my running adventures – barefoot or otherwise

Running with asthma and notching up my first barefoot mile!

While I’ve been running this week, I’ve been thinking about my routine before I run, as I’ve posted about previously. I failed to mention in that blog post that I suffer from what I believe is mild asthma, brought on by exercise, or feathers in pillows, dust allergies etc.

This only started to occur in my teenage years, but has plagued me on and off since the mid-1990s. I’ve been using a bricanyl turbohaler that I take a puff of before I set out on a run. That is, when I remember to and I have to say it occurred to me that perhaps this is also brought on through psychologic means. That is to say, I wonder if my worrying about forgetting to take it when I realise it during a run actually brings on my asthma?

The asthma doesn’t ever stop me from running, but it does make it hard at times, particularly when it is really cold and I’ve not taken a puff on the inhaler before I’ve set out.

What also comes to the forefront of my mind at times on a run is that maybe I would be faster if I didn’t have this asthma issue. You know the thoughts, everyone has them. They’re the little demons that crop up when you’re at a low point on a run, or maybe when you’re cruising along nicely and then a dark thought creeps into your mind, such as ‘you can stop now, you don’t need to carry out the whole of your planned route’ or ‘no-one’s looking, why don’t you take a breather.’

I have to say that my inherent ‘stubbornness override button’ always manages to kick in, boot the stupid demon in the head, and tells me to keep on running or I’ll be sorry…which I always tend to do, even if it is at a slightly slower pace if I’m on the incline!

My daily routine (even when I’m not about to go for a run) includes me taking a fexafenadine tablet as soon as I wake up in the morning to combat what I’ve been told is rhinitis. Indeed, if I forget, 5 minutes later I could be sneezing uncontrollably, suffering from a blocked but runny nose, with eyes watering like hosepipes and feeling like my head is going to explode. I can’t thank the doctor enough who prescribed these tablets, eye drops and nasal spray which now enable me to live a much more normal life, away from getting through dozens of tissues a day!

Why do I tell you all this? Well, it got me thinking about what daily battles we all have to face in order to deal with ‘normal’ life, even before we dedicate some of our spare time to the pursuit of running, whatever our reasons for it. Sure, there’s family, work, chores, calls, emails etc, but what about other issues that get overlooked?

What obstacles get in your way of getting out for a run? Are they real, or artificially imposed by you or others?

On another note, on Friday 8th March at about 7:10am, I completed my first full barefoot mile (in 8:14)! It really was a ‘milestone’ (no pun intended), and I felt great that I’d had the discipline to take it steady like I vowed to after my BRES experience (Barefoot Running Exuberance Syndrome, also known as the Too Much Too Soon Syndrome). I felt like I could have gone further, but really wanted to stick to my plan of taking small steps in stretching the length of my barefoot runs. This time, I made it almost into Beeston town centre from my home, stopping outside the police station to wipe my feet clean with baby wipes before putting on my socks and trainers for the 4 miles in to work (which I did in 25:42, 6:22per mile pace).

Next time, I’ll try to put into words how I feel when a run I’d planned to do gets cancelled last minute, and talk more about the stat-fest that is the app-of-the-moment in my life, Strava.

Enjoy Mother’s Day tomorrow one and all!



2 comments on “Running with asthma and notching up my first barefoot mile!

  1. Tentsmuir
    January 4, 2014

    Nice blog, always good to see another asthmatic runner out there. here are a few thoughts on the subject. Keep up the food work 🙂

    • barefoottc
      January 5, 2014

      Thanks for the compliment, Tentsmuir! I’ll check out your link! 🙂

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