"When I do the best I can with what I have, then I have won my race." Jay Foonberg

Weekly Running Log

Monday, July 25, 2011

Is Breathing Necessary?

Okay...I know I've said I'm not an outside summer runner but for some reason I'm really wanting to change this. Change is easy, right?? NOT!! Even getting up and out on the road by 6:00 a.m. still makes for a tough run in the summer...especially when the humidity is at its fiercest. I think I would do alright except my brain wants me to run as if it's cooler weather - carefree and fast. Again, NOT!! As far as I'm concerned, it's just not going to happen this time of the year.

With that in mind, the decision was made to toss the time and get out and run looking more at distance at a slower pace. So far, it worked last week. I had very enjoyable runs on the Reservoir going wherever I wanted to and running comfortably. I say comfortably because I wanted to be aware of my body and not get overheated and underhydrated. Yeah, even on runs as short as 5 miles you can lose all your fluids quickly.

When we got home, I thought I'd continue doing what I had been doing and go out on Thursday for an easy 7 miler. I had done 5 miles the last few times and decided if I continued the way I had, being safe, that I could throw in a 7 miler. This is really not distance, folks, and I know it but it's further than the usual for me this time of year. I met Frank at the Sportsplex and we started out early. I felt fine when we started but it wasn't long before something was going on. Something I'd not experienced before. Early in the run I began struggling with my breathing. Not the typical kind of breathing hard because you're running hard but the kind that you can't get enough air into your lungs to function. So we began to walk a little. No problems. Started running again. Can't breathe. Walking again. Can feel air getting into my lungs, started running again. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest and I couldn't move. Okay...you get the point! This was scaring me because I've not had trouble getting air before. This continued until we finished. I refused to quit!!! Can you say stubborn?? What in the world was going on?? When I got home, I was totally exhausted and perplexed. How do you fix something you have no idea what it is? I was absolutely fine when I was not running. I do not have asthma and that is exactly how I felt trying to breathe. So I rested on the couch...ended up sleeping the rest of the day, getting up to go to bed and slept all night long. What's up with that, too?? The good thing was I felt really refreshed when I got up the next morning. But I was VERY leery of this happening again so I took the day off. As a matter of fact, I was pretty down about it and couldn't make myself do anything else for a while.

After some time, I evaluated the situation and decided I was learning just how much my body goes through this time of year. I took it for what it was worth, got my rest, and began fresh on Monday.

I am dying to put in longer distances but it's not happening now. Patience is like an annoying gnat flying around my head trying to get my attention but I can't catch or swat it. It's a hard thing to grab hold to. I watch as others seem to experience no difference in their running with great paces and it puzzles me. Why can't I do this? I never knew running was so complicated. I'm learning more and more about MY body than ever before. I am thankful for it and will treat it good as best as I can.

Lessons learned:
Toss out everything you know about running in the summer.
Listen to my body.
Do my best with intentional slower paces.
If longer distance woos me, be aware that though I may try it I am okay if it doesn't come to pass.
Respect my efforts and do NOT get down.
Step back, evaluate if there is something that needs my attention and do it; if not, take it easy.
Do NOT stop exercising unless injured.
And, finally, keep hydrated more than usual.

I can hardly wait until cooler temps and fall weather are here. Come on, Sweet Thang! I'm anxiously waiting your arrival!

Until next time...

1 comment:

Sharon Pustejovsky said...

I was reading this and realized that I experienced the same thing almost exactly as you described, except that it was during a cold day. I'm from Florida and as much as I can dislike running in heat (sometimes it feels almost impossible), I have little or no experience running in colder temps of 50 or under. Last year I decided to change that one November day and when I went out for a 5 mile hilly run in the neighborhood, I found myself suddenly not being able to get enough air into my lungs. It was like my breaths were shortened. It was downright scary not being able to take in enough oxygen. It scared me so much that I didn't run outdoors again until it felt like a warmer day; otherwise, I ran on the treadmill, which was disappointing, because I have a hard time doing any kind of longer distances on it. My running suffered and I ended up mostly taking off for the next 5 months or so. I do happen to have bronchial asthma and it usually only manifests itself with my allergies to cats and a few other animals. I did a little research and found that colder weather can trigger asthma. I talked to some sweet running friends and they suggested wearing a scarf over my mouth and working my way up to distances in the cold until I get used to it. I will try that this fall.

I wonder if your breathing episode was triggered as a result of some kind of asthmatic condition you didn't even know you had. Maybe for some, breathing in the extremely hot air lowers breathing capacity. I don't seem to have the problem in the heat with breathing (I do have a problem in the heat with my feet feeling like lead blocks, though, sometimes). I just have to try to stay super-hydrated.

2017 Races

  • 12/10/17...MS Coast Half
  • 12/09/17...MS Coast 5k
  • 11/25/17...Kaiser Half
  • 11/18/17...Wild Turkey Trot 5k
  • 11/11/17...Rotary Oyster 5k
  • 10/14/17...Shrimp Festival 10k
  • 02/18/17...Sea Turtle Half
  • 02/04/17...Double Bridge 15k
  • 01/29/17...Big Beach Half

2017 Bike Rides

  • 10/01/17...Southern Magnolia Ride [25.85]
  • 05/13/17...Good Life Ride [26]


  • MS Coast Double Down...5k & Half
  • Run The Beach...3 Half's

2017 Goals

  • Back-to-Back Races [Done]
  • 3 Half Marathons [Done +1]
  • 1,000 Miles-No
  • First Half Marathon Series [3 Done]
  • Work on core/strength 2-3 times a week-No
  • Lose 25 pounds-No
  • NEVER give up! YES!!
  • Control/Eliminate refined sugars-Good

2016 Races

  • 10/15/16...Shrimp Festival 5k
  • 05/30/16...Fiesta Five Flags 5k
  • 03/19/16...Azalea Trail 10k
  • 03/13/16...St. Pat's Leprechaun 5k
  • 03/05/16...Bay to Breakfast 12k...1st trail race
  • 02/20/16...Sea Turtle Half
  • 02/13/16...Double Bridge 15k

2016 Goals

  • Run 1,000 miles-Done
  • Bike 300 miles
  • Half Marathon-Done
  • Eat fruit daily
  • Push through the hard times-Done
  • Cut back on refined sugar

2015 Races

  • 12/19/15...Make It To The Line 4 Miler
  • 11/21/15...Wild Turkey Trot 5k
  • 11/14/15...Oyster 5k
  • 10/10/15...Shrimp Festival 5k
  • 05/30/15...PHind a Cure-W/D
  • 05/02/15...Fiesta Five Flags 5k
  • 04/18/15...Zydeco 5k - W/D
  • 04/??/15...Virtual Remember the Fallen 5k
  • 04/??/15...Virtual Boston Strong 5k
  • 04/11/15...Magnolia 5k
  • 03/28/15...Azalea Trail 10k
  • 03/07/15...Circle K 5k
  • 03/01/15...Gulf Coast Lulu's 10k
  • 02/28/15...Sweetheart 5k
  • 02/07/15...Double Bridge 15k

2015 Goals

  • 1 Half Marathon
  • Eat fruit daily
  • Overlook past failures
  • Push through the hard times/things

2014 Races

  • 12/06/14...St. Jude's Half Marathon
  • 08/16/14...Pinky 5k Virtual
  • 08/15/14...Howl @ the Moon 10k Virtual
  • 02/15/14...Sweetheart 5k
  • 02/01/14...Double Bridge 15k

2014 Goals

  • 1 Half Marathon
  • 700 Running Miles
  • Strengthen my Upper Body
  • Recuperate, Recover, Renew
  • Get active in WW
  • Eat Fruit Daily
  • Start Clean Eating
  • Begin Eliminating Sugar from Diet

2013 Races

11-30-13...Stennis 5k
11-23-13...Turkey Trot 5k
11-08-13...Run For The Kids Virtual Half [St. Jude's]
10-12-13...Shrimp Festival 5k
09-22-13...Talladega Half
07-04-13...Wesson 2 Miles
06-29-13...Emz Liverpalooza 5k
05-18-13...Pursuit of Fun 5k
04-20-13..Warrior Dash
04-07-13...Gulf Coast Half-Pensacola
03-23-13...Azalea Trail 10k
03-10-13...Leprechaun 5k
02-24-13...NOLA Marathon
02-02-13...Double Bridge 15k-Pensacola
01-13-13....Gulf Coast Half-Lulu's

2013 Goals

  • 3 Half Marathons-Done-Plus 1
  • 1 Marathon-Done
  • 1000 Running Miles-No, due to RC Tendonitis & Broken Shoulder
  • Eat fruit daily-A little aggressive but better
  • Maintain weight in 130's-Did NOT happen!

2012 Races

12-08-12...FloraBama Jingle Bell 5k
11-24-12...Jingle Bell 10k
11-17-12...Turkey Trot 5k
10-27-12...Jazz Half
10-20-12...OS Rotary 5k
10-13-12...Race for Grace 5k
09-29-12...5k For Katlyn
07-04-12...Wesson 2 Mile
04-15-12...Gulf Coast Half...[Withdrew-bronchitis]
04-14-12...Diversity Dash 5k
03-24-12...Azalea Trail 10k
03-03-12...MS50 20k...[Withdrew-bronchitis]
02-25-12...Kids Need Heroes 5k
02-11-12...Sweetheart 5k
02-04-12..Double Bridge 15k
01-14-12...Pensacola Half

2012 Goals

  • 1 Full Marathon-Marine Corp filled up
  • 3 Half Marathons-2 Down-Sick had to drop 2
  • 20 Miles-Wkly Mileage-Bronchitis kept me from this
  • Cross Training 2x Week-Poor Commitment
  • Weekly Weights W/O-Again Poor Commitment

2011 Races

  • 11-26-11...Kaiser Half
  • 11-19-11...Turkey Trot 5k
  • 11-11-11...Thumbs Up for Bill 5k
  • 11-05-11...Senior Bowl 10k
  • 10-22-11...Running the Streets 5k
  • 10-15-11...Shrimp Festival 10k
  • 10-08-11...Mullet Run 5k
  • 09-24-11...Waiting for a Cure 8k
  • 09-05-11...Labor Your Legs 5k
  • 07-04-11...Wesson 2 Miles
  • 06-04-11...Bay Fest 5k
  • 05-14-11...Stargazer 5k
  • 04-30-11...Fiesta 5 Flags 5k
  • 04-16-11...St. Benedict's 5k
  • 04-10-11...Gulf Coast Half
  • 03-26-11...Azalea Trail 10k
  • 03-19-11...St. Patrick's 5k
  • 03-05-11...Eco 5k
  • 02-13-11...Mardi Gras Marathon

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