On Saturday morning, I asked Andrea if she'd want to exercise in the pool after I got done with my run, and she said sure; so, I packed a couple changes of clothes (running and swimming) and went to the rec center. The parking lot was packed, which was unusual for a Saturday morning. When I went inside, I saw they were having a wrestling tournament, and the rec was closed until 9:00 (it was 8:05). Since I was already dressed to run, I just went home and decided that I would still run and then drive back to the rec to swim.
(On Thursday, I had bumped into Renee at the rec center before my run, so we ended up running three miles together. I had turned off the heart rate alert on my Garmin, because I always tend to run faster with Renee than I would otherwise, and didn't want the alarm going off constantly. I was worried about slowing her down too much, but it was nice to run with her--the time went by so fast!) Anyway... the point is, my heart rate alert was still turned off, so on Saturday, I decided to ignore my heart rate and just run however my legs felt like running.
It was freezing outside! I had been dressed to run inside, and all I did before going outside was throw a light jacket on. I should've grabbed a hat and gloves. But, I ran my three miles at a relatively fast pace (compared to my normal heart rate training, I mean). And it actually felt really good when I was done.
Immediately when I finished, I grabbed my bag for the rec center and headed back up there to meet Andrea. She showed me some exercises she's been doing in her water aerobics class, so we did some of those, and then put on our Aqua Joggers and went in the deep end.
While you can certainly make aqua jogging a very intense workout if you want, we usually just stretch or use it to jog lightly while we talk. It's actually a really nice alternative to going out to eat or something when you just want to catch up with a friend but don't want to go out to eat all the time. We stayed in the pool for over an hour, and then warmed up in the sauna. I felt great when I left! The power of exercise and good friends :)
Later that afternoon, Andrea came over and we just hung out at my house all day--the time went by so fast, and we had a lot of fun. Becky (my sister-in-law) ended up stopping by later, too. It's awesome to watch as her belly gets a little bigger each time I see her--nephew baby is getting big! :) Even though the night was low-key, we had a lot of laughs, which was very much needed (for me, anyway).
In the morning yesterday, I was tired and just didn't feel like doing my "long run" (I put that in quotes, because right now in my training, my long run is just four miles). But, it looked sunny outside, and NOT windy, which made me dread it a little less. I got dressed and as I was getting my shoes on, Joey started getting super excited. I have no idea why, because I never mentioned taking him with me, but he was acting as if I'd already told him he could come.
|He like, "Wait... did you say you're going for a run?"|
(This photo was actually from before and after telling him
that he's a 'good dog')
Taking Joey on a run is not easy--I would take him all the time if he didn't pull on the leash, but he insists on running directly in front of me with a taut leash, and then he zig zags as he sees interesting things. If he stops running, I either accidentally kick him or I trip over him. Haha! However, he absolutely loves to run with me, so I do take him when I'm feeling patient.
When I saw him getting super excited, I didn't have the heart to tell him that he wasn't coming, so I decided to just let him come. I threw out any expectations I had of my run, and just figured I'd make the most of it. As soon as we started running, Joey acted exactly as I had expected--pulling me along (not hard, but enough) and zig-zagging right in front of me.
However, I didn't feel at all irritated. This is the whole reason I'm even going into the this boring story--in a situation where I normally would have gotten frustrated and irritated, I didn't care or let it get to me. Throughout the whole run (four miles), there were so many times I noticed that I just felt content--not giddy or anything, but not down at all.
It may still be too soon to notice a difference, but I really think that it was the new medication that helped my mood. Like I said--any other time, I would have sworn to myself that I would never take Joey on a run with me again (something I've thought several times in the past! lol)--but instead, I just kind of thought, "It is what it is" and I enjoyed the fact that I was running with my dog and my dog was having a blast.
That's one of the things I like to tell people who are worried about trying an antidepressant... the medication doesn't make me feel "euphoric", "high", or super happy or anything. It just makes me stop and think one day, "Hm, I haven't feel sad today--that's cool". And maybe a few weeks go by, and then, "Wow, I actually can't even remember the last time I cried..." It doesn't make me walk around with a big goofy smile all the time, but it does make me feel more "normal" and not overreact. It sounds silly, but taking Joey for a run and not getting frustrated was enough to make me notice my mood has improved. I'm very happy with that, so I hope I continue to notice the little improvements here and there.
It's feeling good to get back on a running schedule. It has been VERY difficult to get myself going because of my depression, but if I want to train for Indy, then I don't have a choice. It's interesting, because this is exactly how I started exercising back in 2010. I always hated exercise, and I lost the first 60 pounds without it. And then I signed up for Indy (to walk it with my sister), and I knew I'd have to train for that if I wanted to finish without getting a stress fracture or something.
I stuck to my schedule, and I think I only missed one walk throughout the entire plan. Somewhere along the way, I actually really started to enjoy the way exercise made me feel, and the reason I continued doing it was for that reason. And this time is no different--I have to make myself do it at first, but I'm already started to enjoy it more and feel the benefits.
This week, I ran four times:
I also went "swimming" twice at the rec center (I put that in quotes because it was basically floating and talking, and not much swimming, haha).
Anyway, I feel good about my training from last week, and I'm hopeful that this week will be just as good, if not better. I also feel good about this new medication, and hopeful that things are turning around for the better now :) Hope everyone had a great weekend!