Running with asthma


Happy Halloween.

Since I was a child age 10, I have always had allergies and a bit of asthma. Throughout childhood and young adult life, my allergies and asthma did not impact my lifestyle that much. I was able to participate in various outdoor activities without any real issues.   My symptoms were not bothersome, so I was able to make do with over the counter medications and occasional puff of an inhaler before exercise.  

At the age of 40, my asthma and allergies took a turn for the worse.    I was referred to allergist/ asthma specialist in Boston.  I was sent to see Dr. Johnson Wong an allergist-immunologist who is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital.  At his office, I had a physical exam, skin prick test, also called a scratch test, to check for allergic reactions to many different substances and a lung function test.  Entering middle age, I had developed adult onset asthma that was triggered by multi allergens.   I had strong reactions to all pollens, cats, molds, let just say “all nature”.


I am 48 and my asthma is a daily issue.   I am currently taking prescription control medications that includes inhaled corticosteroids, Singular, Zyrtec and I am on allergy immunotherapy injections. However, my asthma can be exasperated by colognes, perfumes, fragrances, extreme cold or hot weather, humidity, and being outdoors in the country during high pollen seasons.

Sometimes, my asthma can get the best of me. I have been forced to walk most of a half marathon or a marathon due to breathing struggles, yet I always cross the finish line.   I do not believe in quit, unless I am truly sick.  Also, asthma flare ups can occur while I am not exercising. Recently, I walked out of a High Holiday Jewish Rosh Hashanah service, because I was surrounded by the people wearing perfumes, colognes and who knows what the “heck” else to avoid an asthma attack. This fall I had a little attack at an apple orchard and a country concert as well. I keep my inhaler close by and all is fine.

I love running and the happiness it brings. I am a very slow runner, but my passion for the sport is big.  I have completed many 5ks, Half Marathons and Marathons.   Crossing many finish lines has given me tremendous amount of confidence.  I love the feeling of accomplishment.  I like doing something hard and getting rewarded for my efforts.

When I run, I always feel the love from other runners.  Yes, I have been passed by 5-year-olds and 90-year-old geezers, but I still receive the same medal(bling) as all finishers.  With my respiratory issues, I realized I can’t go very fast, so I accept that many runners will be better than me.   Throughout the years, I learned to stop comparing myself to another runner. I am grateful for all my successes and I am very blessed to be given the opportunity to run in many races and I will be doing many more.  

In closing, due to my slow running, I tend to be on the course when many people are already done. For this reason, I get a lot of attention from the photographers – fewer runners to get their attention.


I have caught the running bug. Running is my obsession.

Ps…   My training technique is the Galloway Method of Running.  The plan is a run/ walk training plan. This allowed my lungs to recover more and his technique has changed my running for the better.  I feel stronger and I am able to have a lot more successes with my races. I do most of my runs indoors on a treadmill where there is a nice control environment.






27th Annual Canton 5k Fall Classic and 13 miles on a treadmill this week

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Today I participated in the 27th Annual Canton Fall Classic.   The event offered a variety of races that included a 5k, 10k, kid’s fun run and a Senior Walk.  I wanted to participate in today’s events because I heard from other runners that it was   one of the South Shore’s best event.      Today, I ran the 5k.

It was a perfect morning for a race. More than 400 runners participated in the 5K, 10K, Fun Run and Senior Walk.   Temple Beth Abraham hosted the 27th running of the Canton Fall Classic.

The race was challenging and scenic.  The course was surprisingly hilly, but I guess running hills has many benefits.  The first mile had a few small rolling hills.  The second mile of the 5k was all uphill.    The last mile was downhill to the finish.


Last week my running schedule looked like:



Monday 13 miles on a treadmill, running to music by Kenny Rogers, and a success


It was an excellent run.   Water, snacks, a fan, comfortable environment to run in, I was ready to run.  Kenny Rogers music was the theme for my playlist this week.  Love old country!

My plan was to run 11 miles, but once I reached   the 11-mile mark, I decided to keep running to complete a Half Marathon on a treadmill.


Tuesday 6 miles

Sunday     3 miles




Rise and Adapt 5k

Saturday, October 21, I ran the Rise and Adapt 5k that benefits the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts.


The race started and ended at Silver Lake Regional High School located in Kingston MA. Runners and walkers were encouraged to participate.  There was about 100 runners/walkers that were in attendance.


Number pick up was between 8:00am and 9:00am.


At 9:00am, we were sent on our way to complete the 5k.  The temperature was sunny and 54 degrees.  The course was fairly flat with one tiny hill towards the end of the race.

It was a nice fall morning to run a race.

Norwell Police k-9 5k



Sunday, October 15, I participated in the Norwell Police Department K-9 5k. The proceeds helped fund and start up a Norwell Police K-9 department. The money will be used to pay for the cost of the dog, and purchase all the equipment associated with the K-9 program.  There was also a fun run for the young kids.


I arrived in Norwell at 8:30am to pick up my bib and running shirt.


The race started and finished at the Norwell Police Station.  At 9:00am, the race started.  There was about 150 runners participating in the event. The course travelled through the quiet suburbs of Norwell.


It was a bit foggy and the temperature was 65 degrees at the time of the run, yet it was a nice morning for a run.  The 5k was nice, mostly flat with one very small hill at mile 2.
After the race, the Norwell Police Department put on a K9 demonstration and hosted an open house at the Police and Fire Station for the kids.


10 miles on a treadmill Long Run

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 Treadmill  10 miles

Today, I woke up early in the morning, determined to get my long run in.

After a nice breakfast, I hopped on my treadmill, and ran.  My body was happy to be running in a comfortable controlled environment.    I watched some television and listened to music while on the treadmill.  I felt great until mile 8, when I started feeling tired. I had some sugar snacks that got me through the last 2 miles.

Ten, miles later, I felt happy that I accomplish my goal.  I had a nice long run.

In a few weeks, I will be in Disney running the Wine and Dine.







10k Tufts Plan for Women



Today, Columbus Day, I participated in the Boston 10k Tufts Plan for Women.    The race celebrates health, and fitness for women.

Around 10:30 am, I headed to Boston.  It was an easy drive into Boston. I parked at the Hyatt Hotel in Boston – very convenient, plus very few people know about the garage, so parking was a breeze.  I picked up my number, long sleeve shirt and then walked   around checking out the sponsor booths until the start of the race which was noon time.


Then it was time to run. There were approximately 5,000 runners at the start.


My original plan was to run very slow and easy because I recently had inflammation of the ears caused by a cold or allergies.   Anyways, I feel better now. My race goal was just to get some exercise and finish.  This race was the first time I’ve ran more than 6 miles in three weeks. I was going to take regular walk breaks, and try to finish around 75- 90 minutes.



The weather was 75 degrees and humid with a few showers.

The race was so much  fun and I enjoyed running around the City of  Boston.  The course was relatively flat. The route starts in the Boston Public Gardens, heads West on Beacon street to the Mass Ave Bridge and then up and down the Charles River on the Cambridge side and back to the Boston Public Garden.   Throughout the six miles, I ran slow and steady and took walking breaks to allow me to finish strong. I enjoyed seeing the runners in front of me and behind me, thanks to the course design. It was so pleasant to be surrounded by 5,000 women getting out there on a holiday Monday to run 6.2 miles. It was so amazing. There were plenty of water stops on the course and the volunteer staff were so friendly and kind to the runners.  I loved the whole race!


I am pleased with my race, even though it was so humid.   My finish time was about 1 1/2 hours.

Shortly after the race I went home.


I left Boston Common feeling completely motivated for more upcoming fall races. My running was in a bit of a slump last month but now I feel refreshed and healthy.  Running the Tufts 10k, was exactly what I needed.



Crushing Cancer 4 Kids 5k

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Saturday morning, I participated in the 5th Annual Crushing Cancer 4 Kids 5K Walk/Run.  This event benefited Boston Children’s Hospital and the proceeds went directly towards Children’s Brain Tumor research.



The race was held in Lexington MA. It was a local town race and very enjoyable. There was about 100 runners competing in the charity 5k.


It was a nice and overcast 60-degree morning. The race begun near Lexington Battle Green proceeded its way through rustic back roads and then back towards Lexington center. The course consisted of flat and hilly terrain, that included 2 challenging hills.


After the race, I had a delicious breakfast and spent the day outside on the patio enjoying the final days of summer.




Maple Leaf Half Marathon



Saturday, I ran the Maple Leaf Half Marathon.    The race was held in

Manchester Vermont. It is a beautiful little town that offers many mom-and -pop restaurants, craft shops, retail shops in a beautiful valley setting surrounded by the Green Mountains.


The proceeds from the race were donated to The Manchester (VT) Lions Club and Make-A-Wish Vermont Foundation.


Last week I ran a little less than my usual mileage. I wanted my body to feel fresh for the big day and perform well.  During the summer months, I integrated more strength training along with my running workouts to improve my overall strength and endurance.  I was hoping to become less of a “Back of the Pack Turtle Runner”.


Early Saturday morning around 4:00am, I drove to VT to get there in time to pick up my race packet and prepare for the race. It was such a quick and easy drive! No traffic at 4am! The weather was in the low 50’s and partly cloudy.   It was a bit humid. Ugh!


The start was at the Dana Thompson Recreation Center. The start facilities were great. Thompson Recreation Park has a playground, ball fields, Dog Park, 1-mile walking path, and plenty of bathrooms to use before race time.



At 8:00am we all lined up to start the race. There was about 1000 runners. A young man sang the National Anthem, and then we were sent on our way to complete 13.1 miles.   The course had a lot of rolling hills and one long killer hill at mile 8.



It was definitely one of the charming cute race courses I’ve ran so far! It was very scenic and fun.  The landscapes of Vermont are gorgeous.

I loved it. The race travelled through downtown Manchester, down country roads, past farms and then back to the Recreation center for the finish. Despite my fall allergies and 76% humidity, I had a great run. My muscles felt good and my lungs were able to keep up. The miles flew by.


Three hours later, I collected a beautiful medal.  I am still a turtle runner…but a happy stronger one.


The refreshments served after the race was excellent. There was chocolate milk, bagels, cookies, fruit, ice cream and much more.


After having a bite to eat, I headed back home.


Overall the race was a well-organized fun race.  It is Back-of-the Pack Friendly. Throughout the race, volunteers were checking on us to see how we were doing.


Later in the evening, I curled up on the couch to watch TV with my spouse and enjoyed some nice relaxation time.