Let me first say I wasn't smoking on my run tonight. I'm sure that was obvious but I just wanted to clear the air, so to speak.
When I was in elementary and middle school I had some breathing troubles. Asthma is a reactive disorder that causes constriction of the lung passages and therefore makes it difficult to breathe. I was on different medications and a couple inhalers for a while, but pretty much grew out of it. I had some trouble in high school, but nothing major. I was never the kid that was hauled off to the ER at 2:00 am turning blue. I feel bad for those little buggers. I can't imagine how they must feel. I still deal with seasonal allergies and have trouble with mold in the air, but I don't need medication anymore. I do have a rescue inhaler just in case, but I'm not really sure why.
The main point to this post is that I had a lot of trouble breathing on my run tonight. I did two miles, and had to walk twice. I was actually feeling pretty rough and I was having reactive airway problems. My allergies have been really flared up for the last few weeks and now harvest has begun in Minnesota so there is a lot of dust floating around. I almost gave up on my run early, but the short walks did help. The first walk was at about 1.5 miles. My lungs were really wheezing and I ran past a bench across the street from St. Mary's Hospital. This bench is where Hospital employees take their smoke breaks since they aren't allowed to smoke on the hospital property. When I ran by, there were three of them sitting on the bench and as soon as I got a little second-hand my lungs shut off. Cigarette smoke usually doesn't bother me but just half a whiff kicked my ass tonight.
I walked for half a block or so, then was able to get going again. A stitch in my side stopped me again a couple blocks later, but that resolved quickly just by putting my arm up for a second. I ran the rest of the 4 blocks home. As I was nearing our house I pulled my phone out of the case to check my distance covered and was glad to see it was almost two miles. I ran past our house to finish those last 5/100ths of a mile. Probably not necessary, but I like round numbers. As I hit the 2 mile mark I looked at the pace. 9:13/mile! 15-20 seconds faster than normal, and all while my lungs were shutting down. Pretty nice for my slow legs and it's no wonder my lungs were burning a bit. I'm glad my conditioning is improving well.
The moral of the story is that I'm glad I finished the run. I know it's never best to push it when you aren't feeling well, but in this instance I'm glad I did. I wonder what my pace would have been if I hadn't walked that little bit.