Back in London, not long after I got out of hospital (probably not long enough, if I’m honest) I was feeling restless and frustrated from lack of exercise, and I decided to try out a new yoga class.
Spoiler alert – I shouldn’t have gone. And I should have known that from the off, when I called to ask what the class was like and the teacher described it as a workout. I tried to explain what I wanted from the class – relaxation, stretching, seeing if any of my yoga muscles still worked – and he told me to come on down, try the class and see.
I was still pretty weak at the time, and I didn’t know what I would still be able to do and what I wouldn’t. I didn’t necessarily know this yet, but what I really didn’t want was to be pushed.
I’ve been a bit slow at getting around to writing this, but only because there has been a lot going on and I have a lot to say. So much so, in fact, that I decided I can’t say it all at once. So, for now I’m just going to update you on my C25K programme progress.
The weekend after I was given the all clear to start running again I re-started the C25K challenge from the beginning again, with run one of week one. The first week (which I planned on doing twice) consists of three workouts, each involving walking for a five-minute warm-up, then alternating 60 seconds of running with 90 seconds of walking, for 20 minutes. After that, there’s another five-minute cool-down walk.
I said in my last post that I haven’t yet found myself on dialysis in a foreign hospital. What I didn’t say was that there was a very brief moment where I thought I might.
Since the fateful half marathon over a year ago, I have not done a whole lot of exercise. When I have, it’s been walking. Safe to say, therefore, my arm muscles are not what they used to be. If I’m being honest, they were never much to begin with.
When, in New Zealand, I decided to spend a whole day sea kayaking around Abel Tasman National Park, I probably should have realised that it was going to be hard. But I didn’t.
As it says on my C25K page, I’m not starting from scratch here. Having spent three months gallivanting around New Zealand, Fiji and Australia, I’ve been doing some pretty spectacular practice walks.
Back when I was in hospital, I was weak, but could walk around a little bit. By the time I left, I could walk pretty much normally, but stairs were tricky. A few weeks later, stairs were all good, but I tried to run for a bus and that didn’t go so well.
Running a half marathon nearly killed me, and that’s only a little bit of hyperbole.
A year ago today I attempted the Hackney Half Marathon and, to cut a long story short, found myself first with heatstroke and then with rhabdomyolosis, or rhabdo.
Caused by muscle exhaustion and heat (in my case anyway), rhabdo leads to a breakdown in muscle tissue and causes the release of a protein, myoglobin, into the blood. This kind of toxin would usually be flushed out by the kidneys, but myoglobin cells are too big for that, and lead to the kidneys becoming clogged up and ultimately – to put it politely – broken.