I can remember when three miles was barely a warm-up. I can remember when I didn't get into a smooth, running groove until six miles or so, and I could hold it if I was fueled properly for 26.2 miles. But for the life of me, I can't remember the beginning of my running career when three miles was a challenge. And, really, I should say one mile is a challenge. I've begun training (again) to get my energy and oxygen deprived body accustomed to walking/running every day. The mileage isn't important right now. That will come in due time. But I have to relearn how to move every day. And I have to relearn that lesson with less oxygen, low blood cell counts, fatigue, and pain.
It's hard. It's frustrating. Nevertheless, I am determined. I keep thinking about what I once could do and not totally focusing on what I can do for now. November 1 was easier than November 2. I'm hoping today will be easier than yesterday. It's just three miles. A lot of people who don't train can go out and walk three miles. A lot of people walk effortless for one mile. I see them every day as they pass me walking from the parking lot to the various State Offices in the downtown area. I can remember when co-workers commented on how fast I walk. Now I sweat and pant desperately for air as I trudge the one mile, trying to keep them in sight. Looking ahead, I'm constantly thinking, four more blocks, three more blocks, two more blocks . . . . Did they move the building, lol?
My partially numb left foot may be an advantage as I rebuild the mileage. The tips of the toes tingle, but the neuropathy has pretty much numbed the foot from mid-foot to the toes. The tingling is irritating, but, so far, it doesn't hamper being on the feet for long periods of time. I physically get tired and want to sit down before my legs and feet specifically give out. That's a good sign that my legs and feet are up for the challenge, but it's a bad sign that my body in general is in poor condition.
Yesterday, I could only walk the three miles. I had a fever and neck and shoulder pains. I was so cold on a bright, sunshiny day, even with a hat and two long-sleeved shirts. I saw runners out in shorts and short-sleeved shirts, and I envied their even pace and smooth strides. Surprisingly, the three mile walk was only about five minutes longer than the three mile run/walk the day before. The major goal is to finish the three miles under an hour. It's not much of a goal, but it's attainable and doesn't stress me out too much. On Tuesday, I finished in 53 minutes, and on Wednesday, I barely made it in 58 minutes, picking up the walking pace in the last mile to my townhouse. I plan to get the three mile course I've mapped out under 45 minutes, and then I'll do a 5K to truly see where I am.
The 5K has always been my least favorite distance. I think it's because I always had problems just going out as fast as I could and holding it for 3.1 miles. According to my spreadsheet, I've only done three 5K races. My PR for 5K is 27:17 in 2004. My last 5K in 2009 was 31:08. I can't touch either one of those times now, but if I can get to 45 minutes, I'll be happy. And then I'll have to tackle four miles, five miles, six miles . . . . But right now, three miles is about all I can handle.
I can run for a block before I get dizzy from lack of oxygen. It takes me two blocks to breathe comfortably and then I can run another block. I'm hoping that as my body becomes accustomed to surviving on less oxygen that I can run two blocks and walk one block for recovery. Ideally, I would love to get to the point where I can run a mile before taking a walk break. I've mapped out a pretty flat route, so that I won't have the added challenge of tackling an uphill climb. That's coming from someone who would use hills as speed work, because she hated running on a track for intervals. Wow! Things have really changed. Now I walk all hills, and I love 12 or 24 hour races on a track, because I'm only 1/4 mile from my drop bag and a camp chair, lol.
The best thing about my three miles a day routine is that I get to be outside. It makes me feel better mentally to be able to still move although I am incredibly slower. It's raining and very cold today, but I don't care. I'm still a runner at heart, so a little wetness and coldness are not going to scare me off. I'll still be outside on a beautiful, rainy, and cold day, dressed like I live in Alaska, lol.
11 months ago