“The difference between running and jogging is not speed, but intent.” –Tara Schiro
The comments coming in from readers all over the world are amazing! You are telling stories of courage, tenacity, frustration, and triumph from Africa, Australia, Brazil, Asia, Canada, and the United States! I’m so grateful for your insight and transparency. Your stories push all of us to keep climbing that hill. Thank you!! I finished the 1/2 marathon in November, picture below, and now I’m gearing up for one or two more this Spring. Running with Asthma, “Oh yes we can!”
This blog was started because of pure frustration at not being able to “keep up” with other runners. I love to run but my lungs–and my head–constantly hold me back. The information I’ve found around the web is not helpful. Generic comments such as, “run with your mouth closed to warm the air before it enters your lungs,” don’t tell me how to push up hills, or run a 5K or half marathon, especially since the air is always warm in California.
I have made many discoveries over the last several years about asthma; how it manifests in my body, how my symptoms compare to your symptoms, and how impatient we all are in dealing with this “problem.” I also discovered how to run a 1/4 of a mile on four medications and then run 13.1 miles without any medication at all! We are all stronger than we think.
In the post, “…It’s All in Your Head,” I discuss the frustration at being dismissed by someone who does not have asthma. In the post, “…You Have Trust Issues,” I discuss the difficulty in trusting a trainer or partner–who does not have asthma–when they want me to run faster or harder. In the post, “Asthma Cured with Long Distance Running,” I discuss the reality of stronger lungs based on consistent regular running. It is very tempting for me to go back and edit many of the posts here–some as far back as 2008–but I refuse to let myself because they show the raw frustration and the sometimes naive thought processes that I went through as a beginner. Running with asthma is a process; it is something that requires navigation. I will live with EIA for the rest of my life but it won’t own me like it used to. Heck, I even traveled to Lira, Uganda, in July, 2011 and still did not need any asthma medication!
Judging by the number of visits and comments I’m getting, there are many of us who want to run with asthma. We can. It just takes a little patience, a lot of education and understanding, and most importantly, discipline. We may not be able to “keep up” with other runners, but should that really be the goal? We need to “keep up” with ourselves first. Once we have a solid foundation to stand on, then we can compete with the rest of the pack.
As I prepare for the next 1/2 marathon, in Spring of 2012, and you prepare for your next event, I hope you will be encouraged to stick to a consistent running schedule that will move you forward in all areas of your life.
Can’t wait to hear from you!
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