Saturday, 16 August 2008

Absence makes ...

Well, apologies for the absence this week. Mostly this was due to a terrible time being had with the asthma. On the 10th I did my 10 mile run in prep for the Island Half. It was bloody awful:

Crap slow 10 miles with 2 walking breaks

avg 10.53 a mile
longest run since marathon
1.48.53 total

10.10 down and flat
11.13 up and up
11.25 rolling and .15 walked
10.08 - downhill
10.38 - gentle roll
11.04 - flat but hard as wanted to stop
11.47 - walked 0.3 ate beans
10.46 - flat
11.01 - flat
10.38 - glad to be finished

I couldn't believe I had to take walking breaks and the whole process was such hard work. I also am terrible at not being able to decide if I am being feeble and looking for excuses (like I can't breathe) or if the circumstances really do require me to walk for my own health. In the end I think the balance wasn't too bad. (Despite it feeling like my worst run ever it was only 26sec a mile worse than my best ever 10 mile training run... and it was quite hilly.) A real shock to the system though.

11th was a terrible day. Every breath was an effort and I needed my huffer constantly. Made another appointment with the doctor.
12th Saw the doc. Ended up crying like a baby as every breath being an effort and the constant pain/bowling ball on my chest was wearing me down; that and not having slept through the night for 10 days had made me a little delicate. A different doc who was simultaneously helpful and terrifying:
Helpful: take these steroids for a week and you should really be fine. The initial stage just needs to be fixed with a hard hit. After that you might be fixed for good. Running a half at the end of the month should be no problem.
Terrifying: Don't run whilst you're on the steroids as you'll aim for 5 miles and end up doing 10. A friend of mine did this at medical school and it killed him! (WTF!)

That night Bravebird and Minstrel came to dinner which luckily took my mind off the whole breathing issue quite well. It was a really lovely night, good chat and nice simple food (steak - yum).

13th Finally took my new bike out for a spin. having not ridden for many, many years I didn't want to go on the road so Wednesday evening we headed for the woods. Nice flat tracks, and no cars to freak me out. It was fantastic. A really nice way to get some exercise. Peddling along with TheO was delightful. We went all the way out to the point and saw some new bits of coastline we'd never spotted before. Wonderful summer evening. And 9 miles was about right for my chest to cope with. (Only running up a sand-dune had me reaching for the drugs.)

14th I can confirm that at this point the steroids really kicked in.* And wow - did they kick in. Apart from being hormonal, the desire to eat was more than usually overwhelming. TheO was out at an Edinburgh Festival thing so I was left to fend for myself. Let's just say I didn't make the best choices. Cheese on toast (fine, unless the whole of the rest of the day's diet was bread with something), a box (I know) of French Fancies and, here it gets better - a glass of tomato juice (for veg purposes). I also bought a tin of pineapple for more fruit and veg... but was sadly too full. Once sugared to within an inch of my life, and with some fine quality steroids coursing through my veins I hit the weight. The entire scale of our home gym equipment involves a 5K dumbbell, a thighmaster (really) and the elliptical machine upstairs. I decided to stick with the dumbbell and thighmaster. So the weights session was great. I managed to work up a real sweat and give my arms and abs quite a blasting. Doing sit ups with a 5K weight in your arms really adds to the experience! The thighmaster still burns those inner thighs even when you've been running for s while, it was a bit of a surprise, but still quite a strange thing to be sitting doing whilst watching TV.
It almost seems cruel not to be able to run on these things as the drive to DO STUFF is quite high. (I also managed to strip the tiles from the fireplace, get two loads of washing done, and sort out a whole cupboard full of stuff.)

15th Yesterday was more of a challenge, but within normal limits. Despite not being allowed to 'run' I thought a run in the gym is still a nice, controlled environment, I can't go further than I expect. However, I was still feeling a little frisky, and like my legs needed a good workout (esp. as the Island Half gets closer with each passing day) so I thought I might do 4 or 5 miles. Once on the machine I had to try for the 10K:

54.36 for 10K

6 seconds better than my best ever so a new PB

4.2 miles at 1%
1 mile at 0.5%
1 mile at 0%

Good breathing afterwards, took puffer but no choking or coughing (and did not suffer that night either).
I was really delighted with this run, it banished some of the demons from the 10miler. Now, after a few days I just have to see how the 12 miler goes, and then see if I can cope with just the huffer. Lets hope the worst of this damn asthma is at bay.

*(I would never advocate taking any unprescribed medications so the post is slightly tounge in cheek, but none the less real to me.)

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