Beginning to run… again. The first chapter of an asthmatic rookie’s road to fitness.

I’m not the fittest person, but I do have my phases. Those phases involve it getting closer and closer to summer each year and my determination to get healthy, eat well, go to the gym, start running. That kind of thing. In the past, they’ve not lasted all that long.

Past – Last year I started running, it must have been around April or so, and although I was still in the midst of my second year at university it seemed to lend me some sort of consistency rather than disrupt my schedule. I was running as often as I could through April, May, June, July, until I caught some sort of bug and ended up letting myself get mostly bed-ridden for the rest of the summer. 

I reached third year with the laziness and apathy that usually strikes when education comes around, and by the time I was feeling a bit more energetic there were more pressing things to attend to. You know, the degree. On top of that was the magazine I was in charge of, my two jobs, and I was struggling with my mental health quite a lot. As if I hadn’t enough to worry about. I’m an emotional eater, and also a terribly unhealthy convenience-takeaway-orderer. Things happened, weight was gained. Oh well. 

During third year I did very little exercise other than running around behind a bar at work. Considering in second year at least I walked quite a lot every day because I lived off campus, I suppose I let myself go a little, never mind the terrible eating habits I got into. I told myself there were more important things in life than being healthy – and I suppose there are. Some things need to be prioritised over fitness – but I keep kicking myself when I imagine how much more energy I probably would have had if I’d kept it up. Nonetheless, university is over and I have no excuses any more. 

Present – Now, we’ve reached the end of July 2014. I’ve been putting off getting back into the swing of things. As proud as I am of myself for getting through third year, doing so well, and having such a jam-packed CV… I’m not particularly happy with how I looked in my graduation photographs. It’s a bit shallow perhaps, but it’s how I feel. And it’s a bit of a kick up the arse, to be honest. 

I went on my second run of the week yesterday. My speed is terrible, my endurance is terrible, and I wish I could go back to last year when I was at least improving. It definitely feels like I have taken a massive step backwards. My asthma is probably worse than it has ever been, which doesn’t help at all. I’m finding it hard to keep pushing forward, through my boundaries, with asthma. I can handle tired legs, aches and soreness, but there are only so many breaths you can take when you have asthma. I suppose I should be happy that I do know my own body’s limits, but it’s so frustrating knowing that if I had a better pair of lungs I might not be having such trouble. Regardless, I’m still working on it – one day the running may just prove to help with the breathing problems.

Future – I’m setting myself goals that are easily achievable, but still require work. I have a feeling that meeting small goals will give me the motivation to set larger ones further down the road. Definitely have to look at the long term as something that is made up of lots of short-term activities. The journey to fitness is a marathon, not a sprint (though don’t expect me to be running either any time soon).

I’m trying to run 3 or more times a week. Setting higher distance goals each time. Even if I end up walking more than running, at least I’m still out of the house, getting some sort of exercise. It’s better than being sat on my laptop blogging about how I wish I was fit. Of course I have weight-loss goals, but I’m not restricting myself to as few calories as I have in the past. I’d rather it take longer to lose weight and be able to maintain it when I have done, than lose it quickly and then boomerang back into my size twelve clothes. That being said, we’re meeting with the person making my best friend’s bridesmaids’ dresses soon – and I’m one of them. It’s kind of worrying how soon it is. But who knows? We might just have to get it taken in by the time the wedding comes around in February.

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