Trying to catch my breath

I hadn’t realised it had been so long since the last post. Life has been rather hectic, worse than normal, but I am really pleased that I’ve been (mostly) able to keep up all my training.

I’ve done another 5k race, and went a little quicker although it felt much harder. There’s another to come at the end of this month, and I hope to get a bit quicker again.

I am really struggling with my asthma. Cycling and swimming don’t affect it anywhere near the extent that running does. If my chest feels tight one day, I can still go out for a ride or a swim without any bother, it takes longer to get going but I can still go. Running is a different story.

Conscious of the lack of distance I’ve run in one go (5km/3 miles), and the distance I need to run at the end of my triathlon (10km/6 miles), I decided I needed to start cranking things up a bit.

Over the weeks though, my asthma has got worse. The only thing I can put it down to is hayfever, as I have bad days and better days with it. I’m using my blue (reliever) inhaler more and more – not overdosing, but the blue inhaler shouldn’t need to be used very much at all as the other longer lasting inhalers should keep things under control.

I need to get myself back to the doctors and see if there are is any new hayfever medication I can try that won’t knock me senseless. My normal doctor is very active and healthy and I hope he will have some suggestions. He doesn’t pull his punches but he has helped me through some tough times and I like his approach to things – drugs where drugs will definitely help, none otherwise.

But there are many things on the plus side. I am actually enjoying all the training. I love the focus I have now. I love the distraction that it brings. I love feeling fitter and stronger. My much hated legs are really changing shape (for the better) If I wasn’t eating so much junk food, I would have lost some weight. I love cycling. I am learning to love swimming. When my chest is playing ball, I love running.

A few weeks ago I had some swimming coaching from Lee Hall at Tri and Tri Again in Clacton to help with the disaster area that was my front crawl. This was very successful, and while there is still a long way to go, I am much more confident now.

On Saturday I had my worst ever run. I upped the distance to 4 miles, but a variety of factors collided and I ended up very nearly having a proper full blown asthma attack in the middle of nowhere at 7.30 on Saturday morning. I haven’t had that awful feeling in many many years and it was very frightening. I managed to hang on and chill out and got myself back together. But it really put the wind up me and I have cancelled my intended 10k run at Aldeburgh this coming Sunday, just in case it doesn’t go well and knocks my confidence even further.

Encouraged by the swimming coaching I’d had,  I decided to ask Lee for a one-to-one session to help with my running. There is lots to work on, and my poor brain really struggled to cope with thinking about a couple of aspects. But many things clicked quickly, and my confidence was restored.

In particular, opening my shoulders out and being a bit more upright gives me a wider space for my lungs to work in and I loved the feeling of this. I’m looking forward to working hard so I can improve and feel good about my running rather than dreading it.

Oh…. and I bought my wetsuit on Saturday. More on that another time.


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