The comments coming in from readers all over the world are amazing! You are telling stories of courage, tenacity, frustration, and triumph from Africa, Australia, Brazil, Asia, Canada, and the United States! I’m so grateful for your insight and transparency. Your stories push all of us to keep climbing that hill. Thank you!! I finished the Los Angeles Marathon in March of 2014. Running with Asthma, “Oh yes we can!”
This blog was started because of pure frustration at not being able to “keep up” with other runners. I love to run but my lungs–and my head–constantly hold me back. The information I’ve found around the web is not helpful. Generic comments such as, “run with your mouth closed to warm the air before it enters your lungs,” don’t tell me how to push up hills, or run a 5K or half marathon, especially since the air is usually warm in California.
I have made many discoveries over the last several years about asthma; how it manifests in my body, how my symptoms compare to your symptoms, and how impatient we all are in dealing with this “problem.” I began my journey running a 1/4 of a mile with the aide of four medications to running 26.2 miles without any medication at all! We are all stronger than we think.
In the post, “…It’s All in Your Head,” I discuss the frustration at being dismissed by someone who does not have asthma. In the post, “…You Have Trust Issues,” I discuss the difficulty in trusting a trainer or partner–who does not have asthma–when they want me to run faster or harder. In the post, “Asthma Cured with Long Distance Running,” I discuss the reality of stronger lungs based on consistent regular running. In the post, “…You Might Need to Write a Book,” I discuss the biography I published in December about Paralympic Bronze-Medal winner (quad rugby) and co-star in the Academy nominated documentary, “Murderball,” Bob Lujano. He does not have asthma but survived abuse, abandonment, and four amputations from meningitis, all before the age of ten. His incredible story of not only survival, but of faith, perseverance, and gratitude will inspire you to use everything you’ve got to run your own race. You won’t be able to put it down. It’s available worldwide on Amazon.
It is very tempting to go back and edit many of the posts here–some as far back as 2008–but I refuse to let myself because they show the raw frustration and the sometimes naive thought processes as a beginner. Running with asthma is a process; it is something that requires navigation. I will live with EIA for the rest of my life but it won’t own me like it used to. Heck, I even traveled to Lira, Uganda, and still did not need any asthma medication!
Judging by the number of visits and comments I’m getting, there are many of us who want to run with asthma. We can. It just takes a little patience, a lot of education and understanding, and most importantly, discipline. We may not be able to “keep up” with other runners, but should that really be the goal? We need to “keep up” with ourselves first. Once we have a solid foundation to stand on, then we can compete with the rest of the pack.
As we all prepare for our next events, I hope you will be encouraged to stick to a consistent running schedule that will move you forward in all areas of your life. Please continue to write in and tell us your story. Valuable feedback helps us all climb the hill. Can’t wait to hear from you!
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