Sunday, January 23, 2011
Winter Wonderland - HAH!
The past week was a bit difficult psychically. The cold and darkness descended. I actually felt despondent at times. For me it takes the form of a kind of pain in my chest that is accompanied by extreme anxiety and then dark thoughts. As bad as it seems lately, I used to have it a lot worse. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD - the most appropo name ever given to a syndrome) and depression were a pretty major part of my life from my 20s through my late thirties. When I did enter my late thirties, I decided to do something about it/them. I became less of a recluse, took up biking more seriously, played a lot more tennis (after running, my sport of choice), and took anti-depressants for a couple of years.
I've written about it before, so I'll shorthand this: suffice it to say, I recovered, and only have short bouts that are invariably triggered by either winter or stress. Lately, both have been present.
So I've been running every day this past week. Jesse (who has a great blog) and Indi (who also has a great blog) wrote me after my last post, because it does seem crazy to go running in a snowstorm. But for me, with a serious need for the calm running brings me, it seems crazy not to do it when I was feeling down. Nothing takes away the blues like a run. I used to drive round in winter months and see runners out. I could never understand their motivation. But I have developed an understanding of at least some of the reasons why people strap on the shoes and head out into the elements on days most sane people stay indoors.
I didn't knock out any terrific mileage last week. I might've hit 24-25 miles. But the runs took a loooong time ad a lot of effort. Running in the ice and snow was a lot like trail running, where concentration was everything. I traded off on the shoes I wore. On three days, I wore my older pair of Mizunos. On the other days, I used my Cascadias. Both shoes seemed to work equally well for the terrain. The Brooks were easier to clean off the snow and mud, but the pretty, round, trippy laces kept coming undone until I double-knotted them.
The other thing that always brightens my January, The Australian Open, kicked off last week as well. When I was indoors, I got to watch some stunning tennis, and lament the fact that I had been offered a free trip to Melbourne, but had declined to go. I travel so much, that sometimes even an offer of seeing something great like that can't get me off of my keyster (I'll check spelling on that word later). My bracket was blown in the first couple of days as a new crop of young guns knocked off some of the top players. I actually love when that happens. While I won't win the prize, I will get to see a lot of players that I don't normally see moving through a tournament. My prediction for the second week, however, is that the highest seeds left will push the pretenders aside. For the men especially, it'll probably be the top four seeds in the semis and the finals.
Well, until next time, hang in there, and try to find ways to keep the winter blues at bay.