Today I didn’t run

Location: Nowhere
Miles: 0
Time: 0
Pace: 0
Temp:  Toasty at home, in truck, on trainº
Weather: Fine, I suppose
People I saw: My family
Pain/injuries: Got this knee problem
Weight: Rosie

Notes: Today I got up and took a shower. No run. This is Day Two of not running. I hate it. It’s not me.

I suppose that, on the positive side of things, I can take a moment to realize that I’m running consistently, this winter. I actually miss freezing my butt off. I don’t have that great sense of accomplishment that I can carry with me all day. Instead, I’m hobbling around on this knee.

Nathan’s asthma- a history of breathing

I was asked by a new friend, Bryce Knudson, as to the effects of my asthma on running. Instead of a short and unhelpful answer, I decided to go ahead and just post my lengthy response to my blog.

As long as I can remember, I’ve had pretty serious asthma. (“Serious”, because I’ve gone to the hospital a few times in order to find relief. Sometimes the inhaler just doesn’t cut it.) My parents were aware of my breathing difficulties, long before I knew why I struggled to gain oxygen, so many times in my growing years.

There was a time, as a kid, that I’d go to the doctor for weekly allergy shots. My allergies were inherent to my childhood and not, I suspect, as a result of poor eating habits. My mother was very careful to not give us Nelson kids processed foods or a lot of sugar. We were raised on homemade wheat bread and local honey. This is an oversimplification, but it helps to set the scene for how I ate in my youth. Even with this simple eating/living, I was highly allergic to animals (dogs, specifically) and any exercise would trigger some pretty terrific (as in, not awesome) asthma attacks.

To give you an idea of how easily my asthma was trigger, if I were to all of a sudden, up and run for 10 seconds, it would likely cause an asthma attack that would require a couple of puffs from my inhaler. (I carried my inhaler EVERYWHERE) I went.

When I turned 26, I decided that I wanted to start to run (Running is something that my father and family participate in, so the tradition and pressure system is already in place.) I began by running in Springville, only a telephone post distance at a time. As I’d add a telephone post’s distance, each run, I became stronger and stronger. Eventually, if I started slowly enough, I could get through an entire run without an attack (Although, many times I’d have an attack as soon as I’d stop running, which was weird.)

Over the course of years, I’ve managed to get to where I can run as far as I want, without taking my inhaler. I still keep it on me for most runs, but I only have to take it around 1% of the time. Clearly I’ve made significant progress.

There are, however, a few times when my asthma is an issue on a run. Some examples of this are:

1. I’m already sick with a cold or something, but decide to run, anyway.
2. The air quality is horrible (a bad inversion, or something).
3. I sprint for any amount of time (unless I work up to this, slowly in speed.
4. Cold weather can induce an attack. So I run much slower in the winter.

Otherwise, I really have managed to get my asthma under control. The other day I was sort of struggling to breath, on a run with Bryce Knudson, but I think that this was mostly due to poor air quality.

A couple of years ago, I ran through some very bad air quality days. I started off with a cold, which eventually turned into a nasty case of pneumonia, which caused me to miss running for a couple of months (not to mention a bit of money due to doctor’s visits. Oh yeah- and a trip to the hospital when one doctor thought I might be having a heart attack.)

Overall, I actually attribute my recent bout of less asthma, due to my running habits. I feel that my body responds well to the stress, as long as I am careful and don’t overdue it. Mileage, I think, it’s so much the issue, as is the weather and how fast I run.

A brutal fall, a wonderful run with Bryce Knudson, on the BST

Location: Bonneville Shoreline Trail, from Slate Canyon
Miles: 6.8
Time: 1:13:10
Pace: 0:10:38
Temp:  20º
Weather: Cool and clear
People I saw: Bryce Knudson, Bob
Pain/injuries: Fell and beat up my left knee a bit
Weight: 180

Notes: Yesterday I was chatting with Bryce Knudson, who I met at the Bonneville Brawl, who is much faster than I am. Seriously. Much. Faster. We decided that we’d meet up at the Slate Canyon Trailhead and run the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in a Southward direction.

I was nervous as soon as we agreed to this. I know I can run far, but I am a little slow, compared to Bryce and the like (I know this because I remember that he beat my Bonneville Brawl time by a large margin). But trail runners are cool and they’ll just run with you, even if you’re slowing them down.

We started off at a pretty decent clip. I knew within 5 minutes that I was just going to be hanging on for this one. But it was pleasant, not horribly freezing (just freezing), and there’s not much more in life that is more exciting that exploring new sections of trail.

Bryce expertly guided us along, although there were a few points that he had to stop and think about (he doesn’t typically run this trail in the dark), but he kept us on the route. For certain sections of single track, I ran behind Bryce.

(This is where I didn’t write for a few days, but came back to finish the post)

On one segment, I was running a little close to Bryce (only about 5 feet behind him), when I saw him quickly hop over a rock. By the time I reacted, I was too late. I kicked that rock, which did not budge. The results of this, was that I slammed my left knee down onto a little snow. Under that snow was a rock. It really hurt. I immediately told Bryce I was ok (probably because it didn’t hurt at a ’10’, yet and probably because it was a little embarrassing) and continued along. My knee continued to hurt and I became concerned that it might be a problem. But I finished the run, anyway.

It is now Monday and I’m still having problems with the knee. Not excruciating pain, but it’s weak and gives out a little (if you recall, it does some of this, anyway). But it’s particularly weak. It hurts a little to walk, but not enough to go to a doctor. However, I’m not comfortable running on it, today. And probably tomorrow.

I’m concerned, but I think that I’ll be ok. It’s possible that I might need to take a week off from this knee. Even though I ran on Saturday (9.4 miles). But I’ll write about that in another post.

A slippery run on the BST

Location: Bonneville Shoreline Trail
Miles: 5.1
Time: 57:41
Pace: 11:07
Temp:  18º
Weather: Cold, clear, crisp
People I saw: Bob
Pain/injuries: Left knee wants to keep giving out
Weight: 180

Notes: Looks like 5:45 am isn’t early enough to make this trip. I barely made the 8:10 trail to Provo, so I’ll just have to figure out a way to suck it up and wake in the wee hours.

This run was cold. 18 degrees and I felt it the entire way. Maybe it’s time to just admit that it’s ok to wear pants on a run. Or maybe pants don’t work as well on trails with rocks and roots. I don’t know. I’ll experiment a bit.

IMG_4844My run has been over for over an hour, but my butt is still cold. This is the winter for me. I stay cold for long periods and only really warm up when I’m at home or work. Once I’ve gone for a run, it doesn’t matter if I’ve had a hot shower- it just takes a while to warm up.

I wish this train had a car where I could stretch out my hamstrings and calves.

Anyway, I saw Bob out there, riding his mountain bike like a fellow fool. Why are people out here, before the sun comes up, in the freezing cold, exercising? Only Bob and I know.

Forgot to mention that I took a spill at some point, due to not lifting my feet over a protruding rock. Last time that happens to me (haha).