Thursday, June 11, 2009

Harder to Breathe

It's Gettin' Harder and Harder to Breathe...

When I first started running, breathing would get a tad more difficult towards the end of a run.

The more I'd notice it, the more I panicked, and the more I panicked, the more I tried to manipulate my breathing, which would make it even more difficult. Sometimes, I'd try yawning. Other times, I'd be swigging some cold water, or flailing my arms, or even grunting to relax my lungs.

I don't remember when, but somehow, these episodes stopped occurring.

But yesterday, going at about 8:50 pace during mile 6 out of the 7 I ran, my airway seemed restricted. My breathing was belabored. Normally, I (try to) breathe in through my nose and out from my mouth, but I found nose-breathing to be a lot easier (though inefficient) than mouth-breathing, so I resorted to a lot of that during that last mile. I felt a bit light-headed, but I figured that since "The Ukrainian" was running on the neighboring treadmill, he'd save me if I passed out.

I am not sure what happened. I crank out 7-milers weekly and have obviously been through more, even at this pace. The link I have below addresses exercise-induced asthma, which I don't think I have, but is worth some concern. I think I was just having a bad day, maybe did not fuel up properly, or there was something in the gym air that bothered my lungs. This encourages me, though, to try to get more interval training in so that I can practice catching my breath and maybe strengthening my lungs.

My Lips are Peel-ed

On a side note, I've been having some gnarly lip swelling issue for two weeks. I thought it was a cold sore, but after a few days of waiting it out, it definitely did not run that kind of course. I know it also was not sun-related, as I hadn't really been outside more than usual and used SPF chapstick when I did. It started out with ultra-sensitive lips, then swelling, even oozing that occurred usually with eating, followed by a reduction and major peeling. I looked like someone who got a lip injection.

On Sunday when I had an episode, I finally took some Benadryl antihistamine, which gave me drowsy fits because I took the maximum dose. I've been taking it in the regular dose nightly since then, and I haven't noticed any new major swelling, itching, or fits. I'm not sure if it's doing anything, and I don't really need that kind of sleep aid. Still, I am going to keep popping these caplets until I am completely back to normal! I will never take my lips for granted again!

My lips still feel far from normal, but there is no more peeling, swelling or oozing, just an uncomfortable dryness around the lip line. On the bright side, all the moisturizing and peeling have given me very soft lips indeed. The true test will be this weekend when I am at home and eating actual food. I hope this doesn't mean that I'm developing (another) food allergy.


My studying is going slower than hoped. The big exam is on September 3-4, which means I have less than 3 months to go. My goal is to have all the materials consolidated (i.e., written down in my notebook) by the middle of next month so that I can spend the latter 1.5 months actually absorbing the material. Don't get me wrong -- writing the stuff down is definitely starting the absorption already, but I know there will be confusion and a need to dig back into my notes/books as I actually try to make sense of the stuff. I think that if I give 3-4 *good* mornings, lunch hours, or evenings of studying per week, I can meet my goal. I still want to have a nice summer, though. This means, in addition to people and work, watching some movies and reading some books. I'm currently reading Crime and Punishment.




  1. Do you remember if there's any pattern in terms of the time of year/weather? I do have exercise-induced asthma, but independent of that, I often find that when it's humid outside, or when there are sudden shifts in weather patterns in general, my breathing becomes more labored when I run.

  2. strange about the breathing..i do notice shorter breath in more hot/humid weather too....the thing that i find helps me is to focus on breathing out...the in part of breathing usually takes care of itself

  3. The lip thing is really weird, I hope they get better!

    Crime and Punishment is next on my list, it's been sitting there for a bit, but Moby Dick is long, so it's not time, yet!