Sunday, August 12, 2007

Less Than One Minute

Today is Chantix Day 67 and Smoke-free Day 55. I'm really hoping that I make my day as productive as it is smoke-free. I have a list. At the end, though, just smoke-free is close enough.

Less than one minute. Yes, that does happen to be how long my urges (now the lesser tuggings) usually last. Even at the worst, really, the longest craving or urge or tugging has been no more than 5 minutes. Seriously, breathe and drink water and set a timer (but don't stare at the clock or it probably will last the hour that it feels like it does). They just used to come by more often and were harder to cope with than they are now, but none ever lasted as long as it seemed they would right in the middle of one when it felt like there was no possible way I could do this. Once it was over, I started to believe again that I could make it. Even now sometimes in that short less than a minute space of time I have the same nutty thoughts that I'll never make it and will someday smoke again - but I have been staying quit, and I can do it. Just one day at a time. Rinse and repeat.

But that's not the less than one minute I mean. Last night when I was walking away my blues, I got a little creative, and after walking almost the first quarter of a mile, I thought how much harder could it possibly be to just very lightly jog up to the next corner, about another quarter of a mile. Very, very slowly jog, as in not much faster than my power walking. It can't be that much different, can it? Really? I thought of Nathan and how he runs and recommended a book I've been wanting to read since he mentioned it in one of my favorite posts I've read throughout this Chantix journey. I mean, I wasn't even trying to run like I think it's so cool that Nathan does; I was just trying to power walk faster and with an extra little bounce.

Here are my results and conclusions all mixed together:
  1. I need a better bra if I'm going to do something like that (obvious to plenty of you, but new to me because I haven't run since I was forced to in high school PE class - or when someone was chasing me or promised me a latte at the other end). Ladies, any help here? Is that what a sports bra is?
  2. I remember why I haven't run since high school - it hurts like bleeding bloody hell in the back of my throat and in my lungs as if I'd smoked 8 packs of Camels (not my brand) in less than one minute
  3. That pain can't possibly be something that still happens every time once people are either used to it or doing it correctly, so I need to learn more before attempting it again
  4. Currently, less than one minute is all I can possibly stand trying to jog because of said pain
  5. Smoking was the absolute last thing I wanted to do during that less than one minute and for at least the next 5 minutes or so that it hurt to breathe, so I'll probably try it again
I had to laugh when I saw Sherri's post this morning about a similar experiment, but she made it much further than I did and knows lots more about it than I do.

So, I'm far from a model athlete and have zero advice to give on anything more active than power walking, but I didn't smoke even if I have good reason to be stressed out about life stuff, and today is looking just beautiful, too!

In less than one minute I'm going to refill my coffee, find my list and get on with my plan for the day of getting even just a couple of meals cooked ahead and into the freezer because I find that kind of thing very to be productive, frugal and healthier than the drive-thru windows. And then I might celebrate with four more cookies and maybe another walk.


  1. Good Luck giving up the cigarettes! I am a fellow-quitter. I haven't kept count but I am off them for around the same amount of time as you.

    Be strong!

  2. 1) Yes, buy a sport's bra, one that is tight and holds your breasts close (no jiggles)

    2)I have a difficult time breathing through my nose, so by the end of this morning's run I had a sore throat

    3)Since I've been on the stationary I think it's helped the lungs so no pain. Also, your lungs have to purge all the gunk. Patience with this.

    3)Not exactly an answer, but my throat/neck muscles tighten and I wish I could relax while running. Doesn't happen on the bike, weird.

    4)Try walking faster and breathing deeply during your walks. Should help.

    5)It does get easier, first time is always the most difficult.

    You tried! That is wonderful, kudos to you. You aren't smoking, even better.

  3. Hey, Shing, congrats to you, too! You were born in one of the coolest places I've ever been and live in one of places I'd love to visit. Thanks for stopping by!

    Ah, Sherri, now some of it makes more sense. A new bra and through the nose breathing. My walking is almost as fast as a jog and breathing as I go (in fact, that's why I love it is the breathing), but I will keep doing it and see. I was glad to see I wasn't alone in not becoming a star athlete overnight, but we aren't smoking, so hope abounds ;)

  4. The lung pain is not necessarily connected to lung gunk. Honestly, I remember clearly that burning when I was running in junior high. That was before the smoking.

    Like you, I have never broken through the pain to a runner's high. I opt to fast-walk or find other forms of exercise because running is so bad for the knees and ankles.

    I heartily recommend you swim. Same amazing lung pain, not so much damage to the joints. Find a YMCA, pay yer 2 bucks and rock out. (And that 2 bucks is less than the cost of a pack of cigs.

    P.S. I am in no way attempting to keep you from any healthy activity you decide to pick up. If you wanna run, run. Run free, Maggie. Run like the wind.

  5. Danielle, yep, I've never gone for the runners high. I'm still not sure that's what I'm in search of but I just wanted to, as you said, "run free!" Until I didn't want to anymore because it hurt. Maybe I could learn to swim... (I can doggy paddle and tread water!).

  6. Hello Maggie! I've been running off and on for about a year now...and I am not one of those lithe gazelle types. I just chug along. But I found this site really helpful:

    They have a lot of good info for beginners.


  7. Thanks, Ellie. That looks like a great place for me to start! Good to see you again, too!


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