Training, asthma, and food from around the world

Training, asthma, and food from around the world

Saturday was a travel day all over Pittsburgh and it was amazing.

First, we both overslept but still managed to be on time for half marathon training in North Park. It was about 22 degrees, but gorgeously sunny. I was thrilled to be heading out to run and just ready to get going.

But within a few minutes of getting going, I was stopping.

Cold + asthma = where’s my inhaler?

I run with it, so it was right there in my pocket. And usually, a couple puffs and I’m good to go for the rest of my run. But not so yesterday. I couldn’t feel the medicine coming in, it felt as if the medicine inside my inhaler had frozen (is that possible?) or I just wasn’t breathing deeply enough for it to get in. I took a third puff and walked for 10 minutes. I felt a lot better and was then able to alternate running and walking, but I really couldn’t keep up with my usually running pace. And I was really angry about it.

I’ve spent a lot of time being angry about Crohn’s (A LOT of time), but almost none being angry about my asthma. It’s adult onset and has generally been pretty mild. But yesterday, for the first time, it was stopping me from doing something I wanted to do. So I alternated between internally cursing and hating the world, then looking around at the gorgeous sunny morning and reminding myself just how lucky I am to be up running at all because a lot of people (including Beth who had a rough week health-wise but is doing better) were too sick to go running yesterday morning.  And the fundraiser is so that I can feel better and maybe those really struggle with the worst of Crohn’s and colitis right now will find relief soon too.

I reminded myself that I’ve come a long way and I need to be patient with my body. It sucks that it took coming down with two chronic diseases for me to learn to slow down and be patient, but at least I’m finally learning how to do that.

How could I stay upset on a day this beautiful?

After running, we stopped for bagels and then home. I showered and headed out to the annual Farm to Table conference, which, as always, was awesome. I didn’t have enough time to check out any of the panels, but just visiting the booths and talking to all the farmers and health professionals was well worth the price of admission. I saw my buddy from Brenckle’s who was my regular go-to for all things green at the NorthSide market last summer. I chatted up a woman who makes jam and is learning to roast coffee with a roaster near her farm. I sampled raspberry jam made with hemp and garlic jam without hemp. I sipped fresh squeezed juices. And grabbed a whole bunch of literature I haven’t had time to sift through yet. 

And then it was off to another festival! A friend from Venezuela invited me and Kevin to the Latin American and Caribbean Festival at Pitt, where we did a lot more eating. I met my Venezuelan friends and a friend from India there to just eat and listen to music. My Venezuelan friends were anxious for Kevin and I to try everything. And we really did. I think the alfajores (cookies with dulce de leche in the middle and then dipped in chocolate) were my favorite. Or maybe they tied with the yucas fritas. 

Empanada from Argentina, pan de jamon from Venezuela

And then, as if we hadn’t had enough food, Kevin and I decided to keep our date we’d been planning all week and hit up Mercurio’s for pizza, gelato, and wine. We tried the Pizza Roberto, which is covered in burrata, a fresh cheese made from mozzarella and cream. It’s buttery and wonderful and I really wish I could eat that for dinner again tonight.


It was a nearly perfect day. We trained for a half marathon before 10 am and then after that we spent the day experiencing different cultures: Venezuelan, Argentinian, Mexican, Jamaican, Brazilian, Indian, and Italian with that special Pittsburgh culture mixed in. That’s why I love this city.

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