Saturday, 29 August 2015

Starting from scratch

I was on the mend this week, following a recurrence of whatever my lung problem was.

I've been given a peak flow meter to measure my lung output. It's not complicated - you blow in a tube, and it measures your peak output in liters/minute.

Peak flow varies as a function of gender, height, and age. If you want to figure out what yours should be, there's a chart that allows you to do so.

For my age and height, the normal peak flow should be 570.

When I first tested my peak flow a week ago, it was 360.

Over the week, I have done the measurement in the morning and evening. If you have untreated asthma, these values will be considerably lower in the morning than in the evening.

It's too early to discern this pattern for me at the moment, but my values have been bouncing around in the 400s this week, despite me feeling O.K. So, I haven't fully recovered from whatever I had.


This has been my week:

Mon: run 2 miles. A dog licked me at my turn-around point.
Tues: nothing
Weds: swim 800m at lunch, run 3 miles on track after work
Thurs: nothing
Fri: run 4 miles
Sat: nothing
Sun: run 5 miles in the hills with friends

So, I'm starting again. No races. It felt great to be on the track earlier this week, with a late-August cool breeze, and a few leaves clattering across the lanes.


Earlier this month we were in Arches national park, and I took a photo of the petrified sand dunes. I really wanted to walk out and follow the dunes as far as they went.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

I might have asthma

After a brief recovery from my last chest infection, I fell ill again.

I was in the States, and I had a nagging cough after a short run, and also after a short hike. When I returned to Scotland last week, it worsened. By the weekend, I was up in the middle of the night, wheezing, and sitting in a chair to try and get my breath. During the day, I needed frequently to rest by putting my head down on the nearest counter or table.

On Monday, I went to the GP. My pulse-oxygen level was good, at 97%. I wasn't running a fever.

The GP did a peak flow test, where one blows into a small tube and a measure of their flow can be made. My flow was way low (> 200?), and culminated in a coughing fit.

The GP started to wonder whether something other than a second serious chest infection was going on. It could be adult-onset asthma he speculated. He prescribe an inhaler (and a few other things), and these seemed to help quickly.

So, either I have been terrifically unlucky with back-to-back chest infections, or I might have asthma.

Running-wise, this was my last week:

Mon - no running
Tues - no running
Weds - no running
Thurs - ~ 1 mile. I stopped and had to walk back.
Fri - no running
Sat - no running
Sun - no running.

So, it is looking like racing is out for a while.


The weather is cool now, and getting back to work I noticed that there was the first signs of color in the trees.