Just Breathe

Seems so simple, right?

Remember last week when I mentioned I was just getting over an upper respiratory infection? Yeah, I completed the 5 day Z-pack last weekend, but sadly I still had a lot of chest tightness and trouble breathing.

It felt like I couldn’t take a deep enough breath so I just kept taking lots of shallow breaths all the while my chest feeling really tight/congested. I somehow stuck to my Tuesday/Thursday runs but at the end of them I was waaay more out of breath than I should’ve been. I felt like I ran really hard sprints after just a couple of miles.

When I set out to do my long run of 18 miles yesterday, I got no farther than a mile from home and was waiting at a traffic light to take me into the park, when I realized there was no way this was going to happen. I was out of breath after less than a mile.

I turned around and ran home, rinsed off and took my butt back to the doctor. After explaining my symptoms and rehashing the past month of terrible running, Brandon having pneumonia and a course of antibiotics not making me feel better, the doctor decided I should either have a breathing treatment or prescribe me an inhaler. Apparently, there has been a lot of respiratory stuff going around here recently and she said I presented as such. Asthma-like symptoms, etc. So I stayed and did a 10-15 minute breathing treatment where I breathed in albuterol to dilate my bronchial tubes.

It made me pretty jittery afterwards, a common side effect, but the doctor said she could hear a big difference in my lungs than before the treatment. She said the effect would peak about 15-30 minutes after the treatment and I should be back to normal.

It made a BIG difference! I felt like I could finally breathe again. She said not to attempt running again that day, so I took advantage of my free morning to run some errands.

Then, Brandon and I met up with our friends downtown for an O.A.R./Carbon Leaf concert!

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It was a blast – despite getting poured on for about 15 minutes!

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I woke up this morning ready to tackle my long run. Again, 18 miles on the schedule. It was a beautiful morning, in the 60s, sunny skies, light breeze.

I brought my headphones but didn’t end up using them for the whole 2.5 hours, I just wanted to see how I was going to handle running. I was off and found running to be A LOT easier than it had been for the past 3 weeks. I actually had hope that I’d be able to complete this run.

So, I did what any marathoner would do. I kept running. And running… And I wasn’t gasping for air. My body felt strong and I wanted to go faster, but I knew I’d never finish if I went my usual 8:30 pace as I was doing before all this began. So, I kept it around a 9:00min/mi and felt really good for the first 10ish miles of the run. I ate some PowerBar energy chews, got some water and was on my way.

Then the hills came. More hills on the second half of my run than the first and I think they were a little too aggressive for me just coming back from all this. My longest run since Labor Day was last weekend at 12.75 miles, so I knew the last few would probably not be as fun as the first.

I ended up running 16.5 miles and I’m really happy with that.

16.5

18 just wasn’t in the cards today and I don’t want to stress my body more than it has been over the past month.

The doctor gave me an inhaler prescription to fill if I want to, which I haven’t yet. I’m thinking I may though because I want to be able to finish out strong for this marathon. At least getting all (or most of) my miles in.

After my run today, my chest is a little tight (understandably so), but I may take an appointment with the pulmonologist just to make sure everything is ok.

My hip has been doing exceedingly well throughout all of training this summer. I do PT exercises during the week to keep it strong and ice it occasionally when I feel a tinge of pain. I’m so thankful I don’t have that to deal with, too.

One thing that having an injury taught me (last winter) is that now, I train more conservatively. The goal isn’t to run 18 miles because my training schedule said so. The goal isn’t to even run this marathon in a month.

The goal is to be runner for life. Maybe not a marathoner, but a runner.

I don’t want to be over-zealous now and eff up my body for the rest of my life. It’s just not worth it to me. No time goal is worth that, no distance goal is worth that. Just being able to run.

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I’m a pretty simplistic person, really. I’m happy with the small things in life. So give me a few minutes of your time and go on a run with me; I’ll be a pretty happy camper.

I was really frustrated by this setback since I had really high hopes for September. My training over the summer was going really well and I was getting pretty fast. But again, while I may be disappointed about slowing down, I’m still running.

I leave for Naples, FL on Tuesday evening so I’ll be running my long run in FL on Saturday! I’m hoping the humidity won’t kill me since I’m just bouncing back, but I only have 10 to run, so at least I won’t be out there forever.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

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