Balancing Act

I have always known how important it is to stay in shape, especially having MS.  I have always been a runner, and have attributed the quick recoveries I have to past relapses to the fact that I stay in shape.  With this last bout of illness, however, I have not recovered very quickly at all, and have been very aware of how weak my muscles are.

I decided that I need to add weight lifting into my routine.  And I have loved it!  I wake up early before work, I do a weight routine and then run only 3 miles, and I can still fit it into about an hour or a little over without breaks.  It makes me feel great; strong and good.  Morning workouts are the best!!!

However, there is a downside.   I pushed it really hard on Monday morning, and increased my weights so that was difficult for me to finish my reps.  I read on a website that the best way to use weights to lose weight (which I am always trying to do) is to make your weights heavy enough that when you complete your final rep you couldn’t do another.  I did this, and then I ran 3 miles at a very fast pace so I could fit all 3 miles in and still get home in time to get ready for work.  I felt good; tired, but not in pain.

The pain started around 9am, and continued to get worse.  And my right arm felt incredibly weak.  I was having odd sensations of it being numb and thinking it wouldn’t work, but it did work and it was not numb.  Maybe it moved just a split second later than my thought told it to?  The whole thing is hard to describe, but it felt horrible.  This odd sensation that I cannot quite pin down happened in my shins and ankles as well.  I thought I was going into another relapse.  Or did I just push myself too hard and have not completely recovered from my last one yet?  The question is impossible to answer right now.  I cannot tell, and no one will be able to yet.  I just have to wait to see if I get better or worse.  This is the hardest part of the disease for me – the unknown.

Today the burning sensation is covering my arms and shoulder blades, and it is especially bad on the top of my head – I know, weird, right?  My hands are both pretty clumsy, but both work.  Since the question of what is going on with me cannot be answered by anyone yet, the real question becomes:  How do I balance getting stronger and keeping symptoms/possible relapses at bay at the same time?

I could tell when I was running after lifting yesterday that my body was tired and I was really pushing myself, so I probably should have skipped the fast run.  Maybe I should just alternate weights and running days.  I can do that.  I want to run every morning, but I don’t have to.  Here is the dilemma: if I never push myself at all, with the nature of this disease I would probably never get any exercise done at all.   I am almost always physically tired.  So what is the answer?

My goal for my blog is to always have a motivational message, and this blog feels a bit winey to me.  So I would like to end it with the message that I got from my yoga instructor last Saturday:  See the beauty in everywhere you look.  There is too much ugly in the world around us every day, notice instead the beauty.

Posted in: Happiness, Multiple Sclerosis, running