I just came back from my first attempt to run in a month. I've been reading up on the running considerations for my particular demographic and once I moved past my absolute fear of failure this evening, I got moving again.
What I had to keep in mind:
I'm prone to shin splints, so I had to find a softer surface than the asphalt I was on before. Then I was told there is such a place - the high school I attended, just a few minutes from my house. A quarter of a million dollars spent on this synthetic racetrack, and if it solves my problem with training shin splints, I'll consider it worth every penny. It felt slightly spongy to walk on, so I can imagine it absorbs a bit of the shock from running.
Being over 40, I can't *really* run yet. I learned that I should jog or "shuffle" instead of running until I can't go any further. Stop worrying about speed and distance and just condition my muscles for the task first. Maybe I won't get completely sidelined by dual injuries if I take it easy. Shuffling was easy enough. It still raised my heart rate and I'm supposed to merely be working toward 30 minutes of nonstop running.
The crazy thing is that my time shuffling was slightly better than my 5k time in the race. Lol
I was breathing wrong before. I'd always been told to inhale through my nose and exhale through my mouth. The problem is that not enough air comes into the nose to sustain a runner. The proper way to breathe is through mouth and nose simultaneously. When I tried it this way, for the first time I didn't do the panicked breathing that makes me feel like I am suffocating. So I'm learning how to breathe again.
I worked hard to keep my arms up even while I walked, alternating with my feet. Left foot and right arm go forward together, and vice versa. I'll admit it was a little bit confusing at first. I had to think "left" and imagine I was going to reach out with my right elbow as my left foot came forward. It helped.
My usual fears surfaced when I got there. Fear I'd know someone there. Fear hat the track would be crowded and I'd get laughed at. Fear that I would get hurt. Fear that I wouldn't be able to breathe.
(This comes from never having been properly trained for either the physical aspect or the mental aspect of running, and I could have easily gotten that if I'd been allowed to participate in track like I'd wanted. It is truly a lingering resentment.)
Thankfully, it was a beautifully cool night that I love autumn for providing. I just wish 68 degree evenings could happen year round, and I wouldn't end up wheezing asthmatically at the end of my runs. I've been wheezing for years and haven't done anything about it. It only got bad in the summer heat.
I'm really thankful for a small taste of success tonight. It seemed best to restart my couch to 5 k program at the beginning, and I was absolutely astonished at the end of each 1 minute running segment because it came sooner than I expected. I hope my good fortune continues, because I feel great tonight. :).
I want to run in some more races, not that I'll place in any of them -- I just want to accomplish something. I've been feeling like a failure at everything lately. Running a few races would give me something to do that won't require anybody else's presence. I'm used to that. Not that I've ever liked my forced solitude.