Saturday, December 29, 2012

Reflecting back on 2012... (Part 1)

I'm sitting here looking back on a year that started out with so much optimism only to come crashing down mid-year with a severe depression and subsequent effects on what had been a promising year of running and health. So, let's take a month by month look at this bumpy year that I hope to leave in the rear view mirror in hopes of a much improved 2013.

January 2012
After a slightly rough start with being injured and in physical therapy since Oct 2011 and having to limit my newly found love of running things began looking up when I was released from PT and restarted training for my very first half marathon, the inaugural TinkerBell HM at Disneyland. I met my fundraising goal for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training and would be heading back out west to see if I could meet the challenge. I did and I made some good running friends while at it. Probably the most close relationship I've developed from this race are my friends Melanie & Dianne. It was Melanie's and my first half marathon ever. We were previous non-lovers of running and both RNs in the psych/mental health nursing world. We started the race as virtual strangers other than meeting once and communicating via Facebook but finished together as friends. We shared many similarities in our lives and I've come to think of her as a very good friend. I can't wait to see her again at TinkerBell in 2013 (we're rooming together). :D

Love ya, Melanie!! :D
Dianne had already been running for a while and while we didn't communicate much face to face at the race other than at our Facebook group meetup where she brought some Ghiradelli chocolates for everyone and a brief chat after the race we have been very communicative online. I think the connection has to do with the fact that we're both California girls and Asian...we understand things that others sometimes don't! LOL! I'll be seeing Dianne again at Tink 2013 and then we're rooming together at the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World in February where she will attain Legacy runner status (running every year of the first 5 years of the race). I don't have any pics of Dianne aside from our group's meetup pic below. :(

TinkerBell HM Facebook Group - Inaugural Meetup
That's Dianne sitting down near the middle in the white long sleeve shirt.

February 2012
Nothing major really happened in February that I can recall other than running my second half marathon for which I only had to travel an hour and a half. I ran this one with a newly formed running group here in town, the Clovis Area Run/Walk Club, which was started on 1/3/12. Of course I was the slowest one to complete the half marathon in the group but I made a very good local friend, Teresa, who had been running for about 4 years after beating cancer. We communicate regularly on Facebook now, see each other occassionally in town and I introduced her to the Bountiful Baskets food co-op program here in town because I know whe is a very healthy eater (something I am still working on). I consider her my local running partner in crime...I don't think she knows that yet. We got together and participated in a couple more races in 2012 (Wayland Wellness Run Half Marathon and the New Mexico Centennial-TX/NM Team Challenge (she did the full and still finished before I finished the half!). We'll be participating in the Bataan Memorial Death March and hopefully The Color Run 5K together (but apart...she's way faster than me) in 2013.

Big ((hugs))  to you Teresa!

March 2012
The biggest thing that happened in March was finishing my third half marathon with what is still my personal record to date (PR) of 2:37:xx. This enabled me to join the Half Fanatics as member #1982...the same year as my high school graduation (not by accident). This led to the start of a quest to finish 30 half marathons in 30 different states in 365 days. I was well on my way but by May things would be different and I won't be reaching my goal. But for a previous non-runner to join a group of exceptional people who run for different reasons and at varying speeds is something I never in my life would have thought would have happened. 

April 2012
This was the month that I started noticing the depression coming on. It's not like it was unexpected because I typically do go into a depressive state during the spring, but it was just my hope that I could skip a year without was just not to be. I kept racing finishing the OKC Memorial Half Marathon and meeting running legend Bill Rodgers. The month was not extremely bad, but the downhill slide was gaining momentum.

Me with Bill Rodgers, Olympian, marathoner, author.

Probably the most meaningful medal so far.

May 2012
This was the month that the sh!t hit the fan. I've always been pretty good at hiding just how bad I was feeling when depressed but I had always managed to maintain a relatively active online presence. Not this time. I basically went offline for the first time since the late 90's. I disappeared from all my social networks, I rarely left the house other than to run and I spent many a day not getting dressed, showered or eating. Not a happy time. I did manage to finish 4 half marathons and registered for an all women's trail running clinic.

I traveled all the way to Illinois and Wisconsin to race. I met up with another good running friend and TNT alum, Kat, who is originally from Wisconsin and the chance to see her again and knock out another state was my momentum to run in the Wisconsin Half Marathon. Not only did I meet up with her again, but I also met Dave Mari...running celeb extraodaire who gets to so many races and takes so many pictures that it's totally crazy. You can always identify him because he always has the Paul Frank monkey on his shirt! I also spent a couple of nights with my cousin, Maria, who lives in Illinois and I hadn't seen since they moved to Japan after being stationed in New Mexico (where we met for the first time, while stationed at the same base). I have no idea of how we managed not to get any pictures while I was there!?!

Kat with the Captain!
Dave and I.
Unfortunately, this trip also resulted in the ending of the relationship with my daughter who also suffers from bipolar disorder. We have cut off communication with each other under mutual agreement. The last bridge has been burned and I'm done.

Probably the big personal thing that happened was that I reached my fundraising goal for Relay for Life and shaved my head...again! I had done it in 2006 where it was a big deal because my nursing students who helped me with fundraising got to shave my hair off. This year it was much more low key because I was sick (mentally and physically) and I didn't have hoards of people actually wanting to shave my head. It because a non-big deal as I showed up at the team's camp and they proceeded to shave everything off.

June 2012
By June I was pretty much deep into this depressive episode with the high points only being concerned with running. This was also the month that my thinking got too stupid and had some really bad repercussions. I was at my lowest at this point, skipping my 30 year high school class reunion which I had been looking forward to for over a year. Friends who I had not seen since high school were going to be there and instead I spent the week in bed with such a low self-worth that I couldn't be scraped off the floor with a sharp edged, metal scraper. At the beginning of the month before a major emotional crash I managed to complete the Wounded Warrior Half Marathon in Irving, TX with my cousin Ausa who I had not seen for years during which she completed her very first 10K. I also attended the trail running clinic with Teresa at which I discovered something I already knew...I was not born to be a trail runner!

My cousin Ausa after finishing her very first 10K race.

To be continued...

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