Every breath you take

Here’s a picture I took of myself today in the locker room (with my horrible Blackberry camera)

Kat, post-run

…icky and sweaty but happy and excited because I ran for 30 minutes, side stitch free!  I attribute this accomplishment to:

  • A trick Kendra told me about – apparently you should try exhaling when your left foot strikes if you’re prone to side stitches. 
  • I breathed in slowly through my nose and purse my lips when I exhaled through my mouth.
  • I gave myself permission to stop running in order to catch my breath as I needed.  While I don’t have asthma, sometimes it’s hard for me to catch my breath, even during normal daily activities.  Sometimes I have to stop and adjust my posture in order to get a full, satisfying breath, and that’s what I did today while I ran. 
  • I employed deep yogic breathing as best I could (though I sometimes resorted to the flailing, gasping fish method I’m so accustomed to), and if I felt my breathing was too shallow, I walked a few seconds until I could satisfy a breath to the bottom of my lungs.

Rambling possibilities aside, the take-home message here is that today I concentrated on my breathing instead of my speed or my distance, and my lungs carried me as far as my legs could take me.  I probably could’ve kept going, but I set my goal for 30 minutes (the longest I’ve ever run is about 25 minutes, and that was in the spring!) and quit while I was ahead.  My legs felt like jell-o afterward…they’ve got some catching up to do!

Have you had to re-adjust your breathing during a certain type of exercise?  Did you find it hard to concentrate on something that habitual?  After awhile, did your new breathing patterns become second nature?