Went out again yesterday for the first time in weeks, along the Nicky Line. 7.28K along a lovely forest path – all walking, no running this time. Breathing was good despite the cold air – in fact my legs tired before my lungs. Yay. Missed my Icebreaker top, and wished I’d bought the matching leggings (did so when I got home). Will enjoy going out in those! Off again later today to try a little running – hopefully I’ll manage more than 5 steps.
I’m 48 years old. I’ve had asthma for 46 of those. Until I found the right combination of meds I spent the odd night in the emergency ward hooked up to drips and masks. On three occasions I ended up there unconscious and starting to go blue. Thankfully that hasn’t happened for a good few years and these days I’m considered “well managed”.
In May this year I decided to tackle the fact that over the years I had drifted into being super sedentary and really overweight. I chose to mix things up. I found a great personal trainer with whom I do weight lifting. My darling hubby and I bought bikes (my first since the age of 10). And I decided to work my way up to running.
We started out just power walking. To keep myself motivated I bought a Garmin Forerunner and set out to improve my times each time I went out. I had a few slower days but overall progress was good. I worked through all the beginner niggles: torn calf muscles, Achilles tendon problems, a creaky knee. I found an amazing physio and a great podiatrist who gave me all kinds of exercises to do and put me in the right training shoes. I reached a point where the only pains I felt were the right ones: tired muscles. Yippee!!!
I also started introducing short bursts of jogging and running, at one point reaching a 5 minute stretch of straight running. We signed up for 5 and 10K races, with my times improving each time. I started at 115 minutes and I finished the last run I did (the Deal 5 miler) in the equivalent of 90 mins over 10K. When compared with the general running public, that’s not a great time, and I finished the race last by a long way. But for me that was a triumph.
I have been frustrated being held up by bad lungs – a colleague and fellow asthma sufferer calls his crisp bag lungs. I come to the end of a race knowing my legs had much more in them, but my lungs didn’t. But, I was making progress.
I got the flu, and then for some reason lost all motivation to pick up again. I haven’t been in the gym in 4 weeks (and I love working out there). The Deal race in October was the last walk/run I’ve done. It’s a lot colder now and my lungs are a lot less happy. It’s harder to walk to the station in the mornings. And now I suspect it will be like starting all over again. So all in all I’ve become very demotivated. And the silly thing is it’s partly because I’ve stopped exercising. Talk about a vicious circle!!
So, I’ve started this blog. I’m hoping it will help me chart my progress so I can look back and remind myself that I am improving. I’m also hoping that posting occasionally will help give me the determination to continue. And maybe others in a similar situation will want to reach out and share their experiences.