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My Run In With Asthma

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If you have been following along on our podcast, blog, or my personal Instagram you would know that I have been preparing for a run. I only had a few short weeks to prepare but I was ready for the challenge. However, as the weather around me started to get colder I noticed that my performance was starting to be less than what I had expected. I felt as though I was stressing myself out about the time, weather conditions, and the elevation. I tried meeting my race day environment and would run in the cold, rain, and at night. I still felt horrible. I was coughing and wheezing after each run all of a sudden. After each run it would take me longer and longer to recover. I could not catch my breath! It sucked. After one run of less than 2 miles I was doubling over, thinking that it was just a severe runners crap, but not just at my side, it was in my entire core. I could not breathe. I could not move. I was so pissed off. I did not realize that at the time I was having an asthma attack.

Before I was actually diagnosed with this I tried remedying the problem myself. I warmed up before and stretched after. I at a carb loaded meal. I made sure I was hydrated. While running, I changed my breathing, my stride, my pace but nothing seemed to work. Then I went to see my doctor. The Diagnosis was Asthma. I do have to admit I WebMd'd myself as most of us stubborn people do, find that our symptoms show that we are having a near death experience which then leads up to us making a Dr.s appointment, which is what I should have done weeks before. Instead, I waited until I was done with my last run with my husband before my race, I pushed through the run, and the loss of breath was so horrible tears were welling up. 

Asthma can be hereditary, thanks, dad, but that is not always the case. Environmental factors can lead to that as well. Asthma is when your airways begin to tighten and restrict. The muscles around your airways to get tight. In my case, it was brought on by exercise. My airways narrowed due to my strenuous activity. It can occur during or a few minutes after exercising.

Asthma can come in a few forms, mild, moderate, and persistent. Some symptoms of it are coughing, wheezing, tightening in the chest, and shortness of breath. Well, I hit the nail on the head with all of those! Triggers are what can make your asthma flare up! Some triggers are exercise (breathing in cold or dry air), working with chemicals, pollens, stress and even food preservatives. There are some home "remedies" that you can try like avoiding your triggers altogether. but if you can not avoid your triggers, such as cold weather running like myself, you can try wearing a face mask and warming up 10 minutes prior to your run. Other small changes you can make is trying a low salt diet, adding more fish into your diet or take fish oil pills, take vitamin C or eat Vitamin C rich foods such a broccoli, strawberries and oranges.

I hope that none of you are having these symptoms but if you are do not be stubborn like me and wait until the last minute or until you are doubling over in pain to see a doctor. In Law Enforcement, we always tell the public better safe than sorry right? So why do we always hold back when it comes to taking care of ourselves. If your body is showing signs or symptoms that something is not right, please go get checked! If you have any tricks for dealing with your Asthma please do not hesistate to share them with me!



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