Getting fit with Mr Uhthoff

This isn’t a new year’s resolution, but I have decided to get fit.

This incorporates a couple of in-built problems, the most obvious being the MS, of course, but the second being the fact that I don’t do personal trainers (I have to admit to being quite rude to the only one I have ever had) and I don’t do gyms.

Therefore I have been taking to the roads for the occasional run in the hours of darkness.

Regular readers will know that I had a spate of evening runs last year up on the nearby moors, but this time it’s serious.

Why? Because it’s winter and I can push myself a bit further each time without overheating and I’m slightly less ill than I was last year, so the repercussions of Uhthoff’s phenomenon aren’t as great. Also, because it’s dark I can run incognito (it takes a while before I get over my self-consciousness).

I have been out three times in just over a week and I have lost two pounds in weight. I want to lose about a stone overall. Plus, as you can see in my post “Giving in” I need to build up my stamina.

I am trying to build up to five mile runs with a few hills thrown in, so far I have progressed as far as a two and a half miler on the flat with a sprint for the last 100 metres or so.

I am comparing this year’s training to the last time I did some serious regular running three years ago. The 2007 fitness regime took place a year and a bit before I was officially diagnosed, so I have only realised in retrospect that the experiences I had then were due to MS.

Back in 2007 I experienced a numb leg and a rubbery burning smell afterwards which I whimsically attributed to having burnt-out some electrics in my head as I was running (not realising how close to the mark I was). I would also get oscillopsia on my longer runs.

The last fitness regime tailed off when my youngest was born. So far, as far as Uhthoff is concerned, I have been a little wobbly legged after each run, but this has diminished each time I have been out. I have also had ‘slow eyes’ for a while after I finish (so I am expecting some oscillopsia when the longer runs kick in). I still have the peculiar burning smell too.

I have been doing some reading up and now know the burning smell is phantosmia – an olfactory hallucination – and is quite common for people with epilepsy as part of the pre-fit aura or with people who have brain injuries in the part of the brain that interprets smell. I guess I must have demyelination here.

My ideal, is that one day (this year or next) I may (NB: may) do a 10k run in aid of one of the UK MS charities.

My current thinking is that I will be supporting the MS Trust for the support they showed me in terms of the excellent free information they sent to me when I was diagnosed.

With this in mind, I have been consulting the MS Trust’s superb online training information. It is well worth checking out even if you don’t have MS as they include clearly written information and training schedules for beginners as well as more experienced runners.

I’ll keep you posted on how I get on.

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a little bit further along that long road to fitness

Managed two miles tonight in my secret moorland training camp. Yay! target reached.

Contended with failing light, with mist/drizzle (mizzle?) and a sharp headwind on the flat and downhill sections, but luckily behind me for the uphill. Oh! and an undone shoelace for much of the second mile

I think the “bad” weather helped. I have never been a hot weather type, but the drizzle was ice cold and kept me cool all the way round, so none of the usual crap apart from a few jumpy visuals after – also right eye wouldn’t look right for a while. I only had shorts and a T-shirt – no poncey jogging bottoms for me – no way!

Been a fairly busy day all round. Feeling good now – buzzing. Won’t be able to sleep easily. Shame because it’s one in the morning already.

Hopefully three miles next time.

The long road to fitness

I went for a run this evening out on the moors. There’s a triangle of road that is exactly a mile round so it’s easy to assess how (un)fit I am.

I hit the MS wall at one mile. Uhthoff not far behind – my eyes starting to play tricks. I just couldn’t lift my feet at all.

Next time I go out, I will aim for two miles.

Two years ago, I was going out for two five mile runs every week, involving hill climbs, the lot. I also wondered why I couldn’t see properly as I was running or why my leg was going numb in the shower afterwards.

I feel surprisingly un-fatigued now and it’s quite late. Just sitting in my tingly cloud. Must try to go out again before my personal trainer comes on Thursday.