The first thing you will need to know about me is that I am lazy. I loathe getting up and doing things, it just doesn’t agree with me. I would much rather lounge around the house in my comfy jammies, than go for a walk or even just to open the window if it is too stuffy (I’m sorry that has happened more than once!). Getting out the door and go for some exercise requires a lot of energy from me due to the PCOS is in short supply. When my fertility treatment was cancelled back in August, I bought myself a Fitbit and for a few of weeks, I made damn sure I met my daily quota of steps even increased the level by an extra 1,000 one week. (Well, that and Pokémon Go was also released at that time. My friend was pretty obsessed and she dragged me down with her! Please don’t judge me!)
Everything was going grand; I was well chuffed with myself. But then, the day before I was due to go on holidays, I fell down the stairs in work. So bloody typical! It was only a couple steps missed, but it required a trip to swiftcare and I was crutches for the week. It did mean that I got to go around in the three different airports in a wheelchair, so that was fun. I was walking with some discomfort for a number of weeks after and I used this as a reason not to go for walks. Daily steps went from being 11,000 to barely even 4,000. I continued to use this as an excuse to avoid going for walks much longer than I should. Looking back now, I know I should have pushed myself to get back on the horse faster. But after a number of weeks on recovering from the injury, my laziness took hold over me once more. By the time, I had decided I was capable of walking, it was October, and my busy season in work. That meant having to work overtime. So, by the time I was finished work it’s dark and I was wrecked. I did, however, go to a beginners Yoga class, which I did found very helpfully in maintaining the stress levels. I even went on a day that my friends were both unable to attend and that gave me great confidence. I am always nervous about doing new things and normally if I have to do them by myself, they don’t happen. I am very much looking forward to starting them back up in January. Once the deadline passed, it was Ro’s wedding and then Christmas, sure I can’t be doing anything then.
There is just this mental block standing in my way and I must now knock it down, smash it to pieces and dance on its grave. My mother told me the other the day, that while I am very much capable of running the mini marathon, she doesn’t think I will do it because I lack the motivation and am just lazy in nature. I rather think she said it to challenge me to prove her wrong. Blatantly trying to manipulate me into doing it! I can totally see through her. But damn it, I wouldn’t like to be the one to prove her right. So, this big challenge to run the mini marathon and get ultimately fit, is full of little challenges along the way. Mastering this lazy mentality is prime and centre. It is the lynchpin of the whole challenge, if I don’t overcome it, the rest will surely fail. Writing this blog about my journey will also hopefully be a motivation to keep me going. Time for sweeping declarations of intention a long gone, now is the time for action, for running, skipping and jumping. Running up hills, twirling around and singing when you should be in the convent praying. Or something like that.
I had planned to start myself off slowly in the New Year. As I am currently recovering from a chest infection, that I am incredibly unfit and that fact that it’s Christmas, this made for me perfect sense to me. But my mother had other ideas. On St Stephen’s day, she dragged my sorry ass for a short run with me coughing and wheezing. There is a green open space called “the plots” behind my parent’s house, so we walked to there, then ran a lap of around it and walked back. I kept pace with my Mam and my husband, Pierre bringing up the rear. We ran so slowly at the end that Pierre was just simply walking behind us. But it’s the effort that counts, right!
Afterwards, my god, I thought I was gonna die. I was coughing so hard I couldn’t breathe and I was just thrown for the rest of the day, struggling to catch my breath and constant coughing. Obviously running with a chest infection was not the best idea. But I must say I did have a really good night sleep. The wheezing and coughing didn’t stop me from sleeping like they had been in the weeks previous. But my thighs were quite tight when I awoke and I was still having an awful time with my chest. I stupidly thought I would be free from having to go for a run given that the struggles I was having with my breathing. Wrong, so wrong. Don’t you know the best way to get over a chest infection is running, running and more running. At least, she conceded that I could just do it as a walk and the skin-and-blister, Rhona came too along with my Ma’s dog, Ruby.
We did the exact same route as yesterday, me and Rhona walking with Ruby, while Ma ran. On the walk back, I was feeling a bit better breathing wise so I thought “ah sure, what the heck, why not run home.” Only ran about a quarter of kilometre before I practically collapsed in a fit of coughing. Is this damn thing ever gonna just go away and let me live my life? I mean it has been three weeks with a course of antibiotics! I did, however, feel much better for having at least attempted. Again, sleep found me easy that night and I arose rather late enough in the morning and sat down to enjoy my brunch. And why the hell not, I’m on my holidays. No sooner did I have my ass in the chair, I was advised that at noon, that ass was to be dressed and ready to go for a run. That was only 20 minutes! I tried to argue my case but my Ma quickly pointed to that the fact that my coughing was noticeably eased, which Pierre backed up. Seriously, shouldn’t he be on my side!
We set off on the same route as before, walk to plots, run a lap and walk back. The dog came too. I didn’t stay with mum this time as her pace was a bit too slow with me. It suited me on Monday but with the dog pulling me forward today, it felt like more work to slow down to her pace. The lap did certainly feel a lot quicker than it did on Monday. I tried my best to make sure I was lifting my feet and lengthening my stride. But by the time, I had got about half way through the lap, my feet were barely being lifted from the ground. It was more of a fast shuffle than a run! Rhona would have killed me if she saw. But I kept pushing through and completed the lap. The coughing attacks started as we walked back, but were less severe than they had been. It certainly felt better than it had earlier. My feet ached something terrible. I made sure I did a good stretch this time, trying to remember the stretches we used down in the boat club when I was younger. There is certainly a lot of work if I am to turn ¾ km into 5 km in March, and then into 10 km in June!
If you hadn’t guessed by the name, my husband’s French. We split Christmas and New Year between my family and his. So, this New Year’s was in Paris, which did mess up my flow. It didn’t help that I ended being quite sick. While there were a few days of very little activity, there was a day when steps exceeded 11,000 and an attempt at a family walk in freezing temperatures (that didn’t get far). But it’s the effort right!
Baby steps were made. More bigger steps are needed. I will need to pull my socks up when I get back to Ireland. Overcoming that fear of the gym, for one. This is a marathon not a sprint and this only the beginning.
Max Distance ran: 0.75km
Overall feeling: burning chest, a lot of wheezing and coughing otherwise feeling good, less fatigued than normal, better sleep.