Seattle is having some COLD weather. Last night it got in the 20s. BRRRRRR. This means I have been running in the cold, which I normally like. I run warm (meaning, I am usually warmer than the average person), so I prefer to run in cooler weather. (why I love Bikram yoga so much then, is beyond me). The last couple of days, however, my lungs have not been too thrilled with the chillier temperatures.
Tuesday night was sprints. I went from a really warm house, to a warm car, directly to the track. It was 39 degrees. I started my first lap, sprinting, immediately. Less than one lap in, and my chest started to feel extremely tight. Before I had finished the second lap (4 laps in a mile), I was on the verge of having trouble breathing. Nearing panic or hyperventilation, or quite possibly death, (okay, that’s me just over dramatizing), instead of stopping to rest (I physically just don’t know how to do this…I swear), I reminded myself, “You practice yoga. Use your yoga breathing.” So, I changed my breathing, which almost instantaneously helped. My breaths got deeper, and I actually felt like I was getting some air in my lungs. I started to calm down, and then I finished the first mile: 6:59. I did a full lap to cool down…er, warm up my lungs. I figured my lungs were in shock. Each subsequent mile felt a bit better.
What did I learn? And what can I teach you? If the air outside is much cooler than your lungs are used to, give them some time to acclimate. Starting a run without warming up is shock enough, but jumping right into a sprint? Cruel. Oh, lungs, I am so, so sorry. 😦 Next time, I will walk one full lap of the track, breathing deeply, giving the frigid air time to mix with my warm lungs. Lesson learned, and hopefully lesson taught to you. 🙂