It's a horribly unique feeling-- not being able to breathe. My lungs begin to feel heavy and inflated, like they're filling up with liquid, like I'm drowning from the inside out. I concentrate on taking deep breathes, forcing the outside air into my stubborn, overwhelmed lungs. It hurts to inhale so forcefully. But today is Tuesday and I am supposed to be getting myself ready for a 5k that is a mere 11 days from now. I have no time for stiff lungs and asthma attacks. Needless to say, today was a painful run. Each step caused my tired lungs to contract in panic. I had forgotten how horrible asthma can feel. Still, I made the day worth it.
I read in my new training book (soon to be reviewed) that I should approach each run with a solid goal. What am I trying to accomplish today? So today I decided that I was trying to shed my 5k time down to 10:30, which is a pretty big jump for me.
1st mile: Took it easy so I could get properly warmed up. About six minutes in, I felt warm enough to step up the pace, but the pace triggered my asthma immediately. It's finally spring in Arizona, which means my allergies and asthma may suffer horribly. I pulled it off though: 10:50 minutes.
2nd mile: This is the mile that really counts today. I am warm and not yet exhausted so this is the mile that i want to make count. Minus the continue asthma troubles, I'm feeling good. I was shocked to look down and see this record time 19:50 (9 minute mile!). I didn't know I was capable of that good of a time, especially during such a cumbersome asthma attack.
3rd mile: Things start to get rough in the third mile. Oh right, this is an endurance sport: must keep going. I literally thought I might throw up by the end up this mile, but I continued with a similar pace. Time: 30.03! I finished three miles in 30 minutes! Things are looking up.
5k time: 33:00ish!!!
Well I'm no elite racer yet, but i can definitely say that I have improved.