Sunday, December 30, 2012

Reflecting Back on 2012... (Part 2)

So, the first quarter or so of 2012 wasn't all that bad. Made some good new friends, ran my little heart out and was basically feeling good until April/May-ish. I've had this post open for the last 2 hours or so putting off my writing just because of the fact that the remainder of the year was pretty crappy. I mean, really, do I want to rehash those memories. Not really, but I will because what will I have to compare it with next year?? So here goes...

July 2012
I missed out on four races during this month...that was a loss of 4 states in my quest to 30 races/30 states/365 days and leveling out at Sun in Half Fanatics. Much of this month is a blur...not because it was fast, but rather because it was just crap overall. The depression maxed out, my thinking was slowed and in my own mind was the worst it had been since my ultra major depression of 2009-2011 (yes, almost a full 2 years). I think I ran a total of 3 miles the whole month, other than that my bed was my best friend. I only left the house if I needed to and I did some stupid things as well resulting in weeks of downplayed agony. Like I've said before, I'm a master at hiding my true feelings. I retreated from the world both real and online and I really gave up on myself. My self worth was at a near monumental low and my time on Earth limited in my eyes. OK...that's enough of that.

August 2012
My depression had taken a huge toll already and placed a strain on the husband's and my relationship. After weeks of poor moods I had a double (2 half marathons in one weekend) scheduled in Utah and Nevada. I was fed up with not running. I was fed up with the husband. I was fed up with me. I needed to get away. I knew it was a stupid idea to take off on my own but I needed a change. So, I drove to Utah for my first race and since I had barely run in the previous months it was no surprise that while I initially felt good at the beginning of the run I ended up getting some massive calf cramping going on by mile 9 at which point I just gave up and pretty much walked the rest of the race. I turned around the next morning and drove to Las Vegas for my second race of the weekend that night. By the time race time came around I was so wiped out...something I hadn't ever experienced with doing a double many times in the previous months...that I didn't even want to run the race at all. I did it anyway feeling totally exhausted, in a shit mood and just wanting to finish no matter how slow it would be. By mile 6 again I had given up just because I was so tired and walked the remainder of the race. The time away from the husband improved the relationship after a sit down upon my arrival back home, but I was pretty much wiped out for the next 3 weeks. Again, not a happy month to remember. You'd think I'd know better, but apparently not because I'm going to be doing something similar in about 3 weeks from now.

September 2012
So, what happened in September. Not much. The depression was still lingering although I'd rarely and briefly, literally less than 10-15 minutes at a time would get back on some of the social networks gaining a minor semblance of at least an online presence. I still was pretty much housebound other than going to doctor's and counseling appointments. I did manage to get about 5-6 runs in mostly only in the 2-3 mile range. I turned 48 on the 11th. It was the second year in a row that I didn't spend the day bawling because of the psychological effects of the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks. No, I didn't know anyone affected (that I know of) but I had a sense of  "perceived" survivors guilt. In my mind on that day, when I was sick at home watching the horrendous events unfold live, I should have mobilized to go volunteer in NYC. I was a civilian working in a military health facility I should go to the commander and tell her that I wanted to go to NYC to volunteer. But I didn't, our base didn't send anyone and yet I convinced myself that I was a bad person for not going on my own initiative. It didn't matter that I still had a couple of teenagers at home who "needed" me since their dad was busy at work and school. I simply was a bad person for not going. I cried most of the day on the anniversary of the attacks, my birthday, until 2011 when for the first time I made it through the day without crying. I didn't celebrate my birthday for all those years. The one really good thing I started doing was volunteering once or twice a month at the Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op distribution which forced me to get out among people and begin to socialize face to face again. Yet another crappy month overall with those two rays of sunshine.

October 2012
I'm swinging in and out of depression and hypomania most of the month. The periods of hypomania are great, I have energy, I'm communicating online regularly, I'm leaving the house to go grocery shopping. I ran the Prairie Fire Half Marathon in Wichita, Kansas mid-month after running just over a half dozen times in the month and a half prior. I felt good at the beginning of the run but again that 9th mile came and I started cramping plus having lateral foot pain in my right foot. I finished the race (after a really rough about it here) only to end up in the ER that night and on crutches for the next month. So, once again I'd go another month without any training, this time because I couldn't (or wasn't supposed to) bear weight on the foot. Mood-wise I had improved somewhat but it's when someone like me, with my history, is coming out of depression that life can become even more dangerous.

November 2012
My moods had pretty much balanced out during the month. I was in a lower level of depression and staying in a more "stable" frame of mind. I was back online, I was talking with real people face to face (versus just online). I had another race to do, my first race at Walt Disney World...the Wine & Dine Half Marathon. My running friend, Melanie, was going to do it with me but ended up having knee surgery and had to back out. So I went alone and decided to skip the parks because I was still on crutches. To make a long story short I ditched the crutches the day before the race and finished the race without any pain. Tired as all get out, but no pain other than some normal cramping. If you haven't already, you can read about the race here. After the race I took a week off and then tried to run resulting in these damned anterior shin splints that hit me less than a quarter of a mile into each of the attempted runs. I could barely hobble home. I haven't run since. I did finally see the podiatrist regarding the foot pain from the Kansas race and it was determined that it was a nerve issue possibly caused by my shoes. So now I have to move up to a wide shoe and ensure that there is no stitching/seams in the area of the nerve irritation. Hopefully that'll keep any future issues from happening.
Thanksgiving was quiet with just the hubs and myself and our K9s. Other than that it was the most "normal" month I had experience in many months. High point of the month?? The night of the race when I bumped into some of my running friends from TinkerBell and receiving my Coast to Coast medal for 2012.

TinkerBell HM medal (Disneyland), Wine & Dine medal (WDW)
Coast to Coast medal (for running 1 HM at each park in a calendar year)

December 2012
I won't bore you with the details since I just posted an update a few days can read it here if you want. Christmas was great, the hubs and I chose not to exchange gifts this year as we just have more stuff than we have room. Had a good time with the son and his fiance and met the inlaws. And overall, have been feeling pretty good for a change. Had a quiet 29th wedding anniversary as well. The only down point...I decided not to run a double at the beginning of the month because of the major shin splint issues I was having...yet another loss of 2 states on my list. I did manage to reach the seventh level (Venus) in Half Fanatics with 13 half marathons within 79 days. Not my overall goal, but with the roller coaster the year has been I'll take it. Who would have ever thought that I'd complete 20 half marathons (not including virtual races) in less than a year? Not me!! :D

My overall impression of 2012?? It sucked the last half and was pretty great for most of the first half. Yeah, the pessimist in me still pops out a lot, but I am hopeful that 2013 will at least be a little better. I mean, really, it couldn't be much worse...unless I end up dead. (Sorry, dark/sick humor on my part.)

So here's a toast of some Moscato to an improved 2013 and a lot of running in my future. Honest, I'm trying to be as optimistic as I's just against my nature...

Cheers to a, hopefully, awesome 2013!!

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