"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I plan to race Rocky's Run 6K this Sunday. I haven't raced in more than a year, I have several injuries and some breathing problems, I haven't been able to run at all this week due to back problems, etc.etc. But I need to do this, as I have some history with the race.

It's held on the U. of MN golf course, where the high school state championships used to be held and where I finished 57th my senior year (after briefly being in 14th place - that at least hasn't changed!) It's also the U of M's home course and I ran there my senior year at the "U," so I didn't overlap with Rocky Racette for whom the race is named, though we did go there at the same time. I knew her a little, as someone I'd see running with the team while I was out on my own run and as a friend of a woman I'd later date (who I just looked up online - she's a professor, never married). When Rocky died in an accident, I was a little preoccupied... my girlfriend had died a few weeks earlier.

I've written about Stacy a number of times on this blog. How we met (she was naked at the time). How she died (complications of an eating disorder) and how messy things were after. I haven't said much about her personally - quoting "Love Story," what can you say about a girl who died young? She was the only person who ever made me blush; when I finally worked up the nerve to tell her I loved her when we were in public, she loudly said, "You'd better, after what you made me do last night!" [You should've heard the people around us laughing!] She taught me to appreciate abstract art, which she was studying at St. Kate's. She convinced me to try a lot of "weird" foods I now love. She fueled my love of the punk music I'd missed a couple years earlier... Richard Hell, X-Ray Spex, The Damned.

The Big Reveal

I've been saying for some time that I'm dealing with some mental health issues and I'm finally ready to say what they are.

I'm not sure how much of what I just wrote above is true. When I can't remember something, my mind just creates stuff and I accept it as actual memory. Then, when facts contradict "memory," I get confused. It's not new;  for example, a couple of years ago I ran with some other bloggers and wrote about it (here) and one asked me about a story I'd told. "Did that really happen?" Rasmus asked. I wasn't sure; it seemed unlikely, there were things that didn't seem to fit, but I did remember it as I'd said it. I wasn't lying, I wasn't embellishing, but the story couldn't be true as I recalled it.

So, that's out of the bag.
Sara? I think trick-or-treating just got very real.


Anonymous said...

hmm, so what you are saying is perhaps you never did run a 10k in under 40 minutes, and never broke 4 hours in a marathon - I feel so betrayed...

Colin said...

Have fun at Rocky's Run; glad to hear you'll be out there again!

Sorry to hear about the memory issues - that's got to be difficult to deal with. I'm glad you're continuing to blog and always look forward to your insights.


SteveQ said...

@Anonymous: Fortunately, race results are pretty easy to verify.

PiccolaPineCone said...

i hope i don't sound like i am poo-poo-ing what i am sure is a very frustrating condition. i do however think that this is true of some or most of us to some degree. ask 10 different people what happened during a certain event and you'll get ten different stories. people's memories are affected by their own personal filters (and baggage). there are of course different degrees of false or created memories but i think to somewhat invent/embelish one's memories is a by-product of being human.

Carilyn said...

I'm sorry you're struggling, Steve. I hope you figure out what the problem is and a way to deal with it. It must be very frustrating and scary. Keep your chin up! You have lots of support!

Running with MTP said...

It is nice to have you back. I have always thought runners have active fantasy lives as they dream about what they can accomplish.

I wonder if this condition has always been with you or if it is recent? Has it been a chronic condition that has progresses with age.

I do not have an issue between fact or fiction in my memory yet. I pretty much know when I am full of BS. But, recently I tend to be in my head day dreaming much more than before.

Not an issue yet, but it worries me.

Good running at Rocky's run.


Alicia Hudelson said...

I was going to say sort of the same as Piccolapinecone--maybe it is something serious in your case, but it's also the normal way our brains work. There have been studies of witnesses at criminal trials, which showed not only that a scary percentage of them misremembered the event in question but also that when they did misremember, they were convinced that they actually did remember and came up with all sorts of "facts" to support what they thought they remembered. Personally I think this is just the way our brains work--think about dreams; apparently they're just individual images, but our brain fills in the gaps between the "facts" (i.e. the images) to create a story. And you'd have to ask Tracy about this, but I seem to remember reading that a lot of what we see is our brain filling in the gaps with what it thinks must be there...?