|The semi that got stuck a week ago|
Wednesday: Treadmill, 0:30, 3.5 miles. Weightlifting, 0:40. My breathing struggles seem to have two triggers — being outside, and sometimes (not always), hard efforts. And "hard" effort isn't the right term, because my worst difficulties usually crop up during moderate efforts (heart rate 150-160bpm.) Anyway, a friend suggested trying a high-intensity workout indoors, which is a good idea. I set out to boost my heart rate to 185 on the treadmill by running two-minute intervals: two minutes jogging at 12:00-minute-mile pace, and two minutes increasing the pace 0:30 each time. I eventually boosted the speed to 6:00-minute-mile pace and got my heart rate up to 192. I made it through two minutes before I felt nauseated and had a horrible side stitch, but had no breathing issues. I think treadmill intervals work because it's a controlled, low-risk environment, which vastly reduces anxiety. As others have suggested and as I've suspected, anxiety about "not breathing" plays a large role in my attacks. So I plan to continue with these intervals during my gym sessions, to see whether I improve. At the very least, it's nice to know that underneath all of the mucous and anxiety, there's still a modicum of high-end fitness left in my body.
I should also talk about my allergy shots, which didn't go so well. I made it through two rounds of shots before I had a reaction — my left arm became noticeably swollen and I felt some chest tightness. The nurse noted some wheezing, so they cut the session short. This was disappointing, as I really want to continue with the cluster immunotherapy and get this over with (if I have one more reaction, I have to go to single shots, which will take months.) At the same time, I experienced breathing reactions when I wasn't exercising. This means it's likely I have allergic asthma. Maybe allergy shots will actually work. One can hope.
Thursday: Mountain bike, 1:41, 13.3 miles, 2,299 feet climbing. This was a medium-effort ride with no issues.
Friday: Treadmill, 0:30, 3.5 miles. Weightlifting, 0:40. I did the same treadmill intervals with the same results. This day I wore my own heart rate monitor and saw 197(!!) I'm not sure if this is accurate, but it was a surprise as I'd long assumed that my anaerobic threshold was in the mid-180s. I also didn't feel nauseated this time and really enjoyed running a six-minute-mile pace, but doubt I could hold it much longer than two minutes. The weightlifting session went well. I was already able to boost a few of the weights on my fourth session overall.
Total: 15 hours, 69.8 miles ride, 15.5 miles run, 12,479 feet climbing. All in all, this was a good week. I may have to do 1.5 rounds of allergy shots this week (I hope this works out.) So I'll have to continue to tread lightly. But I'm satisfied with 15 hours of effort.