When will it stop hurting?!

Guys and gals (well, Jimmy Saville is such a sweetie),
I started running again after a 13 year gap (ok, those of you who read everything have heard this in other threads - stop yawning!) in June. I've plateaued at 1.5 miles (which I cover at around 9.5 minutes per mile), so decided tonight to do something completely different! (I know, I know.....!)

I generally run at 6am, on an empty stomach. Tonight I ran at 6pm, having had a fairly ordinary kind of lunch. The course I'd planned out was 2 miles.

Boy did I suffer! After 9 minutes I had a severe pain in my left, upper chest, sufficient to make me walk, for fear of keeling over. Later in the run I had to walk again, for the same reason. My legs felt better than they generally do in the morning, but my chest took over an hour to feel normal again.

For non-alarming reasons, in the last twelve months I had an ECG, so I know that my heart is fine. I have asthma, but at no time did I feel truly breathless. Was the pain my stomach contents encroaching on my lung space? Is it easier to run in the morning? How do I move on? If I try run-walk, I get so hung up on how long I'm doing which bit, I can scarcely run at all! I really feel like throwing in the towel. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • Sassie, I started running in April, and like you I got to a plateau and just couldn't get past it. I was told that this was very normal, and just to keep going. What helped me was actually running slower - I went running with a friend who runs about 10.5 min miles - at first I felt so frustrated, I just wanted to get a move on - the next thing I knew we had run 3 miles! That gave me great confidence to keep going.

    The main thing is - don't give up, just keep your expectations realistic at this early stage. All of a sudden you'll surprise yourself with what you can do.
  • Sassie, just wanted to echo the above - don't give up!! I don't know what the pain in your chest was - but if you hadn't eaten anything since lunchtime, I don't think it could have been food related. Maybe give it another try tomorrow night - don't eat anything for a couple of hours beforehand, but drink plenty of water and, as Jo suggested, try going slower - how about doing something like run a minute/walk a minute - frustrating I know, but at least you're still covering the same distance in the end. Let us know how you get on and keep at it!!! Honestly, it does get easier!Good Luck.
    Michelle x
  • Thanx everyone. Went out for my usual mile and a half this morning. No chest pain, thank goodness, although the legs protested a bit! Got round in 18 mins, slower than normal as I tried to heed the advice. Just wish I could get back to enjoying it a bit!
  • Are you sure Jimmy saville is such a sweetie ? Did you ever see the text of Paul Merton giving him a roasting on Channel 4's "Whose line is it anyway " ?
  • Hi Sassie - just wanted to add my encouragement, and to echo Jo and Michelle's advice. Earlier this week I had a terrible run and felt truly awful - but thought that I might be going too fast ('fast' being a very relative term - my fast is actually very slow). So yesterday I went as slowly as I could and felt much much better. I'm finding it quite hard to get the pace right, but at the moment, for me slow is definately more fun.
  • You said you were getting all hung up on the timing for the run/walk thing - I started running with heart rate monitor and followed to the letter the instructions about working heart rate, etc. But I forgot to enjoy the running because I was so focussed on this beeping thing on my wrist.

    For the past month, I have been running without a watch or an HRM - it feels absolutely fantastic! I time myself by looking at the clock when I leave the house, and when I return. Other than that, I run at a pace that feels comfortable, I walk when I need to and run again when I can. The sense of freedom is amazing.

    I will probably carry on like this until I feel like I want to go faster, further, do more etc.

    Don't give up - you are doing really well. You just need to remember why you started running - what it was that got you out there in the first place - and then you will get back to enjoying it.

    Good luck.
  • Sassie - it does get easier, unfortunately most people don't realise it because we all push ourselves to do more! Most remember that first rather painful step out the door, just think how easy it is to do that distance/time now.
    Everybody has bad days, its just a case of picking ourselves up out of the dirt and doing it all again. Just keep in your mind that great feeling you get after a run, lots of people don't know what it's like because they're stuck to the sofa.
    I've found the HRM really helps but that's a matter of opinion. Some like it, some don't. I set mine between two points. The lower tells me to run, the higher tells me to walk until it hits the lower level again. At first you do more walking than running but after a while that reverses. It's worked for me because basically in the beginning I was trying too hard and like you couldn't be bothered with run 5 walk 5 getting in the way of enjoying the run.
    Don't give up... don't throw away all the achievements you've made thus far.... 9.5 mins a mile is a lot faster than a lot of people here and I include myself in that group.
  • RunMike - thanx for your encouragement. You're right of course: once I've run I'm so pleased to have done it. I'm going to try really hard to read and understand the stuff about heart rates. Presumably, to make it work for you the way you do, it's necessary to wear a monitor? How do I know which is a good one to buy? And how much are they? I'm just an impoverished curate you know!
  • Sassie - unfortunately you need an HRM, that is unless somebody here knows of another way.
    There is quite a good thread going somewhere on this site by somebody that knows a lot more about the subject than most... worth reading before spending money. As AmandaP points out, it doesn't work for everybody.
  • Sassie,
    I am at the same level as you wrt distance and time. I also run at 6 am on an empty stomach and finds it much easier than running in the eve. My legs feel lighter and I run faster. Weird, I know, but I thought to tell you that you are not alone.If mornings work, as it does for me, stick with the mornings - anywat, there is less traffic then, so its great and at the moment, we can see the sun rise.
  • Well Kanga,
    I'll think of you tomorrow at 5.45am as I crawl out of my bed. Which days do you run, and where?
  • Hey guys, a good morning! Tried a new route (2 miles), and deliberately went much more slowly. Walked for about .2 of a mile halfway through, then managed to keep going for the rest. Felt SO proud of myself. Trouble is, getting a new puppy at the end of October, so I'm going to have to get up even earlier to cope with her wees and poos and still have time to run and then get home by 6.30am. Who'd be a vicar?!
  • Sassie,
    I try and run 5 days a week (mon-Fri) and do other sport over the weekend (squash, watching tv etc)
    I live in Bristol. and close to the downs so tend to run around the downs.
    How about you
  • Hi Kangaroo,

    I run three days a week, cycle (about 3 miles) the other three days, and have one rest day. I live in Surrey, and just run and cyle locally.
  • Hi Sassie

    I think that you have a bit of a vicious circle here, you are not running for long enough to improve your distances, and I think that the reason for this is that you are running too fast. I believe that if you slow your pace to about 11 minutes per mile you will be much more comfortable and will be able to increase the length of you sessions to 30 minutes. This will give you a much better training effect than 15 minutes of torture. Also do not be afraid to walk if you need to, just make sure your whole session are 30mins or longer. Have a look at Bruce Tulloch's book "Running is easy", the beginners section is full of essential advice on how to start without really hurting yourself.

    The other thing to keep in mind is chest pain. An ECG only tells you your heart was OK when the test was done. It does not make you immune to heart attacks!! This is not to alarm you but if you get persistent chest pain when running you shoud get it investigated.

    Forget heart monitors until you can run for more than 30 minutes without stopping and really know how monitoring your heart rate can improve your training effort.
  • Charles that is so helpful. My only problem with longer sessions is timing - I get up at 5.45am as it is, and find it really hard to run at other times of the day. I guess it's a question of how much I want to do it.........
  • Hi Guys

    I live in Surrey too! I would be well chuffed if I could run 9.5 min mile never mind miles!!

    I ca run further but slower - about 11,30 and when I started at Christmas couldn't even manage 400M. Started on about 13 mins.

    I was always the one at school huffing and puffing round the 400M track and walking if anyone even mentioned X country! I am convinced that if we start slow enough we can go for longer. if someone had told me last yr this time that I could run 8 miles now (all beit with VERY stiff legs next day) I would have laughed at them . But I did it at the w/e albeit slowly, so keep going. I have dreadful days, the 2 girls I run with are slimmer and faster than me but When it feels great it is fantastic! Keep going.

    PS - I belong to St MAry's church in Camberley should you ever visit that area!
  • Sassie
    Perhaps it's too many cheesy footballs!

    Sorry couldn't resist it. Hope you get your problem sorted.
  • Cheesy footballs count!!
    Hope your E mail is enabled
  • Hi Sassie,
    I totally understand your querie about when to run.
    I started running again at the beginning of Aug, after an 18 yr break (yawn yawn!!). My inspiration being my brother, who abstained for a similar amount of time, and who is now annoyingly quick (fit, glowing and happy! [bastard!])
    When I started again, I expected to be pretty good straight away, and got demoralised pretty darn quick. Me bro gave me some good advice: leave atleast 3~4 hrs between eating and running, drink shed loads of water(all day), don't try too hard.

  • Hi everyone, nice to see this thread revitalised. Well, an update, about a month on from my original complaints! I've taken the 'start slower' thing very seriously, and can now run for 35 mins without stopping, covering a distance of 3.6 miles. Tomorrow I'm going out for a 5.4 mile run, and if I have to walk some of it, so what?! On November 17 I'll be in Brighton for the 10K. So..... I persevered, made extra time by getting up at 5.25am instead of 5.45, and it's working. Thanx for all the encouragement.
    Sassie x
  • It has been really nice to read this thread. It is nice to know that I am not the only one having problems. When I started run I seemed to get hung up on doing 10min miling and then couldn't run for more than 10-15 mins. Now I have really slowed down and run quiet comfortably for 30 mins.

    I am also entered for the Brighton 10K, so I might see you there.
  • Sassis
    I guess that you havent had the chest paid since, but I wonder if it could have been a stitch. I have had a stitch in the most weird places. Sometimes in a race I get one in my shoulder/chest. Glad you are keeping it going. Good luck in the 10k. What kind of puppy are you going to get?
  • Sassie - well done!! (both for the running and for getting up that early!)
  • Thanx guys. The puppy is a standard poodle, a little girl. I've already got a boy who's 15 months. And no funny haircuts!
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