Monday, March 28, 2016

San Felipe Shoot Out 5K Race Report, Or, My Slowest 5K Ever

I did not know this would be one of the crazier races I've ever done, but oh, it WAS.

I was excited about this, initially, because I thought it provided a good reason to go camp near home for only one night.  I was even more excited that they had primitive shelters and I was able to reserve one.  I was concerned in the week leading in to the race because of all the rain we had been getting.  I kept checking the website to see if they'd call it.  They never did, so I figured it would be ok.

We got to the park and got all set up and picked up my packet and then it was basically dark.  (This was Friday night).  By the way, the shirt for this race is BAD ASS.

I slept well, yay air mattress!  There was a gentle rain that night, but yay shelter!

The next morning I woke up and spent an epically long time in a bathroom line, then headed to the start.

What struck me at the start was that these people are HARD CORE.  I guess that makes sense.  I mean the concept of the actual "Shootout" race was run a 5K, then a 10K, then a Half all in order.  So yeah, there were some serious serious runners standing around.   There were also jokers in floaties, and I really REALLY didn't get what an omen that was.

They started us off all together and I started near the back, knowing I was seriously outclassed.  This was supposed to be fun for me.  Less than 100 yards into the race there was a looooooong puddle.  Puddle may not be an accurate description.  There was a probably 50ft section of trail under 3 inches of water.  And people were running straight through it.  I was all D'FUQ???  I picked my way on the side, trying to keep my feet dry.

About 50 feet farther on, I got it.  We came up on another long underwater section, and this one went around a bend and there was no telling how long it actually was.  I gave up and went in.  It was COLD!

From there it was more of the same, little mud, long "puddle", little mud, long "puddle".  No rinse.  Lots of repeat.  Then we went down a hill through a creek, but it was still only maybe knee level and very short - maybe 20ft long.  I figured that'd be the worst of it.

Boy was I wrong.

What is important to note about those 2 photos is THERE IS NO END IN SIGHT.  It is also important to note that this is not the deepest we went through.  This is just the only time I felt secure enough to take a picture.  No, I'm not kidding.

There was one section that was literally chest deep on me, and they had two volunteers (heroes) standing on either end of a BRIDGE that was under 4 feet of muddy water, and the first guy said, ok, you're about to step on a bridge that is about 2 ft wide.  You need to walk straight to the other guy to stay on it.  DUUUUUUUUUUDES.

Then after that there was another looooooooooong waist deep river section.  Like 200 yards long.  Then we looped around on the driest part of the course that I saw all day, then did it again.  Then finished.

It. Was. Insane.

So anyways, it took me just under an hour.  I think the final was 59:40.  No joke.  My slowest 5K ever by more than 20 minutes.  Totally justified, though.  Hardest 5K EVAR.  And don't forget craziest.

I think part of what is the craziest about the craziest 5K ever is that it wasn't even meant to be a crazy one.  It was just meant to be a trail run and then we got like a foot of rain in the week ahead and suddenly it was this epic thing.  Don't get me wrong - I would totally do it again.  Because what an experience!

Anyways, I had to shower after to get the mud off.

Then I took pics.

Then we went over to San Felipe de Austin Historic Site and there were bluebonnets!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Better, I think

When I find myself on the upslope of depression, I'm always afraid of making declarative statements, because I know how quickly the winds can change.  This morning I feel better.  I want to qualify it.  Tell you that I might not stay this way, etc.  But you know that, so I'll just say: this morning I feel better.  This morning I feel like myself.

This weekend was busy.  Saturday we had a wedding shower for my SIL that ate up most of the day.  By the time we hit the grocery store that evening I was super done DONE.

When I woke up Sunday morning all I wanted to do was roll over, but I knew it was RODEO day, and I needed to get my butt in gear.  We learned something this year: Sunday morning at the Rodeo is a good time to go.  It'll pick up like crazy after noon, but for about 2 hours you can go ape on the rides with no lines.  Also, for future reference, I bought one Carnival coupon pack which was totally worth the money and had plenty of tickets for us as a family.  I also bought one $30 food card, and we could have done with 2.  Next year I'll know!  We started at one end, worked our way through, and then rode the gondola back - totally worth the tickets!!!
Funnel cake + wind = powdered sugar all over me. Yum!

It was a fun day.  We got home around 4 and put a movie on and vegged for the rest of the evening.

On the gondola.

The Z is a funhouse nut!


My goofballs.

Really cool topiary park for resting.

Oh yeah and it was right against the Astrodome.


Friday, March 4, 2016

Clearings in the Fog

I think I am starting to see improvement.

On Wednesday, I was listening to my audiobook at lunch.  I have been lucky - even though I couldn't focus on TV, definitely couldn't focus on reading, I seem to be able to listen to my audiobook, so I've been doing it A LOT.  I was listening to my book and it was at a key moment in the climax of the book that the file was corrupted.  Literally, it was the "Luke, I am your father" moment, and it was all, "Screeeeeetch is your FATHER" and I was all OMG WHO, WHOOOOOOOO????? So I immediately ran over to amazon and grabbed the kindle edition and read through to the end.  And then I was like, wait, I READ!!!!!  Oh thank goodness, I read!  I was able to read!  That is a huge thing for me.  Huge.  Reading is something I do every day.  Reading is something I do to cope.  When I couldn't read, I was very worried (in my completely unable to care way) about my mental state.  It was not a good sign.  But on the opposite side, it is a good sign that I am now able to.

Then later that afternoon I walked with the friend who cracks jokes and I found myself cracking some back.  I still didn't feel right.  But maybe a little better, yes.

Yesterday I had the ultrasound appointment.  And my doc was quick with the results: everything is normal.  This is both great and frustrating.  Great because I don't want anything to be wrong with me.  Frustrating because if nothing is wrong, WHY IS THIS HAPPENING???

I'm to call on Monday if I'm still "having the issue".  Earlier this week I was sure I'd be making the call on Monday.  But actually, I'm no longer sure.  My body is acting like maybe, JUST MAYBE, it is going to be normal this time.

In a way, that is terrifying.  I mean, if that is the case, then I really did just need a "hormone reset" which birth control provided, then does that mean that I may need to do that again in the future?  And if that is the case what the hell will I do?  Just take the damn things for a week and suffer the depression?  Gak!!

I'm getting ahead of myself.  That is part of my problem - I tend to spiral on what-ifs.  Right now I am just waiting.  I will just wait for the next few days and see if I continue to see an easing in both the depression symptoms and the "issue" symptoms.  Then on Monday I can start examining the ramifications of everything.  That's what we'll do.

I am hoping that this weekend helps.  It has been a struggle to be at work this week.  Maybe the weekend will help.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Depression: The Best I've Ever Done

I've done a lot of things right in this mental merry-go-round.

1. I recognized the problem very quickly.

I am not sure when exactly it came on, but I don't think it was more than 2 days before I realized it on Sunday.  Knowing is a large part of the battle.  Knowing enables the next few things that I've done right.

2. I reached out to my support group.

I've got many friends in my unofficial depression support group.  Fellow sufferers who I have helped when they needed me.  I help others because I want to, because I think it is important, because I don't think anyone should have to feel this way.  And I am so very grateful that when I feel this way, people help me.  This time there are 3 who have really shown up.  It is interesting because each has their own way of helping.  One mostly just listens.  And then tries to crack the occasional joke.  One is a constant reassurance that what I am feeling is normal and ok (but not ok, if that makes any sense) and that I'll get through it.  One has done extensive research on the medical thing behind this trigger, going as far as to offer to go to the doctor with me to be an advocate. 

3. I reached out to my medical professional.

This was difficult.  I called.  I waited 5 hours and called again.  I lost my control and had a fit of sobbing.  I got called back.  I got a plan.  My problem isn't fixed but I am taking action and that is a positive outcome for now.

4. I haven't broken my non-depressed routine.

I wake up every morning and exercise.  I don't want to get up.  But I know that exercise helps me.  And I know it is my routine.  So I do it.  I go to work.  I am not super useful at work right now, but I am there.  I come home and do some housework, eat my dinner, watch tv.  All of this involves not going to bed, which is what I really want to do.  Going to bed would not help me, even though it feels like it would, so I don't do it.  It is hard to describe but there is no joy in anything.  Last week I'd have been working in the garden because I was super excited about it.  Yesterday it was because I "probably should".  Last week I'd have picked a show I really wanted to watch, this week it is all I can do to pay attention.  But I am going through the motions and even though I don't feel anything, I know that doing this is the path to getting better faster.  I have to trust that I know that.  I have learned that before.  Even though I really don't care, I have to trust that there is a silver lining because there was one the last time I walked this path.

Even though I've been here before, I forget how hard it is.  I mean I know intellectually, but I think it may be like childbirth, where you eventually gloss over it.  Even as I've supported my friends through things, even knowing what it is like, what they are going through, how hard it is, I still forget just how powerful and pervasive this fog is.  I think a lot of the coping mechanisms that helped me get out of it last time were developed on the TAIL END of the depression, when I was coming out anyways.  I think.  I am not sure any more.  Even knowing everything I know can't prevent me from being here.  Even doing everything right as soon as I felt it coming on did not prevent me from being here, and it hasn't magically gotten me out.

I read an article the other day that wants us to think of depression like the flu - stigma free, just a thing that everyone gets, sometimes.  I feel that this morning.  You know, sometimes you're in good health, you're fit, you stay away from sick people, you wash your hands, you get your flu shot, and you get the damn flu anyways.  Then all you can do is get through it the best you can.  Well for, wow, fuck, 13 years I've done all the things.  I've jumped through all the hoops.  I've done everything I can to maintain my mental health.  But shit happened and here I am.  Now I just have to get through it.  Somehow.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Goal Update

Let's start by saying that this post was mostly written as things happened over the course of the month.  There is no way I'd have the mojo to actually do this today otherwise.

An update on yesterday's post: the doc finally called me back after I called a second time and basically had a hysterical sobbing fit on the phone with a nurse who then upgraded my call to "urgent".  (She was actually very helpful, got me calmed down, seemed to care.)  Unsurprisingly, I'm to discontinue the pill.  She also has ordered an ultrasound for me, and I'm to call her in 7 days if things haven't... stopped.  (They won't have.)  I am feeling better about all of that - just an acknowledgement of a real problem is very helpful for me, in terms of giving me the patience to jump through whatever hoops are necessary.

Now, on to the previously written goal update.

1. Work: make at least one presentation. DONE.
2. Work: write an article.  Still working on it!
3. Work: get involved in "the community".  Not yet.
4. Workout: Train for something in a focused way.  Not yet.  But I've continued with P90X3, plus managed to get myself both back on the road for a run about once a week, and back into the pool once a week.
5. Workout: Get at least one not-in-Texas race.  Not yet.  Looking at you, Florida.  In June.  Hot.
6. Workout: Do a triathlon.  Signed up for the CB&I and also the Tri Aggieland.
7. Workout: Get my butt back in the pool regularly.  Not often enough yet, but yes!
8. Workout: Go climbing. Not yet.
9.  Life: Lose 20 pounds.  Weight on January 2 it was 152.6.  Weight on Feb 1 was 151.6.  Weight this morning was 151.4.  I got as low as 150 and I think that is closer to the truth, but .  It started going back up yesterday, even though I didn't change anything other than my mental state.  It was a difficult month due to MawMaw's death and 2 unexpected trips to Fredericksburg and hormone stuff.  I can't eat as well while traveling as I'd like, but I did focus on not overindulging and I am really pleased with how that went, overall.
10. Life: Focus on conscientious spending.  Well.... I focused on it.  I watched very carefully while we careened into the red. Sigh.  The 2 trips to FBG killed it, and then my car needed a repair.  It would be worse if I wasn't watching it, I know.  But it hurts to work for something so hard and have it not work out.  The other day in a fit of frustration I went ahead and registered for both of my upcoming professional conferences, since the budget is already blown this month (they are reimbursable but that never happens in the same month as the expenditure, so it always makes budgeting for them a bitch).  On a positive note, we did MUCH better with our food budget.  We can still do better with our shopping budget, but it improved as well.  March is a new month.  I will not stop trying.  We need to take these gains and carry them forward.
11. Life: Improve the garden. Got the last box built, and the planted things are thriving!  In March I need to get dirt for those last 2 boxes and plant some more things!
12. Life: Go camping in Brazos Bend State Park. Not yet.  Maybe early April?
13. Life: Go camping in Huntsville State Park. Not yet.  BUT I do have camping reservations in March for Stephen F Austin State Park!
14. Life: Have an epic Disney vacation.  Not yet, but I'm paying it down.
15. Life: Make stained glass things. Not yet.
16. Life: Take fabulous pictures with the awesome new camera.  Yes!  That is the good that came out of the FBG trips - great pictures!  I've gotten on Instagram and added a widget to the sidebar so my new stuff will be easy to see.  I'm also posting some of my favorite old stuff because I like it, and I like the idea of having one place for the stuff I'm really proud of.

Not a goal, but I read or listened to 7 (official) books in February!  I also read 8 romances that I didn't track on Goodreads, for a total of 15. ;-)

And the aquarium has a thermometer and I've been working with the water to try to get it just right for fish.

I signed up for a race in March, but canned it at the last minute when Z got sick.  Good thing it wasn't a goal!

All in all, I'm pleased with this month, except for the whole plunge into depression thing.