Let's have some good news for a change, shall we? I hit my 30 pound loss mark this week. Woot!
Boy, did I need to run this week. It really does help me deal with stress. Any exercise does, really, but the level of tired I am at the end of one of my training runs is particularly useful.
Last week I was discouraged. I had a rough re-entry into running with my group in the 5K training program. I began to worry that I'd lost too much ground being sick this late in the training to make it up again. I even allowed the thought to cross my mind, "Would it be so terrible not to run the April 5k and train for the Color Run in May instead?"
Of course it wouldn't. That's always an option. There's nothing and no one making me do this April 5k.
In the process of trying to recover from being sick and trying to figure out why I was still coughing every time I ran even though I was fine the rest of the time, I finally sent a message to my doctor earlier this week. Is it possible I needed a different inhaler? She agreed and has prescribed me a stronger one. So far, it's made a world of difference. My allergies can tend to mess with my lungs, although I've not had problems for years. I keep an (up-to-date) inhaler in my medicine cabinet in case I feel lung nonsense coming on, but I've not had to use one the last few years. This year, though, with all the running outdoors, it hit me like a ton of bricks. So now I have a strong inhaler to use twice a day and my old prescription inhaler still comes with me on runs just in case.
I also used a different strategy in my group runs this week. I was doing pretty well on my solo runs but the group runs were killing me. I realized I was consistently going much faster on the group runs--a pace I couldn't maintain. So on Wednesday night, I intentionally started in the back of the group so I wouldn't be as tempted to set too fast a pace for myself. Ultimately, I ended up pretty much in the middle of the pack, which is where I'm comfortable being. In fact, my pace was still a little faster than it was on my solo runs but it was maintainable. One of the Fleet Feet mentors stayed right with me to help me pace myself and was giving me great tips as we went. It was a really solid run. Tomorrow morning we do the route of the 5k and we're at 30 second walk/7 minute run. At that point, it's almost going to feel odd to do those walks.
So here's the life lesson: The tortoise and the hare is a true story. Many times you really do have to go slower in order to finish.
In other related news: It was time to replace my running sneakers. I had really good ones but they were showing their mileage. My planned timeframe for getting new ones got moved forward a bit, though. When I started the 5k training this January, the toes on my left foot quite often got very painful. It wasn't so bad when I was running, but after I finished I'd often be limping my way back to the car. I figured it was tight ligaments or something and was working on stretching. It wasn't helping.
Fleet Feet offers periodic free medical or running consults, so I took advantage of the "Medical Monday" this week and had a 15 minute consult with a podiatrist. I described my toe pain and the minute she looked at my foot, she said, "I don't even need an X-ray. You've got hallux limitus." In English, "hallux"=big toe, "limitus" is as it sounds. I have a "limited big toe" on my left side. It doesn't bend as far as it should, so when I run, I'm actually rolling sideways off the rest of my toes with every stride. No wonder they were complaining at the end of the run! She recommended the Asics GT-3000, as they're built for this kind of issue. (No, she wasn't there to sell sneakers--the store I was in didn't even carry that one.) Since I knew my old sneakers were getting close to their time limit, I went ahead and ordered new ones now so I'd have time to get used to them before the actual 5k. I got them yesterday and am just wearing them around the house today, since it's a rest day, to get used to them. I'll use them running for the first time tomorrow. So far, so good. I can definitely feel a difference in the way they're structured and hold my toes compared to the old ones, so we'll see how it goes tomorrow.
By the way, they only came in pink. Good thing that's one of my fave colors.
Quick Sammy update: He's recovering enough from his surgery now that he's starting to chafe at the restrictions. We have to keep his movement limited for another week. Yikes. Sweet boy--he's trying to be good but he recently realized he can head-butt the chair barricades I have set up to keep him in the family room. I can't leave him there without being right with him, so when I go upstairs to my office I have to close him in the mudroom to keep him confined; he's not allowed to do stairs yet and there's no way he'd stay downstairs with me upstairs unless there's a door between us. One more week, Sammy! Then you can sleep in my office all day again, buddy.