Depressed House Husband Runs Marathon

From major depression to running 26.2 fucking miles.

There was a time I couldn’t drive to Wal-Mart without having an episode. There was a time I couldn’t will myself out of bed. There was a time when a good day meant showering and eating. There was a time when I had to hurt myself to feel anything at all. I ran 26.2 fucking miles Saturday.

There were two turning points in my life. The first was Laura giving me an ultimatum: GET HELP. I can’t thank her enough for those words that day and all she’d done leading up to it. The second turning point was early 2017 after my first 8 mile run. I was training for my first half-marathon and she rode her bike alongside me. She was crying when I finished and said she wasn’t sure she would ever get me back. Well here I am, and I couldn’t have done it without her.

post-marathon pic
Don’t confuse my grimace for a smile.

If you’re interested, here’s a recap of my race because I’m still pumped up.

I didn’t train for a specific time or the course, I just wanted to finish. However, my competitive juices were flowing in the final weeks and I set an aggressive goal of 4:30. For my first marathon on a VeRy HiLlY course. I ended up finishing in 5:30.

The first half was fine. I was cruising along when I decided to slow down because I was slightly faster than needed. I ran into the wall at mile 21, which was right before the course turned into Shelby Park. This was the hardest part. Not only because of the wall, but because there were no spectators in the park. I walked a majority of the way until exiting the park at about mile 23. At this point I had to think about each step in order to move at a trot. I walked up the remaining hills and emptied the tank by running the last two miles.

It was physically the hardest thing I’ve done and mentally exhausting. Everything hurt except my face. But as much as it sucked, after taking a few weeks off, I’ll start running again. And my plan is do do another marathon in the spring. This time in 4:30.

Lessons From a 4-Year-Old

Empty nester at 27.

Emily moved in with her mom Monday, so we’re empty nesters at 27. I was sad Sunday night, but it never hit me hard. As Monday wore on and I spent the day keeping her out of the way while moving her stuff, the feeling wore off. Like a slow-release capsule, the sadness slowly trickling into my bloodstream. Laura worked from home yesterday, so today is my first full day alone in months. I miss Emily, but I feel refreshed and energized. Laura’s come down with a case of the feels. Before Emily joined us, Laura thought boarding school would be good for our future child. Now she’s in favor of home school.

Living with a 4-year-old taught me a few lessons and reminded me of others:

  1. Spontaneity – When Emily was with us I had no excuse not to go shopping after dinner. What was I going to do at home? Try watching basketball while she performs a musical in front of the TV? I get anxious after being away from home for so long, even if there isn’t a reason for me being there. Emily chipped away at the comfort and safety I found at home, nudging me to go with the flow.
  2. Live in the moment – I’ve noticed a blue bird on my past two runs. Emily shouted every time she saw a bird. No matter how many she saw, the next one would be the most amazing creature she’d seen. Same for the hundreds of lady bugs sneaking into the house; constantly pulling me away from my adulting to gawk at the spotted insects.
  3. It’s a new day (Yes it is!) – The sunrise brings possibilities to help leave yesterday where it belongs. Emily never woke in a bad mood after being upset about having to go to bed.
  4. Not everything has a purpose – Emily has tons of dolls, animals, Shopkins & Squinkies to play with, but sometimes she’d play house with two of her doll’s boots. Everything I write doesn’t have to be a novel. Poems that go nowhere are fine.
  5. Feel your emotions – She literally cried, smiled, laughed, cringed and scowled every day. It’s okay to feel, just don’t throw a fit.
  6. Ask for help – It’s not cool for me to ask Laura to help with my socks because I just really don’t feel like putting them on, but I shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for assistance in other areas.