Today’s ‘5’has been done in much the same fashion as yesterday. I enjoyed it, walking at the rare ol’ pace of 3.1 miles per hour and clocking up a wee quarter a mile.
Two days down, two days under my belt.
See yesterday’s post ‘Treadmill Tales: The Return’ for my plan of action.
If you’re here for UBER stats you might be disappointed, I’m recovering from serious illness and have ongoing chronic conditions which mean I’ve got to start out really S-L-O-W-L-Y.
Yesterday’s ‘five’ felt like it went on for longer than that (!) but I still felt the thrill of being on the treadmill and remembered how good it felt to run. I swallowed my frustration and walked as planned. I wasn’t paying huge attention but think my pace was 2.5 miles per hour.
I got on the treadmill just after 7 this evening, to my surprise really after a long, productive and active day. The ‘five’ flew by, I enjoyed it and felt I could’ve gone on for longer.my speed was 3.1 miles and I covered a wee quarter of a mile!
Now I’ve had dinner and finally ‘flopped’ … all I want to do is sleep!
Tales from my treadmill were once a regular feature on this blog. I charted my journey from ‘last person on Earth to consider taking up running’ to the person who not only purchased REAL running shoes from a PROPER specialist store but also purchased and proudly displayed this sign.
I got to the stage where I could not only run for a bus, I could run a mile on my treadmill and did so five or six days a week. I could also run up the stairs to my second floor flat when I moved in here a little under three years ago.
I have a treadmill (running machine) at home. I used to have an exercise bike but switched to a treadmill when I found my bike too uncomfortable to use after my Fibromyalgia diagnosis. Long time readers of my blog may remember my deciding that, in my early forties and having just left my marriage, I wanted to take up running … and teach myself to knit … as you do.
I’m not at all ‘sporty’. I love walking and used to do it semi seriously, walking in Snowdonia and the Lake District among other places, anywhere from three to 12 miles a time. With Fibromyalgia, exercise can be a difficult undertaking; pacing is vital and any activity must be built up slowly in small increments. If you remember my drive and Tigger instincts, you’ll know that this does not come naturally to me. I’m ambitious and I’m competitive too, especially with myself. I started off walking for a few minutes at a time built up through longer and faster walks to a slow jog and then a moderate jog, until finally I could moderately jog a slow-ish mile, and did so five or six times a week.
For much of the first half of this year I couldn’t walk up the stairs to my flat, let alone run up them. With an eating disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression and severe isolation and loneliness having led to serious weight gain and a complete loss of fitness and stamina, I now face an uphill climb. It is daunting. I am being very positive and very Tigger about it, but this blog is the place where I can tell it like it is and I need to acknowledge that I am concerned in spite of my enthusiasm and determination. I know what it took to lose five stones (a hangover from my first ‘run in’ with Binge Eating Disorder), and I had some support then. Now it’s just me and I am much less well physically now than I was then.
So anyway, here’s the plan – starting today:
- Walking at a gentle pace for FIVE MINUTES each day for the next FIVE DAYS
- Day off
- Walking at a gentle pace for FIVE MINUTES for ONE DAY
- Walking at a gentle pace for SIX MINUTES for ONE DAY
- Walking at a gentle pace for SEVEN MINUTES for ONE DAY
- and so on … increasing by one minute each day
- Take a day off every SIXTH day
- and after reaching 10 minutes, continuing to increase the time spent walking by a minute each day but also beginning to increase the pace, slowly, each day thereafter.
This is undoubtedly a slower approach that I would like. I’d love to leap in and although beginning with walking would love to start pushing myself harder, and quickly. I don’t much like making concessions to my chronic illnesses but although driven, I’m not daft … at least not now after more than a decade spent battling the blessed things. I may adjust the above plan, as I go, but I promise to only ever do it sensibly 🙂 .
I’ll make a brief daily treadmill progress report post because I find that accountability helps to keep me motivated and also because a fellow blogger and I are both getting back to using our treadmills and hope to encourage each other. (Hello ‘manyofus’!)
Thanks for reading – as ever comments welcome.
Having changed out of fetid pyjamas, showered and brushed my teeth, I’m back in the realm of daylight and a whiff of fresh air.
While I’m happy to be more functioning, the more that I do, be it washing myself, eating, doing chores or whatever, the more that I’m forced to confront how bad things are for me right now. Uh oh, there goes that guilt again that I spoke of in my last post .. I’m moaning/whining/being pathetic. I should think myself lucky, shut up and get on with it or, at the very least, seek to justify my every thought and action. Ho hum, I’ll try to ignore that.
Yesterday’s second dishwasher load has been unloaded, load number three is on the go and those few items that require handwashing are bathing in hot soapy water. I’ve stripped my bed, organised some paperwork for shredding, rinsed some items for recycling, and dealt with a pile of post.I’ve rested periodically, vital ‘spoonie‘ pacing, to try to avoid crashing and burning. Although, I’m sensing that the more I gather momentum the more I feel an urge to keep going and so resist the need to rest.
I’m now munching on some of last night’s banana loaf. Next I’ll wipe the kitchen work surfaces, do a quick swish and swipe in the bathroom and remake my bed, …then I’ll flop for a bit with BBC Radio iPlayer.
Today has been particularly challenging. I’ve been reeling from big news that I received yesterday. It’s triggered the pain of loss and exacerbated intense feelings of loneliness.
I woke very early this morning – sometime around six o’clock. Realising that I wasn’t about to get back to sleep easily, I set about being productive and wrote a blog post. Still the difficult feelings persisted although I continued to be productive but carefully pace myself, and also took time to relax. Around lunchtime, feeling worse, I took myself off to bed, in the hope that a nap might help. Sometimes it’s the only option to try to halt a complete mood crash and descent into crisis, when no support is available. I slept peaceable enough and woke around 3:30pm, at first slightly disorientated. My mood was still flat.
I knew what I must do and that is be productive again. I set the dishwasher going, refilled my water jug, took some painkillers, tweeted the link to my earlier blog post, brushed and straightened my hair and put on some make up before sitting down at my desk to write this post and send a couple of important emails.
I’m due to go out in a little over an hour. I plan to try out a local craft group. It’s held a short walk from my place, lasts just 90mins and there’s free tea and cake! I am so isolated and the more I can engage, #spoons permitting, the better. I am anxious about going along. My comfort zone is to be on top form in the company of others, which, in my situation, is quite frankly exhausting. The aim this evening is just to get there and try not to put myself under pressure to perform. The aim is to make that effort but not strain myself. After all, this is supposed to be about getting fun and engagement into my life!
Wish me luck!
What a palaver.
I write a huge post, one that’s very important to me. I decide to publish it in three parts for ease of reading as it’s so long. In the process of publishing I manage to lose the second part and become very stressed, having already lost sight of the importance of the rudiments of ‘pacing’ to a #spoonie like me, and pushed myself too hard today.
I started writing, I was enjoying it. The piece was going well and I really wanted the satisfaction of completing and publishing it today. I should have realised that wasn’t possible, stopped, and picked it up again another day. Instead I kept on writing … for hours, past plans to knit, plans to read, past dinner time and evening medication. I should have stopped earlier and picked up another day. Instead I pressed on, rushing and tiring, and something went wrong. I’ve had to work on even later in order to rewrite the missing section from memory to the best of ability. I’m so tired now that I’ve lost all sense and capability! But … I’ve realised that each time I think I’ve got ‘pacing’ licked, I go and do something that makes me reailse that I’m still learning. I can still get carried away, especially by my passions, and do something that’s to my detriment and risks relapse. I will learn!
N.B. You might like to read this post before reading on here. This was posted out of order due to a WordPress glitch.
I’m a ‘spoonie’. I identify with the way of life described in the Spoon Theory.
It’s an engaging and enlightening piece of writing by writer, speaker and advocate, Christine Miserandino. She coined the Spoon Theory in order to try to explain to her best friend how it feels to live with chronic illness – in Christine’s case, Lupus. Christine also devised the website butyoudontlooksick.com to provide support to people living with chronic illness and to raise awareness of these life-affecting conditions that are often not readily visible from the outside.
In terms of illness, chronic means persistent or constantly recurring; long-standing and incurable.That doesn’t necessarily mean the illness will prove fatal, although with some chronic conditions that’s possible, but that it cannot be cured and will endure. Chronic illnesses are life-affecting and often debilitating. Like people they’re individual and can affect different people in different ways.
I live with seven chronic illnesses and conditions. I’m not greedy – I’d gladly be rid of them all but it seems chronic conditions are social beasts and where one goes, others often follow! My pack affect me in many different ways. Like Christine, I can never forget that I’m a spoonie but must instead learn to live my best life … with spoons.
I’m driven; I believe in grabbing life by the horns. Be sure that when you come to die that’s all you have left to do is a favourite mantra. I find it difficult to slow down, pace myself and hate to have to miss out on things. As Christine says in the Spoon Theory, you can run errands or you can cook dinner. You can do something fun, clean your home or do some chores but you can’t do them all. You have to choose. You have prioritise. You have to accept your limitations. I want to grab every opportunity but life with chronic illness doesn’t quite work that way…
Coming up: My spoonie choices