Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Incredible Itch

Wow. That was quick. Three days ago I was a highly trained ultra runner in the best shape of his life, eagerly anticipating the next challenge. Today I’m a pathetically moaning shivering wreck.

Niamh moved to Valentia on Monday and I followed suit on Tuesday. Having a holiday house just 45 minutes drive from home is certainly an unusual setup, but that’s the way things are with us. It means that everyone else is in holiday mood while I have to commute from Valentia to Killorglin on a daily basis, but I can live with that.

However, just a couple of hours into the first night I woke up with incredibly itchy neck and shoulders. It got worse and worse as the night progressed, and the next morning I detected a few red blotches on my skin. I suspected an allergic reaction to the washing powder, so I brought our usual stuff back down in the evening and immediately washed all the bedclothes. Since I regularly suffer from hay fever, I always have some anti-histamines handy, but after a couple of hours it became clear that the Claritin had no effect whatsoever, but luckily Piriton does provide some relief from the itching. However, it also makes me drowsy and feeling cold.

Soon into the second night it became abundantly clear that washing the bedclothes had not done anything for me, and for the rest of the night I slept in little Maia’s bed, where there was just about enough room for me and where I could get a few hours of sleep. At least it proved that the problem was related to the bed in the front room.

However, today I’m covered in red spots, on my hands, face, neck, back, shoulder, … and I can even feel a few bumps on the inside of my mouth. However, only the neck, shoulders and hands are really itchy, the rest is just looking really bad but not bothering me otherwise. I’ll bring my own pillow and duvet from Caragh Lake tonight, and if that does not solve the problem I will have to stay at home on my own next week. Oh, and if I’m still as itchy as now (it is unbelievable, honestly, you have no idea!), I’ll get a doctor’s appointment.

The running is almost coincidental that way. I still felt pretty good yesterday morning and did a set of 3x2 miles at half marathon effort, on the totally flat Valentia shore road, which went pretty well. Today, however, my legs felt swollen (they probably are) and the thighs were rubbing together, not a particularly pleasant feeling. I had hoped the running would release the body’s endorphins and take away the pain for a while, but that was only partially true. My neck and shoulders felt indeed better temporarily, but the uncomfortable feeling in the legs made up for that.

After running to the point of exhaustion on a couple occasions the last few weeks, I thought I would be able to take a fair amount of pain. Apparently I was wrong. This really is unbearable!
17 Aug
5 miles, 42:26, 8:29 pace, HR 133
18 Aug
9 miles, 1:04:37, 7:10 pace, HR 153
  incl. 3x2 miles @ 6:37, 6:41, 6:41
19 Aug
5.7 miles, 49:16, 8:39 pace, HR 139


  1. Looks like "Anonymous" beat me to all the advice I was going to give you...

  2. Ouch, that does not sound very pleasant at all. A nice dip in the ocean to clean the pores? Sounds like a doctors visit is in order. Good luck!

  3. I hope things improve soon Thomas. Sounds very uncomfortable. Seems like a trip to the doc is required.

  4. That sounds bad. You have my sympathy Thomas as I'm just suffering my first bout of spring hayfever.