My journey as a long distance runner who started the sport later in life.
Running and I have a long and storied history, and I am in an on-again mindset right now. I think about how it makes me feel, especially on mild winter evenings at sunset, and I just want to go! I live in Monterrey, Mexico and running here at this time of day can sometimes conjure that ‘first days of Canadian summer and school just got out’ feeling. Of course I want more of this, but my running activity is being tempered by an unlikely culprit: air pollution.
I have tracked this situation for a few years using a state government monitoring and reporting map. I have also searched for information to familiarize myself with the lingo, such as PM2.5 and PM10, and their significance in Monterrey. A reasonable summary can be found here. I now know that winter inversions play a role in the poorer air quality we are currently experiencing and that it is likely to improve with spring. This is where the notion of good air quality gets tricky (but more on this trickiness another day).
I have been using an app called Plume which offers air quality alert notifications. Now that I have pollution details on demand it is making me think more about if and when I lace up for a run. Even worse, the last few times I have ignored the warnings and gone for a run anyway I have developed symptoms such as a sore throat, runny nose, and itchy eyes. Though I am eager to run my mileage might be less than stellar as long as this winter inversion continues! If you live in a major city and have yet to try this app I highly recommend it.
Note: I posted this to Medium yesterday, but it seems my runner friends use WordPress more, so I have opted to post it here too.