Live Your Film

4+ Miles in My Shoes—and Head

by Maria Harper

photo (18)So, l’m going to do it today. I’m going to the meetup run on the Monon Trail. So what that I haven’t run for exactly 17 days? All because of a nasty sinus infection and crappy bronchitis. I doubled up on my inhalers, rested up, and caught up on The Walking Dead.

After two weeks of medicating myself, I was ready to try out my elliptical. I climbed up and did 30 minutes of stop-and-start elliptical work, my lungs still not completely well but I could breathe. The next day I ramped it up to 45 minutes. Two days after that, an hour on the elliptical flew by, thanks to the distraction of Gossip Girl (how old am I?).

Now for the real thing. I’m going to pound the pavement! Totally different from the nice, easy-on-the-knees elliptical in the comforts of my home. Crap! I’m going to have to build up my endurance again. So I drive to the trail. We’ve got a good group—about 10 of us—and we take off and head north. I purposefully lag behind. “Just keep your pace,” I tell myself.

The last time I tried to keep up with everyone, I got so short of breath that I had to stop and walk not even half a mile into a run. Here goes…

  • .5-mile marker. My heart rate’s going up and I’m starting to feel my lungs burn. Keep going.
  • There’s the .75-mile marker. My lungs are burning. It’s getting hot—I take off my hoodie and wrap it around my waist. Why did I wear this?
  • Great—the 1-mile marker. Am I going to make it? My lungs feeling better, but I feel like I have indigestion. I belch. I’ll have to remember not to shove down toast and peanut butter just before running. I see Holly and two other film stars running back. We give each other a shout out.
  • Well, look at that! The 1.75-mile marker! Awesome! I’ll turn around at 2. My pace might be a little faster. I pass up a walker—woo-hoo, I’m going faster than walking pace! Crap! I forgot to turn on my Strava and Road ID. Not that I wouldn’t be found if I should, say, collapse and have a cardiac arrest (that’s another story). Everyone is out today. I reach for my phone and turn on my Road I D. I need to get into the habit of using it.
  • Where is that 2-mile marker? I see a tunnel and a slight descent of the trail. If I go down, I must turn around and go up. I turn around. I don’t want to get winded going uphill. Cars are crossing the street where I need to pass, so I stop and rest for a few seconds—ahhh!
  • Then I go again. I wish I had my music! I’m going to have to get another cord adapter for my earphones. Lost my last one after a run somewhere last summer. One-mile marker again! This is great! I’m not feeling a thing!
  • There’s the .75-mile marker … should I pick up the pace? Think about it for a second…no. Almost done, where is the next marker? Stop thinking! Feeling ready to stop.
  • There’s my car in the parking lot. I stop, then go, gotta go all the way to the 0-mile marker. I made it! I turn around and there’s Caryn and her friend Julie finishing up their 6-mile run. Caryn walks up to me to give me a hug. I tell them how far I went and that I didn’t catch the 2-mile marker, so I think I ran almost 4. Julie tells me I went farther than the two-mile marker. Woo-hoo! I went 4 plus miles! We say our goodbyes and I get in my car, turn on the music, and think about my next run.

Running takes a tough body and a tough mind. What’s running around in your brain during a run? I hope you have good thoughts!

Sign Up For Our Newsletter