I’ve decided to start a blog that will be informative (run/workout stats including blood oxygen levels and pulse), confrontative (mostly with myself) and contemplative (hopefully).
Being a runner isn’t easy under the best of circumstances. We are pushing the body, our legs, our heart and our lungs outside of their comfort zones. When we push ourselves hard our muscle hurt, our heart is racing and we are gasping for breath. This happens to the healthiest of people.
Now try it when you aren’t “healthy”. I have a rare lung condition called Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD). My cilia doesn’t work properly and this primarily causes constant lung problems including infections and pneumonia. As a result of this condition I have permanent lung damage and a secondary condition called Bronchiectasis.
I was never much of a runner in school. I have a chronic cough. I was always worse though when I ran.
For some reason, which I don’t remember now, around the year 2000 I decided I wanted to learn how to run. Most people just seem able to start running. It was always hard for me though. I wasn’t sure if I was going to fast (even though turtles were passing me) or just doing something wrong. I was in a bookstore with a friend one day, looking at running books. I asked her if she considered me more of an idiot or a dummy. She said she had always considered me a little of both. So I bought my first running guides.
In the pages of Bill Rodger’s “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Jogging and Running” I found a simple formula that promised to get me running for 30 minutes in 4 weeks. It worked! I was elated that after a month’s time I was actually running. 30 minutes grew into 60 minutes. I was now running miles at a time.
This lasted for about a year or so. Then I had a lung infection requiring intervenous (IV) antibiotics. I slacked off on the running, not just when I was sick, but after the infection was cleared up. The next time I tried to run, it was much harder. I tried going back to alternating between running 1 minute an walking 1 minute. My body wasn’t having anything to do with it. I was exhausted for the rest of the day.
I made several more attempts over the next 13 years to get back to my 60 minutes, multiple miles running status. One in 2008 included me taking my birthday week off to go to the gym everyday. Running 1 minute was just too hard to do once, let alone 5-10 times. I didn’t want to give up, but I didn’t know what else to do.
I met my husband around the same time in 2008. When my next attempt at running 1 minute a few years later failed, he suggested 1 minute was too much. I should try for something shorter, maybe 15-30 seconds to begin. So that’s what I did.
Soon (and by soon I mean about a month) I was up to running 1 minute at a time.