A few weeks into my new job at E-town College, one of my new, awesome colleagues asked if I ran. Of course I laughed and mentioned how I could barely walk up stairs without gasping for air.
Despite my fear, I knew that at age 32 and having high cholesterol (for which I fill my Zocra prescription “when I feel like it”) I had to get more physical. I had woke up early and walked a few times since I’ve moved to a perfect walking neighborhood. I said that I would run with her twice a week during lunch.
So far, so good. She’s a wonderful coach; she knows I am new to this and, in fact, she taught a beginner’s running course, so she’s really making sure I get started right. We’ve been alternating one minute of running and one minute of walking for about 30-minutes, with a cool down walk and stretching and still finishing before our hour lunch is up. The truth is, I feel great when I am done. I guess I get a bit of runner’s high because I feel so clear-minded. My body physically recovered well after each run.
However, during the run I have trouble breathing. E. has taught me to use rhythmic breathing, but still, I sometimes have to stop the rhythm and gasp. So, I really need to work on that. The other issue is that I don’t have the right shoes, which every runner will tell you is the most important thing. I have NICE sneakers of many assortments and I’ve tried them all. After one week where I ran twice with E. and two times on my own and then a Sunday full of walking during a downtown excursion in my Converse, the next Monday I developed severe shin splints, just in my left leg. The pain was so excruciating that we had to stop. Tuesday is a rest day, and Wednesday I pushed through, but it still hurt.
I am getting running shoes either today or Monday because my car is at the garage and Joe is away at Wilkes for class this weekend. I’m not stranded; a friend is coming to visit, so I may ask her to stop in at a running store.
Why it’s a good thing I started running
So, three weeks into my new running, I find out that it’s a good thing I’ve already got into the habit of exercising at a higher level than just a little stroll. E-town College offered it’s employees a discounted preventative health screening. Since I knew I had high cholesterol and have a sleep disorder and have trouble breathing while running, I decided to get checked out.
This particular package included four tests: pulmonary, thyroid, and three heart/artery tests. All were done with noninvasive ultrasound technology. The pulmonary was obviously a breathing machine. I got a print out the breathing results to take home, while a doctor reviews the other four and I get the results sent to me in two weeks. The breathing test – I am 32 and have the lungs of a 41 year old. That explains my breathing issues. The woman asked if I grew up around smokers (since I am a non-smoker myself) and I said yes. We both shook our heads in shame. Sucks when it’s not your fault.
As the other woman checked out my arteries and such, she did one test twice because she thought she got a misreading. Nope. Turns out, and I don’t know the details since I get the results, but whatever the measurement is, it should be 420 for my age, sex and weight. It’s in the 700s. I have the vascular age of a 50 year old. I’m at serious risk of heart disease. The woman told me this, but I know that the real results come in a few weeks, so I’ll hold tight. Either way, it’s a good thing I started to run. I already eat healthier. But, have to do better.