Allergic to Running

Sonja Wieck

A Denver area triathlete enjoying every day of swim bike run. Mom to Annie, wife to Troy, and guide to a few brave athletes, I'm always in search of the next adventure.

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21 Responses

  1. Laura J says:

    Eeek! Take care of yourself, that’s no joke. Glad you escaped an ER visit!

  2. christy says:

    Ah, girl, I am so sorry. I am glad that Troy is calm. Kudos to you, too, for a level head. Sounds like you guys know what to do w/ the Epi. I know dealing w/ insurance stinks… I really hope you guys can figure it out quickly. PULLING for you to get better and figure out the problem!

  3. Amy McD says:

    Oh my goodness – how bizarre/sucky! I have read recently about being allergic to running, as I have had some issues with redness/itching after working out. Obviously not as bad as yours, but uncomfortable enough to check out. What I read said to get out of your running clothes asap and every time it happens catalog what you were wearing. You weren’t wearing something new or different, were you? I’m guessing not. Plus, why would it just now show up, when you’ve been running 40+ miles lately? Super strange. Maybe you’re allergic to treadmills? :)

  4. Sonja says:

    Yea, I’m pretty sure it was something I ate or came into contact with, and the running set off the reaction in my body. At least from my past experiences, and this was just like those but a little worse, it seems to be the running just tips the reaction off.

    Amy, have you investigated the cold? I sometimes get red spots that are like cold welts.

    Allergic to running…yea, I would be in trouble if that was actually the cause.

  5. christy says:

    Having 2 kids epi-pen dependent, 1 allergic to nuts and developed later in life which shocked the doc… we were told the allergy could worsen in time. Wonder if someone was on the treadmill before you w/ an energy bar w/ nuts. Didn’t wipe it down enough. Also, many energy bars are processed around nuts. Allergies change. Agreed, can’t be running… just heart rate sped up whatever initiated reaction. I’ve seen Epi’s work w/ our daughter 3 times. We love them as scary as it is. It wouldn’t surprise me if you came in contact w/ nuts or nut oil in some fashion w/out knowing it.

  6. Run Colorado says:

    That was scary, glad you’re ok!

  7. Laurie says:

    That is scary! I’m so curious, as I’m sure you are too, to know what it is. I, as I’m sure you do too, wish you had better insurance to go to an allergist and figure out what the cause is. And lastly, I’m gald, as I’m sure you are too, you’re okay! This comment has been brought you today but inane statements.

  8. Sonja says:

    You know, now that I have thought about it for a few days, the one thing that was out of the ordinary was that I wore a new running shirt that I just took the tag off and didn’t wash before. I’m wondering if that might have been it.

    Thanks for everyones comments, I’m still trying to figure out what went wrong!

  9. Tyler says:

    OK so I have to call it as I see it. I have trained with you for over a year and I know what you look after a REALLY Hard workout or race (We have done enough of both). You look really good in the pictures above!!!! I mean the first picture says “CALM” to me. The second picture say “Hi Troy I am feeling a little different, maybe it’s the drugs” and the third is the best, it says to me ” here is my best stink eye just before I kick your A** today” I am sorry about how you felt but great Pictures.


  10. Cami Rush says:

    Hey Sonja,
    I, too, am sorry about the scariness of your ordeal. But, the pictures are great! I love that you documented the experience with pictures of yourself suffering through it! HA!

    Hope you get it all figured out soon.

  11. Kim says:

    What about an allergy that is more sneezing/twinge in the nose? I get that and it happens as soon as I am done running and lingers for the rest of the day. It does sound crazy, but I have an allergy to running too!

    Has anyone heard or have my type of reaction?

  12. Sonja says:

    So I apparently have Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis. My friend Rosemary forwarded to me this article and it is dead on!

    Now I just have to figure out my food trigger, but luckily the article gives some suggestions.

    Kim, does your sneezing happen when you go in the sun? I once read an article that 10% of people have a sneezing reaction to the sunlight. I wonder if that’s it?

  13. Laurie says:

    Wow that’s fascinating I’ve never heard of it, but so glad you’ve found out, for the most part, what it is.

    So sorry to hear about your knee – but your trip sounded great! I love how you have kelp on your head in each picture but Troy never does – what’s up with that?

  14. Sonja says:

    Ummm, yea, that’s cause I’m the adventurer. I’m not scared of swimming into the kept forrest, no way, I’ll go in there with no fear.

    Now Troy….well, he’s more content to view things from a distance.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  15. Marko says:

    Hi! Today after running 20 minutes on treadmill I felt my eyes swelling a bit so I skipped my recular workout and went to shower. After the shower I looked at the mirror and I did not regocnice myself anymore. I looked like a pale eyes swollen vampire. I noted that my eyes were running and my nose felt thighter. Breathing felt weird but I managed to get my clothes on and headed towards home. When I got home I had a need to take my clothes of as quicly as possible. My body was red and itchy all over.

    I had a similar attack 2 years ago and didn’t make a huge deal about it but now the reaction seemed stronger so I got really worried.

    And after reading your blog it seems that I should visit a doctor. Luckily I live in Finland where the healthcare is all most free so that I don’t have to worry about my insurance 😀

  16. Sonja says:

    Yes Marko!

    A visit to the doctor would definitely be a must. The article that I posted above in the comments was very helpful to me, and I hope it will be to you too. While you remember you might want to wright down everything you ate, or wore on the day of the attack!

    Best of luck!

  17. Becky says:

    I went into anaphylactic shock on Friday while on the treadmill. I too, oddly enough, was wearing a new shirt i had not washed yet-didn’t strike me as a possibility of the attack until I saw this. It has now happened to my sister twice (one time so severe that she had to have a tube down her throat to help her breathe)-she too was in the gym. Possibly an allergy to something the treadmill is made of or an ingredient in the cleaner they use?

  18. Sergey says:

    So now this post is one of the first when you google “allergy running”. Yeah, it happened to me too today, exactly the same syptoms as you describe. I was running outside and wasn’t wearing any new shirt or anything. After reading all this, I guess I should see a doctor.

  19. Selene says:

    This just happened to me for the first time too! Well, now it’s happened twice. The first time I went for an easy run near my house, and at the end of it my eyes and lips were crazy swollen and I had hives all over my body. Drove home from the park, took a reactine and waited – it calmed down after 3 days. About a month after that, I went on my normal trail, for my normal run and it started right away! About 15 minutes into the run my hands started tingling and I brushed it off, not thinking that crazy reaction would happen again. About a half hour later, though, my feet were itchy and I could feel my lips starting to feel numb. I had benydryl in my pocket, took two, and started to walk the 4kms back to my car. The swelling continued to get worse so I went to a clinic, where I fainted, causing all kinds of drama! A visit to ER and a perscription for an EpiPen.
    The strangest thing – I have been running these trails for months, I am 27 and have been active my whole life. Played soccer all through school and never had anything like this happen! I can’t seem to connect it to any food (and there have only been 2 reactions so it’s hard to tell) and the only thing I can think of is maybe pollen? We have had an abnormally hot and dry summer – maybe a certain pollen has been able to accumulate more than normal…but again, it only happened twice and I ran those same trails probably 8-10 times in between reactions so I don’t know.

    Anyway, I guess my question is: does everyone just keep running and working out and just be prepared for a reaction to happen (and hope for the best)? I can’t imagine NOT running, its already been a week since the last attack and while I’m nervous to run again, I’m also going CRAZY not running. Thanks!

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