Every person has a weakness, even super heroes like Superman got weakened by a Kryptonite and even the Greek warrior Achilles has weak heels.
As for an ordinary person like me, its skin asthma. An ailment that unpredictably attacks me. Yes, very unpredictable, that I should always be ready like a girl scout and somewhat paranoid whenever possible exposure can be encountered. Possible cause for this, is sudden change of temperature caused by change in climate or pollution and dust.
The last major attack was when I’m still in college sometime in 2001 , and I mean it by major transformation or morphing and an unforgettable experience of passing out in the middle of Katipunan Road.
I still have some attacks but I was able to immediately medicate with anti- histamines so I wont get puffed with rashes.
And the attack came in a very unexpected day where it caught me off guard–During the Adidas King of the Road 2010 Run; off guard because for the first time we didn’t bring personal vehicle and I left my medicine kit which is always on my bag during running events.
The Adidas King of the Road
The said event hyped almost each and every runner there is. In fact during the first week of registration people are panicking as to where to register, despite of the whooping P850 pesos joining fee . I personally can attest to that, on first day of registration, people on Facebook are posting status that certain registration sites are running out of singlet sizes and race kits. (take note on the FIRST DAY). On the second day, hubby and I went to Adidas Gateway Mall, to secure ourselves with a 10K race kit, with the fear we might not get an exact size for the singlet for ourselves, and that’s what exactly happened, XS, S, and M for women ran out and I settled for a L size for women, which is fairly fit but not really satisfying aesthetically; talking about being hyped! Hubby got an XL for ladies, he doesn’t want baggy singlet.
October 24, the much awaited event come to date. I personally came prepared with some core workout for endurance and some mileage to equip me weeks before to lessen my walk breaks despite the expected uphill along the Kalayaan Flyover, which is by the way my first time to experience. Too bad we have to commute going to Bonifacio High Street because our ever reliable car Pula is sick. =( We realized it was in fact a blessing in disguise for we don’t have to queue for the parking for almost forever that caused some runners to be late for the gunshot.
But we’re not exempted, for the line in the baggage area were starting to pile up. Spent almost 15 minutes lining up to give our baggage to the 2 persons assigned. =(
Looking around I observed that the stage grounds is very confusing for its so far from the starting chute. We checked out some booths some are giving out bananas already. Got curious with the Nivea booth, we found out a cute hunk and pretty babe are spraying some liquid sunscreens to runners and caught ourselves lining up too, heheh. While walking, looking for the starting line we came across a guy on an elevated platform, also confusing for he’s wearing non-Adidas apparel on an Adidas event (di manlang sponsored, heheh) up for some warm up session, we joined him alongside with other yellow bib runners only to find out gunstart for 10K was already shot 2 minutes ago. So we hurriedly sprinted our way to the chute, thank goodness timing is on RFID…hehehe.
As always hubby, the twins and I split our ways and agreed to meet in the middle of the event grounds after finishing. Approaching the 1st Kilometer, a build up stacked up the participants, recently learned it was because of some potholes and puddles the runners are avoiding to run on. Plus the meet up of 10K and the 21K runners going back from the 1st loop from the British International School added to the traffic.
I made my way to continue my slow run by passing by the grassy sidewalks and little by little overtaking some runners just came out of the pitstop. Surprised that I was able to overtook Cris, my husband, who was also trapped. We paced for a couple of minutes and I decided to keep my pace and let him move to his pace to reserve my energy and refrain from walking.
With that pace, I was able to reach the 1st 5K sub-30 minutes according to Angelo (my Timex watch), with Angela (heart rate monitor) giving me an average Heart Rate of 171 bpm. I was confident I can finish it at a target time of 1:10. So I fueled some Powerade and ran my way to the Kalayaan Flyover. It felt endless and very challenging overtaking black and yellow runners climbing but I also got inspired by runners who are running their way back. Before I reach the peak of the bridge I inhaled some burnt rubber that made breathing difficult for me.
To catch some breath I slowed down by walking because I cannot take the smell of the smoke from the vehicles running at EDSA. I jogged slowly making up for the pace I lost. Because of the build up in the middle of the road, I had to position myself at the right most part of the bridge not minding at all if I could have a photo shot from Greentenial or not.
I felt something weird, some itchy feeling from the back of my ears. I fought the thought that IT COULD BE A SKIN ASTHMA ATTACK. No! Not here I kept telling myself. With some flashbacks of my last major attack, I prayed, “Please, not here in this event or while I’m on the road running. I dont want to make a scene, Please Lord. “, I keep telling myself while striding my way to the U-turn. I ran my way down the flyover, very cautious with the gravels scattered on the ground. Reaching the Gil Puyat grounds there was a water station, I grabbed a cup of water and poured on to my over heating head, got another one and drank. Got a half empty bottle of water someone left on the table and took hold of it not for drinking but for refreshing myself on the way because of intense heat I predict to happen with the itchy sensation I’m experiencing at that time.
After doing the loop in Paseo de Roxas I hurried my way up back with the fear of losing consciousness. I was very conscious of my breathing, decided not to push hard and give up the goal for the day in order to be safe. I’m connecting my thoughts (mental telepathy) with Cris at that time with the hope he’s around when I get to finish the race. I saw an ambulance, checked myself, if breathing becomes hard, I’d stop and call some help, and declare Did Not Finish (DNF), but surprisingly, I FEEL GOOD except for the itch and rashes growing my arms. I’m psyching myself to continue and finish it then I’ll have medication when I reach the finish line.
To cut the story short, I was able to finish the race, safely and conscious, at a decent time of 1:15: 45 according to Angelo, heart rate at 270 bpm. 1:18:48 based to the chute Timex watch. I feel my face really plumped and slightly numbed and I can see my eyelids puffed. After getting some bananas and water I searched for my companions. My neck was really itchy and I could feel the rashes connecting, forming like islands on my nape. I even had photos with a running acquaintance even if I don’t look so photogenic.
After almost 15 minutes of looking around, I finally found Cris, shocked of how I looked, he described it like, mukha akong lola. Almost cried when I saw him, self pity and all, he escorted me to the Medic’s booth, making sure that I’m feeling well. After handing me an antihistamine, I sat on the stretcher, overheard that there’s someone who passed out and was brought to St. Luke’s emergency. I uttered, “Thank God that wasn’t me!”
I felt good afterwards and asked him if we could walk around to check the booths. I saw the AdiNation Booth and we registered. Had some pictures taken with Takbo.Ph people, but shy away myself later for I dont feel good having my pictures taken. After we got our Passport for the aNr clinic, we walked to 32nd Street to get a cab home.
Came home still thinking what could triggered this attack, possible choices are:
- Sudden change of temperature on the peak of the Kalayaan flyover, from warm body to sudden cold temp, this attack is my body’s way of adapting – a Tagalog layman’s term for this is TAGULABAY
- The seafood we ate the night before during my son’s birthday celebration, chili crabs and crispy suwahe
- First time to use a different facial sunblock
- First time to use a liquid sunscreen
But what ever it is that might have cause this attack, it all boils down to being ready. Expect the Unexpected! (Same goes with the race itself, Expect the unexpected *wink ) Run safe everyone!!!