Doral 5K RR: In Which Docket Played Good Samaritan, Had an Asthma Attack, and Still Managed to get an AG Award

Today, I ran the Doral 5K, a race that is conducted near my house.  It is part of my running route more times that I can count.  It is a small race that is getting more and more notoriety because of the organization and the chance to place in the AGs.

I have back to back races this weekend and, although I knew none would be PR attemps due to the weather and the asthma, I wanted to test my asthma to see how well it was doing after a few weeks of new medications for the asthma.

Asthma Update:  As you remember, my asthma had not been doing well.  The doctor added one more medication (Singulair) about a month ago and I was still struggling.  I finished my last 5K race in 27:33.  My last doctor appointment was two Mondays ago and my number showed that my breathing capacity is at 67% with medication on a good day and she estimates that I am at 35-50% while running.  So, now you know why running has been a struggle for me in the last few months.  I am barely running with half of my breathing capacity.  She changed my rescue inhaler to Ventolin and things improved from there.

Training:  Training improved after the doctor's appointment, mainly because Ventolin provides me with more medication than the previous albuterol and my paces have gone down substantially.  Some workouts are back to pre-asthma levels.  I knew this race would go well, but it depended on whether I could run asthma free.

Weather:  This was the worst factor today.  It was 75F with 100% humidity, cloudy with 70% chance of rain.  The most dangerous moment for this asthmatic is those 5 minutes before it rains. The humidity shoots and for some reason, my chest gets an asthma attack around that period.  So, I knew today was going to be hard.

Race:  I ran from my house to the starting line and by mile 0.25, I had to stop because I was getting an asthma attack.  I had already used my medication and my rescue inhaler, so there was nothing I could do but stop and breathe.  I got to the park and things seem to improve.  I finished my 3 mile warmup with no strides and lined up to start.  As the weather was yucky and my chest was still congested and tight, I risked it and took another 1/2 dose of the inhaler (1 pump) just before the start.

Mile 1:  And off we go!  As soon as we started, I said pluck, I forgot to turn on my Garmin.  So my Garmin was off by 4 seconds (which is made up at the finish chute).  I put my music on and started running.  The first mile went really well with paces ranging 7:40mm to 8:10mm. Pace 8:06.

Mile 2:  As we head to the turnaround, I still feel great and continue running at 8:15mm.  I start feeling this could be my day.  But then, on the turnaround, the girl ahead of me fell when she turned.  Hard.  4 of us stopped to help her up, asked how she was, and when she continued running, we did as well.  Pace 8:29.

Mile 3:  Here is where the problem started.  Immediately as I crossed the Mile 2 marker, the same symptoms as the last race with asthma attack surfaced: immediate drop of pace (close to 9mm), increase in HR, mild hyperventilation.  I knew the attack was coming, so I stopped and walked while trying to inhale from the rescue inhaler.  I had to wait because I could not breathe deeply.  So, I lost around 30 seconds trying to inhale it and once I did, I could only hold it for 4 seconds, crap.  I restarted running and after 1/2 mile I felt much better.  When I started running my mile was at 9:33mm and when I finished the mile, I had recovered most of the lost time.  Pace 8:49.

Finish:  As I head into the chute, I start pushing but the chest was still a tad tight.  I know two girls are ahead of me but I could not catch them.  Those two girls were in my AG so they cost me the first place.  Finished in 26:39, an almost minute improvement from last month.

When I checked the results, I had placed 3rd in my AG and those two girls were ahead of me by 20 seconds!  The timing company said it was the most competitive AG of all today (albeit slow, LOL).

I am very happy with my performance.  I could've come in the low 25:XX, which is close to my pre-asthma PRs.  Had I not stopped to help this girl, I could have broken sub-26.  Had I not stopped to use the inhaler, I could've would've should've.  But there are things more important than a time and breathing is kind of important too, LOL.

Some pics!

And with my AG Award:

Now to hydrate for tomorrow's HM.  It's going to be 100% humidity too, rainy, and hot. Gotta love Miami Summers.


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