28 October 2015

Sucky Breathing for 50 Miles: The Dick Collins 50 Miler

So this race report is a long time in coming...mainly because I've felt the repercussions of running 50 miles when I shouldn't have. This is a race I should have DNF'd. But oh well, I didn't, I ran, I struggled, and I got some pretty cool schwag. 

The Dick Collins Firetrails 50 Miler is a great race. The course is tough but gorgeous - lots of climbing, lots of descending, great views. The aid stations are top notch, there's food at the finish, the schwag is great, and it's the day before San Francisco Decom so I get to have my Burning Man fix the next day. It works out. 

A week and a half before my race, I came down with the flu. I struggled to work, and ended up taking a bunch of sick day and cuddling in bed with my cats. I should've taken a sick day when I flew across the country. ("Are you sure it's a good idea to fly when you feel like that?" "I'd just be in bed. On the plane, I'll just be sitting in a chair sleeping and reading." UM NOT THAT EASY.)

Though my flu had ended, I was still not 100% at the starting line. And around 10, 12 miles into it, I knew that my race was going to be a suffer-fest.

Every time there was an uphill, I had to walk. And not just walk, but walk slow. Walk with breaks to bend over and gasp for air.

The weird thing was, I was wheezing. As a cough-variant asthmatic, I'm not used to wheezing. It sucks. It sucks a lot.

So basically, I had to slow down a ton. I had to walk every hill, slowly, taking breaks. I took my inhaler 10-12 times. Nothing happened. I felt horrendous.

I finished. Somehow. It sucked. It wasn't even like my legs hurt after, because my lungs slowed me down and all I could think about was I CANNOT FREAKING BREATHE.

After I finished, I went to the medic. She listened to my lungs. "You're wheezing. And your heart is beating fast." I mentioned the 10-12 puffs of albuterol; she clarified that was why.

She recommended a hospital visit that night if things didn't improve; they didn't improve, but I was up at my friend's in the middle of the mountains, in the middle of nowhere. Things got worse and worse, and it's been a rollercoaster of a month of doctor visits, chest x-rays, medication, rest, and not breathing. Kind of sucked, but I'm pretty sure it's going to get better. How can it not?

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