Today was one of those days where, for no obvious reason, I had particularly numb feet and legs and tingles in my hands: I had an early night, I didn't drink any alcohol at all, I'd had a day off exercise.... I couldn't think of anything that I'd done that might provide a simple explanation for feeling worse than normal.
The truth is that there IS no simple explanation; there are no obvious whys and wherefores - MS just isn't that kind of a disease AT ALL. It's different from person to person, and for every person affected, it's experienced differently day-to-day.
Obviously, I wasn't going to let this get in the way of the intervals I was planning to run at lunchtime. Besides, it was an absolutely glorious day. It's the first time in 2011 that you could smell the air and really believe that spring might just be on the way. I'd been secretly dreading today's run for at least the last 24 hours, but if I was going to do it, at least I was going to be doing it in sunshine.
As it turned out, the running was hard work, but not awful. The masochist in me is starting to really enjoy the dreadful anticipation of the beep that signals the two minutes of faster running and the subsequent attempt to really pick my knees up and up my pace for every last second until the next beep signals the start of a slower interval. It's hard work, but it's ultimately very satisfying.
Looking at my times, I got around my run today something like 13 seconds faster than I did on the same route this time last week. It doesn't sound like much, but compared to the week before that, when I ran this route without intervals, I did the same run more than 60 seconds slower. That means that in 2 weeks, I've improved my average running speed by some 15 seconds per mile. I'm now running at an average of something like 8.12 minute miles, with my faster intervals coming in at closer to 7 minute miles. It's really, really hard work, but the progress is easy to measure.
A guy asked me in the changing rooms after my run if I was training for anything. Not really, although I may enter the Nottingham Half Marathon again this year. At the moment I'm not training for anything other than to run faster for the sheer hell of it. It feels good, too.
I still feel numb this evening, and I'm sure that tonight's weekly injection isn't going to help that much.... but I did feel a whole lot better about myself this afternoon and, as well as all that numbness, my legs now have a much worthier and explainable ache.
song for a future generation
16 hours ago