Edit: 09/26/12 - I just wanted to thank Running from Hell with El, tristenblog, imarunner2012 and Urban Running Girl for the advice and encouragement! I truly appreciate it. I highly recommend everyone visit their blogs..they are great!
To me, one of the most frustrating parts of being a new runner is how consistently inconsistent I can be! One day a run can feel like you are running with lead boots on your feet, through a mud pit, at 10,000 ft. elevation. Then the same run on a different day can feel like your running on air, faster and easier than a gazelle (in my case an older, much heavier gazelle). WHY?
I keep a fairly consistent lifestyle. I get up each day around the same time, I eat healthy and about the same calorie and nutritional values each day (trying to lose weight), I work fairly consistent hours and I get to sleep around the same time. With all this consistency in routine, I am amazed at how inconsistent running can be!
The most inconsistent part for me is my breathing, not my leg strength, my bad knee or my flat feet….my breathing! Now don’t get me wrong…3 months ago I couldn’t run for more than 30 seconds without sounding like an asthmatic water buffalo running slowly walking a marathon, and now I run for 45 minutes non-stop (most days).
My last 2 runs illustrate my point and are what inspired this post. Friday, it took everything I had to make it through my run. My legs felt good, my feet felt good but I could not get my breathing into a steady rhythm and it just sucked! Welcome to the lead boots, mud pit, 10,000 ft. elevation run! Fast forward to this morning. I ran my usual distance, I felt great, ran great and had my fastest run time yet! (The old over weight gazelle made an appearance.)
Breathing is a natural function of the human body for most people (all people really), but there are those of us that have various respiratory problems that can effect breathing. In my case it is/was Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Basically, I would stop breathing for 10 seconds or more (as long as 40 seconds) 59 times an hour.. suffocating myself as I slept! Fortunately after decades of this I was diagnosed and have been on CPAP treatment now for almost 3 years.
Doesn’t that look comfortable to sleep in? (and oh so sexy!) It really isn’t so bad actually. I basically had to decide between wearing the CPAP mask while I slept, having an operation to open the airway or suffer with OSA. Well, the OSA was causing other medical complications that were only going to get worse as I got older, the surgery is incredibly painful and not 100% permanently successful or wear a mask as I slept that blows air into my airway to keep it open while I slept. I chose the mask. My OSA is very well controlled, the other medical conditions are a thing of the past and I feel great (most days).
So when does the consistency come into running? I would even settle for a little more consistency on an inconsistent basis if I could get it! LOL! I would love to hear any tips, stories, metaphors or sage advice ( I would even take a Haiku at his point) anyone would be willing to share.