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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Dig Deep

Since my shoulder started bothering me last winter I've experienced a gradual decline in my overall fitness level.  I wasn't too worried about it at first, but post-surgery it soon became clear how far I had to go to return to the strength and endurance that I experienced last year.  Not only had I lost muscle tone in both my arms, but due to the swinging motion necessary in running I lost quite a bit of muscle tone in my legs as well.

Now that my strength and flexibility are starting to return to my upper arms, I'm getting a little impatient for my legs to follow.  I've been walking more, doing legs lifts and stretches to help rebuild those quads, but returning to more than 5 minutes straight running has been eluding me.  I've been doing intervals, walking, then running, then walking again.  Now that the shoulder is much better, I've been struggling with aching knees due to patellofemoral syndrome.  It's easy to slip back into bad habits, and neglecting those leg lifts and stretches soon brought back the knee discomfort, especially the left one due to my patella not tracking correctly.  One thing I've been religious about though is proper arch support and cushioning in my shoes.  This past week I started remembering to take flax seed oil capsules to help keep those tendons pliable and it seems to be helping.

But the other big factor has been my mild asthma.  Apparently it's gotten a little worse than I thought and haphazard treatment is no longer doing the trick.  I've used my steroid inhaler once a day for a week now as well, and when I went out to run today I noticed a big difference.  I drove to a nearby bike trail to run on dirt instead of pavement, and when I started and my lungs felt really good I told myself to dig deep and keep going for a full 20 minutes.

I did it!  1.8 miles in 20 minutes!  Special thanks to the boys who kept me going when I felt like taking a break instead of pushing through: Bily Idol, and the guys from R.E.M., Green Day, and Depeche Mode.


Right after I was done running Elton John chimed in on my iPod with "The Bitch is Back".

Yep, me and Sir Elton, proving that just because you get older and your body starts rebelling against you doesn't mean you have to give up.  If removing throat polyps wasn't going to slow down his singing career, who I am to give up being fit and strong because of some mild asthma and knee discomfort, right?

To celebrate my victory I came home, showered, and grabbed my camera and a young photographer assistant and we motored back to the trail to take the only pictures I have of me running.

My neighbor Devin helped out by pressing the shutter for me, and with putting away the tripod too!

I'm hoping I have some more time and miles left in me, but if I end up changing gears and have to focus on other activities instead that will be okay too.  Whatever I tackle, I just got to remember to dig deep because we are all capable of great things when we set our minds to it!

Kim's working on getting from Couch to 5K, drop over to her blog to give her some encouragement!


  1. Hi Pam - way to go. Wow, 1.8 in 20 minutes is awesome. We might have to get together for a running/hiking date. Thanks for the shout out too! Your assistant looks adorable.

  2. Great job! And nice shots of you running. Yep, you gotta keep those parts moving. If you don't use it you lose it! I've got another half marathon race next Sunday. Wish me luck!

  3. Well done my girl you should be proud. I used to have asthma as a child but I grew out of it, I feel lucky to have reasonable health and hope it stays that well.