I want to run and keep running

I’ve been so fed up. Recently diagnosed with COPD which really got to me.

I need to explore that dx, there’s fairly constant discomfort in my throat as well as my chest and I don’t think my GP has factored in inflammatory disease. Anyway, I’ll deal with it but ‘yet another thing’ syndrome gets me down - I know most of you will understand that feeling.

Our woodturner and dust from decorating etc. affect my breathing badly and I get out of breath climbing stairs. But somehow I’m fine when walking. The PsA’s quite good at the moment, though there’s a bit of knee swelling.

Feeling utterly dejected, I dragged myself out for a walk in the dark. It’s best down by the sea, though unlit in the evening there’s a tarmac promenade with no potholes, there’s usually no-one around, the waves crash in, the cobwebs get blown away.

Suddenly I just wanted to run - didn’t have running shoes, I was carrying a shoulder bag, it’s ages since I’ve run and my running technique has always been lousy. But I just wanted to run & run. So I did. Just 200 metre bursts I guess but oh wow, it was exhilarating.

My breathing was okay and has improved enormously. It’s the next day - my chest still feels comfortable for the first time in ages. My knee is a bit sore. I can’t do it today - I know the knee would complain. But maybe tomorrow … maybe 300 metre bursts. Maybe some running shoes …

That was the best feeling I’ve had in ages. My joints are not going to like this but they’ll have to put up with it 'cos for me, that was magic.


Good for you!!! I’ve been having so much trouble the last 2 years with pericarditis, and it causes me to be intolerant of strenous exercise. But when I have periods of wellness, I do enjoy doing sprints instead of just walking. It’s tiring, but good tiring.

Get running shoes, you’ll feel better about it. And how lovely it sounds, where you live. I have a bike path nearby, but living by the ocean sounds so much better.


Sorry for your new dx. I’m not a runner. I get the urge, too. I love to run. I recently rediscovered monkey bars. They’re hard as my grip isn’t very strong. But I forgot that freeing feeling you had as a child of flinging your body around. So now I go to the park. To run. To clamber on the grown-up “exercise” equipment. But I do it like a 7 year-old. Much to the chagrin of the cross-fitters.


I love it!

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Great to hear from people who totally get it! And obviously I’m not alone in craving & benefitting from aerobic exercise / being a big kid!

I’d thought my running days were over … but maybe not. Haha, where there were lights I could see my shadow, I run like an old lady, 'cos I am.

Also, that was the most fast acting, effective anti-depressant I can imagine. More than 24 hours on I’m still feeling much happier.


Just seen there’s a ‘like’ from @Rachael. We haven’t heard from you for ages. Would love to hear from you whether things are good, bad or indifferent …

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I think that’s just fabulous! Nothing like a bit of sheer aerobic exercise to clear the lungs too. I can’t run, I could never run but for me always there’s nothing better than at least walking by the sea. I’m so so glad it made you feel a thousand times better!

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There have been quite a few discussions here about how difficult it is for most of us to do truly aerobic exercise. Walking, swimming etc. are all excellent but pushing it that bit more confers extra benefits I think. We swam in the sea over the summer and of course the North Sea is … um, ‘refreshing’ even when the thermometer’s popping. Stimulating as it was, it didn’t match up to a run.

My joints are in relatively good shape I suppose - if I can’t run regularly then there must be other things I could do though they all sound a bit boring. I had an exercise bike for a while - made a huge difference though I felt great kinship with hamsters. Rowing machine … hmmm, I reckon shoulders would kick off big time. Running machine - maybe - easier to control the pace and stop & start than it is outdoors.

I think @janeatiu’s onto something too … an element of play, oh boy we need that. Everyone needs that!

The immune system is a mystery to me. I’m never going to study it, I’m never going to understand it - it’s a spoilt brat of a thing. But I’m convinced that there are many things we can do to help regulate it and which can make the difference between feeling bl**dy awful 24/7 and feeling okay. I realise my lung problem probably isn’t autoimmune, but with things totting up I’m motivated to try a lot harder all round.

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Hi Sybil!
First I should apologise for being a “lurker” too long but that is another story that is truly relative to what you are going through but meant to be told another time.
I did love your post but not just because of the physical ability … I read it from an emotional standpoint. Maybe it was the passionate description and beautiful writing but I was struck by the release and control you took at the moment throwing caution to the wind! It doesn’t matter if you were trying to run away or to something or just letting it out in such a powerful way must have been exhilarating! It was only a few months back I was telling my mother how I just had this urge to run ( and I have never been a runner by choice) but I let caution and my fear of spiralling downward the following day stop me.
You just received a difficult diagnosis that changes your life expectations in ways PSA doesn’t… breathing is a requirement in order to live. So run when you can, cry if you need and please keep sharing your journey. Your post hit home for me and brought me back.


Aw Rachael … so good to ‘hear your voice’ again.

I was writing about a simple thing really, a bit worried I was making too much of it. However once in a blue moon simple things just work.

Sounds like quite a few of us get the urge to run, I suppose it’s one of those things that is very natural for human beings, yet often assumed to be the preserve of the young and fit or at least of those who are more serious about it, training for marathons etc. I hope you try running, even if just to test out how your joints react, even if just a few yards … I doubt any harm could come from that.

Oh and my COPD is ‘mild’ apparently. I don’t know what that means yet but absolutely agree with you - anything that compromises breathing is scary. I’ve had a chest infection once or twice in my 63 years … I assumed my lungs were pretty good. So now I feel like no bit of me is reliable lol!

Looking forward to hearing more from you, I doubt that I’m the only one!


I loved this post - and certainly not because I am a runner! (One of my besties keeps threatening to get me a teeshirt that says, “Avoiding Phys. Ed. since 1961!” That’s the year I started Grade 1, lol!
Since my diagnosis five years ago, I’ve realized that I need to keep active, and yoga - chair yoga, that is - has been of great help. We currently have a teacher who is very interested in crafting a practice which builds muscle and bone.
Following a little heart attack this summer, my second even though my arteries are clear and my blood pressure is low, I got referred to a cardio rehab program. All kinds of machines and supervision by trainers and nurses. I’m not running, but it sure is a lovely feeling to sweat! Or, rather, it’s a lovely feeling once I’ve finished!
Funny, cuz my last blood test suggested high inflammation, but I’m not in pain. God,I hate it when exercise works and I cannot come up with a rationalized reason to stop!


Oh, was that all! You’re made of stern stuff!

That’s one way to get hooked on exercise I suppose :open_mouth:

Awesome to hear that rehab is working, even better that it actually makes you feel good overall. Careful, you might keep exercising even when rehab is over! You’re so positive, I love it.

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Great attitude, Sybil! You amaze me—I hope you’re able to keep it up on a regular basis. It can only be a good thing for your lungs and the rest of you, especially if it doesn’t hamper your breathing!
And then there’s always this if that becomes too challenging: :biking_woman:


Thank you for sharing. It is amongst my illnesses, and occasionally find I need to run away from smokers , including my husband, and car exhausts. Felt quite faint the other day walking in traffic, hard to tell if breathing insufficiency is heart or lung derived, but yesterday on a similar wild impetus walked up to third floor office instead of using the lift! Think will walk to work this morning, all hail to us!


That would be me, but out of fear someone creepy was following me in the dark! My legs would probably turn to mush!!!

But, now that you’ve brought this up, I do remember times when I pushed myself into doing what seemed like the impossible, i.e., climbing scaffold to paint, chasing a runaway two-year old, bicycling—it actually does make me feel better!

You’re amazing for running, tho! It’s like you defied your COPD and did the opposite of what most people would do with that diagnosis—and surprisingly it didn’t hurt you at all!


@letizia, air pollution is an issue for sure. I guess whatever the state of our lungs, third floor offices offer opportunities to expand capacity.

I find it hard to know what’s happening - sometimes I feel all funny for no apparent reason, I’ve got so used to it. I don’t even know if I have got COPD now … x-ray said I did but spirometry test yesterday showed a good 'ol pair of lungs - which doesn’t mean I don’t have COPD, but makes me question it. Pain & soreness in my upper chest / neck is constant now & I feel lousy, maybe something else is the problem instead of COPD or as well. I’m dreading the morning call to GP pleading for an appointment this side of Christmas - would love to run away from all that!

@Grandma_J, haha, your description of pushing yourself is wonderful - I see it all like a speedy silent movie … it’s like there is a side of ourselves that is still actually pretty fit … sometimes. And having even an improved chance of evading creepy people is on my mind when testing out the running. Any female who likes getting out on their own after dark needs to know that they can leg it if necessary. Guys too, of course.


Too true. Really am considering moving to the coast, only get so tired as It is with work close to home downtown, that sometimes am too tired to do anything but sleep when get home
After all guess am no spring chicken at 57… but exercise is fundamental, even if Steve Hawkins managed to be my all time hero with his own problems


Sybil, I am hearing you with finding it hard to know what’s happening - and sometimes wishing we could run away from it all (we won’t because we are both good patients, but sometimes…). I have been doing really very well most of the time, and feel generally pretty healthy, but popped up with a very odd inflammation in patches of skin on my face that has lasted for weeks, popping up and down at a whim overnight in different spots… cue the many tests to exclude all of the things that could be, and of course, no definitive answer, just raised ESR and CRP.

Meantime though, I did my first little showjump in over 25 years on a friends horse the other day - and OMG it felt good! Like flying :smile:


Thanks Jen! I needed to hear that. I liked the GP who sent me for x-ray - he was zen-like! Barely said a word. And I was so proud of myself for getting out of there quickly to let the much sicker looking folks have their turn. Now I realise I was a twit - should have given him chapter & verse, not just breathing issues, he’d have listened I think. The thought of all the tests and whatnot, all the potential dead-ends, weighs on anyone who has experienced it.

Navigating the NHS is not easy, I guess there aren’t many countries where accessing medical services intelligently is easy. But like you say, there’s the things that happen ‘meantime’! i.e. LIFE. Flying through the air on a horse OMG, that’s living! Just a moment, but what a moment!

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I hope by now you’ve seen your doctor for this. You need some more tests. It sounds like either indigestion/heartburn which can mimic heart pain—OR it CAN BE HEART PAIN! I don’t mean to alarm you, but please get this checked out ASAP! Sometimes the stress test doesn’t reveal imminent heart attack—maybe you need an angiogram.