Allergic to Running???


Yesterday, I stepped back on a treadmill for the first time since I was overtaken by the swine flu.  I’m thinking, how difficult can this be?  I’ve had this happen before, weeks have passed, and every time I go back to exercising it’s like riding a bike.  Not this time.

I started out at a brisk 4.3 walk as Friends played on the TV in front of the only other exerciser in the “gym.”  I use bunny-ears because this is the workout facility at the apartment complex I live in; it’s comprised of one bike, one elliptical, two treadmills (one steadily broken) and a free standing weight machine that looks like something Tony Little might endorse.

It’s within walking distance.  Beggars can’t be choosers.

Five minutes into this brisk walk, I crank up the pace to 6.0.  A ten-minute mile doesn’t seem like much, but for someone who has worked for many years to avoid the act of “running,” the 1-2 miles I was running before I got sick was something to write home about.

The ceiling fans were on, the temperature was at a comfortable 68 degrees, and I was feeling pretty good.  Breathing was coming with relative ease, muscles felt loose and limber, I was just beginning to think that it was hard to imagine I had ever been sick and then it happened…

ITCH.

Every last inch of my legs, midriff, back were burning; it was like I was covered by one massive mosquito bite and was what I imagined hives must feel like.  I glanced over at my gym-mate, still engrossed in the witty banter between Joey and Chandler, so I started to scratch.  And scratch.  And scratch.  No relief!!!  But I am not a quitter.  I ran a full mile in agony, and though my inner dialogue was reminding me that I was approaching Pillsbury status from my recent sedentary lifestyle; that mental reminder was drowned out by the mentally blinding sensation of my entire body on fire.

Here’s my question:  Why on earth did I itch so badly I was willing to risk public humiliation as I shameless scratched what seemed like every last reachable inch of my body?  Could it be?…I am allergic to running??? And would that really be a bad thing…?

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