seeing neurologist the same day. Hopefully we get some answers! I have to agree with Scott on the haircut. I needed to treat myself to something that wasn't food and a new doo was it! : )

Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

Hope you get through this (you will). Happy Belated Mother's Day!

Catherine said...

All right guys, that does it. I'm calling my hair stylist. Thanks for all the support. It's always nice to know friends I've never met (and some I have) are out there.

Peter Lubbers said...

Hi Catherine,
Hope you feel better soon!
Take care,