Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Day 551 - Hill Repeats and a PSA about Depression.

August 12, 2014

Hill repeats! Here is the workout: 1:15:00 Total

"Run quality - 3x hill repeat + 8' Z2 running HR Section after.  Should be on feel and light.  After hill repeats - the running is very indicative of your 'go all day' be good about just running on feel and look after what the pace is..."

So I ran up a steep hill for five minutes. My steep hill. Frankly, I am amazed I was able to go as far as I did without tiring! I only slowed to let my heart rate slow when I went over Z4. This is part of a strength building phase that will be followed by a speed phase, I believe.

After the hill repeats, I ran in Z2 for forty-two minutes. And once again, I saw a big coyote. Ran right past me, then stopped and stared at me. Unsure weather to follow or not. I had an LED flashlight with me that I shined in its eyes, so it ran off.

The plantar fasciitis is still there, but seems slightly better. My left knee hurts to step up. Weather walking up stairs or in the park up the hill after The Puppy. But doesn't hurt too much to run on. Watching to see if it gets worse. Might look into the physio tape stuff.

And now a quick word about depression.

I see many people, in light of the tragic death of Robin Williams, commenting as if depression is something that can be switched on and off at will. As if all one that suffers from it need do is "snap out of it." Like their is a choice. There is not.

That's not how it works people.

Clinical depression, rolls in like a summer storm. You can tell when it is about to hit most times. Once it has its grip on you, all that can be done is to ride it out.

I know this because I have suffered from it for the majority of my life. One thing that I have learned as I got older is that now when it happens, instead of feeling like the pain will last forever, I know that it will go away eventually. Most often sooner than later. Knowing this makes enduring it much better. Not easier or more convenient, just better. As in stepping on small shards of broken glass with a barefoot is better than stepping on large pieces.

I can empathize with the spiral Robin must have felt. If he was drinking, it would have only felt worse and removed some of the inhibitors that we hold onto. Inhibitors that make the difference in someone giving in and letting go or continuing the fight. Then again, though I have had a few close calls, I credit a very primal self preservation instinct for keeping me around. But I have been lucky to not spiral down so completely that there was no way back. It is not a choice.

So what helps? The three things that have helped the absolute most was getting clean of all "avoiders", changing my diet and exercise. What are "avoiders?" Anything that lets your brain take breaks from reality. Alcohol, pain killers, cigarettes, soda, fast food, etc. Yes, food is an avoider. I have a friend that is eating himself to death everyday because he is sick of feeling like he is a piece of shit. He is not, he is a good man that can't forgive himself for some mistakes. Nothing anyone tells him will help. His pain spirals around his brain everyday and the only thing that helps reduce it or distracts him from it is eating. Then his guilt over eating compounds everything and adds to the cycle which repeats plus now he is pissed off that he isn't showing any self control and lashes out at his loved ones. Trying to make his bent self image a reality because he still thinks he isn't worth it. He is.

Changing my diet immediately reduced the amount and the intensity of my depression cycles. Exercise reduced them even more. I saw a t-shirt once that said there is no problem that running doesn't help. I would say the same about swimming and cycling to. The more raw I eat, the more positive I seem to get. It is very strange and a little wonderful. I don't want to judge people anymore and I don't need to tear people down to feel better either. This is a crazy journey, life. It is a shame to give up.

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