As a followup to the great post she wrote about her solution for her son who has asthma, here’s more from customer and industry friend Andre Zollars in Lewistown, MT. She has exercise-induced asthma, but loves to run outdoors. We’re thrilled that the ColdAvenger is able to help her out!
Thanks so much, Andre, for the great feedback and for taking the time to tell your story.
Running with exercise-induced asthma
Andre Zollars: Central Montana can be unforgiving country, especially in the winter. Temperatures can dip to 20 degrees below zero and the accompanying wind chill can make it darn near unbearable. For an active person and runner, like me, that makes getting outdoors for any length of time a challenge. Add to that the fact that I have two young children and you can begin to feel my pain. So, I’m always on the lookout for outdoor gear that facilitates us getting outside and staying outside longer in frigid temps.
When it comes to running, I suffer from exercise-induced asthma which is brought on particularly by the cold. Therefore, I usually shy away from runs on days where the thermometer dips below 20-degrees or colder. The downside of using a regular face warmer is that my face gets wet and I always feel like I’m suffocating. The downside of a neoprene mask is that it has no ventilation for my nose, so I have to breathe entirely through my mouth and the inside of the mask is damp against my face.
When I saw Talus Outdoor Tech’s ColdAvenger mask and I was intrigued. I liked the soft material that would touch my skin and the large adjustable Velcro closure that let me fit it securely on my head. But, what I really liked was how the attached respirator-type mask would keep the moisture off my face and I could adjust the air intake depending on conditions. It looked like something that would join my Yaktrax as an essential part of my winter running wardrobe. Not completely sold, but excited to test it out, I dropped the required coin and sat it next to my desk, waiting for the temps to plummet.
Montana did not fail me, bringing in an Arctic cold front which dropped temperatures in early October to single digits at night. I got up early one gray, cold morning and dressed in layers for my run. I wrapped the Cold Avenger Pro mask securely around my head, donned my hat, gloves and took off. The temperature was 12 degrees and we had our usual north-south wind blowing which easily dropped it several more from there. The first thing I noticed was that the mask stayed securely on my head, despite the motion of running. The little foam strip kept the ventilator softly resting on the ridge of my nose and prevented any feeling of bouncing on my face. This was something I had wondered about when I looked at it in the store.
After taking note of these things, I began to relax and enjoy my run. I felt like a little kid with a secret and I was giddy being able to run in those temps without experiencing the cold air slicing at my lungs and freezing my airway. It felt like I was playing a trick on Mother Nature. About a mile out, I began to push it up a notch, comfortable now that my lungs were fine and wanting to see how the mask reacted to more exertion (also to warm my chilly legs). I felt like I was getting plenty of oxygen and the space between my mouth, nose and respirator prevented me from getting that suffocating feeling I would get from any other facemask.
I arrived at the finish, tired, but not gasping for air and with my chest and lungs pleasantly warm with exertion. I took off the mask to inspect it and was surprised to find that there were moisture droplets inside the respirator part, none of which had touched my skin. I also immediately noticed that one layer of protection had been removed from my ears. The sides rise up to cover your ears when wearing – another plus, duly noted. Thanks ColdAvenger, you are now part of my winter arsenal that I continue to grow in the hopes of getting out and staying out longer!