Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Run Slowly Forward, Maggots—No Springing Allowed

Well then. I think we have pretty clearly established that a LOT of you have slacked off in the winter months (Southern hemisphere readers excepted; bookmark this page and save my yelling at you for September). Since I failed at motivating you in the cold, I must lecture you about not getting all uppity in the warmth. Now that it’s light out in the evening, and balmy (or at least non-frigid) breezes are blowing, I see you all out there running like you think you know how to do it, in your cute pants and not-tight-enough bras (the women, that is—you men are in too-floppy shorts and shoes that should have been replaced two years ago).

SLOW DOWN. No, you cannot run that 10k in April or that half-marathon in May if you sat on your ass most of the winter. You will hurt yourselves, people! It’s not going to take you as long to get back into it as it did to start running, but you can’t just pick up where you left off. Check the Running sidebar if you need refreshing on the basics, and get back on that horse. Next winter, plan to suck it up. (Bloody snot? Bah! Par for the course. Use a humidifier at night.)

(BTW, Darwin is in a holding pattern, 2 days past her due date. I’ll keep you updated.)

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

What about running in the really cold environment? Today it's -36F with the wind chill factored in.

albe said...

I've been doing treadmill duty in the really cold weather and yesterday it was warm enough to load the kids in the jogging stroller and take off outside.

I live adjacent to a bike path and as I was running I got passed by the entire high-school track team (about 60 kids) -- twice! They lapped me! So I am sloooow. As the coach passed me, he said "well, you're working a lot harder than we are". That's right, I don't see THEM pushing two kids! Punks.

EJW said...

Running in extreme cold isn't worth it. Find a treadmill, do some yoga, or swim. Running at less than freezing will just get you injured. Your muscles will never warm up and you'll pull or tear something, or just plain not get anythign out of a miserable experience, and kill your morale.

I live in Wisconsin and honestly, it's too cold to run (outside) here for a solid 5 months of the year. You just have to find an alternative.

Stacey said...

I'm in Minnesota and a winter runner. It is possible to run in the winter, even on low windchill days. The key is proper bundling: Layer Layer Layer! Minimize exposed skin with a facemask or warm scarf and don't forget mittens. Watch for slippery patches and you can do it!

Marin said...

How did you know exactly what I needed to hear? Last night I went out and had to stop halfway in, though I can also attribute that to eating rice with curry 20 minutes before.

Jul said...

A tip for fellow cold-averse maggots: if there's one in your neighborhood, you might wanna get a membership to Planet Fitness or another cheap-ass gym chain. The bare-bones one is $9.99 (!) a month. In other words, cozy indoor treadmill runs for less than $0.66 a pop. When you're staggering along the sidewalk, layered up like Admiral Peary, gushing snot and trying not to bust your tailbone on black ice... trust me, $0.66 seems VERY worth it.

yatima said...

Maybe not a 10K, but I did a decent two miles on Saturday, so should be good for the Rainbow Falls 5K on Sunday. I won't be fast, but hey, that's your point, right?

Zombie Mom said...

I love California because I run ALL the time. Did my third half marathon 2.5 weeks ago and resumed bikram immediately and running a week later. Got hit with a sinus infection/asthma and discovered it is possible to run - not well, not fast - when your face feels like it will explode. These have not been proud runs- but they existed. I was actually more proud of those runs than the Austin Half Marathon.

And to think - Just three years ago was 70 pounds heavier and a committed couch potato.

r3 said...

Okay, so how slow is slow? To the point where I could walk faster? I'm tall, and so my center of gravity is very far off the ground. There's only so slow for me and then it's topple over.

DrSpouse said...

I'm actually now more enthusiastic about biking than running, as I can now get home in the light. But I will still heed the go-slow warning on my cycle home!

E. said...

OK, yes, I needed this. I'm not running too fast - I'm just not running again yet. I told myself March, and here it is practically St. Paddy's day. I feel too busy to run, but that's just b/c I stopped running so now it's no longer built into my schedule.

I'll start this week, and I promise I'll go s l o w.

Kylie said...

Hi Dr Mama - I'm a long-time reader and first-time commenter. Thanks to you, I'm fitter now (at 40 with three small boys) than I've even been before. I'm running about 5 miles per week, 3 times per week in 35-40 mins. I'm in Australia, so cold has definitely not been an issue. I'm contemplating a half-marathon in June and wondered what you'd recommend as a training strategy? I've done some research on the web and the programs I've found seem pretty complicated (with speed internals and pace internals etc) - I thought it would simply be a matter of gradually increasing the distance over time. What's your advice? Thanks again - I really enjoy your blog.

MFA Mama said...

Dear Doctor Mama,
I understand if you don't feel like tackling this one, but...
I have Ehler-Danlos Syndrome (hypermobility type), asthma, and an "unspecified autoimmune disorder" that seems to like to gnaw on my sacroiliac joint when it's feeling frisky (well, that and my endocrine system, but I figured the SI joint might figure into running and the endocrine system, not as much). I've heard everything from "for crying out loud NOTHING high-impact, don full body padding before getting out of bed" to "yoga is your friend! Get out there and do a triathlon! The more active the better!" from medical professionals and am left not really knowing what's a good idea and what isn't. I try to take it on a case-by-case basis and see how my body deals with things.
With the standard disclaimer of "Doctor Mama is not my doctor, this is not a medical advice blog, and it's entirely my own fault if I try running and my Achilles tendons detach and I trip on one, fall on my face, and swallow my inhaler," do you think it's safe for me to try running if I keep an Albuterol inhaler on me, follow the standard Maggot precautions, and wear good-quality running shoes with my orthotic inserts in them? I turned thirty a little while ago and a recent decline on the part of my thyroid has left me with about fifteen pounds I'd like to shake and a metabolism that needs a kick in the pants. I've followed up with my endocrinologist and have some bloodwork pending, so I'm attending to it medically, but I feel like some sort of exercise is in order and I still remember how awesome the runner's high was from when I ran track as a teenager...I'd really like to try it again, especially since reading what you and various Maggots have written, but I'm a little worried I'll end up having to get a friend to kick me because I'm too gimped up to do it myself.
What say ye?

MFA Mama said...

Well, I decided to go for it and it's early days yet but I am pleased to report that running has NOT pissed off my sacroiliitis (sadly it has not *yet* made it any better, but not-worse is HUGE), and nothing aches any more than it usually does. The endocrinologist said I've become "insulin resistant" and attributes my recent "blah" to weight-gain and reactive hypoglycemia. I am hoping that with enough time and running (and of course dietary saintliness) I can get rid of that. Woohoo, I'm a maggot!

Anonymous said...

Question:

I AM in fact running that half-marathon in May. I DID in fact sit on my backside for the majority of the winter. Have been training.

Now I have these pains on the SIDES of my calves! Not the front, not the back, only when I run.

HUH?

Anyway, that was by way of saying that you inspire me and I look up to you. Also? That I am running for the goal, and not for the fatloss.

Thanks for advice...