Allergic Reaction & Recovery

I’m going to write about the epic trail adventure that was the Post Oak Lodge double but first, I’m going to get my recovery out of the way.

At the end of my race on Sunday, the 25K, I had an intense allergic reaction to something.

About 30 minutes before the end of my run, the soles of my feet began to itch; I attributed this to the constant mud I’d been in both Saturday and Sunday, because I’d just squished through yet another enormous mud bog. About five minutes after that, I began violently sneezing. No biggie — everybody’s nose had been running constantly and I’d been wiping or blowing every few minutes of the last 36 hours.

I came into the finish area surprisingly early (I’d estimated I had another 45 minutes of running left but, hey, when the race director says “You’re done…go thataway” you go there), cheered on some friends, and headed over to the tent to get my post-race chili. As I ate and chatted, my eyes got itchier and itchier and I said to my new friends, “I’m heading out before I get all allergy-y.” It got worse as I went to my room at the lodge.

Once inside, I stared in horror at the mirror — my eyes looked like two giant pink sausages with slits cut in them. I hurriedly stripped and saw that my torso was covered in a flat, red rash. My soles, palms, and inner thighs began itching hideously. I quickly got all the mud off my body and my mud-caked clothes put away and encased in plastic.

Thank goodness I had brought my allergy stuff with me; I took a dose and decided to see what happened. At the first sign of any breathing difficulty or swallowing issues, I was calling EMS. My friends were out on the course, still running the 50K, so I was alone — I called my hubby to give him the heads up in case I’d miss my flight back to Austin; he was in route to San Francisco on business, and our boy was home alone for the day. Thank God my symptoms began to subside. I kept up my medication and, by the time I had to leave, my rash was gone, the itching had subsided, and I looked…well, I looked horrible.

Long story short, I’m still recovering from this incident. I went to the doc yesterday, who said clearly there’s something environmental that set me off. I’m seeing an allergist next week, but we may never know exactly what happened. I’ve had one other incident like this; that was back in 2004 and actually required a trip to the emergency room. We never could identify what set that off, either.

It’s funny; I can go run a back-to-back marathon and 25K but what I have to recover from is allergies. My body feels good, and the hamstring is only slightly achey. My eyes are almost back to normal size.

Now, if only I could get all the mud out from around my toenails….

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Published by Leah Nyfeler

I'm a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I've come to learn it. In addition to my blog "Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life" at, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

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