Running with asthma: A race of one

I was supposed to run a 5K today as part of my “me-and-my-big-ideas” Facebook proclamation to run one race a month in 2014. Things were looking good: I made it through races in  January and February even though they aren’t typical “racing months” up here in New England. With spring around the corner, my resolution was looking like a sure thing.

Funny how “sure things” can become “not sure things” so quickly.

I’ve been plagued for the past few months by the reappearance of an old and not-so-welcome friend: Asthma. I used to blithely wave away the notion that asthma was any big deal for me, but it’s become a bigger deal this winter for reasons I can’t really ascertain. Tweaks in medications, short stints of Prednisone, a newly acquired Nebulizer. . .all these things work for a bit. . .but then I’m back to sucking air like a fish out of water whenever I try to run more than a mile.

Today should have been  my “March” race day. A 5k to support autism research, it was the only race I could fit into a jam-packed month. But, a recent head cold had settled into my chest and walking up the stairs was proving difficult. How could I run 3.1 miles when a walking the dog around the block was an effort?

So, instead of pinning  a number to my chest, I decided to slog out 3-ish miles alone, at my own pace, in my rainy neighborhood. It was slow going, with lots (and lots) of walking (and coughing) breaks. I got soaking wet. And pissed off. And worried. And frustrated.

I know my woes are no different from the runner with a reoccurring hamstring injury that is always in the back of their minds, or the swimmer whose shoulder tweaks during a workout, pulling them out of the pool while it heals.

And I know running has been so good for me and for my breathing overall. And that it will only take a few good weeks to get back to where I was before I got sick. But, right now, I just would really, really love to breathe like a normal person.

And run like someone who’s been working at it for two years, and not like a pack-a-day smoker who just decided to get off the couch.

 

Let’s Play “Match the Child to their Christmas List”

The cast of characters:

Almost-13 year old girl. Wants to be 15. Spends days with headphones on and iPod in hand.

10 1/2 year old girl. Loves the “big girls”, but not quite ready to leave behind her little-girl ways

9 year old boy. Has no concept of “budget” yet.

List #1

LEGO Mindstorms EV3; Minecraft for PC; Swedish fish; LEGO sets; soda; money; iPhone; email account; candy; remote-control helicopter-car-boat; a bird; a rat; DS games; Wii games; a trip to anywhere; Wii U; a go-cart; iPad; a boat; a car; a kite; a Wii remote; a sled; laser guns

List #2

iPhone 5S (or 5C); EM Cosmetics: Life Pallet in “Day Life”, lipstick in light pink, lip gloss, concealer, eyebrow touch up, definition enhancer; SORRY! (the game); Just Dance 2014; Otterbox in Berry; Noise-canceling headphones; Divergent 4+6 necklace; Divergent rings; Totoro plushie

List #3

Good-smelling perfume; purse that goes around shoulder; Elizabeth’s hair fixed (her American Girl doll); a bedside table; a picture or poster–in pink–to go next to bed; her ears pierced; pink water bottle (to match bedroom)

The dream becomes reality watching Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker

Boston Ballet Nutcracker on stageLast year, my then-nine-year-old daughter and I were invited to attend the Boston Ballet’s brand-new production of the Nutcracker. As we sat there in the glow, her hugging a pair of worn ballet shoes that were in the “goodie bag”, I thought, “I’d love to give her the chance to dance in this ballet.”

This year, she will. Not with Boston Ballet (their ballet school is even more of a drive than the one we are currently attending), but with the Franklin Performing Arts Company which puts on a lovely Nutcracker every year, starring, coincidentally, two Boston Ballet soloists. She will be both a “party girl” and a “Marzipan” (sometimes called Pastorale.)

So when we were invited again last week to see this year’s Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker, we went with excitement building that Jilly will soon be part of her own company’s production.

And, oh, they do put on such a beautiful ballet. It helps that their location, the Boston Opera House sets the mood perfectly for a night of holiday magic.

Boston Opera House for Nutcracker

And the dancers are exquisite.

Boston Ballet Nutcracker by Gene Schiavone

The story is sweet and so entertaining.

Boston Ballet Nutcracker bear and kids

Though what I liked best was sharing this experience with a little girl who last year was dreaming about dancing in the Nutcracker, and this year, will.

Jilly and I at Boston Ballet Nutcracker

Many thanks to the Boston Ballet for inviting us to attend opening night of Mikko Nissenen’s Nutcracker. Shows will run through the end of the month and will really get you into the Christmas spirit.

For those of you in my neck of the woods, the Franklin Performing Arts Company’s Nutcracker will run December 14-15. Not into ballet? My oldest daughter, Belly, will appear in FPAC’s brand-new production, Carol’s Christmas, the following weekend. I don’t think my son’s fencing school is putting on any holiday-themed shows though. Maybe next year.