Geek. Pirate. Mom

The Life and Times of Whitney Drake

Oh the agony!

At the end of November last year, I was hospitalized after I had a very low hemoglobin count and mentioned a few things: occasional fevers, painful stomach cramps and weight loss. Actually, I was hospitalized for a blood transfusion (I was VERY low on iron), but they vowed to get to the bottom of the fever issue.

While I (nearly) have a diagnosis- it’s either Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease (we’re just too early to tell which, apparently), I am now faced with a pretty significant recovery. I’d been steadily losing weight over a year, which included a lot of muscle tone- which I didn’t have much of to begin with.

Workout videos haven’t been much help- I get bored of them easily. And a gym membership isn’t exactly high up on my list of ways I want to spend our money. So I decided to try something drastic.

Run.

I am not a runner. My memories of P.E. and having to do the mile run for the Presidential Fitness Test make me cringe. I remember sobbing at home because I was one of the last girls to complete the mile, and I was in so much pain afterwards.

I married a runner. Seriously. TheBoy started running in high school when he joined the cross country team, and he’s been running regularly since then.

But a 5k run seemed like the sort of kick in the ass I needed to get in gear, so I registered TheBoy and I for the Neverland 5k run (part of the Tinkerbell weekend) in January. I downloaded an app that would help me do the Couch to 5k program, and I’ve started walking to sort of prepare myself.

I know, this is supposed to be doable by someone who hasn’t worked out at all- but I’m sure they have some muscle tone. Most of mine vanished.

I was doing well with walking regularly, right up until this heat wave hit. I’m not much of a morning person anymore, and anything after 8am is downright horrible to exercise in.

So yesterday morning, when I came downstairs, TheBoy informed me that he went for his run, so it was time for me to tackle Day One of Couch to 5k. I got my phone ready (the app plays music and tells me the intervals for walking/running) and headed out with my bottle of water. The five minute warm up walk was great! Then I started doing intervals. And halfway around the block (I discovered that two laps around the block is a mile) I stopped being able to breathe.

I slowed my pace, forcing myself to breathe through my nose, but it all kept coming out in gasps. As I neared our house, I could see TheBoy waving to me. Then I could see the kidlets waiting on the porch to cheer me on. And I just couldn’t even try to run past them.

So I sat down on the driveway, struggling to breathe. The kidlets went inside and TheBoy listened to me blubber about not being able to breathe and being in pain. He got me breathing slowly again and told me that maybe I needed to focus on walking before running. I was sitting there, ready to give up because I felt like I was drowning from the breathing problems, and apparently I’d bruised my knee and hadn’t noticed.

He told me to walk around the block and then call it a day. When I got home, I felt defeated (though I did have an idea about part of the plot of my book). And he reminded me that it wasn’t easy for him in the beginning, but that I’d picked a race that gave me enough time to do some pre-training. That I shouldn’t give up.

He’s a great coach. He shoves me out the door when I try to say I don’t feel like it (though he did accept that I am worthless when it’s over 90 degrees, so he didn’t try this week), and knew just how to keep me going.

I am going to blog about this, so if you’re doing Couch to 5k, or just want to laugh at my misery… feel free to follow along.

My set up:
To hold my phone, I have the Amphipod Micropack SmartView- it clamps onto my waistband and has a slot for ID!
I carry this water bottle by Amphipod. It’s light and has been worth every penny I paid for it!

Apps:
RunDouble Couch to 5k (an Android app)

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  • http://twitter.com/ShanGFielding Shannon Fielding

    I was diagnosed with colitis at 19. Not fun. Good luck with the training, I will be cheering you on.

  • http://www.whitneydrake.com/ Whitney Drake

    Yeah, it isn’t much fun. At least you understand why when I kept losing weight and people said “Oh I wish I had whatever disease you have” I was baffled.
    Thanks!  :)

  • http://twitter.com/byairandsea Jennifer Dunn

    I completely sympathize with your struggle.  I’m not a natural-born runner, so when I joined the military I spent the majority of my Basic Training in tears and pain because I thought the running would eventually kill me.  Once I was able to work on a running program at my own pace (without being yelled at by a near-psychotic Sergeant-Major because I wasn’t moving fast enough), running actually turned into a pleasant activity.  Keep at it – I promise it will get easier!

  • http://twitter.com/byairandsea Jennifer Dunn

    I completely sympathize with your struggle. I’m not a natural-born runner, so when I joined the military I spent the majority of my Basic Training in tears and pain because I thought the running would eventually kill me. Once I was able to work on a running program at my own pace (without being yelled at by a near-psychotic Sergeant-Major because I wasn’t moving fast enough), running actually turned into a pleasant activity. Keep at it – I promise it will get easier!

  • http://twitter.com/byairandsea Jennifer Dunn

    *sigh*  I so didn’t mean to post this twice.  Sorry!

  • http://www.whitneydrake.com/ Whitney Drake

    It happens! :)

    You have no idea how much that helps me.