For those of you who don’t smoke, or who have never smoked (like myself) might not be as familiar with the topic of today’s post, running with a cigarette in hand. And by that I mean running with heavy cigarette-like fumes inflating your lungs with each deep and gasping breath you take.
That’s what my run felt like today, all 30 minutes of it. Like puffing on the cigarette that is Asunción. With the continued burning of pastures out in the campo, (which you can see my post about here,) and the lack of a much-needed downpour, the smoke that had so beautifully cleared up last week has returned, with avengeance.
I started out my run, uncertain of what was before me, knowing that last weekend when skies were clear, (from rain the week before,) I had a much easier time running and breathing in the clean air. The smoke from today has been looming thick and ominously since Thursday or earlier, and keeps getting more and more menacing. It was probably a bad decision on my part, after having walked around the city for a few hours earlier in the day to expose myself further to the contaminated air, but my body was aching to move and so I complied.
Within the first 5 minutes I could sense this run would be slightly more challenging than previously, (which could be partially attributed to a week long hiatus,) but it wasn’t until about 20 minutes in when I could feel the smoke clogging my lungs as it became more and more difficult to breathe. Each step was more challenging, each breath more difficult, and when I finally returned home and looked at my face in the mirror, even that was a deeper shade of red than I’m used to.
My lungs continued to hurt for a half hour, long beyond my stretching and shower, and I still feel as though I could cough something up. I guess the lesson I learned today is that I really could be a smoker and still function in my athleticism! Ooooooor perhaps it was to not go outdoors when there is scary smoke hovering in the atmosphere… Unfortunately I am not sure that never leaving the house is really an option, and so I will instead do a rain dance before bed today in hopes of a more beautiful tomorrow.