Sunday, 27 March 2011


Friday went back to the Dr, she wanted to check up on me and see how I'd done overnight on the blue inhaler, well to be honest as soon as I took it I felt a hell of a lot better, she listened to my chest again, and from what I told her, concluded that yes I do have asthma, but she will not label me as asthmatic yet. She has to figure out whether it is just a one off temporary reaction to something or a permanent condition before she is willing to do so.

The plan is to have a month, on two asthma pumps a blue one which is a reliever of symptoms and a brown one which is a preventer of symptoms, I have to take the blue one at least four times a day, more if I need be and the brown one no more than twice a day. I go back in a months time and then a decision will be made as to weather I am stuck with it or not. Funny enough she seems to think that my level of fitness may have succeeded in hiding the syptoms for a while, I just keep thinking, what if I had ignored my syptoms and ran the half marathon last Sunday! Glad I stuck to the rule, you can run if the cold is in your head, but if it's in your chest have a rest.

Here I am in my thirties, having never suffered from anything more than a broken arm when I was 12 years old, and it seems as if I'm suffering from asthma, after visiting the DR on Thursday I was just relieved that I could breathe properly, I can't lie on that morning I was pretty scared, coughing to the point of throwing up, and really struggling to breathe, bad enough to think maybe I should make my way down to Accident and Emergency, but I sat on the panic, called the boyfriend as he had borrowed the car, he drove back, took me to the DR's, so once I had a name for what was going on and some medication it was pure relief.

Two days later, and I can't lie I am a bit miffed and even a little afraid, how the hell does someone like me get asthma, I don't drink, and bar a lapse for a few weeks, about 4 years ago I have not smoked for at least 8 years. I work out 5 times a week, I even ran a ten miler the week before last with no ill affects. I have run consistently for two and a half years, I'm fitter than I have been in the longest time, and had just started to push weights to get the cut look that I have always coveted. Yes I'm a bit heavier than I should be, but bar that I'm in good health.

When I was younger kids with asthma also had hay fever, were never allowed to take part in sports, and usually looked pretty weedy and pasty not a great image to have in my mind. I'm feeling a little fragile, wondering if I can keep running as I have been, the DR seems to think I can, but to be honest she did not give me a lot of info, and a lot of people have been telling me what a devastating impact asthma has had on their lives, and that they have not been able to do this, and they have not been able to do that, and that I will not be able to exercise or run as much as I have been, telling me it's time to take it easy, easy, easy, I'm in my thrities not seventies!

I have also been active, the kid who could go on and on, who you wouldn't give sweets or coke, as it may keep me going even longer, the dancer who never had to take a break and would do a routine again and again and again, the runner, who may not be terribly fast, but will keep going until the task ahead is accomplished.

My natural strength and physicality without realising it has been a part of my identity, 5ft 8 inches, athlectic frame, naturally muscular, stronger than the average woman\girl, do I now have to redefine myself, will I have to take an asthma pump with me whenever I run, will I be embarrassed to use it, will I be able to continue to run long distances, will I ever run a marathon again, who is this new woman with asthma?

What about children and pregnancy, something I would like to try for in the future, and if I am so blessed, how will asthma effect that? Questions, questions, questions. Deep down I believe I will be able to deal with this, but for the time being I'm trying to get my head around it all and deal with the scary stories, some seem to be delighting in telling me, obviously people don't know me well, kryptonite has not been able to destroy Superman and asthma will not destroy Zupakat, but for now I'm just going to hide under my cape for a little longer as it makes a wonderful blanket and continue to recover.

Thursday, 24 March 2011


Well it’s been an eventful week as I have been struggling, with a mad cough and breathing difficulties that I put down to a chest infection. This morning it all got too much and my usually very healthy body continued to betray me, I was coughing like an pensioner who'd been smoking 50 a day for 50 years, to the point of puking up even though there was nothing to puke up, as my appetite has not been great.

Now there are two things in my life that if they fail to come easy to me, it’s time to worry and that is sleep and eat, Time to call in the Calvary.

Breathings important right, we all need to breathe to live, that's what I thought, well it's always worked for me before, seems like my body did not agree with this biological necessity!

I trudged off to the DR's she took a peak flow test which only measured 250. She said for a runner it should be around 500, she then listened to my chest, no bronchitis or pneumonia, possible bug or asthma, so gave me an Ventolin inhaler with instructions to take it at least twice a day and then whenever I need, then come back tomorrow to try and figure out if it is asthma or not.

Me asthmatic I really hope not, I proudly told her I’m a runner and that, I exercise at least 5 times a week, people like me don't become asthamtic, I was also proud to tell her that neither do I drink (okay, okay, but very rarely)and niether do I smoke.

Yes, okay so it runs in the family, but I’ve always been the lucky one, the healthy one, strong as a rhino one, who never gets sick, now they want to tell me that I might be asthmatic, that would be a dent to the ego, to my image of my healthy self.

Through all of those thoughts I can't deny the truth that sucking on that Ventolin is heavenly just how a crack head must feel sucking on a crack pipe, because I’ve had nothing but sweet relief since. It was starting to get a bit scary there for awhile so fingers crossed this is a temporary situation, if not I will have to learn to deal.

If I’m honest there may have been signs leading up to this, that I just did not recognise, sharp stitch like pain around my breast, sometimes when I run which I just thought was an ordinary stitch, curse it out, then ignore it and continue running has always been my policy, occasional wheezing or chest pain, nothing to write home about., I would always put it down to running in the cold, or working with kids who carry so may germs, a little Vicks chest rub would always get rid of it.

We have asthmatics in the family my sister who is only 18 months older than me has had asthma since childhood, I should’ve known better. I know what a wheezing chest sounds like, I grew up listening to the sound of her chest rattling away, keeping me awake at night worried that she would stop breathing, as a child I was by her side on many occasions when she had an asthma attack. I know how deadly it can be, how could I fail to spot it in myself, has running made me think I am invincible,has this ZUPAKAT persona gone to my head, anyone seen a red cape, cause I'm missing mine!

Crossing my fingers and toes, that this is just a temporary blip and not a permanent one, the decision not to run that half marathon last Sunday in hindsight was the right decision, I dread to think what could've happened.

Sunday, 20 March 2011


I'm in bed, why? I hear you ask because I am suffering from a chest cold which came on suddenly yesterday, I really don't know where it came from, I was cleaning and organising the house, I am in a mad lets get rid of the clutter mode, well by the end of the day my throat started to scratch but more worryingly my chest also started to hurt and a cough started to attack me. Last night I hardly slept as I found it hard to breathe properly so this morning for the first time ever I had to call off what would've been my 13th half marathon, the Reading half marathon, which I have run 3 years in a row boo,hoo.

If the cold was in my head only I would've run, but I know there is no way I could run whilst my chest was not one hundred percent, that would've been crazy even for me.  I'm dissapointed I can't lie, this would've been my first half marathon of the year.

Where did this cold come from, well I have two theories,  Friday is was cold and raining and I jumped on my vespa to go to work, I was only 15 minutes away  ( I'm a tough girl, as long as it's not snowing, I'm more than happy to ride)  but it was pretty cold, and I got quite a chill on the way home, or  it could've been  because my cousin bought her cute baby girl around, who is six months old, but the baby had a cold, I couldn't help myself and just had to snuggle up to said baby. Next time I have a race, I'm going to vet everyone that comes to my house,babies included to make sure their not carrying any germs.

I'm usually a very healthy person, hardly ever get sick or catch colds, so this is very disappointing, but even I know when to admit defeat and running with a chest cold is not a smart thing to do. Exercise has been going well recently, spinning, boxing class, free weights and running, even managed a 10 miler last week, longest I've run in a while, I've dropped a couple of pounds, clothes are little looser, even my Achilles which  plagued me for most of 2010 are no longer playing me up so badly, due to a great phsyio whose been doing acupuncture on me, so bar this blip today, all is well.

I think the other half is happy for a Sunday morning lie in,  we were due to leave the house at 7am, he's made sure I'm okay, but has gone back to sleep and is snoring away, (lucky bastard) I can't sleep, the cough is keeping me awake, and lying down makes breathing properly harder.

I was so looking forward to posting a great running report and wonderful pictures, detailing my struggle with 13.1 miles, the highs the lows and the in-betweens and adding a new medal to my collection, The plan was to run 11 miles with my shoes and then run bare footed for the last two miles, the race tag was a  strap around the ankle so it was the perfect opportunity to try running bare foot for part of a race, oh well, never mind, I'll get over it.......Why Lord, Why?

Happy running everyone.