Thursday, October 27, 2005

Running (but not for office)

I went running today for the first time in a long time. I've been walking, well, power walking (which looks ridiculous, but sure helped me get my waist back) for a while, trying to strengthen muscles, tendons, and ligaments, as well as my heart. And to try to get my aerobic capacity to some sort of baseline.

As some of you who read this blog know, I had a mild heart attack about 16 months ago. It was primarily due to stress--I have a coronary artery that goes into spasm. Having had the opportunity to feel what it's like when your heart is damaged (my damage was temporary and my body repaired it--the signal difference between a true heart attack and a 'cardiac event' which is what happened to me)--I can tell you you don't want to have permanent damage to your heart. All of your activities are limited, including standing for any length of time, you're out of breath constantly, and your heart is doing 80s break dance moves inside your chest on a regular basis.

Which is why I built up to running again. I tried running for a while after Edith was born to lose weight and shape up, but had constant problems with ligaments/tendons. Then, for about 6 months leading up to the cardiac event, I couldn't figure out why I couldn't increase my mileage and why I was out of breath all the time. Hmmmm . . . I guess if your artery is spasming . . .

Anyway, this morning went well, and I plan on alternating running and walking for a while.

It's scary to feel like I'm looking back at being young. Remembering all of those 5 and 7 mile loops, running with ease. I loved it. Running hills, intervals. There's a bike and walking trail that runs through a wooded area in my neighborhood--it's where everyone by me runs. The path is dirt and very, very, very flat--for miles. I cannot stand it. I walked/ran there for a while and finally just returned to running in the neighborhood, which is nicely terraced. Without some variation in terrain, running is just incredibly boring. What's the point?

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