Running and exercise

Things have been up and down, with quiet a few valleys.

Before I was diagnosed with major depression, I was generally not very healthy.  I eat when I feel depressed, which continues to this day.  If I don’t feel good, I eat, and of course, not healthy things.  I was on the Oreo diet.  I do not recommend it.

But, after being diagnosed with major depression, I was told to improve my diet and to exercise regularly.  I understand and I agree, although again, I do not necessarily agree that depression is a bad thing, just if it leads to possible harm to self or others.  But I needed to improve my health in general.  So, I took up running.

I’m OK at running.  Mostly I’m a middle of the pack sort of guy, although more sort of upper middle of the pack than middle middle of the pack.  I’ve actually managed to win my age group in some small local races, but there are people in the next age group up that beat me, so, take it with a grain of salt.

Running, though, probably, is not the best thing for me.  First off, when I talk with other runners they talk about getting a “runner’s high”.  Basically, it’s an increase in endorphins that cause feelings of happiness and joy.  I think.  I don’t get a runner’s high at any point when I run.  Most of the time it’s a grudging resignation to the fact that I’m running.  But I don’t “feel” anything because I’m running.  If I wanted to feel something I’d drink a beer.  That makes me feel something.  But running?  Not a thing.  Well, mainly sore.  But, I can say it doesn’t make me feel good.  Sometimes I feel a sense of accomplishment, usually depending on how well I did with a certain distance at a certain pace, but I don’t feel good.

The other issue revolving around running is that when I run, I typically run for 36 to 48 minutes depending on whether I’m doing 4 or 6 miles.  (I sometimes train for longer, but those are based upon specific races I’m planning on running.)  That is a LONG time to be alone in my head.  I don’t like to run with music since I tend to run on roads and I want to be able to hear approaching cars, but if I don’t have music that is just a long time to be alone with your thoughts, and again, no runner’s high to make me feel good about what it is that I’m doing.  Even with music it can be a bit dodgy in my head, but if necessary I can at least focus on the music.

I know I’m not the typical runner.  I don’t understand how other runners do it without dissolving into a mass of depression, or even enjoy it.  I certainly don’t.

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