Drawing in positive

I can hardly believe it, but this is week 15 of the 16 week marathon training program. I’ve persisted, practiced, and pushed my way to train for something that I’m just so happy to be able to do. I’m going to run my first marathon. At the start of training, I’d said it would be my only. Now, I’m already thinking that I know this isn’t the last. I also went and got pink hair last week and I love it.




I’m not suddenly healed of my depression. Working out hasn’t taken away my need to have daily medication. I still have anxiety, too. When I run, some of that goes away and I can clear my mind. It also shows me that I have something to be proud of and goals to strive for giving me a reason to live sometimes when I just don’t want to. The darkness sometimes envelops me more than I care for it to. I just try not to embrace it too much and look to my goals. My running friends also help me look forward to the long runs and things we can talk about or experience together during the journey. I’m thankful for them and for the time we have together. I get to go out and run.

I’m also thankful that I have a husband who is supportive and encouraging. I’m not always confident in my abilities. Considering the things that he and I go through as adults and as parents, it has been a blessing to have him to talk to and to lean on. My mom might not speak to me for whatever reason. My kids might say hurtful things when they don’t get their way. My husband is there with unconditional love to give freely, which is important to have when the depression hits and I don’t exactly feel loved or lovable.

All negativity aside because I’m about to accomplish something that I couldn’t do when I signed up to do it. I have trained and conditioned myself to do this and I am as physically prepared as I’m going to be. Mental strength will go a long way in getting to the finish line. Yesterday, I started seeking out inspirational quotes to help me during the 26.2 mile run November 5th. Many of the quotes didn’t have sources, but I’ll try to give credit where due. So here we go!

  • There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream.
  • Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength
  • Let Go, Let God
  • The race always hurts. Expect it to hurt. You didn’t train so it doesn’t hurt. You train so you can tolerate it.
  • When your legs get tired, run with heart
  • The miracle isn’t finishing. It’s that I had the courage to start.
  • She believed she could, so she did.
  • What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
  • In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take
  • Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations
  • You’re a diamond. They can’t break you.
  • Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about dancing in the rain.
  • I believe in the person I want to become
  • Remember the time you thought you could never survive? You did and you can do it again.
  • Keep going. There’s cookies at the finish.
  • Penny gets winded walking to the bathroom (seriously, my friend Penny added this to my list)
  • HOPE – Hold On Pain Ends
  • A positive attitude may not solve all of your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort (Herm Albright)
  • Psalm 4:1 – Lord, be merciful and hear my prayer
  • The thirst you feel in your throat and lungs will be gone minutes after the race is finished. The pain in your legs? Within days.  The glory of your finish is forever.
  • 26.2 = The triumph of will over reason
  • Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life a champion. -Muhammed Ali
  • Be strong. You never know who you are inspiring.
  • Today, I will be one run stronger
  • I wasn’t planning on going for a run today, but those cops came out of nowhere. (ha, ha, ha)
  • One day, I won’t be able to do this. Today is not that day.
  • Set a goal so big you can’t achieve it until you grow into the person who can. *This one really struck a chord with me.
  • Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up. (Dean Karnazes)
  • You’re not dead yet, you can’t quit. (Kyle Maynard)


That’s just a portion of the encouragement I found yesterday. I will still be looking and still be repeating the ones I’ve found. I’ll probably print some off and bring them with me to the race so I have them there.

I can’t control what others think of what I’m doing or how they view the work I’ve put into it. I can control how I feel about it and decide to be proud of my accomplishments. Today, I choose to ignore the people who think I’ve done anything but improve my character and celebrate my body. I choose to see that I’m setting an example to be healthy, strong, and resilient. I could drown in the negativity that is often tossed in my direction, but I choose to let the good and the positive pull me through and keep me afloat. I am succeeding at something and that’s going to ruffle some feathers of people who are not. It doesn’t change my success.

Thanks for reading! This weekend will be a long run of 8 miles, then on to pre race week! Wish me luck! Good luck on your endeavors and in case nobody has told you, I’m proud of your hard work! Keep it up! Every time you challenge yourself, you get a little stronger. Until you’re a lot stronger.

Here’s a picture of me after running 4 miles of speed work that I really didn’t feel like running. I’m so glad I did it anyway.


Terrible mood. Great run!


Because I can

I’m still fighting with a bout of depression that seems to nag and pull at me daily and whisper to me that I just don’t measure up. Despite its best attempts at making me feel inadequate, I continue to challenge and push myself.

Today I find myself exhausted, but accomplished. I covered more miles than my training plan prescribed because I ran to and from a meeting place one day and I put in extra miles on another so I could run with a friend. I’m at the halfway point of mentoring for the half marathon and I’m on week 4 of training for a full marathon.

This weekend, I ran a 5k race at Lake Evergreen that I ran last year as well. It was apparently the same week in my own half training because I had 4 miles to run after and so did the group training this summer. I was aware that the race had some challenges going into it and I wasn’t confident that I’d be able to reach for beating my best time of 29 minutes. Each race after the one I made that time, I’ve set out just to beat that time even if it is by a second. Saturday morning was sunny, but not too hot. The gnats were swarming around the race venue and we swatted them away as we made way to the start line. At first, nobody was lining up in front of me at the start line and I attempted to move back. A few people finally went to the front of the start and the race began with everyone taking off down the road. I tried to just remember that I could hold as close to a 9 minute pace as possible to get my best time. I spent a little time praying. There was a person that was near me in the race that seemed stressed, so I prayed for that person. I prayed for myself to have the resolve to finish and I was thankful that I was able to run and able to train for a full marathon. I started telling myself that I’m “scrappy” because I always overcome challenges. I pushed myself hard. Toward the end, I kept trying really hard to pick up my pace and it seemed like every time I looked at my watch, I wasn’t getting any faster or I wasn’t picking up as much as I needed to get the time I wanted. Toward the final stretch, my husband and my friend were shouting at me and I actually mustered up a little kick of energy to push through to the end a little faster. Some guy passed me right in the last 50 feet, but I was going my fastest. Imagine my surprise when I pulled through the finish line and saw 28:49 on the digital clock and on my watch! I didn’t place, but last year, I finished the race in 30:57. I beat my best time and I killed my time from last year by over 2 minutes. Scrappy…lol. I ran 4 more miles right after the race and was back in time to see the tail end of the awards where 2 of my friends and my husband had placed in their age groups.

Sunday is long run day for full marathon training. While I normally complete my long runs on Saturday instead because of my half marathon mentoring, I did my goal pace run Saturday and planned ahead to do 12 miles on Sunday. Jane, who mentored me during my first half last year, is my primary running partner for the full marathon. We match pace and we amuse one another. So, we ran 12 miles with a couple of breaks to adjust, refill, and loosen up. Only towards the end did I feel anxiety and have to zone myself out and Jane was there to pull me out of my head. We even got to go to a brunch afterward just for women to shop for bras and have mimosas and pancakes. It was fun and a nice incentive during our run was that there was a mimosa in it for us. After that, I went to a nature center and hiked around a little with my family. I needed a nap after.

Monday, I woke up with ear congestion and a sore throat presumably from being in the great outdoors so much over the weekend. I spent most of the day feeling a little ‘blah’ from the decongestant. My husband worked late and was preparing for a business trip through the middle days of the week. After dinner, we had problems discussing then arguing with my oldest child. She nitpicked at me and tried to break me down seeking out insecurities about my parenting. She walked out of the house and after a little while, I had to call the local police to help me find her. They opened a case with a national database. She returned home around 10 pm and I called off the search. The police came by for a welfare check and then we went to bed.

I didn’t get to run last night. I won’t be running tonight with my group. I’m sad and I’m disappointed. I’m still a little angry and hurt. When I get to run, I will do it. Because I can do it. Not because I have to. I want to run 26.2 miles because I know that I can, so why not do it? I train for it because I want to do it right. Sometimes, I carry on because I don’t know what the other options are. I don’t know how much of my strength was a choice on my part, but I’m here and I’m pushing forward. I know that I’m not always confident and I worry how people see me and how my children see me. I also know that I’m human and I make mistakes just like anyone else and nobody is perfect no matter how much they appear to be. I have depression and life doesn’t slow down or ease up on me when I’m down. It doesn’t matter how far down I am, it’ll still kick me. So, I just have to get back up more times than it knocks me down. That doesn’t mean I’ll just spring up and be ready for more each time, though. I’m tired. I get worn down.

So, I’ll get back to running once I can later this week. I’ll do my long runs and I’ll put in the time to train for my 26.2 mile race. Not because I have to, but because I can and I will do this.


Hubby and I after the race. He got 2nd in his age group and I PR’d!



Emotional Outburst

Many of you have probably seen this post on my other blog . If not, go ahead and click, read, and come back here. At the time, I meant every word I said. I was feeling emotional and I didn’t wait for the emotion to pass to write about it. Sometimes, we call that passion. Often, we become embarrassed or regretful when we’ve given in to an impulse. I have experienced those emotions since then and I’ve had time to reflect on how I really feel about what I said and about all of the positive responses I’ve read. I have also had time to see a bigger picture and perhaps soothe some of my own aching emotions.

I’d first like to thank the people who offered me encouragement and reminded me who I am and how strong a person I have become. While I can’t stand the thought of drawing attention to myself, this was actually a positive experience when I stepped back and looked at it. Mental illness means that often, something in my head lets me feel alone in my struggles and too afraid to share them with anyone. Compound that with the fear of casting myself in a negative light and I’m generally a big old bully to myself.

Next, I’d like to address my concerns about my physical appearance. I weigh about the same as I did last year. I weigh 30 pounds less than I did a year before that. I wear 3 sizes (if you count by even numbers) smaller than I did back then. Somehow, I saw this as a memory on social media going back to when I was trying to get rid of my old clothes a couple of years ago. I haven’t seen that size since then. I get upset that I don’t look tight from my rib cage to knees. I have an idea in my head [that is probably unrealistic] of how I’m supposed to look and I’m not very kind to myself when I am reminded that is not how I look.

Additionally, my running habits are solid.  I run minutes per mile faster than I did just last year. While I am mad that I can’t seem to beat my 5k PR after my first race this year, I’m enjoying trying at the races or I wouldn’t be doing them. I’m also really enjoying being a mentor and sharing my love of running and my knowledge with other people. If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t be training to run a marathon. I was feeling down on myself and forgot that the reason I signed up to run my first 13.1 race was not because I wanted to lose weight, but because changing my focus from weight loss to endurance was something I needed to do for myself. I needed to prove to myself that this body was capable of amazing things. I am capable of moving forward for miles on end while pushing past fatigue and mental barriers that seemed impossible at one point.

I picked myself apart, folks. Parenting is hard. Working is hard. Being an adult is just plain difficult. There are challenges everywhere we turn. So, I’m not the ideal mom [that is also unrealistic] in my head. I love my husband and all 3 of my children fiercely and without apology. I do what I can to show them how to be an honest, loving, and caring person. I don’t always have an activity lined up and I don’t feed them organic everything. I lead by example the best I can and I admit when I’ve made a mistake. Those things are actually important. They’ll never know or care how I was in an office environment and it carries no weight in what happens in my future.

So, in conclusion, I had an adult tantrum. It was not very well thought out and not very well carried out; I misspoke about myself. You could even say that I trash talked myself. It in no way reflects the way other people really see me. It was simply my overreaction to things that I allowed to build up instead of addressing them. I appreciate the immense support and outreach from people who read it. I often need the reminder that I might actually be too hard on myself sometimes [often]. I have major depressive disorder. I always hope that by some miracle, I won’t need medication anymore because that somehow would make me label myself “normal”. One day, I’ll accept that “normal” is just a setting on the washing machine and a city in Central Illinois.

Thank you for reading and I hope that I’m making sense now. This is a good time to examine how we define ourselves and how we see success. Do we forget that once we’ve reached a goal, we raise the bar again? Do we forget to stop and celebrate the victories when we are constantly moving the goal posts?

Week 2 of marathon training is done and I rocked it. On to week 3, and trying not to forget to celebrate accomplishments the way to 26.2 miles.


Oh, boy….I have a few things to address…

Forward Motion

Sometimes I’m unsure as to whether I should write about something because the story isn’t all mine to tell. Sometimes, I struggle with wanting to put that story down because its powerful and it affects me so deeply that I feel I need to share it to be able to make sense of it. I still haven’t made sense of the past week. I don’t think it will ever come together as something I can understand.

Wednesday was the first boot camp style class for me with Winter Warriors, the ten week program I joined to stay accountable for my fitness routine in the miserable months ahead. I brought a minimal number of items in a bag and threw them, and my phone, onto a shelf in the entry of the gym and headed inside for a 30 minute lesson on proper form and the exercises we’d be doing during the core workouts. This meant the typically hated body weight exercises that included burpees, mountain climbers, and push ups. When we were done, I socialized a few moments and went to the car to drive home in the insane wind and drizzling rain. I pulled into the driveway and the family van was not in the garage. I pulled my phone out of my bag and had missed messages, phone calls, and voicemails from the last 45 minutes. I called my husband to hear the words I think I was already expecting from him. “We’re at the hospital. [Our 15 year old child] has tried to overdose on pills. There was an ambulance at the house and I brought the other two kids with me in the van.” The younger two kids are 3 and 5 years old.

I closed the garage door and headed to the hospital in my sweaty gym clothes without my purse. I called my best friend. I cried my eyes out while telling her how I was so upset and so angry and I just needed to center. She spoke back to me in a calm and even voice and assured me that my emotions were normal and to go do what I needed to. I arrived at the hospital after having to drive all of the way around it to get to the emergency department. I ran inside and was met by a woman who said that she couldn’t see the names of patients in the rooms, but had a feeling I was looking for room 18. She took me to the room where my oldest lay in a bed in the middle of the room with a box of tissues beside her looking emotionless. My husband then relayed to me she had taken my anti depressant pills from my room and taken them and that the ambulance drivers took the bottle so they could count and estimate how many she’d taken. The nurse came in and confirmed which bottle had been taken and that she’d taken around 30 of my anti depressant pills from a recently filled bottle of 90. The nurse also said that she’d been in touch with poison control and that she’d need to take some charcoal. My husband and smaller kids stayed until after the charcoal was done, but they were getting quite restless (as any young children would). I asked my husband to take them home since I was crying and didn’t want them to see me so upset.

During this time, I was checking my phone and one of her friends and the older sister had sent me messages on Facebook telling me that my daughter was saying things about killing herself. Another friend of hers messaged me the same thing. The assistant principal called to tell me that students had reported her saying she was taking pills. Later, I’d check her Snapchat to see that she had posted that she was going to kill herself using pills and that over 200 people had viewed that story on there. 4 people that I know of reported it. I assured the friends that contacted me that they made a good choice and may have saved the life of a friend. Quick thinking and reporting made a huge difference in this case.

I’d also sent a few messages out to people for support. One person, though she has a very young child and is probably very busy offered to bring me my things that I’d left at home and found myself needing during my wait. Another person, a runner friend who has been in similar circumstances offered that I was running mile 9 and that I’d make it to mile 10. She was right. I just didn’t feel like running that mile at the time, but I also have never felt like it when I was out running on the trail.

I sat in the chair for about 12 hours crying off and on. Sometimes, uncontrollably sobbing and trying to hide behind tissues or even my shirt pulled over my face. I watched people come in from the rigs on stretchers with their eyes closed and wondered if they were going to make it through the night. I had security watch my daughter while I went home and put on clothes that were more appropriate for the cold and windy weather that had settled upon the area in the past few hours. I picked up my Kindle and my phone charger from my house and briefly talked to my husband. I went back to the hospital and read an entire book while sitting in the chair across the room from my daughter, who was in an out of sleep, with a rapid pulse the entire time.

Around 3am, a woman entered the room who looked so much like my friend Kate that I was instantly relieved to see her. She was from the county crisis team. My daughter asked to be alone with her, so I went out to the waiting room where a janitor gave me a blanket to keep me warm from the doors being forced open by the strong winds. I then talked to the crisis person myself. We arranged to have my daughter sent to a facility for mental health. A few hours later, an ambulance showed up and took her on the drive to a larger town’s hospital that offers adolescent mental health care. I went home to sleep.

In the days since then, I’ve cleaned her room from top to bottom looking for anything she could hurt herself with upon her return. I’ve moved all prescription and OTC drugs into my bedroom closet and added a lock to my closet door. I’ve found an empty pain killer bottle in her closet that I hadn’t even realized was gone until I saw it. I’ve cried a lot. I’ve had conflicts with my husband that I don’t think we’d have if we weren’t under so much stress. I haven’t been out to run or even in my workout clothes. I’ve slept more than I usually would. I’ve talked to some of my daughter’s friends and even one of her teachers that lives a few houses away. He brought me her work from the school office to help out.

Apparently, in all the things going on while my husband was home and I was gone, a parent of one of her friends knocked on the door to tell him what was happening. When he tried to get her into the van to go to the hospital, she screamed that she wanted to die. My 3 year old has asked twice if her sister is dead. Once in the middle of the night after waking from a dream.

This was unexpected. It wasn’t out of the blue. A few weeks ago, the school called to tell us that she was threatening to overdose on pills. Crisis team was brought in for that, too. They made a safety plan with her. We made emergency appointments with a therapist and psychiatrist. We made her leave her bedroom door open so we could supervise her. The master bedroom was locked and we carried keys around with us to get in so that she couldn’t have access to prescriptions that were in the room. We were only allowing people to come to our house instead of her going to visit others so that we could supervise what was going on.

My daughter is due to come home tomorrow morning. We will have some pretty strict policies in place. She’ll have some new coping tools. We will all have to heal from this and figure out how to move forward. I don’t share this to ask for anything. I know that mental illness comes with a stigma that society still isn’t finished with placing on the people who suffer. I also know that unless you’ve actually been in the same exact position, you cannot say what you would do or how you would handle this.

I’ve spoken to and visited my daughter. I don’t think she would have wanted me to write this, but I think that it can help. Especially with people who may have gone through this quietly.

I’ve found some comfort in telling myself that the only way you get through life is forward because that’s the direction it goes. Things don’t pause when you need them to and they don’t slow down when you want them to. There are always going to be times where we wish things would just be different, but the only way to change them is to keep moving forward and get through and past it. So, I’m going to make it to mile 10. It just won’t be easy.



Valleys with occasional peaks – Depression

I’m depressed and I’m too down to really talk about it with anyone directly. I don’t want people to think I’m whining. I also don’t want to shock anyone with how down I really am. It is alarming. I know there are people who look at what I’m saying and wonder what on Earth I’d  have to be depressed about. That isn’t even a valid inquiry. It isn’t me being depressed about something. It is the feeling that no matter what good I have in my life, I’m not enjoying it. I feel sadness, anger, helplessness, and disappointment. I feel like I want to crawl into a hole so I don’t have to interact with people so I don’t do any unintentional damage. I don’t want to make any decisions because I’m sure every one I make is the wrong choice. I don’t want my friends or family to feel like they’re doing something wrong to make me feel this way. I don’t trust therapists.They don’t know me and 1 hour a week isn’t going to fix anything, especially since it makes a huge negative impact on my budget. I don’t have many friends and I don’t want to burden the couple that still hang around. It’s probably why the other ones walked away.

No, I’m not thinking about hurting myself. I’m just not psyched about waking up in the morning. I got on the scale this morning. I saw my weight. Before any other thought crossed my mind, the most prominent thought was, “I don’t want to live anymore, it’s too hard.” I looked at myself in the mirror with shame over that thought. I should suck it up and admit that every failure in my life is from my own bad choices and I have to stick around to suffer for them. I should know that I’d be the size I want if I would just work harder at it. I should stop whining and suck it up.

I need people to see me as emotionally and physically strong. I’ve survived a lot of things in the years I’ve been around and things are actually better for me now than they were in years past. So why am I being such a spoiled brat? Why can’t I just be a normal person? Why am I so strange and so unhappy?

I’m on medication. Every time I mention my emotional health to my doctor, she raises the dose. I don’t really want medication. Especially if I’m going to suffer the side effects and still have such low swings.

All I know now is that I feel like a total failure at life. My kids are wild because of me. My teen has self-image issues because of me. My husband feels helpless because I’m unable to hide my unhappiness and he thinks he is at fault. I failed at working in the corporate world and I’m not really great at staying at home with the kids, either. I hate to admit these things because I know how the people who don’t like me wish I would fail. It isn’t right for humans to behave that way toward one another, but it really is what happens. There are people who relish in the failures of others instead of being there to celebrate the successes. I wish I were the person that I want to be instead of this pathetic thing I see in the mirror.

I am afraid to share this. I don’t want to be discouraging. I also don’t want to be negative. I feel a responsibility to make other people happy and be encouraging. So this is hard for me. I almost wish I was doing it anonymously.

Anyway, a very encouraging person for those of us who suffer is actually The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson. Her posts are relate-able and often funny, which is great for the mind and soul.