My First 5K: Week 7: Health
My seventh week of training for my first 5K is in the books. With this post, I wanted to get a bit more serious, and talk about some of the benefits that exercise can have on the body. I’ll get a bit personal here as well, talking about some health issues I’ve run in to, and how great I think keeping a regular workout schedule can be. While I’ve always been pretty motivated to keep an exercise routine, I struggle with my diet. I don’t like a lot of vegetables, I eat on the run a lot, and I am a sucker for ice cream. The first time I remember having chest pains was in 2008. I was standing in my kitchen with my roommate at the time, and I felt like someone had literally reached into my chest and was squeezing my heart. I dropped my plate of food and fell to my knees. It passed within seconds, but really shook me up. I hadn’t even turned 21 yet – why would my heart be doing that?
Over the years, the same chest pain has occurred. They are not regular, often or seem to come from a certain activity – such as working out, drinking, or putting a strain on my body. For a while I would just ignore them, mainly because they weren’t often. I’m talking maybe 3-4 times a year. But recently, as of just last year, they were getting more consistent, and my boyfriend (excuse me – fiancé now!) was getting worried. I started seeing doctors, and everyone was pretty baffled – why would a healthy 25 year old be having heart problems? Unfortunately, heart trouble does run in my family, on my mother’s side. And I also do not know my birth father, my mom decided to have me on her own and used an anonymous sperm donor to conceive me. I’ve started the search for him, but that’s another story. So I very possibly could have heart disease on both sides of my family line – scary. I’m currently still in the process of getting tests ran, I’ve been to a handful of doctors and specialists so far, but with no real results. Everyone seems confused, which is only making me more nervous.
So in the meantime while I wait for my next appointment, I am watching what I eat and keeping up with my regular workout schedule. While training for the 5K, my schedule called for intervals – going from a fast run to a slower walk – and intervals are great for your heart. I’m happy to say that over the past few months, I haven’t had any chest pains. While I’m not in any way considering myself scott-free and will cease my appointments, but I really feel like some of the issues are improving. This just reminds me that even though I might not like going to gym 5+ a week, having achy thighs in the morning or getting my ass kicked in boot camp workouts, I know that it’s worth it. Health is everything.