Take a giant dose of stress, throw in a 3-night lack of sleep, shake vigorously with several days of low barometric pressure and what do you get? A fibromyalgia flare! For those of you who've never had the joy of experiencing one, I can only describe it as a full-body toothache meets the flu. You wake up in the morning feeling as though you've been beaten with a baseball bat, and every time you move, every muscle in your body exhibits the raw-nerve sensation of biting on an abscessed tooth. Exercise is completely out of the question. Surviving it is pretty much the only goal.
This latest flare was mercifully brief. It hit Monday evening, laid me low Tuesday and Wednesday, and finally started to subside sometime yesterday morning. On a scale of one to ten I'd say it averaged around a 5. The most frustrating thing, of course, was not being able to run and work toward my goal of running a (slow) mile without stopping, which I was hoping to reach by the end of this week.
I really didn't feel like running this morning, but since I was sure the flare was 99% gone, I forced myself to hop on the treadmill. I had no plan in mind whatsoever -- walk a slow mile? Try to run just a little? Who knows? But once I had my earbuds in and the Prodigy exhorted me to "Smack My Bitch Up" (look for a post about my running playlist soon), I felt like trying a couple of running/walking intervals like I did on Saturday -- running for 30 seconds, then walking for a minute. I was thrilled to find that not only did it not hurt, it felt fantastic! So fantastic that I didn't want to stop. I did two miles altogether, including warm-up and cool-down. That's almost two-thirds of a 5K!
So my goal has changed. Forget running a mile without stopping. That hurts, and my body doesn't like it, and it was an arbitrary goal anyway. I'm just going to add intervals until I'm up to the distance I need. What I'll do after that, I don't know, but that is my new short-term goal -- build up intervals until I'm doing at least 3.1 miles total at a time.
Alrighty! Onward and upward!