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Good Days. Bad Days.

Posted Jul 08 2013 11:17pm


I haven’t made it that much of a secret that my workouts have been lacking lately . I’m trying to remind myself that I can’t always expect great in my workouts or runs, that there are good days and there are bad days. And that’s OK because we need those good days and those bad days.

If it was just the quality of the days and workouts, that would be one thing. However, lately, I’ve been struggling with asthma.

prospect park

I have always had seasonal allergies – runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes – but it has never kept me from being outside or playing sports. I was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma when I was in high school, but I never really understood my diagnosis because my asthma never really gave me trouble or kept me from being active. I never used my inhaler.

Odd right?

I think that the diagnosis was more of an excuse for me to get out of doing suicides and wind sprints during soccer practice.

The only time that my asthma has limited me was after finishing the NYC Triathlon in 2005. I trained hard for the race and was in the best shape of my life. Yet, immediately after the race, I couldn’t breathe.

I thought that it was just my body breaking down after a long period of training and stress. But when I went to have my lung function tested, it was about 50% or less of where it should have been. That experience was largely why I stepped back from running for a long time. I just didn’t think that I could do it anymore.

Prospect Park Ball fields

But the issue managed to resolve by itself after a few months and I returned to running. I felt like a normal person again and didn’t experience any breathing problems.

Then, about a month ago, I started to feel like I couldn’t breathe. Mostly, I am OK during my runs (if I used my inhaler first) but the heat and humidity has made it hard. I would come home and have endless coughing fits. My doctor has me on different medicines which haven’t made much of a difference.

Monday morning, I went for a run along one of my favorite running routes. I dropped off the kids at camp and headed up the hill towards Prospect Park.

I rounded the corner of Park Drive and settled into a slow and easy pace. I passed the ballfields and noticed that I felt good. I tried to pay attention to my breathing and watch how my breaths corresponded with my steps.

I decided to extend my run and headed for the inner loop around the lake. As a passed the lake the second time, I spied a mama duck and her duckling swimming across the water and it put a smile on my face.

prospect park lake

I made my way back towards the north side of the park, passing the Audubon Center, the Carousel and Prospect Park Zoo and up zoo hill. It’s a good quarter mile or so climb that sometimes feels easy and sometimes feels like I’m dragging a load of rocks behind me. Today, I felt light and continued to tune into my breathe.

As I came around to the west side of the park, I stopped in the big grassy fields to take some yoga photos (don’t you stop in the middle of your run to take yoga photos?) and then exited the park and headed home.

I don’t know if it was a slight drop in humidity or the light breeze or the ducklings but I could breathe. Or maybe my medicine is finally working. I’m hoping that I can start to string together more good runs.

hudson river park

{Linking up with Miss Zippy to share one of my favorite runs.}

However, if I really trusted that I wouldn’t have an asthma attack, I would take you for a run through brownstone Brooklyn, across the Brooklyn Bridge and to the west side of Manhattan where we would enter the running path along the Hudson River. We could run all the way from Lower Manhattan up past the George Washington Bridge to the tip of Manhattan. Or stop anywhere in between.

What’s your favorite run? Do you suffer from asthma? 


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