If you have never run, you really are missing out! You have probably heard of the term “runner’s high” and it is a real thing. Not only that, but when you run, you can just experience the benefit of the increased blood flow, the joy of covering distance with your own feet, and appreciating either the silence of your surroundings or the communication with friends.
One Mile Never Felt So Good
As an asthmatic, I was not really able to get into running for many years. In fact, it was not until almost 10 years ago that I was even able to run a mile without having wheezing difficulty. Once I started running, I realized that I had really been missing out. I loved it! Not only that, but I loved competing against myself in marathons. My goal had been to do 1 (9 years and 1 month ago was my first) but that kind of kept going until I am almost at 50 (I can’t remember exactly the number) actual marathon races.
If you are a runner, you know how bad it feels when you cannot run for whatever reason. And that is what happened to me last month. For some reason, this case of walking pneumonia just decided to stick around and around and any type of running really bothered my lungs pretty bad. Trust me, I tried to push it a few times and even covering 2 miles was a real chore and would end with me coughing like I was going to hack out a lung or throw up.
In my running life, I had never been at the point where I was scared to go for a run – scared because I did not know if I would be able to complete it and not sure if I would be able to actually go out again for a while after that. It has not been a fun time (especially with 3 marathons on my calendar already for this year) and one that I have been loathing.
That One Mile!
After just about a month of really not being able to run, I went out yesterday. It was kind of a thing where I sort of needed to go the 4-5 miles anyway so I thought I might as well try to run it (car is in the shop and needed a vehicle so had to get to the airport). Again, I was nervous about even being able to do it but I just went out slowly and tried to see how it would go.
When my GPS watch beeped 1 mile at me, I was ecstatic! For the first time in over a month, I had been able to run 1 mile without stopping! I kept going – and I ran the whole distance of 4.5 miles without stopping, and with a last mile of sub 8 minutes. I seriously have never had a mile feel so good in my life, even miles that capped some goal. I have a little ways to go to dig into my muscle memory and get these legs ready for marathons again (slowly) but I am thrilled that I was able to run again without the breathing problems that have plagued me. And, I did it again today – I am back!!!
Let me say, asthma is nothing to mess around with. I had it from the age of 7 and when I was 16, was in the emergency room 10 times with severe attacks. I only started running after I had checked with my doctor and we felt that I had learned to manage it (exercise was/is one of its triggers with me). Since that time, I have kept a close eye on my asthma and when I feel that I need to, I pull up.
I had that happen in a 12 hour race one time in the spring. The pollen was so bad (we were running in a park) that I finally just had to stop because I could not really breathe anymore. It hurt because I had covered 40 miles in 6 hours and felt like I was on track and plan but obviously my health and lungs are more important that time goals.
Again, do not run with your asthma just because some guy on the internet told (me) you he did. Make sure that you are able to do it and stay healthy before you try it for the first time.
So, while I think everyone should give running a try just once (alright, maybe twice because the first time will really work your muscles!), I also encourage you to make sure you are healthy enough to do it. In my case, yesterday was definitely a great feeling mile – and I have run a few of them.