Sunday, September 02, 2012

Running ragged

Why don't more runners suffer from allergies, we may wonder. Well, meet my nemesis,  the plant that is growing in droves in Toronto and one that has taken me down for the second summer.

Ragweed in Toronto. I risked my life taking this photo.

Stupid ragweed. See how sinister it looks. The plant sends more more pollen than most others and in this time of year, the pollen count in Toronto is in high mode. (Today, as I post this, it's in medium - yippee!)

I, like many others, have to deal with life with allergies throughout the year. In reality, I go through various times of years where I am susceptible to allergies, and it is all the more sensitive given that I run outside year long. During those few weeks in early April and in late August, I'm usually getting the antihistimes prepared, becase in general, 11 months of the year, I'm actually great outside.

As an allergy sufferer, I make sure that when I travel to other climates that I have the antihistimes just in case. Sometimes as a precaution, when I know I'm encountering cities in a full bloom, I may just keep a Reactine, Claritin or Aerius handy.

Last year, just after racing the Midsummer's 30k, I took off on vacation and promptly was slammed with allergies. A few days after this year's race, I felt the symptoms and started to bombard my body with antihistimes. The allergies did it, and I suffered a few days at work with congestion and other symptoms. I generally hate antihistimes, as they dry you and a few of them also knock you off balance. I know Benedryl for example knocks out quite a few people who take them.

So here I am, two weeks later with a reduced running schedule as I try to get my body back to normal. Choosing between the symptoms and a body battling the symptoms, both are pretty horrible for running. Allergies that causes sneezing, nasal congestion and general (yes, it's gross) mucus building -- not ideal for running. Our lung capacity diminishes and it's hard to get a rhythm going, not to mention the coughing, sneezing and general 'can't breathing thing'.

I'm better now, testing out the climes in DC and thankfully this humid city doesn't seem as bad. Bring on the fall, is all I can say.



Ack I know what you mean. Ragweed is my arch nemesis. I never know at this time of year if I have a cold or bad allergies because I'm so allergic to ragweed.

katharine said...

As an asthmatic I feel your pain, kind of. We get it all year. Temperature changes, pressure changes, humidity, hell sometimes dryness messes with you too. My advice? Run when you can, rest when you can't and grumble about it regardless.