After the stellar performance at PAC-12s, things got a little hectic in LA. Early last week, I contracted a viral infection that definitely got the best of me. I was out of commission as far as life goes from Tuesday until Saturday morning. Basically, what started as a minor cold escalated into a major asthma flare.

Being that I do not get sick as often as I did when I was younger, I thought rest would allow me to beat it before it escalated. I ended up sleeping practically all of Wednesday, with the exception of going to massage midday, and ended up worsening later that evening. I’ve had asthma for as long as I could remember, it is not something I’ve ever took seriously, but as I get older I am slowly understanding the importance of monitoring it. When I was about 5 years old, I experienced my first and most severe asthma attack leading me to be hospitalized. Late Wednesday and early Thursday, I was experiencing something seemingly similar. My breathing was extremely surfaced and I was scared of falling asleep due to the fact that I wasn’t sure if I knew how to breathe properly if I did. My mom convinced me to go to the doctors, where I found out my condition was a lot more serious than I thought. My doctor put me on a ton of medication to help strengthen my lungs and was then told I could not run at all until I was fully better.

This being the week leading up to Regionals, hearing the words “you cannot run” is taboo. My asthma was bad enough where I agreed to take it easy, but did run lightly on the alter-g before my second doctors appointment. I do not condone going against a doctor’s word, but I also felt I knew what my body could handle and felt safe in the athletic facility. Due to my condition, we postponed my workout until Saturday morning. Surprisingly, that workout went extremely well even though my asthma did act up a little towards the end. I had a follow up yesterday and had the opportunity to hear my lungs for myself. When we did the peak-flow test, which is a contraption you blow in to monitor your lung capacity, I was at 350 to 360–which is considered normal. That was great improvement compared to last week where I could barely hit 140. Despite the good peak-score, my lungs sounded terrible, you could tell they were putting more effort to bring air in than needed.

This brings me to today, my asthma is getting progressively better, but I am still noticing some difficulty breathing. The runs have been feeling better and I was able to get two sessions of weights in before we leave tomorrow morning. Since the doctor put me on a lot of medication to help my lungs out, I am hoping they will officially kick in by tomorrow. I will remain cautious especially with the cold weather, which could potentially trigger another flare. Regardless, I will be competing Friday at the Regionals meet and will be putting my whole heart into this race. Friday could be my final collegiate cross country race and I plan to go out with a bang!!

I’ll be sure to keep you all up to date on the race!

Just Keep Running. XOXO

Ashlee Powers