I’ve never been much of a writer, but during a lot of my runs, especially in the cold when my asthma kicks into high gear, I always ponder about writing a book titled Tales of the Asthmatic Runner. I don’t know why. I think I just like the title. But I have no idea what the plot would be, et cetera, et cetera.
Last night at track we did hill work around Goucher. The track was icy, so we skipped the track portion of the workout. Probably a good thing. My lungs were tight and I could tell that it wasn’t going to be a good night. So, if I were to write about last night in a story format, I think it would go something like this…
It was a dark and stormy night. I kid! I kid! HA! I’ve always wondered why stories start that way. Anyway, let’s try this again.
Winter had clearly set in. The chill in the air was beginning to be unbearable and she could feel that snow was on its way. The moon was almost full, but you couldn’t see it clearly behind the haze of the clouds. “This is going to suck,” she thought to herself as she pulled into the parking lot of a local college for hill training. She pulled out her inhaler and took a puff, wooost, held her breath for a moment, then exhaled.
After a quick check on Facebook and a couple of text messages to locate her training partners, she got out of her car and began to warm up. The coach announced that the track was too icy, so they would run around the campus for hill training instead. The ultramarathon was a 50K trail race and hill training was essential. The coach instructed them to run around the other side of the campus, follow a side street down this hill, then run up the hill has hard and as fast as they could. They were to recover on the downside of the the hill and run at mid-speed the rest of the way and then repeat.
“Yep, this is going to suck,” she thought again, “but it has to be done.” If she was going to finish this race, she would have to push through and just do it. On their way around the first lap, she quickly fell behind. Her legs were heavy and she was already on her second puff of her inhaler. She knew that if she used it twice more, she would have to stop. She was not going to let this happen. She continued on, legs heavy and breathing heavy short wheezy breaths. She thought to herself, “If they only knew <weeez> that running like this was like <weeez> running with your lips super glued to a <weeez> thin straw, then they would see how <weez> hard it was.” (by the way, when you are having an attack, you do hear the weez in your thoughts).
As she finished lap one, she saw that the group was waiting. She decided to keep going. If she stopped now, she might not be able to start again. Besides, why would she want to subject them to the sound of the whining dog that was coming out of her mouth. She willed her legs and lungs to keep going, “This <weeez>will be over soon. <weez>A couple more laps and you’re done.” On her last lap she was passed by the faster runners who were gliding effortlessly by her as if they were ice skating. She cursed the lungs she was born with. Then she chuckled to herself when she started to focus on her weez. She thought about the time she was woken up from a dead sleep by her nose whistle and thought that her nose whistle and weez sounded very similar. She shook that thought from her mind and continued on.
As she completed her final lap, she took her last puff of her inhaler, woost. She refused to show any sign of struggle. In her mind, it’s a sign of weakness, and this was not <weez> going to happen. She completed her lap, stopped with the group and stood there and listened to the group while they talked. As she walked back to her car, the thought to herself, “This is going to be a long training season. Curse these lungs. <weez>”
Well, that’s it! Oh…I might as well leave you with a haiku too!
Gasping for air
Woost, weez, woost