Trying to stabilize my asthma

A couple of weeks ago I had a regular appointment with my asthma doc.  You know the one that yells at me regularly when I do stupid shit.  It is in her job description (at least I think so.)  Anyway, we started having a discussion about my asthma, grad school, and how all of my papers have something to do on the impacts to respiratory issues.  That’s when she brought up the idea of immunotherapy (aka: allergy shots).

“There are no upper or lower limits to the effectiveness to shots, you know?”

I told her that I hadn’t considered it because her predecessor had said in adults they were only 25% effective.  She quickly dismissed this, told me to look at some of the studies, and then said that if I was interested we’d have to do a new round of allergy testing as my last test was 10 years old.

“Honestly, at your age your asthma should be stable.  It’s not.”

We covered the protocol required for me to have the allergy testing done and scheduled it for the following week.

If you’ve never had allergy testing done before, it starts with numbering of your back followed by a series of “scratches” done on your back with various items that folks are notoriously allergic to (cats, dogs, various trees, dust, etc). Then anything that shows some signs of reaction, but not enough to make a definitive call , they then stick more serum under your skin to see how it reacts.

I shared these pictures with a friend of mine.

“Ok, so what are you allergic to?” they inquired.  I rattled off all of the things.  They were appalled.  “Wait, aren’t you a trail runner?”

“Yep.”

“Don’t you do Spartan Races and CrossFit?!”

“Yep.”

“What???”

Pretty sure that is my asthma docs feelings on the whole thing too.  Now we wait for my serum to be developed. Hopefully, this will help because I am not about to give up any fun outside.

Asheville Half: 2016 vs 2017

Last year Jewel and I ran the Asheville Half together. It was such an amazing race experience that we decided almost immediately that we wanted to run it again.  We even managed to recruit GardenerGirl and one of Jewel’s friends to run it with us. What a difference a year makes on a whole host of levels.

IMG_2309Let’s start with the temperature.  Last year it was 60+ degrees out we were in shorts and tank tops.  This year it was only in the 20s.  For this little asthmatic who already suffered in the cold and now has massive issues in the cold this didn’t bode well.  I gave serious consideration at not running at all, and then at mile 8 when I got cold, due to the wind, I gave serious consideration to dropping.   There were just not enough layers in the world to keep that wind from biting through me.

Then let’s talk about the race experience.  The race last year gave us quite a bit of swag.  We got gloves in our goodie bag and a finishers blanket. This year, when we could use the gloves we didn’t get any and instead of a blanket we got a metal finishers cup.  Honestly, the swag was on the reasons why we decided to run again.  Have to admit I’m a little disappointed this year.  Even the expo didn’t have nearly as many vendors as last year.  I know it seems petty, but come on now.

As for the running I knew I was going to be on the struggle bus.  Grad school has been sucking the majority of my stress bandwidth making my runs challenging. Combine that with the temperatures and all I wanted to do was finish in one piece.  My time this year definitely showed the impact that school and the temperature had on me as I finished nearly a minute per mile slower than I did last year.  Given that I gave serious consideration to dropping at mile 8 the fact that I finished at all is a miracle.

Even though it was cold I have to say that the spectator support was amazing.  While not IMG_2337nearly as many folks were out this year as last year, the ones that were out really brought their A game in terms of signs.  My favorites made me laugh which is always a good sign, especially when you are on the struggle bus.

There are two things I learned from this race: 1.) Cold weather is definitely off the table for me.  Anything over 4 miles in below 40 degree temperatures is just completely off the table.  I just can’t generate the body heat to keep me warm nor are my lungs happy.  2.) Road running is most definitely not for me it just doesn’t make me (or my body) happy.