I was glad we were returning from Europe just in time to catch the peak of autumn in the Colorado high country, and hopeful that summer and all of its supposed air toxins were long gone. This apparently wasn't the case, as I'm back to sucking in the outdoors all over again. Maybe my breathing difficulties will eventually clear up, or maybe they're all in my head ... something I'm inclined to believe, as any discernible pattern or cause remains elusive.
Last week in Italy, I engaged in 20 hours of moderate to strenuous effort, largely between 5,000 and 10,000 feet, over 65 miles with more than 26,000 feet of climbing, and had no issues, not one. Pretty much all I ate in Italy was pizza, bread, and pasta. My sleep was poor and I was stressed out for various reasons, but physically I felt fine. After three days in the states, I'd returned to struggling mightily and sucking on the inhaler I hadn't touched in a month.