Dublin Marathon Training Update: Exercise Induced Asthma (Can't Make This Up)
The race is in six weeks! Meaning my parents will be here soon. This will be their second time visiting us in Ireland. Last time they were here we went all over the country and to Prague, Czech Republic. This time around will be more relaxed. And since I know walking will be hard the day after the race, hello soreness, I am looking forward to a slower-paced visit. It will be perfect timing to relax in Wexford too. Wexford comes alive for the fall. There is a lot going on here, Wexford Opera Festival and Spiegeltent Festival and it is all in walking distance from our home! I am excited to share Wexford's culture with my parents!
Switching gears. I am ready for race day. Not necessarily from a training aspect (I hit the big 20-mile marker the first week of October), but from a physical aspect my body is asking me to slow down.
During my training runs over the last four weeks I noticed difficulty breathing. Just a minor issue. I was running about 30-miles a week and cross training 2 hours a week at this point. Breathing difficulties were really slowing me down and made it difficult to run. I found myself walking during runs more than I should have been. Not good. But I brushed it off. I have never had any breathing issues before. This issue had to be in my head.
Sunday, September 3, Mathew and I set out for our long run, our Sunday ritual for the last five months. Mathew runs faster than me but he typically runs his first three miles with me. Not even five minutes into our first mile he noticed I was breathing way too heavily, and asked if I was okay. It took me by surprise. My breathing issue was noticeable to someone else? Could this actually be an issue and not something I was making up?
I waited a week to make a doctor’s appointment because I was traveling. When I met with the doctor she confirmed my breathing issue was real and unfortunately not just in my head. According to the tests she conducted my air flow was moving at a rate of something twice my age.
Since I have never had asthma or any breathing related issues in my life she diagnosed me with Exercise Induced Asthma. Which is a narrowing of the airways in the lungs triggered by strenuous exercise. I personally interrupted the diagnoses as my body saying, ‘Lauren, I am sick of the excessive exercise. You’re upsetting me, literally, I'm so inflamed you are struggling to breath.’
Well since I am mildly competitive and not willing to scale down my training I have decided to use the inhaler she prescribed me. I hate taking medication. And I have an internal struggle medicating to perform. I feel like I am cheating. So, I have decided to ‘cheat’ and use the inhaler until race day. I hate typing that.
I am also incorporating some holistic approaches to treat my lungs. Different breathing techniques, like this one and this one. I am focusing on eating an anti-inflammatory diet. More greens and plant-based proteins, less dairy, no saturated fats, to name a few.
I have completed two runs using the inhaler, a 5-mile run and 16-mile run. I seriously feel like I am using a performance enhancement. My mile times have improved and my lungs feel like they’re coated with peppermint. It is a nice cooling sensation.
Awww race day, I look forward to you and so does my body!
If you have ever dealt with Exercise Induced Asthma or simply have additional suggestions for me I would love to hear from you. Comment below or reach out here.
Want to read more about my/our marathon training? Click to read previous posts: