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Giving up on Running for Now

Sunday, June 17, 2012

This has been the strangest summer.

Last spring and summer was my first as a runner/jogger. I started the season not even able to run a mile. I worked my way up to being able to run a 5k consistenly, and was starting to work on a 5 mile run. I stopped for the fall/winter, because I prefer to exercise in the morning, and it was just too cold for me. But I would go out about once a month and run a 5k, just to be sure I still could.

This year, the surgery I had in Feb. held me back a few months, but eventually I was able to get out there and work my way back to running a 5k in 34 min., which is where I ended last season. Then the strangest thing started to happen. I developed a horrible rash after one of my runs. It began on my throat and spread throughout my neck and chest. The inflammation was so severe it warranted a trip to the doctor for some steroid cream and a prescription medication that I had to take for 10 days that made me very lethargic. During that 10 days, I did not run. In fact it was all I could do to drag myself onto the treadmill for a walk. This happened three times.

I don’t really know the cause for sure, but it appears I have developed an allergy to heat (or possibly to sweat). I have also learned the hard way that a bike ride or a hike will also bring on this reaction. Basically any activity outdoors in the heat. I have decided that 10 days of feeling poorly is not worth one good day of exercise, so I am hanging up my running shoes for the summer. I will stick to my treadmill, strength training, pilates, and yoga -- all indoors.

In the meantime, I have done some poking around on the web and found that Dr. Andrew Weil recommends a supplement – Quercetin – for hives. He says that you need to take the supplement for a few months before the levels build up enough to be effective. So I am taking this supplement now, and I may try running again in a few months.

I am bummed because I enjoy exercising outdoors. I also like the motivation that trying to beat my last time or increase my distance in running gave me. However, one thing I have learned on this weight loss journey is that I need to be able to roll with changing circurmstances and find something that works no matter what.

I have never heard of a heat allergy before this happened. Does anyone else have this problem, or any advice?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I think you are smart to be researching this and doing what will work for you. Keep up the good work! Thanks for the encouragement! Spark on! emoticon
    3286 days ago
    Have you talked to your doctor about Fifth's disease?-This gets worse when one is outdoors in the sun. I recommend you discuss this possiblity with your doctor becuase this condition can creat problems for a fetus if you are around pregnant women.
    3286 days ago
    I hope the new supplement you are taking helps. emoticon
    3293 days ago
    Ugh. That must be so frustrating! Allergies are weird, and yes, I have heard of heat, sun, and even cold allergies. I had a friend that used to break out in hives when it got too cold during marching band practice. I wish I had some advice for you, but all I have is admiration that you're finding ways to work around the obstacles! I hope you can get some answers so that you can go back to what you really enjoy.
    3293 days ago
  • SAMI199
    Allergies are a pain -

    3293 days ago
    Wow. That stinks! I hate when my body turns on me. I hope that you can get to the bottom of it and figure out why it is happening. I found S3XYDIVASMOM comments interesting. I was thinking along those lines as well.
    Good luck! emoticon
    3293 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7773457
    I have had hives from the sun and also some that cover my neck and upper body and got no real answer. That is until my thyroid was found to be low and started reading about it . http://thyroid.about.com/cs/related
    conditions1/l/blurticaria.htm It is some thing to look into. I agree hives are no fun. Glad you have a back up plan. emoticon
    3294 days ago
    Along the same line as dreavg, it would seem to me, tha tif you were allergic to heat or your own sweat, then exercising indoors would create the same affect. Years ago, a doctor told me that heat, combined with residue from dryer sheet fabric softeners, could cause a reaction. If you use that product you might consider switching to a liquid softener.
    3294 days ago
    We've had a strange year weather wise. Hopefully that's all it is. I know the feeling about running. I just completed my first 5k race plus I ran my first 5 plus miles last week. It was great. Can you run on the treadmill? Indoor activities are boring, but I'm glad you're willing to do them rather than just give up. Good Luck and I hope things get
    better for you soon.
    3294 days ago
    I am sorry you cannot run outside right now. I commend you for listening to your body. On a separate note, since the rash only occurs outside, it is most likely an environmental allergy. Ask your doc about allergy testing.

    3294 days ago
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