OK ..What’s going on here? It’s been three full weeks since I got sick and STILL, I’m in the yellow. I can breath fine at rest , but as soon as I start walking ( or any exercise for that matter) , I start huffing & puffing and trapping air.

My racewalking intervals have decreased from 400 meters per mile of regular walking, to less than 100 meters per mile. This totally sucks and its starting to get me down. While I’m confident that I can finish this upcoming 1/2 marathon in the required time limit , I’m not so sure if I’ll be able to racewalk any of it.

The problem is , if I mis-interpret my own breathing pattern ( which happens a lot), even short bursts of racewalking , could push me over the threshold into a prolonged and labored breathing pattern. ( also referred to in my previous posts as the ” pace factor”) When that happens , I have to slow way down to catch my breath and sometimes I have to stop completely. This is the last thing you want to do during a timed-race.

With this 1/2 marathon due in 7 weeks , I have to decide whether or not I’m going to racewalk any of it and then plan my training accordingly.
Should I gamble and try to racewalk portions of the race to get my finish time down? OR Should I just forget about racewalking altogether and keep a slower but steadier pace, so that I can at least finish.
I guess if my lung function doesn’t improve, I’m not really gonna have choice in the matter. Tomorrow , I have a pulmonary function test scheduled. Hopefully , this will give me some objective data to see if what I’m experiencing, is actually happening.

When I’m out there walking, it feels like my vital capacity is really decreased. ( this is a measurement of how big a breath you can take ) If this is indeed what’s happening, it should show up on the test. Of course, there are a ton of other things that could be going on. For example, maybe I still have a lot of inflammation in my smaller airways. This would mimic the same sensation of not being able to take a deep breath. Maybe Im just getting too old to do this level of exercise anymore. Who knows.. . this disease plays havoc on your perception of how well you’re really breathing.
Sometimes when you feel more short of breath than usual ( especially during exercise), it’s not always reflected in your PFTs–this is one of the mysteries of chronic lung disease.
You might feel like crap , but your PFTs are haven”t changed. By the same token, one might be able to racewalk 800 meters without breaking a sweat, while the PFTs are actually worsening. ( the latter is what usually happens to me).

In any event , I’ve got to get to the bottom of this…..and soon.

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