January is always a depressing time. The holidays are over, it’s cold and grey, and it seems to always be dark outside. Personally, I have been battling slight depression for the past few weeks since my mother flew back home to the UK. She was here for four weeks, and when she left I missed her a lot and just felt blah. I wasn’t sleeping well, I wasn’t happy at work or at home, and I just felt like I had nothing to look forward to.
Luckily, I run. Running is a sort-of antidepressant for me. I have had plenty of days this month where I just wanted to sit on the couch in my sweats and cry, or binge-watch shows on Netflix. But I had a half-marathon coming up, and I knew that meant I couldn’t slack off. So, when running was the last thing I wanted to do, I got my ass up and made myself go out in the cold, or brave four or five miles on the treadmill. And, without a doubt, I felt better afterwards.
I ran my first half-marathon of 2016 on January 17th in Columbus, Ohio. It was a small race, which meant there wasn’t much crowd support, and the course was a bit boring since it was all bike trail. It was also 20-something degrees with windchills in the teens. I hated it. I counted down the miles, constantly asking myself why I had thought this was a good idea, and telling myself that I hated running. But I made it to the finish (in about 2:09), warmed up, and started getting excited for the next race.
My next half is sometime in February (it’s a virtual run and I’m not sure when I am doing it). I have no time goals–I just want to enjoy myself and run with some fun people. That goal might change as my body gets used to the distance again, but maybe it’ll stay the same. But with one half-marathon down, I feel confident that I can actually run 12 this year!