Marathon Fundraiser – Chasing Dreams for DBSA
Becoming a Runner
I met my passion, my best friend, my worst enemy, my (free) therapist, and my strongest medication about five years ago. I was 22, and just graduated from college with an excellent education, great GPA, a member of the golf team and I was even a newlywed. To top it all off I lost about 50 pounds my last two years of college and I couldn’t have looked any better. I thought I was in the best shape of my life. I thought I had it all together, but little did I know I had a marathon of a challenge ahead. Everything seemed to be going okay, but I was having headaches so bad I couldn’t sleep. I spent a lot of time in bed because of the headaches. I saw my family doctor for it, and that is where it all started. She told me I had depression and gave me some medicine for it. I did some research and found out that exercise was one of the best prevention methods for depression, and I knew I needed to get out of bed and on with my life. I started running with my husband every night after work. Even though that I started running I never considered myself a “runner”. I didn’t think that I fit into that crowd. I was just a woman who ran every day. Soon I found myself waking up the day of the my first half marathon. I was nervous because I never ran that distance before, but I knew I could do it. I ran that day as hard as I could and finished in 1:49 which was well under my goal of 2 hours. I was ecstatic and found myself running again just a few days later. As the days went by, I found that my medicine wore out quickly because my body was used to it. I went back to the doctor and she gave me a different type of medicine and I took that for a short period of time. I repeated this process for about 2 years until my doctor told me that she couldn’t help me anymore. By that time, I was training for a full marathon, but the depression was consuming me. My family doctor finally referred me to new doctors.
Before I saw the new doctors, I ran the Chicago Marathon. I was a little depressed, but knew I had to do it because I trained so hard. The marathon was really difficult compared to the half marathon, but I finished it in 3:56. That was four minutes better than my goal. I was happy that I did it. When I returned home from the Chicago Marathon I started to see my psychologist. She was a perfect fit for me. She was gentle, easy to talk to, and open minded. I unraveled the secrets of my depression with her. I found out many things about myself. I found out that my childhood wasn’t as happy as other children. Regardless of how I felt, I kept running. I was training for my next half marathon. I put in so many miles, I couldn’t even count them. The next thing I knew, my husband and I traveled across the country to run the Big Sur Half Marathon in California. I was relaxed and amazingly confident in my abilities, but I only set the bar at 1:45. That day I ran a 1:41, and after the race a woman behind me came up to congratulate me. That very second, I went from a woman that ran everyday to a “runner”.
I have been training and running smaller races now for 5 months. I’m getting ready to run the full marathon at the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n Roll Marathon in Arizona on January 17, 2010. I also am running the 2010 Illinois Half Marathon on May 1st.