Last week, after weeks of being sick, and missing workouts, and just generally getting behind in my training for the half-marathon in March, I was getting downright depressed. I think it was a combination of not working out regularly (loss of endorphins), not feeling good, along with the other stresses of parenthood, work, and home. I was just blue. There were a few times I didn’t really want to get out of bed, or if I did, then I would just want to lay on the couch. I could feel depression sucking everything good out of my life. I know depression – I have been depressed, and I have dealt with depression in those I love. I recognized the signs. I also recognized that even when you recognize the signs, you don’t just snap out of it and feel better. I am lucky that I have only one time been so depressed that I just wanted to give up, and when I couldn’t pull myself out of it.
In the course of all this, I realized that one of the problems was me beating myself up for having gotten behind in my training. I was at the point where i didn’t feel like I could ever catch up, and that I would do worse than my first race or worse, injure myself trying to play catch up too fast.
I was drying my hair, and I made an executive decision. I would just forget about the race in March.
It was like a weight was lifted. Here i was beating myself up about not meeting a goal that I had put on myself. No one else had chosen that goal for me; I chose it for myself, and all the guilt I felt was my very own doing. Why would I do this to myself? The answer to the problem was right in front of me. I just let it go.
So, i scrapped the idea of doing that half. There will be tons others. And i turned around and decided to start small again, pick a 5k that is coming up soon, just to keep me honest, and pick a Sprint Triathlon that I want to do, and start training for that.
I feel a hundred times better. I am lucky that my depression was situational, and I could fix it. And taking one thing off my plate really did solve the problem.
I know I have highly suggested picking goals and meeting them. It gives me great joy and power to pick a goal and follow through with it. But sometimes, i think the harder lesson for me is the one about learning when to let go, when to drop one of the many balls I juggle.
I’m still going to be a little sad come March when everyone is running, though.