The physical challenge of running 26 miles reminds me often of cognitive principles needed to recover from depression. I learned through therapy how to manage unreal expectations of success. I’d like to run three times weekly and have every run be a little bit stronger and faster than the last. But human progress and healing advance at non-linear paces. Some days you’re exhausted from work. Some days you’re sore. Some days you have to skip the run because of minor injuries. Training for the Austin Marathon, I've had to miss three of my scheduled long runs because of a nagging knee problem.
When you don’t run as well as you’d like, or at all, it’s easy to let mental pressure build. But cultivating a reasonable attitude about setback keeps that pressure from exploding to crush you. A very good therapist taught me how to accept a single day’s disappointment and still return with resilience for the next challenge.
My training is done for the Austin race. I've been tapering and cutting distance to stockpile energy the past few weeks. From here it's simple. Show up and run until it's over. I'll leave for Texas—winter storm Pax not withstanding—on Wednesday. On Sunday during my roughly 4.5 hour trek, I’ll be thinking of the meaningful connections I've made at NAMI Huntsville, grateful for so much running strength this organization has helped restore.
To donate visit my online fundraiser page (http://www.crowdrise.com/raceforyourmind2) or send checks to
701 Andrew Jackson Way
Huntsville, AL 35801.
Fundraising Websites - Crowdrise