Monday, December 2, 2013

Running Alzheimer's or Amnesia?

          It would be too easy to say that the only thing that runs in me is my nose, nor can I say that I like my eggs runny since I don't eat eggs anymore. In the past month since I've become unemployed, I've had the runs, or rather, I started running again. Not very much - just a couple of times a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, plus a walk/run at Signal Hill on Saturdays with the Long Beach Area Walking Club. The weekday runs only lasts between 30 and 45 minutes which are substitutes for indoor cycling the rest of the week. I'm able to try running again because even though I might overstretch my ankle tendons, I don't have to go to work and dodge potentially violent psychiatric patients. Here is what I found out: all the muscle memory from decades of running has developed Alzheimer's Disease or at the very least, amnesia. My body has forgotten how to run and it feels like I have tired legs all the time. You know - the way your legs feel the day after a very long run or a hard interval workout. When I was forced to stop running due to PTTD a few years ago, my aerobic capacity was way ahead of the slow pace my legs were capable of doing. Nowadays even when I force myself to run the slowest pace possible, it still makes me breathless and I don't seem to be able to get into a steady state anymore. Maybe if I run a couple more times a week, I might get my running legs back but twice is all that my muscles would allow due to my year long statin-induced muscle pain. I'm not sure whether it's only my muscles that can't go longer or if it is my brain that gets tired more quickly. The mental toughness I once had when training for marathons is also now gone. Am I complaining about losing muscle and mental endurance? It's certainly understandable for me to lament it, but since I wasn't expecting much, I'm pretty content on being able to do my 30 to 45 minutes of the slowest possible jogging that my body allows. I don't foresee myself running in races anymore or training with the AREC running club, but once in a while I might challenge myself with a very long walk like the birthday walks I do, or maybe in 2014, it might be a run/walk combination. In the meantime, I'll ride this running wave as long as I possibly can.

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