A day in the life

Non Smoker for 90 days and now I am running (well not really)

I have managed to not smoke for 90 days. I am no longer using the patches. I had stepped down to the lightest one available and honestly kept forgetting to put them on. After a couple of days of that, I decided that I did not need them.  Takes a while but I can catch on. I am using the mini lozenges still but even those I am rarely using. I believe I keep them around as a just in case. I am not quite ready to go forth with no crutches. Yet.  I am ready to move to the next step in trying to make my breathing easier and delay/stop the scarring of my lungs.

Exercise is step two. A word on exercise. For quite a long time walking to the bathroom would leave me literally breathless.  When one quits smoking, one starts to clean out the respiratory system of all the mucous and gunk in there. With the emphysema, this act irritates the lungs a bit, which produces mucous. Not to mention I caught a cold that darn near shut my lungs down and produces mucous. So, I have been the epitome of a snot nosed brat.   I have been a bit short of breath.

When I was first diagnosed, I started doing exercising to help “tone” my lungs. The idea was that I do some activity until I was panting and breathing hard.  Before I caught the cold, I was very proud of myself as I could run in place for 10 minutes and I did not need to take my inhaler before hand or after. After the cold, well not so much. I can run in place for 2 minutes before I was wheezing like steam train.

Lately (last two weeks) I have been getting stronger. I wanted to exercise again. What to do? Well I was watching Track and Field games on the Olympics. AS a youngster I raced. I raced long distance cross-country. Watching the marathon, I began to remember. I remembered how my body felt, how much I loved running. I flippantly said, “I think I shall run a marathon.” That statement lead to conversation with my son about a program called Couch to 5k.  It is an on-line plan that is designed to get people running. I looked it up and I got downright excited. What a great program! I CAN do this.

I Can. Ok someone had to mention talking to my docs first. Killjoys. The official response was something along the lines of Yea right. What was actually said was that I should start out walking again. As long as I do not lose breath on activity.  Ok I have been walking in the mall and it is taking longer and longer to lose my breath. I am going to do this.

The Couch to 5k plan calls for the first day to run/walk for 20 minutes. Well, since I cannot run without needing EMTs following me, I am modifying the program to be a walk / brisk walk. I downloaded the app, tied it to my Facebook account.  Off I go. The first 5 minutes is a warm-up. The App itself assumes you are going to run. It tells you to do a brisk walk. I did some stretches. Then it is time to run/walk. Remember I am not running I am walking as briskly as I can.  You run for 60 seconds then walk for 90 sec. The plan is to do this for 20 minutes.  I did pretty well. I completely pushed myself and did the whole 20 minutes, but will admit it was too much and I sacrificed the 5-minute cool down. I had to sit and catch my breath. Totally sucks too. Oh and to the smart-ass kid cutting school and making rude remarks, come closer and say that…