You know, I've been a good boy lately. I've been doing my TKEs and hamstring curls. I've been doing my therapy twice a day, even to the point of suffering the inevitable asthma attacks from a second dose of TOBI. I've been sticking to an every-other-day running schedule and doing no less than three - and usually five - miles per run.
So why is it so fucking HARD?? I mean, the last few runs have been difficult to the point of satire. I should be having no problems pounding out anything under nine miles. Yet I find myself consistently defeated by my own body.
Last Thursday, I did my five mile flat out-and-back, which takes me along the BQE to the point where - if I continued on - I'd cross through a small park and then be jogging along the bay toward the Verazanno. Going out I experienced few problems, though I did walk for a half block to get my coughing under control. Coming back was much worse, I kept having to walk.
It was the same story today. I'd meant to get in 10 miles - just add a loop of Prospect Park to my 6.8 route - but I ended up at a longish five instead. Going up to the park and going round I simply couldn't get a good breathing rhythm going and my coughing was really draining me. What's particularly frustrating is that I have had hellatious coughing fits while continuing to run in the past. Staten Island Half was a dream - I didn't slow below a good trot even once! But now...I get so short of oxygen, I have to slow down to a walk. What's ironic is that this doesn't happen on hills, either down or up. Only on flat sections, though by the time I crest a hill, I may have to slow to a walk. Another bit I can't figure out is whether the cold air is causing this or not - usually I breathe better in cold air.
Speaking of temperature, the temps have been slowly falling over the last week. I'm fine with this; I like winter. Right now is near-ideal temps to run in. But I'm having some difficulty acclimating. Today, I wore some long-johns underneath my running pants and wore a sweatshirt, knit cap, and knit gloves. While my legs were fine, I was still chilly up top and my hands were lumps of ice. I'm willing to attribute some of the chill to the wind, which was bad but not brutal. Still - I should be very comfortable in that amount of clothing or perhaps too warm, but I'm not.
Finally, another CF factor cropped up today: my gut. I woke up this morning with stomach pain and tenderness in the right side. I've had this before and it went away once I got my diet on an even keel (read: strictly regular and regulated). Recently, I broke the norm and had myself a nice grilled, marinated flank steak night before last and last night delivery sushi (a new place called Kiku; they did a good job, but I was most impressed with their oshinko plate). So did this small variance from my routine become my downfall today? Is the fact that I used the toilet four times in four hours before I got out the door of significance? So this gut pain isn't good and while I'm content to run through it, I'd really rather not.
Perhaps I'm not properly motivated. I have to admit I'd rather have skipped today's run altogether. But I didn't. It's nice that I got out there and did it; but it isn't exactly a victory either. Well, I'll be motivated as hell next week; I'm doing the Joe Kleinerman 10K next weekend. I'll have to tack on a four-mile warmup in order to get back on track with my training schedule. If all goes well, it could turn out to be a great 10K run!
The bright sides of all this recent frustration are a) I know this won't last forever - I'll get acclimated and my lungs will adapt to the cold &/or the doc will get me on some antibiotics [I suspect a mild infection but not enough to go see the doc before regular exam]; and b)my legs are fine. A bit tight, but I'm doing good with the before-and-after stretching, keeping on my PT homework, and the like. And I can once again feel the results of being a good boy about that. In fact, the short downhill run (maybe half mile) from the park to the grocery today I actually felt good. Legs working, lungs finally cooperating a bit, and weaving in and out of people on the sidewalk also felt charmed.