Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I'm Still Here!!

After my last post back in early November (gasp!), I fully expected to rest through the holidays and then be back to running by early January at the latest.  It was good to get some rest - I felt the antibiotics kick in almost immediately, and really thought that it was a simple case of bronchitis and not the bronchial asthma that my doctor also suspected.  But although I was feeling much less tired than I was for all of October (it was about all I could manage to make myself take a shower each day besides sitting at my desk for work), I was still wheezing and using my inhaler pretty much through to Christmas (when it ran out and not so much because I was sure I didn't need it anymore).  I should mention that I'm not afraid to go to the doctor, but I still have the same GP as when I was living in North Jersey, so it's a little hard to make an appointment with a doctor who's two hours away and doesn't have any Saturday hours.  Particularly when I'm now taking a three-hour Saturday ceramics class, and couldn't even take off a Friday to head up there for a couple of days.

But in my head, I was planning to head up to my parents' for two weeks over Christmas and New Years, and then return to running when I got back home.  Then, three days before Christmas, I tripped walking into the kitchen (I'm SO graceful) and either broke or sprained my left big toe, or possibly tore something in there (as six weeks later, I still have pain and can't bend it at all!).  I'm at the point now where I could run on it if I wanted to because it's no longer affecting how I walk, but it did delay my return to running for another couple of weeks.  My original plan was to come home after New Year's, which I did do, but then I headed straight back up to my parents' that Thursday for my 30th birthday.  I had a great birthday dinner with my whole family, and then my sisters surprised me with a big party the following night, which was great.  I stayed through the weekend for a friend's 30th birthday party and then headed over to Europe on a business trip.  And that's when my wheezing troubles started up again - when I got home about a week later, I was feeling totally exhausted AGAIN and wheezing again (I love packed airplanes).  I had seasonal allergic asthma as a kid, and between that and my bouts with bronchitis and pneumonia over the years, I do sometimes have trouble with very cold air.  So I've put off my return to running until I can both get back to the doctor and it warms up a little, since I don't have access to a treadmill.

However, I'm working on not being a couch potato!  My sister started Jillian Michaels' 30-day Shred a few weeks' ago and enjoyed it so much that I jumped on the bandwagon (it should be said that my sister actually loves working out, which I do not, so I should have maybe taken that into account).  I started the Shred on Monday at Level 1 and have done it three days in a row now.  Actually, this is the second time I started it - during the three days I was home in early January, I did the first workout and couldn't move by the end of the day.  I almost fell down the stairs.  Twice.  It took me four days to get over feeling sore.  I think some of it was because I was using weights that were too heavy for me (they're old weights, and I was stronger back in college when I bought them) and I did it at the end of the day, when I was tired.  So I learned from that, bought some lighter weights and started doing the 20-minute workout during lunch (after a yogurt snack around 10:30/11:00, and followed by a yogurt, skim milk, fruit smoothie).  The first day was okay and I managed to get through the entire workout without needing to lie down (something else I'd experienced the first time).  Yesterday was tougher - my body was sore and I wasn't giving it recovery time, so I was spent by the end of the workout.  But another of my sister's friends who's doing the Shred assured me that I'd feel much better by day three - and lo and behold, I did.  I was able to up my game a bit and push myself during the workout, when the last two days, it was all I could manage to keep up with the "beginner" girl in the video. 

So I'm feeling pretty good after day 3, and my plan is to do what my sister did - ten days at each level (there's three).  My sister says she's noticed more definition in her arms and legs, so I'm hoping to see the same and push my endurance back up, so I can get back to running again soon.  I'm also getting in a 20-minute walk with the pup almost every day.  And I've already been checking out 2010 races - I'd like to do the same two races in May that I did in 2009 and my sister and I are planning to do the Tunnel to Towers 9/11 Memorial Race in September, as long as I'm not away on business.  And while I haven't been running, I've been thinking a lot about running, and how I really fell off with meeting my goals after I did my first two 5k's.  Some of that was because I pushed myself too hard to get right back to training after the runs, with very little recovery time, and some of it was because the summer was so hot - and I hate heat and humidity.  So this year, I also want to work on guarding against losing my motivation.  I'm thinking about joining a gym for the summer months and doing some treadmill running (though I understand it's much easier than outdoor running) and maybe doing some more runs with friends/family (though they mostly live far away - I could make weekend plans though, which would keep me running during the week!).  My overriding goal for 2010 in terms of running is to reinvigorate my love of running and get back to running three miles, three days a week.

What are your 2010 running goals?


  1. to keep doing 30 min runs twice a week, no matter what! I tend to not count distance and just count time, so on some days I might be slower and on others faster... which is why the treadmill is somewhat discouraging but better for getting me to go faster... I don't like seeing my pace go above about ten min miles... 10:30 is ok too... but, I hate making the decision to decrease my pace... makes me feel bad, even tho outside... I would do it naturally and not worry about it... somehow seeing the actual numbers is a bummer. Kinda odd

  2. I totally understand the pace thing! I think I was below a ten-minute mile once (and when I only ran one mile!) and I used to get so disappointed if I was over 10:30. But it was good just to be out there running at all, which I think is the same for you! Running, like the rest of life, has its ups and downs, so I try to see it more as a metaphor and less as a judgment about myself that day (though it's really hard lately with no running at all, not to be judging myself!)