Rock bottom and a long climb up

Spring is slowly arriving to London

Things were going so well. From the Saturday when I did my first run after the operation until this past Sunday (8 days) I did 6 runs. The shortest run was 10.5 km and the longest was 14.5km. And then yesterday happened.

It was a beautiful, sunny but cold morning. I was going to do my run early before my husband went to work as I had the kids for the day (school holidays). Even before I left home I felt like I couldn’t breath properly. My lungs felt like they were in a box in my chest and just weren’t expanding. I ignored this and started running anyway. The plan was to go to the track and do a tempo run. Ha! I struggled to breath during the warm-up and when it was time to start running faster I just couldn’t. My pace was slower than it has been on the long runs I have been doing – I struggled to even do that. I was so upset with myself and feeling like I was going to pass out so I cut it short and headed home. My run was just over 4 km.

I thought I had had some bad runs there over the past week but at least I had been able to do keep going. THIS is what rock bottom looks like… So how did I end up here then? I have no idea what was going on with my lungs but it wasn’t anything sinister as here I am still. I do think running on the track makes it harder for me mentally and I would have been able to keep going had I been on a distance run on one of my usual routes. My lungs always struggle at first but tend to get better after about 4km (which is where I stopped). But I just couldn’t even imagine being able to do a fast run. Yet, I know I need to start adding tempo/intensive/interval runs in order to start moving forward again. These long, slowish runs are ok but they are like filler – I don’t think they do much for me.

So what is a girl to do? A traumatised, beaten back kind of girl. Well, I think she will get up at dawn tomorrow to head out for an early run before the rest of the family gets up and she will do a mid-distance run of about 12-15km. She will try to run it a bit faster than she has, just sneakily so that her body won’t cotton on until it’s doing it. She will get those lungs out of the box and then this weekend try the tempo run again.

If you are in London and see a woman cursing as she runs along – say hi!

7 thoughts on “Rock bottom and a long climb up

  1. i see we are similar rings of defeat. it would appear that tube down the throat did a little more damage than i would have imagined…. which is going to be a long battle back up the hill… but i am determined to take THAT HILL. it just sucks. xx


    1. I actually came home from that run and after I had thrown my runners against the wall and shouted into a pillow I googled pulmonary embolism. I was convinced there had to be something wrong with me but of course it was just a setback. So bloody frustrating but I can only keep working at it in order to get to your kind of distances.


      1. i honestly was just as pissed as you were. i was so upset and angry. i compete with myself so much. i felt the best running without my watch, but when i run so many miles i need the watch to keep track of distance. i have felt this way since i had the surgery, and it has not really abated, which is so frustrating. i feel your pain, sister. i am thinking lots of track or treadmill sessions are in my future. do you swim?


  2. I can’t run without measuring everything about what I am doing – time, distance, pace.. And so it can be sometimes hard to let go and just enjoy the running.
    Definitely track sessions on the horizon – I need to get that interval stuff in sooner rather than later. I hate it and dread it.
    I don’t swim or in fact do any cross training. I just run. Dumb really as I do need to get some variety in to HELP me run.
    We are working bloody hard enough on it so surely there will be some decent progress soon for the both of us. Right?…


    1. i would hope to god so. i’m tired of my chest feeling like it might explode into flames. as though i’m new to running. it sucks. swimming helps my running a lot, which is why i’m going to get back in the pool. i know i should have done it sooner, but it is incredibly hard to convince myself to do that when it’s freezing cold outside and there is 11 inches of snow on the ground. will power… yeah, not so much there. it’s getting warmer though, so i’ll go back to it. it recruits just about every muscle and helps your lungs get stronger. i haven’t been to the pool since surgery, so i’m not sure i won’t sink like a stone. ah!


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