When I was first diagnosed with Exercise-Induced Asthma (EIA) my doctor prescribed me an inhaler, the ProAir HFA (Albuterol Sulfate Inhalation Aerosol). My cycling route went by much faster, I immediately dropped 15 minutes off my 17 mi loop! I could actually look around while cycling, rather than staring at my front tire to make sure it was still moving. However, I still couldn’t breathe well while running. After discussing the issue with my doctor, she made me an appointment with a pulmonologist.
As I mentioned in a previous post, the appointment was almost a complete waste of time. When you have a complaint of “I can’t breathe well when I run” and the doctor says “Do you need to run?”… That’s when you need to run! The only good that came out of the appointment was getting a peak flow meter. The peak flow meter allowed me to quantify how poorly my lungs were functioning immediately post running. My pre-exercise average was around 520 L/min, which is slightly above average for my age and height, and my post-exercise average was anywhere from 60-80% of that. This was after using the inhaler as a preventative measure, as I was directed to use it. When I saw my primary doctor after using the peak flow meter for a couple of months, she prescribed me the nubulizer. There have been a couple of times, when running after using the nebulizer, that I still felt like I wasn’t breathing as I should. Mostly this has occurred on high humidity days (>70%) and I am concerned that this will affect my 5K goals during the summer and fall.
My next 5K is on Saturday, two days from now. I don’t expect that I will do any better than last time, due to taking a few weeks off to heal my shin splints, but I am still hoping that I will be able to run the majority of the race!
Next week: EIA and Fitness Goals