Aug 04

This Runner’s Plate

Remember what I ate Wednesday? Well, it’s resurrected, sort of. I just couldn’t make it happen every Wednesday because my schedule is too unpredictable. Honestly, the day isn’t that important, but the reason I resurrected it is. I’ve gained weight. Okay, I know, I know, I’m not overweight by any means but I put on about 7-8 pounds and on a 5’2″ frame, it feels like a lot. I can feel it when I run. I am not obsessed with being skinny at all, but I do like to feel lean, lean and mean. Lately, I’ve been feeling slow and frumpy. With all the other running issues I have, my weight shouldn’t be one of them.

So, what do I do when I feel like I’m getting off course? I start tracking my calories, paying attention. And my biggest observation about where I’ve gone wrong isn’t that I’m eating bad food, it’s just that my eating is terribly erratic. I mean, all over the board and mostly due to a lack of planning, and sadly, my obsession with almonds. I’ll come back to the almond thing later. Some days I just eat anything I want an some days I barely eat. And occasionally when I get busy and stressed, I eat ONLY almonds. There’s that almond thing again. I have days when I eat NO carbs and days when I drink most of my meals. There’s just no balance. It’s confusing my body and making me feel sluggish.

My focus this week is feeding myself properly. It really just takes a few days for me to get back into the habit of planning my meals. This is what I cam up with and ate yesterday.

Breakfast was light and I got yelled at on my app for not eat at least 200 calories for breakfast. It satisfied me so why force it.

My morning snack was 1/2 cup of cottage cheese with fresh red raspberries. I ate dairy, yes, I told you I am really trying to eat a variety. We’ll see how the dairy thing works out. Lunch was light, a pouch of tuna, 8 crackers and steamed baby bok choy.

I had the cutest Persian cucumbers with hummus as an afternoon snack and I packed a 1/4 cup of almonds to munch on whenever. FYI, the 1/4 cup of almonds was about a billion less than I normally eat. I may have mentioned this before but if it was nutritionally sustainable to ONLY eat almonds, I would. They are hands down my favorite food. The ARE very good for you, but I DO NOT eat them in moderation. I crave them, wake up wanting them. Oh, and they absolute have to be Blue Diamond almonds. No substitutes.

For dinner, I wanted a bag of almonds, HAHA, just joking. (not really) but I ate a regular meal instead. 1 cup of prepared whole wheat angel hair pasta, marinara sauce and two Gardein meatless meatballs. I had some fresh baked wheat bread from Market District and couldn’t resist a piece. :)  .All that food totaled 1,283 calories which puts me over by 26 calories for the day. I am not worried about that because I can burn those off going up and down the stairs with laundry. However, that doesn’t leave me with a lot of options in case I get hungry before bed. I could do one of three things: 1) go to bed directly after dinner – LOL or 2) walk the dog to buy some back more calories 3) eat vegetables as a snack which can fill me up without packing more than 20 calories on.

I love the app I’m using to track my food because it tells me exactly what I did right or wrong on any given day. (MyNetDiary)

 Have any great breakfast, snack or any cool meal ideas? Please share. Have a great week. 

Aug 02

Weekly Running Re-Cap

Another week of half marathon training down. It’s funny, it doesn’t really “feel” like I’m training for everything. Just running miles and trying to feel good about them. I’m in the habit of posting my runs and the “cliff notes” version of my running journey on Instagram and let me tell you, what a great support some of you are out there. I love it and thank you!

After last Sunday’s run, remember the run where I had a breakdown? That run. Well, after last Sunday’s run, I decided I needed to get a grip and run inside a little. I have no fear, anxiety or breathing issues when I run inside, so that’s what I did to start Week 3 of training.

Monday is technically a rest day, but I’ve been doing hot yoga with Madison on Mondays. It’s a level one and two class, super challenging and very mind calming. I especially like this type of cross training because It forces me to slow down and focus on my breathing for a whole hour and 15 minutes. I also paid close attention to the concept of my Drishti Gaze, a gazing technique that deepens your awareness and focuses your mind. It can’t hurt right and it is very calming. The ONLY problem with yoga on Monday night is that I don’t get home until late and have to get up early to run on Tuesdays.

I had 5 miles to run on Tuesday and ran at mid-pace: 8:40. I didn’t have any breathing issues, but I felt so tired. I looked at my sleep history over the past 10 days and realized I hadn’t slept more than 6.5 hours once. No wonder I felt tired. At this point, I don’t even know what my sweet spot is when it comes to sleep, but after Tuesday’s run, I decided I would sleep in on Wednesday, work from home and run late in the day.

I did sleep in on Wednesday. As a matter of fact, I slept 9 hours!! unheard of for me. I guess I really needed it. I thought it would give me super power, strength and extra sharpness while I worked, but it didn’t. I really didn’t feel that much better. I think it has to become more out a routine. Anyway, I ran another 4 miles inside later in the day on Wednesday. Everything felt fine, but no super powers.

Thursday, it was back outside. New attitude though. I am no longer allowing myself to dread these runs and anticipate a problem. I’m more comfortable with the fact that I need to run slower right now. It’s a temporary thing, and it won’t last forever.

Friday was a rest day. I was tempted to run just a couple miles, but decided to save my energy for the weekend. I signed up to do the Steel City Road Runners group run on Saturday morning. I needed a change of pace, new routes and maybe some running companions. Great decision. I decided to start with the 10:00 minute pace group. This way, I was under no pressure at all to keep up. We ended up running closer to a 9:30 pace but it ended up being fine for me. I was so occupied talking (yes, I talked to people – lol) that I hardly thought about my breathing at all. Everything just came naturally and I really enjoyed myself. I went 6 with the group and decided to tack an additional 2 on by myself. Great run. And, made a couple of new running friends. :)

Today I was scheduled to do a half marathon pace run inside for 4 miles, but it was such a nice morning, not a bazillion degrees, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do another run outside. I ran the exact same route as the day before and ran 3 seconds faster per mile. Any improvement is a win for me at this point. Today I enjoyed the solitude – sometimes it’s nice. I wasn’t anywhere neat half marathon pace, but I don’t care. I just loved being outside and comfortably running.

I have a planned set of runs for this week, but I reserve the right to change it, modify it at any time. I have the power to set the course. I am going to start getting serious about working my core. I’ve been lax with that and I think it’ll help me get where I want to go. I found a 15 minute workout on Runner’s World that I can probably stick to. I mean, who can’t find 15 minutes??

I see so many inspirational quotes all week on social media. Yesterday, this one really struck a cord with me. This will be my story. :) Have a great week.

 

Jul 27

Monday Motivation

motivate

Jul 26

Running with Vocal Fold Motion Disorder

It’s been a couple of weeks since I got my diagnosis. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, it could have been much worse, so I’m trying to keep that in mind. I’m also still able to run regularly (good thing), and I have been. I’ve also attended a couple therapy sessions. I’ll discuss those first.

THERAPY FOR VOCAL FOLD MOTION DISORDER/VOCAL CORD DYSFUNCTION (VCD) – Respiratory Retraining

I went into the “lab” at the voice center and ran on the treadmill while the therapist gave me some direction. Imagine you’ve been doing something for so long without thinking about it then BAM! someone says you have to do it differently. Now imagine it’s something that you typically don’t even think about at all, something that just happens naturally, except the way you do it causes a physical problem that hurts your air intake. Boo, that’s me. I feel like if I try to explain it in detail, it’s going to be very confusing, but I can try to give you a quick run down. I start running, I reach a hard part in the run (i.e. it’s starts to get hot, I start to try to push the pace, I come to a hill) I get anxious and my breathing pattern changes. I stop breathing from the diaphragm and start doing this throat, jaw, upper respiratory breathing thing that tightens the muscles, and causes the vocal cords to remain closed during inhalation. There are other factors that might be causing the problem, but anxiety about running well, and performing at a certain level seem to be a significant factor, which makes me feel a little like I need to spend some time in a padded room.

Another tricky thing about this is that it pretty much only happens outside. I can run 1-2 minutes per mile faster indoors. Again, enforcing that this is some kind of severe mental block. I’m just at a loss for how to overcome it. I have breathing exercises to work on. I practice while I’m not running and I practice when I am. When I’m not running, I concentrate on the “sensation” that breathing from the diaphragm gives me. So, when I go run, I can remember the sensation and try to duplicate it.  This is all fine and good, but you know how strong the mind is.

Despite all this, I keep running. I run indoors, I run outdoors. I even did a race last week. I ran ridiculously slower than my average 5k pace and still won a first place age group medal, which left me completely baffled. I couldn’t even enjoy it – my pace was a 9:39. Nothing against anyone who runs a 5k at that pace, not at all. It’s just not whst I’m capable of doing so it’s frustrating. Madison, however, took third in her age group (15-19) and it was her very first 5k! I was so excited for her. She ran a 26:18 and it completely made up for the fact that I struggled. I’m so pumped that she has taken an interest in running.


I’m still sticking with my half marathon training plan and doing the best I can. Despite the issues, I’ve hit all my miles so far. The paces outside are very slow, but I’m doing my best to get them done. Today I ran 10 miles and I struggled from mile one on. Sometimes remembering all this breathing stuff, relaxation techniques and form adjustments makes my head explode. I see how much effort I’m putting in and the pace on the watch is not what I expect. It’s hard not to want to quit, luckily I truly love to run. Stacey ran 5 of the miles with me today and kept my brain occupied for a while which was fantastic, and the only reason I got through it.

One of my best running friends keeps telling me that I need to treat this like any other injury. I need to give my body time to heal and re-adjust. So, here I am being patient and working through this. I have the following races on the radar which will take me through fall:

August 8 – Brookine Breeze 5K

September 27 – Pittsburgh Great Race 10K

October 3 – Run Shadyside

October 17 – Buffalo Creek 1/2 Marathon

October 25 – EQT 10 Miler

It’s killing me not to be running a fall marathon this year, but I’m obviously in no shape mentally or physically to train for one. Hopefully by January I’ll be ready for another training cycle.

Jul 13

Monday Motivation

never-give-up-never-quit-motivational-quotes-pics

Jul 09

Women’s Health – Empowering strong, fit, women. And this one’s a Pittsburgh Native!

hs_christinebullockSince 2013, Women’s Health has held a competition to find the next face of fitness scouring the US for the best, up-and-coming trainer. Women’s Health puts the full-force of its star-making power behind the winner by creating and distributing the trainer’s own DVD series; prominently featuring her in the magazine and on its website; and leveraging other assets of its parent company, Rodale (which also publishes books).

I can’t think of a better way to empower the winner of this contest by showcasing their love of fitness, while at the same enabling her to help others reach their full potential and goals. As a serious runner, it’s so incredibly rewarding to inspire someone to begin their own running journey and improve their own overall lifestyle. So, it’s a great honor to help give Christine Bullock the opportunity to inspire and help others as well. I’ve already cast my vote!

YOU CAN HELP TOO! 

VOTING is a big part of the selection process and I am more than happy to spread the word about Christine’s passions and her desire to become the Next Fitness Star. First and foremost because she is passionate about fitness, like myself, but also because she’s from the Steel City herself. Yep, although she is currently located in Redondo Beach, CA, she’s a PIttsburgh girl! Black and Gold by nature. ;) I had the opportunity to ask Christine a few questions about fitness and her desire to connect with others (see below).

Once you read through these answers, you have to admit she’s perfectly suited to be the  Next Fitness Star. And OMG, please go to her profile page and check out her videos! She has so much energy and I love her exercises! I’m in!!

Click on the  Next Fitness Star link to cast your vote and make this Pittsburgh Native the next up-and-coming trainer. Way to go Christine!

 

Christine Bullock, 33
Current Location: Redondo Beach, CA
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Focus: Cardio Strength 

 

1. Have you always been interested in a healthy/fitness filled lifestyle?
 
I definitely think I was born to be in the health and fitness field. I begged my parents to put me in dance at 3 years old and excelled at other sports I tried growing up. Nutrition didn’t come as easily. My mom grew up feeding me wheat germ in my oatmeal and powdered vitamin C in my orange juice every morning. She made health foods before Whole Foods was around. All my friends hated coming to my house because there wasn’t anything “real” to eat. I ended up eating a Twix and Mountain Dew for lunch every day in high school. But then around 18 years old I started to pass out from hypoglycemia. I had to learn to balance my meals in order to balance my energy levels. Her lessons about wholesome foods were engrained in me as much as I hadn’t enjoyed the food she gave me growing up. I’ve been experimenting with optimal nutrition and fitness ever since!
 
2. When did you decide to turn your passion into a career and what are the best aspects?
 
I started teaching ballet at 16 years old and teaching yoga at 19 years old, but never realized this was a career. I continued teaching while working other jobs in the health industry, but not exactly what I was passionate about. One day I realized I wanted to do what I was passionate about. It scared me a bit to take the big step to pursue fitness and nutrition full-time, but I’m a believer what scares you the most is what you are supposed to be doing. Now I never feel like I work a day in my life. I LOVE what I do. The best part is making people feel great during their workouts and seeing their confidence increase from personal and physical growth. Nothing beats bringing health and happiness into people’s lives, because it’s a domino effect to their family and friends.
3. What do you find people struggle with most when trying to maintain a regular fitness routine and what is your best advice to keep them motivated?
 
I find people are too rigid with their fitness and nutritional programs, so they can never stick to such a strict plan. Clients have a certain time to work out, but if the kids wake up late or they have an early business meeting and they can’t fit in their 60 minute workout, they don’t think they can fit it in anywhere else. Twenty minute workouts thrown in throughout the day can be just as effective as a 60 minute workout all at once.  Try running the stairs at work, taking a walk around the office building, running the kids soccer field while they play. Adding fitness in throughout the day will assist in creating your dream physique and boost your mood. As far as food, clients are too restrictive with their diets when they are trying to lose weight or tone up. I recommend eating a diet they enjoy, making small changes daily until they never feel like they aren’t limiting themselves. I enjoy the foods I want, when I want, but I have just learned to love wholesome foods rather than fast food.
4. How you feel winning this contest will help you to help others?
 
This opportunity has already been a blessing because it has given me the opportunity to reach a broader spectrum of people. I like to simplify fitness and nutrition while making it an enjoyable experience. Winning Next Fitness Star would give me the unbelievable experience of creating a fitness program along with the experts at Women’s Health magazine. I know we could create a program like no other that will get people fit for the long-term and enjoy the process. Fingers crossed. 

Jul 05

The Diagnosis is final – why I can’t breathe when I run

IMG_1635.JPGMy mind has been changed. I don’t hate doctors anymore. Well, at least not all of them. In comes Dr. Smith an ear nose and throat specialist from the University of Pittsburgh Voice Center. Dr. Smith runs, her husband runs, and has run The Boston Marathon 3 times. In her own words “I get what you’re trying to do, I can help.” Immediately my fears or hearing “maybe you should stick to shorter distances”, “maybe you should try another sport”, and “why do you want to push yourself so hard anyway?”, were banished. And, to be perfectly honest, only two doctors have ever told me that. But considering I’ve only seen a handful in the past several years, it was a high percentage and quite frankly, the worst advice I ever heard.

If you recall, my last “health” update was right after I had a visit to the Asthma specialist. After 30 pin pricks in my back, it was determined that I wasn’t allergic to anything, which both doctors thought was quite impressive for someone who lives in Pittsburgh. Not that it’s any great accomplishment, I mean, I didn’t do it on purpose. Apparently, it’s just unusual, but made my situation all the more confusing. Then the Asthma doctor did a peak flow test to see my inhalation and exhalation results. I was a champ at pushing air out of the lungs (unusual for asthmatic patients) however, the test showed that something was limiting my air intake which he decided was an “upper airway obstruction”. Not asthma at all. I’d been taking Asthma medication (steroids mind you) since February without the least bit of relief. Not altogether unusual since I DON’T HAVE ASTHMA.

I was off to the Voice Center to see an ear nose and throat specialist, Dr. Smith. While there, I filled out a lengthy questionnaire about my “issue”. I can’t breathe when I run would have been an accurate summary. The onset is typically at the same time during every run – at the beginning of the second mile. Yes, my breathing is audible. Yes, I feel like I’m choking. And yes, I have to stop frequently to catch my breath. Then they sprayed some yucky tasting stuff into my nose and stuck a scope up it snaking to my throat to eventually hover somewhere over my vocal cords. A tiny camera would video tape my vocal cords in action, pretty cool. NO, it didn’t hurt at all, just felt strange, in case you were wondering. I had to breathe normally, abnormally, and speak a few sentences. Given my responses to the questionnaire and the view of the cords, Dr. Smith says I have:

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The machine with the scope/camera

Paradoxical Vocal-Cord Dysfunction. In short, PVCD is the inappropriate closure of the vocal cords during inhalation, and in some cases, like mine, is induced by exercise. In this case, EI-VCD or exercise induced vocal cord dysfunction, is “Inappropriate closure of the vocal folds upon inspiration resulting in stridor, dyspnea and shortness of breath (SOB) during strenuous activity”. Stridor, I had to look that up too, is audible breathing that resembles a “wheezing noise”. Yes, I have that. The condition is often misdiagnosed as asthma and treated as such, without success. Yes, I know. The exact trigger is unknown. But something is breaking the connection from my brain to my vocal cords to not behave themselves and act normal when I run. There are three theories right now that have been proposed and could actually be a combination of all three.

  • Vasomotor Rhinitis: post nasal drip without the presence of allergies, causing excess phlegm and triggering an incorrect response of the vocal cords. This can be caused by air pollution, car exhaust, and extreme changes in temperature or humidity.
  • Acid reflux: which, surprisingly affects about 50% or athletes – wow – during exercise, especially when they are working at 90% aerobic capacity. Acid spills over the esophagus onto the vocal cords, again, causing them to get confused about what they should do.
  • Stress and anxiety over performance. Yikes, that makes me sound like a mental case. How it was explained to me, is that this may have always been present but my body has done a good job at compensating for it. Now that I’m trying to push to another level and run the “Holy Grail” or marathons, it’s becoming a problem because I can’t get to where I want to go, literally. I can’t perform at the paces I want to run because I can’t breathe. I start to stress and get anxious about running and breathing, and it becomes a vicious cycle of me not being able to hit my times and in turn, making my condition worse. In retrospect, I do remember struggling to breath many, many time last summer and even into last winter.

 

All this may sound horrible, but let me tell you, I’m thrilled with this. This means that I don’t need to go see a pulmonologist, and I don’t need to see a cardiologist which were my next stops. This condition doesn’t require crazy medication or invasive treatment. This diagnosis is treated primarily with therapy, breathing therapy. I will be meeting with a therapist once a week for three weeks on the track to work on a breathing technique that will relax the larynx to either prevent an episode or minimize the symptoms if an episode is triggered. I also have a prescription for acid reflux to eliminate or treat that as a possible symptom.

The best part about this is that I can still run. None of this is life threatening as long as I recognize when an attack is occurring. If I ignore the symptoms and continue to push I could pass out, which would be a very severe episode. But I’ve never let it get that far in the past so I’m not overly concerned about it. And since I’ve found out what’s been bothering me, I’ve already run a lot better. I’ve ditched the music for every run and concentrated solely on my breathing and remaining calm and in control. It’s been working great and I’ve felt better in the past week than I have in months. I still think that therapy will help a great deal so of course, I’m going to go. Who knows, this may break down a whole barrier that’s held me back.

 

Jun 24

Man Up Father’s Day 10k Recap

IMG_1589.JPGVacation is over and I made it back home. I’m still running despite some of the issues I’ve had lately but my body has done a great job of telling me when to push and when to hold back. Unfortunately, I’m still performing at a level below where I was a year ago but I’ve been racing when I have the opportunity. It’s a little hard to swallow the slower times, but I’m still not willing to give up the sport that has become such an important part of my everyday life. I have appointments to meet with some specialists to get the issues sorted out, so hopefully this will be a short chapter in my running story.

Needless to say I’ve been less anxious to elaborate on any race recaps. But they are part of my story so I thought I’d share anyway. This past weekend I ran the Man Up Father’s Day 10K. I ran it last year and thought it was a well-organized race on a course that I know very well since I run the Riverfront Trail between Heinz Field and Washington’s Landing almost every weekend during training. I didn’t sign up ahead of time and couldn’t really decide if I wanted to run the 10K or just stick with the 5K since I’ve been having a hard time getting through 4 miles lately without stopping. My friend Christie was running the 10, so I decided I would as well. I figured the very worst thing that could happen is I walk a little and my time was slow. Which is exactly what happened.

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Me and Christie after the race

It was really warm when we started, 72 degrees with 78% humidity. Jennifer, another friend I saw there (Running on Lentils), kept commenting on how it was 53 degrees last year when we ran. Big difference. Anyway, I knew I was going to take it slower but I didn’t really have a benchmark to see how slow is slow and at what point I trigger an attack. I started conservatively, I thought, at an 8:55 pace. I felt relaxed and comfortable and thought I would be able to hover around the 9:00 pace mark. It was about 2.5 miles in when the breathing started to get loud and got more difficult. It’s so aggravating. Then, as I was starting up the hill in Washington’s Landing, I had to stop and catch my breath. My throat gets tight and my legs start to ache. And so it goes from there. Mile after mile, trying to push through when I can and walk if I have to. Towards the end of mile 4, my throat loosened up and the legs felt better but I still wasn’t making up much time.

Last year I ran this same race at an 8:30 pace (52:41) and I remember how disappointed I was with that.  This year, I ran across the mat and the clock said 1:00:22, which translates to a 9:44 pace. An enormous swing in time. The funny and shocking part about the time, is that it landed me 3rd place in my age group! Unfortunately, they only give out medals for 1st and 2nd place. WTF?

My time sucked! I mean I could do one of two things, throw myself on the ground and cry about it,  or accept this as a small bump in the road until I get my problem fixed. I’m doing my best to keep up my fitness level up and continuing to maintain a regular schedule. Something is physically wrong with me and if it’s what I suspect, part mentally wrong too. I hate to make an assumption before I see the specialist but if it’s what I think, there is no medication for the ailment. Some of it is avoiding triggers and some of it is mental relaxation.

I’ve run three times since this race and with a different approach. I decided I was going to leave some of the mental baggage behind and shoot for some realistic times. They don’t have to be times I used to run, just times and paces that suit today’s situation. I ran inside on Tuesday, which never seems to be a problem for me then took a new route Wednesday morning with the goal of not stopping and running the best pace I could without having an issue.

I ended up doing okay with this approach and was able to run a 9:02 as opposed to the 9:30 pace I had planned. The temperature was considerably cooler, 58 degrees, which I loved and could have played a part in my success.

 I was so excited that I was motivated to go out again last night and push a little harder. I felt okay but it was a little warmer. I refuse to let whatever is bugging me win.

  More updates and information to come when I have them. Until then, have a great weekend!

Jun 22

Monday Motivation

Its been a while since I’ve been consistent with these – but I could really use some myself! Happy Monday!

pain

Jun 16

Diagnosis #2 – A Running Update

Sitting on the beach this afternoon, toes in the sand, I pondered this morning’s run. I’m on vacation so naturally slept in, Cooper and I were way too cozy to depart the bed at 5:30 am. It was close to 8:00 when I hit the road and the sun/temperature was already a blistering 81 degrees with 86% humidity. Of course I had a hard time breathing, I also had a hard time not melting.

Last time we talked I was scheduled to see an asthma/allergy specialist to do some more breathing tests, additional allergy testing, as well as discuss exactly what I’m experiencing when I run.

After 28 needles in my back, all signs of allergies came back negative. I love being a pin cushion when you find out it wasn’t really necessary, but at least I can rule out most common environmental concerns.

The most important and enlightening part of the exam was the breathing test. My exhalation was off the charts at 114%, which is NOT normal for asthmatics. My inhalation, however, showed something different. The nurse kept asking me if I was inhaling as hard as I could. I was but the result was a weak flat line, not an arc like it should have shown in the reading.

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Possible problem – upper airway obstruction. Which is consistent with me feeling like I’m breathing through a straw when I run. He told me, and this is the crazy part, that it sounds to him like Vocal Cord Dysfunction. When a person inhales, the vocal cords separate to allow air to get to the lungs. When you have the dysfunction, the vocal cords close slightly which would account for the gasping for air feeling.

I’ve done some research on this and found a few things about Vocal Cord Dysfunction:

  • It’s typically misdiagnosed and treated as asthma
  • Most diagnosed patients are female between the ages of 18 and 35
  • The most common causes are acid reflux, post nasal drip and stress/anxiety

The stress and anxiety is particularly interesting. Specifically because of what I read below:

“A patient reports episodes of dyspnea or shortness of breath during exercise, and medications prescribed to relieve symptoms are ineffective. The continued symptoms, coupled with the failure of the medication and the patient’s inability to complete assigned “fitness” drills, increases the emotional stress the athlete feels during practice. If the cause of respiratory distress is unrecognized and uncontrolled (as with undiagnosed PVCD), the resultant emotional stress can exacerbate PVCD symptoms. It has been our experience that, over time, the misdiagnosed athlete becomes less able to perform necessary cardiovascular fitness exercises (including practice drills) and less able to meet the demands of athletic participation.”

The next course of action for me is to see an ear nose and throat specialist to lock this in as exactly what’s wrong with me. After that I may also be required to see a pulmonologist and a cardiologist to rule anything more serious. There’s definitely something wrong and it doesn’t seem to be getting better. 

Despite these issues, I keep lacing up the shoes and going out there. One out of every 5 runs is okay for me so I live for those. I ran two 5Ks so far this summer. One was a disaster and I actually took home a medal in the other for my age group (with and 8:40 pace), LOL.

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I was a little on the fence about running a fall marathon, but have decided 100% not to train for one. I really don’t think I can even do it physically. I need to figure out what’s going on and go from there. I have my sights set on a spring marathon and hope I have some answers before I need to train for that.

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