Tag Archives: asthma

Breathing space – training when ill

7 Feb

I’ve not been well for the last couple of weeks. I’ve had a sore throat and a chest infection, which has made ordinary life a bit of a struggle, let alone training… and blogging has had to take a backseat to just getting on with life!

Sometimes being stubborn can have its advantages (such as my refusal to quit when I’ve set a goal), but putting off seeing a doctor probably hasn’t worked in my favour. I don’t like to make a fuss and put down my lack of interest in training to being lazy rather than being ill. For over a week, all I wanted to do when I got home from work (and for some of the time when I was there) all I wanted to do was go to sleep. It felt like I had a concrete block on my chest and I kept waking up in the night to use my inhaler 😦 I finally saw a doctor on Friday and found out that the reason for my illness and fatigue – the infection means that my lungs are currently functioning at 65% – so I’ve been given a course of antibiotics and steroids to take for the next week: 9 pills a day! I hope I’m back on par again soon.

Anyway, there’s a lot to look forward to in the next few weeks:

  • The ballot results for Prudential RideLondon will be sent out on 8th February – fingers crossed! It’s a 100 mile ride on closed roads from London out into Surrey (and its famous Box Hill) before heading back into London where it finishes on The Mall. It would be a great event to make me get out on my bike and train!

Global Swimming Summit

  • I’ve also registered for the Global Swimming Summit. It’s a FREE online event with loads of inspiration speakers who have competed in the Olympics and/or hold world records, as well as plenty of high-level coaches, nutritionists and so on. It takes place from February 8th – February 16th.

I last swam with STC on Monday 25th January. I had decided before going to the pool that I would give swimming in Lane 2 a go – I know I’ve made progress since I started and as slower people have joined lane 1, I keep getting stuck behind them. Also the average distance covered in a session has dropped significantly, so I’m ending up swimming less at a slower speed than previously. I don’t think I’m the fastest one in my lane, but if I start swimming in the next lane then I will have to push myself to keep up. Anyway, back to 25th… I told the coach my plan, and acknowledged that it would depend on how many people were swimming. Well, lane 2 was pretty busy with 4/5 swimmers and there were just two of us in Lane 1 who are similar ability, so I stayed in Lane 1.

I decided that I would try lane 2 at my next swimming session, but on Monday 1st February, I felt so exhausted that I didn’t think there was any point in trying to swim. I’ll see how I’m feeling tomorrow before making a decision about which lane to swim in. It might be more sensible for me to check that I’m recovering before pushing myself!

Have you ever tried to train through illness? What are you looking forward to this month?

Final aquathlon of the season

25 Sep

This week has been so busy:

Saturday: Lake swim followed by a run (and then a bit of cheering the junior triathletes at Lakeside)

Sunday: 40k bike ride followed by a 30 minute run

Monday: 1 hour of swimming with some challenging drills

Tuesday: 1:06 on the turbo trainer

Wednesday: 70 minutes of intervals… on my own… in the dark – autumn is definitely here 😦

Thursday: Aquathlon time!

I also signed up for the Uni tri club (SUTri) yesterday and met the president. I’m hoping to join in with quite a few of their training sessions in the next few months and am particularly looking forward to spinning as I’ve not been to a spin class since I left my old job in September 2012.

It is so sad that we’re at the end of the open water swimming season. I know that some people swim outdoors all year around, but I struggle with the cold, so I don’t think I’ll become one of those people any time soon… unless I emigrate to somewhere warmer. (Apparently the water is 26 degrees C in Mallorca at the moment!)

Stu and I headed to Lakeside for the final aquathlon on the season. I wasn’t feeling well and was struggling to breathe this afternoon, so I was feeling a bit nervous and started wondering whether I should drop down to doing the short distance. In the end I decided that I would do the long swim and see how I felt on the run. It’s a two lap run course, so I figured that I could stop after 1 lap if I were struggling (although everyone who knows me know that I would be more likely to crawl 2.5km than drop out of a race).

Sept aqua start

Swimmers entering the water © TryTri

As usual, I didn’t get in the water early enough to acclimatise. Fortunately, it didn’t feel as cold as it did on Saturday, and parts of the lake were surprisingly warm.

Sept aqua start 2

Lining up for the start © TryTri

We all lined up for the customary wave before the start. My partner, Stu, is in the foreground looking directly at the camera (with red bands on the sleeves of his wetsuit). I’m just a tiny head in the background!

As soon as we started, it seemed as though only the really good swimmers had turned up as within seconds, I could see swimmers way out in front. My breathing was ragged, but I decided to focus on having a good time and try not to wear myself out too much before Sunday’s triathlon.

I realised that there were some other swimmers near me, but that they mostly had on white hats indicating that they were doing the short distance.

My goggles steamed up, but I didn’t have any problems with leaks and I maintained front crawl throughout the swim. There were a few other swimmers who were fairly close to me who ended up doing a medley of crawl and breaststroke. It was a bit of a battle between another lady and I, but as we completed our second lap (out of 2.5), I managed to surge ahead.

It’s become apparent to me over the last couple of months that my wetsuit no longer fits. I’m not sure whether that’s because I’ve lost weight or changed shape or because the wetsuit has stretched. Anyway, whatever the cause, it now tends to fold up on me and fill with water, which isn’t much fun and I can’t imagine it does a lot for my streamlining. As I’ve only one triathlon and a triathlon holiday left this year, I’ll live with it, but definitely need a new wetsuit before I do more open water swimming.

Finally, I got to the exit, where I could hear Ben shouting encouragement. I couldn’t see much, but assumed that he was pointing his camera at me, so I thought I’d better look cheerful.

Sept aqua swim 1

A quick thumbs up and smile that the swim was over © TryTri

Sept aqua swim 2

Look at all of those fantastic wrinkles in my wetsuit… at least that’s what I hope they are and not rolls of my flesh 😦 © TryTri

Stu was doing the race as a relay (with Jez running for him) as he has a leg injury, so he was in transition when I arrived. I asked him to pick up my belongings when I’d finished, stripped off my wetsuit, put on socks and trainers, put in my contact lenses and was off. It definitely wasn’t the fastest transition – laser surgery had better save me at least a minute!!!

My breathing had calmed down a bit, so I tried to pick up the pace a bit on my run, but my Garmin decided to give me crazy data that kept fluctuating, so I couldn’t rely on it to tell me how fast I was going. I saw Jez go flying by on his second lap, followed by two men and a female runner. I felt great on the first lap, but I think I slowed on the second lap as I was starting to tire. I heard another running catching up with me, but I just couldn’t pick up the pace enough to stay with her and didn’t want to over-exert myself.

My final thoughts were that I needed to ensure that I finished well. My finish photos from Weymouth look truly dreadful – I don’t look happy that I’ve finished, I just look saggy. I sprint for teh line and tried to keep my head up whilst waving my hands in the air. Unfortunately, Ben didn’t quite capture my moment of triumph and it’s a bit blurry, but I’ll take it 🙂

Sept aquathlon

Sept aqua results

In the final results, Stu is placed first, but he was in a relay team (although he reckons that he could have run a similar time). I still need to work on my swimming (and hope that a new wetsuit has a magic effect), but I don’t think my run was too awful.

I’m a bit sad that it’s the last aquathlon of the season, so I’ll have to console myself by entering some of the TryTri duathlons over winter.

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Injuries – 1; First week of Challenge Weymouth training schedule – 0

16 May

I was meant to start the first week of my first half iron distance triathlon training schedule this week, but I’m still struggling with arm pain and my swollen knee doesn’t seem to be deflating, so I’m already behind schedule.

I should have been doing an hour on my turbo trainer yesterday, which might have been manageable, but my bike was off with The Bike Guy getting new brakes and bar tape fitted, so I couldn’t do that. Tonight’s session is meant to be a 2km swim (which might be further than I’ve ever done in an hour), but my arm is just too painful to risk swimming. I feel like I’m being terribly lazy, but I’m also trying to heed my doctor’s words of resting for 2-3 weeks. I think I’ll be ready to train sooner than that, but I don’t want to risk making my arm worse.

This means that I’ve had a bit more time at home than I would usually have, so I’ve entered my first race for 2015. I’ve entered the ballot for London Marathon, but even with a second chance via my running club’s ballot, I probably won’t get a place. As a consequence, I’ve now signed myself up for Marafun Southampton, which is the first half marathon to take place in the city for many years. I am familiar with much of the route:

Marafun Southampton route

Marafun Southampton route

The bridge over the river (Itchen Bridge) is likely to be the most challenging part of the run, although Burgess Road, which is the long straight at the top of the map, is also a long hill. For me, the massive advantage is that it’s a distance that I like and I’ll be able to train in familiar surroundings. I am likely to practise the route in chunks, so that by the time race day comes I am feeling really well prepared.

Today’s other ‘excitement’ was that I got myself organised to use the peak flow meter that I was prescribed. I have to blow into it three times a day and record the data, to see whether my asthma is being controlled. Apparently a normal reading for a woman who is my age and height should be about 442l/min. This morning’s reading was 290l/min, this afternoon it was 450l/min, and tonight it was 480l/min. It’ll be interesting to see how it compares tomorrow.

I also received an exciting parcel today: odlo Evolution sports underwear for women. They’re a fairly long base-layer that I want to try out under indecently short running shorts. I’ll let you know how I get on with that!

My blog has also received a lot of traffic from Poland this week. I don’t speak Polish, but a quick use of Google Translate suggests that I was being used on a forum as an example of someone who is 30kg overweight, but is still able to exercise. The topic was about the persecution of obese people. I don’t mind being used as an example, but I object to the suggestion that I am (or have been) 30kg overweight… if I only weighed 6st (84lbs/39kg) then I would be severely underweight! Maybe I’ve misunderstood the article. If any of my readers speaks Polish, I’d love to know what the discussion was all about: http://forum.gazeta.pl/forum/w,567,150970875,,Dyskryminacja_otylych_wreszcie_ktos_glosno_walczy.html?v=2

My husband shared the following interview with junior pro-cyclist Jasper Styuven with me: http://www.manualforspeed.com/development/blue-or-blue/ He knows how much I love my clothing/bike etc to match!

I’ve been failing in my diet this week, as I’ve been feeling down about being injured and unable to exercise, however, I thought this article on Greatist was worth reading: 67 Science-backed ways to lose weight What do you think? Do you follow any of these tips?

 

Getting back on my bike

12 May

It was back to work today, which meant that I had to get back on my (hybrid) bike. I had thought that it would be easier than riding my road bike, but, unfortunately, I had forgotten how heavy my work bike is. Just the 3.5 mile journey to work was enough to bring tears to my eyes 😦

This afternoon, I cycled to the doctors, so that I could get my arm checked out. The diagnosis confirmed what I suspected: I’ve sprained my shoulder and my wrist. I was advised to rest for 2-3 weeks, which is a great idea, but I need to cycle to work every day, so it’s not possible. I also want to get on with my Challenge Weymouth training programme.

I also discussed my recent breathing difficulties and have to take some peak flow readings as the doctor thinks that I am displaying classic asthma symptoms 😦 I hope that this is resolved quickly!

The good news is that I can get a replacement for my lost SOAS Racing bottle, and I’ve also ordered some motivational reading to try to inspire me, so watch out for some reviews.

I’ve also received some more photos from my holiday. In case I sounded a bit negative about it all,  thought I’d include a photo of me looking happy as I reached the summit of Col D’Aspin:

Reaching the summit of Col D'Aspin

Reaching the summit of Col D’Aspin

Hopefully, I’ll manage to be this happy when I’m 100:

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/cycling-weekly/billie-fleming-happy-100th-birthday-121964

I also like this video: