I had a checkup today and my numbers are abysmal. They're lower than they were six months ago! I expressed my frustrations to the doctors, and stressed my concern that its only been in the last three weeks that my lung function has dropped off so severely. Well, I ended up at the hospital for three and a half hours so they could get blood and a lung x-ray, too. Nobody's panicking yet, but I will end up on anatibiotics of some sort. I kind of anticipated that. I've also lost weight; down by four pounds; not good.
Immediately thereafter, I went for a run in Central Park. Six was on the schedule for today, since I had been slacking earlier this week. I made sure to keep hydrating during my hours at the hospital and took albuterol as I stretched out at NYRR, which happens to be mere blocks from the hospital. I told myself that, lung problems or no, I needed to have a good run and get my confidence back. My mantra for this run would be "slow and steady wins the race."
I ran at my most leisurely pace, probably 11:15 or slower. I also improved my running focus and my internal locus of control with a new (or rather newly refined) visualization. It seems that my legs are powered by a bunch of Scottish engineers, in much the nature that a steam train's engine would be run by Scotsman. And my lungs are weaker, less powerful, but gutsy Americans. I know, sounds weird, and I can't explain it. But all through the run, my legs and lungs talked back and forth -- partners in this activity. Mostly the conversation was a continual check-in conversation like so:
Lungs: How you doing down there, Legs?
Legs: Good! How you doing up there, Lungs?
Sometimes the conversation were moral-boosters or checkins on other issues, such as the upcoming terrain, discusison about downshifting to a lower gear perhaps, the Legs convincing the Lungs to keep hydrating with the powerful Rocket Fuel (Gatorade), or the Legs inquiring if the Lungs needed to slow down or walk for a bit when a coughing fit hit.
As bizarre as this sounds, it really really really really really worked! I got through the entire six miles without stopping! And what's more...it wasn't terrible. In fact, some sections actually felt good. I didn't let myself get distracted by non-running concerns and I took it, literally, one step, one breath, at a time.
Overall, this was a good run. I hope that Sunday's 14 miles will be equally decent. Of course, for that to happen, I MUST maintain the discipline of carbing up, hydrating, ibuprofen, etc. All of that feeds into a good run.
Oh, and by the way, I dropped my ING marathon entry into the mail a couple days ago. We'll see if I get selected in the lottery. In the meantime, I have May 1 to look forward to and in the very near future, I think I will be volunteering to help NYRR at the More Marathon, which is for women over 40 only.