I did a really dumb thing the other day.
I went running in a dust storm. You won’t believe me but I honestly didn’t think it through. From my house on the mountainside I could see a heavy layer of what I assumed was a heavy mist cloaking the mountainside. The sea had completely disappeared.
I laced up my trainers, headed down to the coast and ran hard (for me), drawing in huge lungfuls of air and – I have to say – a little surprised by how difficult it all felt. The dust cloud wasn’t visible down at sea level.
It was only when I got back and saw the news that I had the first few misgivings about my run.
I also had a message from my daughter: “Best not run today, mum.”
Several days passed, the cloud lifted and I forgot all about it, squeezing in two more coastal runs in that time. Then one night I woke with the shivers and a thumping headache. My chest was tight and wheezy. I didn’t have a sore throat or any signs of a runny nose. This was different from my usual cold.
Two days on when nothing had improved and I paid a visit to the doctor who expressed alarm at my chest congestion and wheeziness. I told her about my run at the height of the dust storm and I was promptly led to a chair in the nearby pharmacy, a mask popped over my mouth and nose and I inhaled from a nebuliser in an attempt to open up my airways. Customers came and went and peered around the counter, curious at the little clouds of vapour rising up in the corner of the store.
And so, due to my own carelessness, I’m forced to quit my running again (and any exercise, come to that) for a period. I’m so cross with myself.
I’ve now downloaded the ‘Cyprus Air quality’ app and once I get back on my feet again I’ll make sure I check it regularly. Air quality is usually very good in Cyprus but when those dust storms blow in from Africa, it’s a different matter.
So, it’s feet up for a few days. I’m sure I can find some gear I need on Amazon 😉