I took a break from exercising on Saturday, so it was time for run number three yesterday. It was a beautiful Sunday morning. I got Bo down for his morning nap and left Littleman and D at home, cleaning up toys.
The weather was perfect. After a couple of days of extreme heat (in fact, I think it was the hottest temperatures we’ve had all summer!), things had cooled down. The sky was blue, without a cloud in sight. Lovely.
Armed with my new favourite app telling me what to do and listening to some 90s classics on my iPhone (what better way to spend a Sunday morning than rocking out to G’N’R and Violent Femmes?), I headed out on the last run of my first week of training to run 5K.
It was going well. I felt pretty good. No longer do I look at my watch all the time. A minute of running really does go by a lot quicker than I expect. I was feeling pretty proud of myself and enjoying the knowledge that I could run longer than a minute if I really wanted to. My app announced that I was halfway through my run. Great!
Then, a familiar feeling started to creep in. Itch…
As long as I can remember, I’ve had an issue where my legs will start itching when I’m out for a particularly long or vigorous walk. It usually starts on the front of my thighs and then works its way towards my butt. It’s terribly distracting and scratching it makes it worse. Often, I’m dying to get home so I can drop my drawers and scratch away, resulting in me looking like I’ve been mauled by a werewolf.
It’s interesting because I’ve walked a ton this summer (with the stroller) and haven’t had this issue. I exercise indoors and don’t have this issue. But, for some reason, running has caused the problem to resurface.
Since I was near the end of my run when it started yesterday, I did my best to ignore it and made it home without tearing my thighs to shreds. Last night, I spent some time on the internet, trying to figure out what the hell is going on. It seems that I am not alone in suffering from this “runner’s itch”. There are a bunch of theories out there – allergies, dry skin, something about being unfit and capillaries expanding – but none of that made a lot of sense to me, knowing my own situation and fitness level. Then I came across some info about histamine being released by the body during exercise to combat against exercise-induced fatigue. Some people suggest taking an antihistamine prior to running. I have no idea if that will actually work, but it can’t hurt to try. I don’t think I can tolerate the itch on an ongoing basis and it will certainly make running a 5K race pretty miserable. I don’t want something stupid like itchiness to make me give up on my goal of running, but it would make me crazy if I have to put up with it all the time.
Has anyone else dealt with this? Any suggestions?