SUU Cross Country/Track

Week starting Mar 10, 2019

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15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!

Location:

Cedar City,UT,

Member Since:

Jun 21, 2011

Gender:

Female

Goal Type:

Other

Running Accomplishments:

800m- 2:23

1 Mile- 5:12

3200m-11:03

XC 3 mile-17:55

XC 5k- 19:00

XC 6k- 22:25

Local 10k- 41:31

Local 15k- 1:03:55

6th place in 3200m at State 2015 (UT)

60% (5 miles)- 32:32 (6:30 average)

80% (3 miles)- 18:52 (6:17 average)

16x400s- 82.0 average

20x400s- 82.6 average

Road Race- 23:30 (3.9 miles/6:02 average)

Short-Term Running Goals:

18:30 5k

5:10 mile

Run a half marathon

Long-Term Running Goals:

Run a marathon

Personal:

I have run collegiately for Southern Utah University for 2.5 years. I served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Independence, Missouri.

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 11.50 Month: 91.40 Year: 649.88
Adidas Distancestar Spikes Lifetime Miles: 3.00
Adidas Boston 7 Lifetime Miles: 133.90
Total Distance
23.81
Adidas Boston 6 VII Miles: 23.81
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Total Distance
0.00

I was hospitalized Thursday and released this afternoon. I met with a second therapist on Thursday after taking the cap off the bottle of pills and pouring some in my hand before catching myself and talking myself out of it- mostly for my family. Paul walked me over to CAPS (he’d texted me after I missed practice on Wednesday asking if I was alright since I don’t miss regular practice without giving an explanation or asking permission first). This time around, I decided to be 100% honest with the therapist. She wanted to hospitalize me. On a scale 1-10, 1 being happy about life and 10 being I’m going to kill myself, I was at about a 6 when out in public but at a definite 10 within an hour of being alone. I was honest with her about that, then felt ashamed of myself for having those thoughts and feelings. She told me I was brave to be so honest, I could’ve lied my way out of being hospitalized, but I didn’t. I accepted that I needed help and went to the ER voluntarily, escorted by campus police and transferred to the Dixie Behavioral Unit in St. George via ambulance. I thought it was a bit much, but I guess I was a danger to myself. I tried to get out of the ambulance ride and ask a friend to drive me, but they wouldn’t let me. I guess they take these things very seriously, which is good. I was constantly watched while at the ER (spent several hours there) and couldn’t close the door to my room. I was okay until we got to the behavioral unit and they took my phone away. It was the last of all my things they took. That’s the first time I sobbed in front of strangers without even trying to hide it, I didn’t care anymore. I just wished I was dead. I had been told to change into a hospital gown at the ER then given scrubs to change into at the BU. They had to do a skin check to make sure I hadn’t cut or bruised myself in any way (I hadn’t), they thought I was anorexic because I’m so thin. But I’m not. They gave me a sleeping pill for insomnia and I slept well. In the morning they gave me lithium to quiet the suicidal thoughts and Prozac to stabilize my depression to a better mood/state. I stayed in bed the first half of the day and the nurses didn’t bother me, just did their 15 minute checks. I was a bit annoyed that again I couldn’t close my door. But I understood why. Then went to lunch where I discovered there were about 8 other patients in the mental/behavioral unit. I kept to myself, I certainly didn’t want to socialize. I hardly cared to be with even my best friends in that state. 

Over the next couple of days I made friends with the other patients and discovered what had brought them there. I was the first suicidal one to get there this weekend. The others came Friday night. Saturday night group therapy was cancelled because the staff were so busy. The Unit was moved into the new section very recently to open up a couple more spots, that night we were at max capacity (18 patients) and it must’ve been overwhelming for them. A patient was becoming violent and had to be sedated and another had a stroke and a seizure. So understandably, no group therapy. I talked with a couple women that night who were also suicidal, one had to be talked down from shooting herself by family and the other overdosed on Benadryl on impulse. Her mom got to her just in time. At that point I was feeling almost back to my normal self and I was horrified to realize I would’ve either died or gone through what she had if I hadn’t reached out for help.

While the mental ward was quite the experience, I have to remember I did go voluntarily (even though voluntarily and involuntary mean the same thing once you’re admitted- you’re not going anywhere. Except the involuntary are REALLY not). And I am grateful I did because I honestly think I would be dead right now if I hadn’t. I struggled for a while because I felt weak and subpar. My childhood therapist ended up coming to see me last night (I got special permission). I haven’t seen her since I was 18, when the state money ran out for my twin brother and I (we were adopted from Utah’s foster care system). She reminded me that I was prenatally exposed to meth and alcohol, that this isn’t my fault. I’d forgotten that part and was blaming myself for not being strong enough to fix it on my own. A book I read said sometimes true strength is found in those that are willing to be vulnerable and ask for help. My therapist caught me when I told her what was going on then ended it with “but it’s fine” like I always say. She said, “but it’s not fine.” She’s right, it’s not. Hence why I needed to be hospitalized.

I learned several new coping strategies, got put on new meds that work far better than any I’ve ever taken before and I have been given the setup to succeed and make it through. The psychiatrist believes the suicidal ideation was caused by stopping my meds two weeks ago (I believed they weren’t working when in reality, they probably were. But it was so subtle I didn’t notice, then when the meds ran their course, my brain freaked out and I crashed and burned). Much to learn from, I’m grateful to be alive and well. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(5)
Total Distance
5.00

Crazy how fast cardiovascular fitness fades. It should feel better within a week. 7:51 average.

After seeing comments on my post yesterday (thank you all), I've realized I do have an opportunity to help other people that maybe struggle with depression and anxiety. So I will try to summarize some of the things I learned through my experience and coping strategies shared with us while in the hospital this past weekend. With all of these, they're not a cure-all. I know before I went to the hospital I believed that I must've been doing something wrong because no matter what I tried, I still struggled and felt terrible. These are just coping strategies and even though they don't always help and you might still struggle, it's okay. They're just things that can help. Treatments like medication or talk therapy might be needed.

ANXIETY

Threats to emotional well-being trigger the fight-or-flight response in your body. It's one of the tools your body uses to protect you from danger and when triggered, several physiological changes prepare you to either confront or flee from the threat. Those changes could include: increased heart rate, dizziness or lightheadedness, shaking, racing thoughts, nausea, sweating, difficulty concentrating, rapid/shallow breathing, and tensed muscles. When the anxiety is constructive it is good, such as when a deadline is approaching and it gets you to act and meet the deadline. When the fight-or-flight response leads to excessive anger, anxiety, prolonged stress, makes you feel stuck and unable to do what you need to, or other problems, it might be time to intervene.

With an anxiety disorder, the body has this response but in inappropriate ways. The response a person has depends on the anxiety disorder he or she has. With some disorders, the anxiety is way out of proportion to the threat that triggered it. With others, anxiety may occur even when there isn't a clear threat or trigger. Anxiety is an illness and it can respond to treatment like talk therapy and medicines.

In addition to the flight-or-flight response, your body can also initiate an opposing relaxation response. Many symptoms of the relaxation response counteract fight-or-flight, such as slower and deeper breathing, relaxed muscles, and a slower heart rate. The relaxation response can be triggered by using relaxation skills. One of those is deep breathing. Place a hand on your stomach. When breathing, you should notice it rising and falling with each inhalation and exhalation. Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, and exhale through your mouth for 6 seconds. Repeat- practice for at least 2 minutes, but preferably for 5-10 minutes. If it's not working, slow down. The most common mistake is breathing too fast. Counting out your breaths also serves a second purpose- it takes your mind off the source of your anxiety. When you catch your mind wandering, return your focus to counting.

A second one is mindfulness meditation. Aim to practice for 15-30 minutes a day. More frequent, consistent, and longer-term practice leads to the best results. However, some practice is better than no practice. Find a time and place where you are unlikely to be uninterrupted. Silence your phone and other devices, set a timer for your desired practice length. Sit in a chair or on the floor with a cushion for support. Straighten your back, but not to the point of stiffness. Let your chin drop slightly and gaze downward at a point in front of you. If in a chair, place the soles of your feet on the ground. If on the floor, cross your legs. Let your arms fall naturally to the sides with your palms resting on your thighs. If your pose becomes too uncomfortable, feel free to take a break or adjust. Because the sensations of breathing are always present, they are useful as a tool to help you focus on the present moment. Whenever you become distracted during meditation, turn your focus back to breathing. Notice the sensation of air as it passes through your nose or mouth, the rise and fall of your stomach, and the feeling of air being exhaled. Notice the sounds that accompany each inhalation and exhalation. It's normal that your thoughts will wander during mindfulness meditation. At times, it might feel like a constant battle to maintain focus on your breathing. Instead of struggling against your thoughts, simply notice them without judgement, again it's normal. Acknowledge that your mind has wandered and return your attention to breathing. Expect to repeat this process again and again.

Both of these techniques help to bring your focus back to the present moment. Oftentimes we stress about what's in the future or what happened in the past. Instead of stewing in these thoughts it's best to let them go, not worry about them, and focus on what you can do in the present moment. If you're wide awake at 2 in the morning stressing out about a job interview, that's not going to help you in any way. What can you do right now? Rather than staying stagnant and obssessing about how things could go wrong or how they went wrong, breathe, relax, meditate. Remember things will be okay and will work out in the end. You will make it through, one way or another. Then progress to do what you can do in the moment. In the job interview situation, that's falling asleep. Sleep will help you rest and be more alert and functional in the morning.

Keep in mind that you can't control everything about a situation. Change what you can and let it take its course. Exercise is a great way to relieve tension and help your body feel relaxed. Avoid caffeine and nicotine, which can make symptoms worse. Fight the temptation to turn to alcohol or unprescribed drugs for relief. They only make things worse in the long run. Consider online or in-person support groups. Try stress management techniques such as meditation.

One thing that my coach suggested I do a while back that helped with my anxiety was to allow myself to go out and have fun for a few hours rather than worry all the time about things. Then come back and do what needs doing. Again, relax and be in the moment rather than focusing so much on the issues of the past or the future. Do what you can about them, but try not to stress out to the point of not being able to get anything done.

DEPRESSION

Depression is much more than just feeling down all the time, as I’ve kind of explained in previous posts haha. Depression is also an illness, just like diabetes or heart disease. Would you tell someone with asthma to just breathe because there's plenty of air around them? No, probably not, their airways are closing and it's difficult for them to breathe (sometimes it's like trying to breathe through a straw). It's the same concept with depression. A person with depression can't just pick themselves up and be happy, even if they have everything in the world to be happy about. There are things they could do that can help improve their state, but it is necessary to remember that depression is an illness.

It is believed that a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors cause depression. Chemical changes in the brain may contribute to the symptoms. The brain controls all the workings of your body, including your emotions. It does this by using messages that travel from one nerve cell to another and from one brain region to another. Brain messages travel with help from chemicals called neurotransmitters. No one knows exactly what happens in the brain to cause depression but we do know neurotransmitters are involved. The two main neurotransmitters involved with depression are norepinephrine and seratonin. Antidepressants and talk therapy (the main treatments for depression) both change the levels of these neurotransmitters. In many cases, this relieves depression symptoms.

Now, there are things that can help someone manage and cope with depression. One is to look outside of themself and help someone else. This can get them outside of their thoughts and help them focus on other people rather than their own issues, which helps to provide a temporary relief and break from the spiral of depression (not to mention the person they helped feels better too!) Another is to keep a self-esteem journal (meant to help boost your self esteem. A person with depression tends to feel worse about themselves when their depression is more pronounced). Every day, write down three things that happened that brought about a good feeling. Some prompts could include: Something I did well today, Today I had fun when, I felt proud when, Today I accomplished, I had a positive experience with, Something I did for someone, I felt good about myself when, I was proud of someone else when, Today was interesting because, a positive thing I witnessed was, and so on. You could also keep a gratitude journal and write three things down each day that you are grateful for. This helps to train your brain to look for the positive.

Another thing they had us do was set life goals and analyze each category of life: family, friends, work/school, spirituality, body, and mental health. We wrote down what we were doing well in each category, where we needed improvement in each category, and then goals we had. This helps because with depression, we typically look only at the negative and forget the positive. When in the spiral, we can become so centered on fixing the things that are wrong and we forget about what we're doing right, what positive qualities we might have and so on. Doing this with anything will help to improve self-esteem and give direction on what you can do to improve. I think for me, a major part of it is my perfectionism. I feel a need to do everything perfectly, be perfect, and if I can't then I feel like I've failed. Then I start believing I'll never be good enough because no matter how hard I try, I still can't do everything right. Instead, acknowledging where I'm doing well and where I'm not, then making goals can help to relieve the stress and anxiety that might come with this probably-not-good-obsession with being perfect.

The main techniques to help with depression are thought-replacement techniques. One is called "Changing the channel in your brain." It uses thought-stopping and replacement thoughts to help you feel better. When a TV show comes on, do you have to keep watching it? No, you can switch to a show you like better. The thoughts in your brain are like that too. When you get stuck on a bad thought like "This hurts so much. It's never going to go away. I can't deal with this." You have the power to switch to a helpful thought. It takes practice, but you can do it. You can also create a positive statement to repeat to yourself when a bad thought comes to mind. You might say: "I can handle this. I can do hard things. I have coped with this before."

Sit or lie down in a quiet place and close your eyes. Notice when you have a bad thought that worries or upsets you or makes you feel worse. When you catch one, tell yourself, "That's a bad thought." After you've caught your bad thought, imagine yourself using a remote to change to a positive thought. Think about the thought you want to watch in your mind. Picture a good memory that makes you laugh or feel proud or happy. Build all the details so it feels like you're really there. Or think of something in the future you're looking forward to. Picture what it will look or feel like when you're doing that thing. Focus on all the details, like you're making a movie in your mind. Let your body relax as you focus on the new thought. Practice changing to a new thought in your brain whenever you catch your mind thinking unhelpful thoughts. Have a few different "shows" or memories you enjoy so you can always have something good to switch over to when you need it.

And the last thing I learned- not to wallow in your misery. Sometimes it can feel nice to just feel angry or sad or upset or hurt, but it's not good to stay there. Obsessing about it is only going to make you feel worse. Instead, allow yourself accept and feel it for a moment and then start doing something to either distract you or help you feel something more positive. If you still can’t stop feeling that low, tell someone about it. It increases norepinephrine and seratonin levels to talk through what’s on your mind.

Adidas Boston 6 VII Miles: 5.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Total Distance
3.61

Running kinda sucks right now but it’s ok. I’m short of breath. 7:45 average

Adidas Boston 6 VII Miles: 3.61
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(1)
Total Distance
6.70

Better day today. I am a bit done with hospitals - I had to go back for an appointment this morning. Shoveled walks for 3 hours, took a nap, then felt meh but went outside anyways. Roads were clearer than this morning. I took the trail to parks then to campus, Walmart and trail back home. About a mile into it I felt surprisingly good. Crazy how much easier running is when your spirits are a bit higher. That’s what spring break is for, eh? Glad to have a good day. 7:26 average

Observation- when I think about school I get stressed and spiral down into depression again. Solution- don’t do homework! Lol

Adidas Boston 6 VII Miles: 6.70
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(4)
Total Distance
3.00

Paul talked with me before the warmups and told me he only wanted me to do a couple miles today. I left feeling really bad because he said I scared the bejeebies out of him last week. And he said one of my teammates had called him crying when she found out (I don’t really know how she did, but I am grateful she reached out). I didn’t realize they cared that much. I’ve been overwhelmed by how many people have reached out to me saying they care and want to help, even despite my efforts to keep it secret from those I see every day. I have been embarrassed and ashamed of myself for what I almost did, but I just have to remember that wasn’t the real me and I got the help I needed instead of making that decision. Thanks to Paul and James and you folks on the blog for reaching out to me. And I guess maybe to some extent me for reaching out for help instead of keeping it entirely secret and going through with it.

Anyways, Paul said to do the warmup with the girls then help him time them on the workout. So a mile warmup then I asked Paul if I could do a mile of the 80%. He said he was okay with that. So 2 laps warmup then a mile. I hit 6:09, it felt nice and relaxed. I just tucked behind the second group. Then a couple more laps and helped Paul time. I hadn’t eaten much beforehand so I was a bit lightheaded 

Adidas Boston 6 VII Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(1)
Total Distance
5.50

7:52 average.

Met with my new therapist for the first time today, wow I’ve already learned so much. Apparently there was a study done a while back and doing 3 sprints a day is more effective in combating depression than 30 minutes of continuous exercise. HIIT training. Interesting.

Turns out I do have a mild form of anorexia. I didn’t think so, but my fear of gaining weight, wishing I was thinner, low self-esteem and eating habits say otherwise. I have so many issues. Oh well I’m in Vegas now so I can forget about them for the time being :) lol

Adidas Boston 6 VII Miles: 5.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(3)
Total Distance
23.81
Adidas Boston 6 VII Miles: 23.81
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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