Building Capacity

Lung capacity, that is.

I knew that this was bound to be a tough year for me, asthmatically speaking. I’m back in the classroom, which means I’m exposed to many more kiddie germs than I have been in the past few years. And, last year, I had absolutely few health concerns (other than being paranoid that I’d end up with something) so the pendulum was bound to swing the other way this year.

Here I am, four months into the school year, and it happened: I caught the “cold”. You know the one with the pounding headache, the sore throat, the feeling of just wanting to crawl back into bed until things get back to normal. So I did what made the most sense; on Monday night, I ran 5 miles.

Surprisingly, it helped. The headache disappeared immediately and my breathing seemed more relaxed. So on Wednesday night, when I was still feel “off”. I didn’t think twice about working out with a few Toronto Olympic Club runners.

Running with this group is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. However, they run on Wednesday nights, which is Shawn’s and my night to run. When I told Shawn about my meeting a few of them in October and how they suggested that we run with them, he listened but didn’t jump at the opportunity. So I tucked the invitation away in the back of my mind, hoping that I might be able to find time to join them on a Monday night instead.

Last Wedneday, Shawn took the night off (Actually, he’s been off for the past week with a tight groin). The cards had landed; it was my night to run with these guys. However, being sick, Wednesday was probably the worst night for me to run with them for the first time (yes, I was a bit hung up on making a good first impression). I ran hard, probably not my best, and coughed when I finished – a lot, so much that I thought I might cough up whatever lunch was left in my stomache.

By Thursday, I had put myself in a position when I couldn’t run; I was felt too sick. On Friday, I stayed home from work and got meds from the doctor. By Saturday, I felt strong enough to run again but found that my legs were made of rubber, likely still recovering from Wednesday night’s pick-ups.

When yesterday’s planned 10 miles came up, I decided that I’d probably be fine to run it, but I was going to start slowly – just in case. By the time I had run 6 miles, my legs were ready to pick up the pace and my lungs felt ready to push, and that they did. Even with the slow first half, I finished the 10 miles at a 7:35 pace, which really boosted my confidence.

After being back at school for just 24 hours, I’ve realized that it is important for me to keep running and cycling so that I can build greater lung capacity and deal with my asthma. Admittedly, I’ve been lazy about cycling this year – either too busy or too tired – but that obviously needs to change. I know that the more I do cardio (run and cycle), the better my lungs feel. Tomorrow, then, I’m going to have to make time before work to spin my legs and open up the arways.

What are you going to do to make your lungs feel good?

2 Replies to “Building Capacity”

  1. I volunteered at Kinder gym yesterday and all (ok maybe not all) I could think of was the germs. I've been laying off running due to hamstring issue. It's killing me to be so inactive. Ugh.

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