Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Maggots Line Up

I am gloating over a major conquest. Jo has joined the Maggot Corps:
I’m running because if I don’t get outside and move fast down the street and through the trees, under the sky and in the rain or the cold or the sun, my animal self will be lost. And that’s the part of the brain, paradoxically, that keeps you sane.
Creating runners is one of the greatest joys of my life. The knowledge that there are people out there who have had the experience of using their bodies in this fundamental way because of me has cheered me even while I was in the depths.

And the testimonials … I eat them up, even if I don’t always respond to them directly.
Testimonials like Jo’s above, and like these:
I just wanted to thank you. I first found you and read your posts about running about 3 years ago, when my youngest child was 6 months old. I started running about 2.5 years ago, very slowly, thank you! And I’ve kept it up, increasing speed and distance, and ran my first half marathon last weekend. Thank you so much! I started (~44!) just because it was quick – I could leave the house for just half an hour, and get in a good workout. But I’ve grown to appreciate the space it provides me, as well as the sense of accomplishment I have afterwards. I have a running partner as well, and she has become a good friend – another perk. – Michelle
I just wanted to credit you – I started running back in the day after reading your “maggot” posts. On 10/10/10 I ran the Chicago marathon. It’s all your fault ;) – Bobbi
I wanted to let you know what an inspiration you have been to me since I came across your blog in late 2007. I was never a runner and was one of those people who said, “oh, I CAN’T run.” Well, I am proud to say that I completed my first marathon last weekend! Thank you so much for all of your advice! I have referred so many people to your blog whenever they say “oh, I could never run like you are.” Thanks again! – Sarah
When you wrote your first few blog posts about how anybody can run, I was in a stressful job, a mom to one, and a wife to boot. I read the posts with interest but just really could not find the time. In all honesty I didn’t think I could possibly run. Slight jog maybe, fast walk more like it. I revisited your blog posts and read them a few times. I thought, “well, I’ll start off slow, embarrassingly slow, like Dr. M says.” And so it began. I have now run two 5k’s, completed my sprint tri, and I am signed up for a 6.66 mile Devil Run on Halloween. – Hdh500
Four years later ... just want to say thanks. I’ve been working on “a new me” for the last 6 months or so; dropped a lot of weight, started exercising (mostly speed walking daily — about 5-6 miles/day) and really wanted to up the ante; tried running, but couldn’t do much more than 1/2 mile on a REALLY good day. I read your blog yesterday, and was able to run 2.5 miles yesterday following your advice to slow down. What a difference that made on my lungs! Thanks for the tips. I think you’ve made yet another convert. – EW
I commented a couple times in the past year or two to thank you, but I just wanted to thank you again. Using your “go slow” technique I got to running three miles regularly. Then I had a sort of breakthrough and now I’m running 4.5 miles every other day, like clockwork. Today I ran five! And my time is even improving. I used to run 12-minute miles and now I’m closing in on 11. Thank you thank you thank you. Also, my biggest motivation? I’m sorry to be so shallow, but that photo of your abs on the beach. I’ve had two kids, it’s hard on the body, I’ve never had a lot of physical self-esteem anyway. Running makes me feel a lot better about my body. – Laurel
.. and these are just some of the recent ones.

The funniest ones start out something like “I always rolled my eyes and snorted when you put up a maggot post, but ...” If you’re not yet a convert, but you’re still reading this post—well, you just may be next. And I will be cackling with glee.


OMDG said...

I started running again when I got my dog. My darling pit bull has too much energy, so we take the edge off with a 2 mile run 3-4 days a week. I hope to increase to 3-4 miles, but sadly, finding a route in West Philly that is that length has been challenging. It's gotten easier now that she no longer pulls on the leash, and her frequent potty breaks allow me to catch my breath too. Bonus! I highly recommend running with a dog. It makes it so much more interesting.

Anne said...

Started the maggot program 3 years ago and ran my first marathon this past weekend! Keep it up Doctormama!

Anonymous said...

I've always read your posts about Maggot-try and wondered about what it would be liked to try it and brushed it off - nah, I'm too busy, etc.

I plan to start running (ahahaha) Friday (after my exams are done). Thank you for all of your inspiration and your time spent helpin' us Maggots out. ;D


Mary_Flashlight said...

I actually wrote you after reading one of your maggot posts, and got a special reprieve when I mentioned that I wore a 42H cup bra, that I was nursing a baby who ate every 2 hours day AND night while working full-time, and that even the most supportive sports bras just didn't cut it.

Cue 80 lbs of weight loss, being down to a 38G, and in 13 more pounds, I'll be joining the maggots. Of course, my REAL reason is that I set a goal of running the Autism Ribbon Run 5K next fall. I figure in 13 more lbs, my knees will take less of a beating (and DEFINITELY less than the extra 93 lbs would have been!).

Still not sure how my extra-heavy-duty sports bra issue will work out, but I'll be there running that 5K next fall!

Anonymous said...

You are a force for good. Your "letting go of anger" series has influenced me just as much as the maggot series. -victoria

E. said...

I am a maggot, albeit a pretty pathetic one since I only run a couple miles. But I am contemplating training for a 5K, and if I do end up doing that, it will be a major coup for the maggot corps, given that I used to answer the question "Do you run?" with "Only when chased."

Also, request for running-related post: weigh in on this whole five-finger-running-footie phenomenon. Have you ever run in these little foot glove thingies? Is there anything to it, or is it just a lot of hype? I'm fascinated.

Anonymous said...

I want to be a maggot! I just ordered a new pair of New Balance running shoes. Wish me luck. :/


Julie R said...

I was directed to your site last summer when I was in the middle of the Couch to 5K running program. I was having a hard time with it, and your advice about slowing down really, really helped. I decreased my pace to turtle speed and was able to finish the program and have now run in three 5Ks. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I've become a maggot because of you, and now run a 5K organised run every Saturday with my 12 year old son and 300-odd others. I have a question though - how do I stop myself feeling like I could barf at the end? I don't feel icky whilst I'm running, only when I stop.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous above. Not only am I a maggot convert, but the happiness series has helped me a lot.

I always ran/worked out on and off, but nothing kept me on track this long until I found you.

Unknown said...

Running my first 5K on Thanksgiving. proud to be a maggot :)


Anonymous said...

I started running a year ago, out of the blue really, I just decided one day to try it. I lost 65lbs (and had to buy an entire new wardrobe), finally got out of the depressive hole I was in and I'm happier and more confident than I've ever been.

Nessie said...

Because of you I also became a maggot! I started running in March of this yr (almost exactly 1 yr after my youngest was born) and since May I've completed at least a 5K every month! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

P.S. Running has also helped me lose 57 lbs as of this morning!

Jo said...

Aw. I'm getting ready to go for a run right now! I just. love. it. so. much.

And I never figured I'd be saying that. Thanks, nice lady.

Anonymous said...

Just so you know, your Maggot program is responsible for every compliment my ass (figurative and literal) has received in the last seven months. Once I found my stride and stuck with it, MY ENTIRE BODY CHANGED. That thing about how I'm an hourglass who never shrinks below the waist? Total crap. (Actually, the crap was probably the fault of the uber-healthy eating kick I was on...)

I'm re-training now after falling off the wagon for a bit, but I've discovered regular running and yoga are pretty much all I need to manage stress, anxiety, and/or depression. And although losing weight wasn't my goal, it definitely contributed to feeling awesome overall.

Thanks for that. :)

A DVM said...

I ran cross country and track in high school and tried to resume running on a few occasions without much success. Reading Listen Up, Maggots made me realize my mistake: I was trying to push my 40-year-old body to run 15-year-old miles, which resulted in frequent injuries and much frustration. New sneakers, good bra and I'm back, keeping it slow. Will keep you posted. Already like it better than power walking or aerobics; there's something about running.

Emily said...

Question for you Dr. Mama/Maggot Leader. I have gotten back into walking again for my health and fitness. But everytime I try to start running, even slowly as you suggest, my calves start to hurt immediately. I use a treadmill but this would happen on the street too. Is it my stride, where I am landing?? Any ideas Dr. Mama!!

Unknown said...

I ran, slowly, in the fresh snow this morning - your slow run method got me hooked!

Laurel said...

You quoted me! I'm famous! I did pretty well all summer, but I pushed it too far and my knees started hurting a lot. (Not your fault: mine, 'cause I broke the rule about not increasing mileage too fast.) The good news is that I still enjoy running and wish I could do it more. I took a break and my knees seem much better now. I'm also venturing out into other sports--swimming, xc skiing, thinking about trying tennis next. I'm a much more active person year-round even if I'm not running quite as much.

When spring comes around and I try to get more heavily back into running, though, I would love guidance: how do you increase mileage? You've talked about only "pushing" once a week, but how do you recommend we slowly and steadily work toward permanent increases? And what is a reasonable regular run length for a 35-year-old woman?

Laurel said...

Never mind, I went and re-read what you'd said again, and you're talking about permanent increases in speed/distance. And I'm doing those patellofemoral exercises, which I should have done long ago.

Anonymous said...

I started running a few years ago after reading your blog. My husband is kind of an athlete (cross country skiing) and we always just assumed he could outrun me although we'd never run together. This summer we went running together and he couldn't keep up with me. And I was just doing my usual run.

Thank you!

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