Mental Health and Depression

Sure this is a running blog. Regular postings to return later this week on running.  I can’t just ignore what is going on in the media.. Rest in peace Robin Williams. Your light that you shined will be missed..

The world lost Robin Williams earlier this week. In my opinion, his humor, wit, compassion and ability to share his struggles was what made him a gift to society. It is heartbreaking to hear that another person was lost to suicide. Everyone has their thoughts about this.. Some are quick to judge how could someone with so much light do such a horrible thing? Depression doesn’t discriminate. You can be young, middle age or senior. You can be married or single. Rich, middle class or poor. Famous or not. It doesn’t matter.

I am not an expert or professional on clinical depression, but I know what it is like to go through it. To not lift your head up to see the light .. To be paralyzed with sadness and hopelessness, that all you want to do is die.  To be lost in loneliness and fear that it hurts to be around people. As time goes on, the numbness takes over. Everything goes black. Your heart feels like it is broken in a million pieces and you can’t figure out what to do..

My culture is not to keen in asking for help from others. We like to keep things within the family vs. talking to a professional.  Yet, I made the decision to seek help from a therapist to talk it out.  For a long time, I thought I was weak for seeking help.  I learned that it takes a lot of guts to seek treatment and that it is ok to ask for help from the outside. Talking to someone who was unbiased made me feel less alone. It also challenged all the negative thoughts I had about myself. It wasn’t a walk in the park.  It was hard but also rewarding. When it got too much, I took meds but my head felt cloudy and stuck with talking it out.. Though it may not be the answer for everyone, getting outside and running helped along with talking when some of the symptoms subsided.

If you have feelings of sadness and depression, know that you matter. Know that there is help even though you do not think there is.  You can call the 24-Hour Crisis Line at The SF Suicide Prevention –  415/781-0500 or 800/273- TALK (8255).

or friends, family or caregivers who know of someone suffering from depression, please do not judge. Doing that will only drive the person away.  Listen to them even though you do not know what to say.  Tell them that you love them and that they mean the world to you.  Do not get offended if the person declines invitations. Keep trying and eventually it will click.  Consistency, patience and support is what matters.

Life is hard. It gets heavy at times. Know that there is always hope and that you are a precious gift ..

In Health,


Starting Over Again ..

Last week I started training. It felt good to get back into the routine after five weeks of recovery. I have missed the torture, er I mean the exercise. Most importantly, I missed the trainers who have become my friends. We’ve been slowly building and easing into things. Core, arms and legs. I can tell I’ve lost a little of my endurance but I think that’s because of the meds I am on. Hopefully in the coming weeks, I’ll be back to doing the crazy stuff..

As for the running, I am easing into it too. Last Saturday’s long run was a four miler around Lake Merced. It was kind of a test to see if my body was up to it. Note that four miles has been the longest I have run in five weeks too. Perfect weather around the lake. Cool with a touch of foggy mist! Welcome to SF summer..

My first two miles around the lake were fucking hard. My legs felt heavy and I started to question if I could handle it. I kept telling myself to just keep going .. One foot in front of the other. In the middle of the second mile, I tried to hold on to the pace but alas, I took a 30 second walk break and felt discouraged.. I told myself that the long run was not a race. Relax and enjoy the moment. No pressure.. After the pep talk, the feeling of heavy legs somewhat disappeared and my breathing improved. I kept pushing and by mile three and four I felt like my old self. Running hard with sweat dripping down my forehead and the pounding of my heart. I have to say it’s the best feeling in the world! I completed four miles. Every run is an accomplishment in itself. And to me, it’s a sign that I am capable of going as far as my heart can take me.

Seen on the run:

San Andreas

Happy Running,

Part II- The SF Marathon Race Day Support Crew Edition

Warning: this post will be more pictures than words.. Hopefully the pictures will tell the story.

Race day arrived after two days of expo fun.  Since I wasn’t running, I was asked if I wanted to volunteer at the ambassador/pacer tent. I responded yes without hesitation.  Like I said before, it was the least I could do to give back to something that has given me more than I ever could ever imagine. Honestly, I felt a little sad that I wasn’t toeing the line with everyone else.. The day was for my runner friends and I wanted to celebrate.  It was an early start.  I arrived at the tent around 345 am to help another ambassador and co-captain, Heather. We set up the supplies, cut up some bananas and tracked down some much needed coffee.

The tent was shared with pacers for the race. My twitter buddy Eileen Joy was pacing the 2:30 1st Half so I got to snap a picture with her finally! Mind my closed eyes! Way too early..

Other ambassadors started coming in around 5 am.  Though I wasn’t racing, I could feel the energy, excitment and nerves that everyone was feeling.  Before I knew, it was time to start. Below are photos before everyone made their ways into the corrals.

Prerace picture with: Heather, Corinne and Wes!                                         Photo courtesy of Alisyn

Prerace picture with: Heather, Corinne and Wes!
Photo courtesy of Alisyn


More prerace pictures w/ Bonnie, Heather, Charles & Stan Photo courtesy of Stan

LA & SF in the house w/ my So. Cal. ambassador buddies Heather & May! Photo courtesy of May

LA & SF in the house w/ my So. Cal. ambassador buddies Heather & May!
Photo courtesy of May

As the race began to start, we cheered on many people as they passed. We called out random people’s names on their bibs. Some people looked confused on how we knew their name and others just smiled. I high-fived anyone who would take it. I also got good luck hugs from Taylor and Bruce as they passed..

After all the waves have gone, a little tiding and organizing the tent.  With the down time, we walked to the finish line. We were able to see the elite runners cross the line. By this time, the sun was shining bright and it looked like it was going to be warmer than expected. After some spectating, we made are way back to the tent. Little by little pacers from the first half came back.  Soon after, ambassadors started to come back. I remember giving sweating hugs and high fives to Erin, Wes and Paulette. One by one they all started coming back. So many running stories shared among everyone. I was also able to see my buddy May come back!

May and I at the finish of her 26.2 race! Congrats girl!! Photo courtesy of May

May and I at the finish of her 26.2 race! Congrats girl!!
Photo courtesy of May

So much awesome going on that it is hard to sum up TSFM experience whether you are racing or volunteering. Either way, I believe the race is a celebration of running and the community. Through this year, I have met people who have shared their running and life stories with me.  I am honored to be a part of their journey. Volunteering and cheering last week was the last piece to mend my heart from not running after my health scare in Napa.  Seeing people give it their best in pursuit of a BQ, PR or running in honor of a loved one was inspiring and brought me to tears as I drove back home.  The memories and friendships I have made will never be forgotten.

All I can say is thank you TSFM and 2014 ambassadors for allowing me to be part of the experience.  See you next year!