Wednesday, June 28, 2006

How's It Going, Maggots?

I got an email today that almost brought a tear to my jaundiced eye:
Subject: Thanks, Sarge!
This running thing, it is addictive. This is the first time in my Krimpet-fueled existence that I have exercised FOR FUN. And, after less than a month, I can already see my body contouring a little bit. It's a slow but very gratifying process; sort of like ordering a car in the mail and having a new piece arrive every few days.
It made me so goddamned proud. And it got me wondering how the rest of you have been doing. Are you remembering to take it S-L-O-W? Especially in this heat.

[Updated to add: and if you want to find out what happens if you don't follow the instructions, look here.]

A few other heat-related tips:
  • Go with the wind the first half of the run, so that when you're coming home you have the breeze to help cool you off.
  • Remember that drinking too much water isn't good for you. Eat a little something salty (unless you have high blood pressure) and drink a glass of water before you head out, and then have a glass of water when you're done. And sports drinks don't do much for you.
  • Think it's too hot to run? Well, it's not. Get your butt out there.


amusing said...

But it is. It is too hot, she whined.

[Does it mean something that word verification looks like "lazygug"?]

DoctorMama said...

amusing, I know where you live. I've seen the weather reports. You call that hot, you lazygug?

Feral Mom said...

I am your running bitch. I've been running almost every morning at the pace of a geriatic sloth. I now have the calves of a mountain goat. Unfortunately, I also have the appetite of a just a regular goat goat, eating everything in sight all day long including tin cans and my own sweat socks. Thus, I have actually GAINED weight since running, but I flatter myself that it's all muscle. It is, isn't it? Muscle?

chanceofbooks said...

I've been following your "program" for about a month now. I keep meaning to email you. I showed your post to my endrocrinologist and he said it was an excellent simple plan. I admit to having skipped one of my scheduled runs today b/c of the insufferable heat (Oregon, rare hot, hot, hot), but you have brow beat me, Sarge, I'll head out tommorrow to make it up. No weight loss yet, but I have major portion control issues to deal with as well. Thanks for such a great post!

chanceofbooks said...

Oh, think you could write a drill-sargent like post about EATING. Now, that would help too :) said...

Feral Mom: I thought the ravenous-ness was just me! Usually, I just have a granola bar or something for breakfast, but lately, I've been having a huge, American-style muffin, then looking around half an hour later in search of something, ANYTHING with nutritive value ("Splenda? SCREW YOU!" *hurls packet to floor*). I think I need to find something fairly low-calorie which I can eat a LOT of, like those biodegradable packing peanuts. They will provide the added bonus of padding me from within if I keel over while running!

Anonymous said...

But it's hot in Atlanta! And I'm lazy. Oh fine, tomorrow morning I'll get up earlier and go out before J leaves so that he can watch P. And it'll be cooler. Damn hills all over our neighborhood

I just don't know if I can handle eating more. The Clomid already makes me do that...which is why I need to run, to counter the effects of the Clomid-induced eating.

Amy said...

I'm delurking to say that I have tried doctormama's running plan to great success! I used to run a bit a few years ago in Boston with a friend, but began having knee trouble. Then I had a baby and didn't run a step for almost two years. When I started up again, I had the same outer-knee pain and gave up in frustration. But then I tried doctormama's plan, and was able to jog at a snail's pace for 30 minutes, no knee pain! I have enough c-v endurance from other exercise to last 30 minutes, it was always the knee that knocked me out. I'm only running 2x a week but that is enough and I'm happy!

Anonymous said...

I started a couch to 5K running program about the same time as your inspirational running post. On my Tuesday run, I finally hit the 30 minutes of straight running mark. Since it truly was the COUCH to 5K program, I am pretty pleased with my progress, although I am still running way too slow to finish a 5K in 30 minutes.

Anonymous said...

Not going every day, but have managed 4x/week for the last 3. I get on the treadmill at the Y during lunch thus killing 2 birds with one stone... Still packing an extra 30 lbs down from an extra 35. I'm 43 so its never too late to start...

Anonymous said...

Wavybrains' doctor came up with the perfect title for your book on running: "an excellent simple plan."
I still think it's too hot to even breathe. My running ain't going to start till September (good thing I have a decent excuse).

Anonymous said...

I'm running. I'm running, even though it's wicked aggfzu here (that is my verification word, and I think it captures the humidity nicely). Could only do 2 miles yesterday because the baby was screaming, but I did 3 miles at the gym today. I'm going for speed rather than distance these days, because I'm short on time. Thanks for checking up on us!

Anonymous said...

Anon Maggot here-the heavyset pronator with the double D's. I'm so pleased to run in some absolutely perfect weather. There's a reason we suffer through 8 months of rain and dark. Anyway, running 30 minutes 3X/wk and am actually making it up some hills w/o stopping. Svelte, young female bank teller in the 'hood told me yesterday 'I saw you running last week and I was so impressed to see you out with your kids. What a terrific role model". Made this fat mama's day.
Thank you again for the swift, well-placed kick in the ample behind.
Still no weight loss, but hanging in there,

Anonymous said...

I just started running again two weeks ago. It's hard to get up early to do it, but once I'm out, I love it. Are you sure I shouldn't run every day? I've been running every other day for about 30 minutes with a pretty good pace, and even worked up to running the whole time. I'm looking to lose like 10 lbs. I find that on the days I run, I eat REALLY well and on the off days, not so much (not horrible, but with a little too generous dessert). How many days a week can I safely run? I want to be able to keep my knees and such in decent shape. I'm 29.

Nik said...

Going pretty well. Every other day, not entirely without fail but almost. I credit Dr Mama, the iPod and the fact that the baby wakes me up at 7 so I'm still able to get out before it's 95 degrees. Thanks Dr. Mama.

emily said...

I followed a link here from Cecily's site right after you posted your running decree. I ho-ed and hummed for a week or so, but kept thinking about what you said, and I started running. A little humiliating that if I were walking, I'd be able to keep pace with myself running, but then I think "goddamn it, I may be slow, but I'm DOING IT" and let myself feel proud. Have been very good about running 30 minutes 3x/week. I wouldn't say I really enjoy it yet, but it's getting easier, and there are actually days when I look forward to getting outside and working those muscles. I don't need to lose weight, but would very much like to get rid of my emerging love handles... no progress there yet, but I feel healthier and stronger, and am trying to let those things be satisfaction enough. So - thank you. Very, very much.

Artemis said...

I've been increasing my time and distance, slowly but surely. I'm up to 3.5 miles in 38 minutes -- yeah, me :) I don't think I'll make a marathon, but maybe a 10K someday. And at 6am, the heat and humidity aren't so bad...

DoctorMama said...

I’m feeling all happy and proud now. You guys made my day.

But so many of you are talking about weight. When did I ever say anything about weight? I’ll have to post about weight and food next, I guess. Short answer: Forget the weight for now.

Feral—you’re my MUSCLEY running bitch.

Bitsy—Florida!! You tell amusing that it’s NOT HOT where she lives. I wouldn’t worry about increasing your time unless you really want to—thirty minutes is great.

wavybrains—now I can say I’m endocrinologist-endorsed!—think protein.

Erin—just remember, every hill you go up is a hill you get to go down. (How’s that for a cheesy bromide?) Just keep it slow!

Amy —can I use that as the blurb for the book Menita suggests? (Really it’d have to be a booklet.) If the knee pain resurfaces, try the ITB stretches I mentioned in my earlier post; that’s the most common cause, and easily fixed.

christa —welcome former couch potato! Whoo-hoo! Do NOT worry about how far you go. Just go.

Cathy —I really recommend only every other day, to avoid overuse injuries. And you’re WAY too young to say things like “it’s never to late to start.”

Menita —Of COURSE you’re hot! You’re eight months pregnant, for heaven’s sake! I was turning the AC up all the way and using a fan during that time; my poor husband had to sleep under a down comforter. In May.

Denise —sorry to hear about the aggfzu, and the screaming. Good work.

Anon Maggot/Sharon —that story makes me SO HAPPY! That is awesome. If you have double D related tips to share with others, please do so, since I’m a little lacking in experience. The first time I put a running bra on after I started nursing, I thought that something was caught in my bra. It was cleavage. I had never had the sensation of my breasts touching each other before.

Jessica —Yes, I’m sure you shouldn't run every day. Like running too fast, it’s a recipe for burnout. You can do something else on the off days if you want—bike, swim, skate, knock yourself out.

Nik —I rank up there with the iPod??? I’m so not worthy.

emily —Yay! Yay! I think I should do up some t-shirts with "goddamn it, I may be slow, but I'm DOING IT" across the back.

Artemis —Yay, you, indeed!

And Northwoods baby said on the earlier post:
Exercise-induced asthma. Bring the inhaler and suck it up (heh)?
Yep, I've got that too

Hideous pains in my side after a few hundred yards (hence my "I only run after busses, money, or if a bear's after me" philosophy). Am I going too fast?

Breathing wrong?
Probably -- once you've slowed down enough (how much? enough so that you could probably walk faster), you can try breathing in and out when your left (or right, if you prefer) foot slaps down: left-IN / right / left-OUT. Stitches are the diaphragm cramping up because it gets confused by the action, and if you regulate breathing it can help. It usually only happens if you're going too fast to begin with, though.

A wimp?
No -- just a maggot!

Fix those issues for me and I'll try it. Even though running is, like, INSANE.
That's why it's fun.

Anonymous said...

Yes ma'am! I went out jogging this morning and felt sufficiently proud of myself to warrant an entire post on my blog. It made me remember why I used to jog back when I was first married.

Anonymous said...

Dr Mama! Thank you! I've been running 30 minutes every other day, as instructed. I also don't seem to be losing weight but I DEFINATELY have more energy and my depression has been much improved by this. Plan to keep it up all summer- (don't know what to do in the winter though, ideas?)

Orange said...

I ain't runnin', Sarge. (The knee objects.) But I have been going to the health club semi-regularly (those scheduled appointments with the trainer are vital for getting me out of my slug-like ways), and in one month, I've pared 3 inches from my waist and 5 pounds (mostly from the waist zone). The trainer keeps upping the amount of weight on the various machines, but I haven't been achy since the first week or two. Muscles are forming!

Sherry said...

I have not been running because for some reason the arch of my foot KILLS when I run. That and my sister's been here so it's more fun to eat cookies and watch movies.

Val said...

I've been lucky to get out 2X/wk...
Unfortunately the heel of R foot is giving me the same sort of pain L foot gave me 2 yrs ago, which was a heel spur that I waited out. If it gets much worse, back to the podiatrist, he can shoot it up w/cortisone again so for a while it feels great, it feels like SOMEONE ELSE'S foot...
(yep I've got the orthotics too) said...

Big-boobed runners: I got one word for y'all: Enell. Get it here:

I was a 38DD BEFORE I STARTED NURSING (queue "Psycho" theme), and this thing keeps me totally bounce-free to this day.

Carolie said...

Ok. Fine. I ran. Actually ran. Dragged this fat body out and ran.

I'm 40 years old, and I never, ever, EVER thought I'd do that in my life. Now I have this need to do it again.


And, heart and I thank you!

Mignon said...

I'm not running, because I hate it with a passion, but I do climb the enormous hill behind our house 3 or 4 times a week and then sort of jog back down. It's not really jogging - more like falling as my feet move. It makes my quads sore, though, so it must be good for something. But no jogging! None! Hate it and still have an unreasonable animosity towards people that like it.

Anonymous said...

I read your post a while ago, but my partner and I just started running together this week. Going so slow "you could probably walk faster" has been a revelation -- for the first time, my muscles feel the burn instead of my lungs. (I have a bit of exercise-enduced asthma.) I was actually happy to have a slight side cramp! The slow pace also means I can keep up with my much thinner girlfriend. We are both proud of ourselves for keeping the running up as long as we have been, which is longer than we thought we could -- and now our only goal is to run a bit more of the 30 minutes each time. It's been pretty hot here, but gets muuuuuch cooler when the sun goes down.

C. said...

Thumbscrew, I second the Enell. I was reduced from a DDD/E to a C. The Enells are awesome. Ebay also has them for almost half the price.


Christy said...

Thanks, Sarge--I finally figured out that the reason running hurt so damn much is that I was always trying to go too fast. I've been following your advice for a couple of weeks, and usually walk 5 min to work through shin splints, then run as much as I can for the rest, walking again at the end. Like someone said above--its amazing to need to stop running because my muscles hurt, not because I'm too winded to finish or because of the stitch in my side.

My shins are killing me, though...any advice?

Anonymous said...

I've been doing a teeny bit of running. I'll write more when I actually have something impressive to report!

Today I did the run for 4 minutes, walk for 3 run for 4, walk for 2, run for 5, etc. Is that OK? The stamina I need to build up is less cardio (although I am smoking again--I'll explain later--Don't kill me, Sarge!) and more in my legs. For some reason, whenever I first start running there's a lot of pain in my shins and calves and feet and then they slowly get tougher and I can go further. But because of the sensitivity (in my feet especially) I like to run on treadmills or at tracks. Things that are softer.

DoctorMama said...

Erin — keep it up.

Binkytown — just keep it up all winter too; bundle up.

Jo — your prizes are … right around here somewhere … where DID I leave them, now? (Power yoga sounds good, though. Is it the opposite of 12-step, “I am powerless” yoga?)

Orange — You’re a ripped beast.

Sherry — your arch might be plantar fasciitis, and stretches can help. Your sister’s just kind of lazy.

Val — that sounds like plantar fasciitis too (the heel spur is more a symptom than a cause). Unfortunately need to be careful with the cortisone shots there, because the tendon can be weakened and actually rupture … — I love the name of that contraption—the Last Resort Bra!

MWDB — Three times IS a big deal. (Boobs are overrated, aren’t they?)

Carolie — I love it when you call me names like that.

Mignon — You’re a jogger! Ha ha ha!

Miriam — wonderful. Don’t worry about going longer.

Christy — the trouble with your shins may be shin splints; I had them when I started, too. Depending on the severity, you can keep running if you make sure your shoes are supportive, try to run on soft, level surfaces, and ice them afterward.

ozma — the regimen sounds great, but … SMOKING AGAIN???!!! I don’t care how bad things are, there’s no good explanation for that. Smoking drastically reduces the bloodflow to all your extremities, you know, and makes them hurt.

That said, running on soft surfaces is good. Dirt works too.

Val said...

I'm happy to report the pain in R foot has eased up, so I have NOT been back to podiatrist to get the "C" shot...
I went to our local fancy-schmancy running store to have a fitting... He measured my L foot as an 8 & my R as an 8.5, so he put me in size 8.5 Asics GT-2110's. I have to lace up the L foot real tight but it's definately an improvement!
(Geez I knew my feet had grown post-pregnancy but this was a real blow to my ego; I had been wearing 7.5's!)

amusing said...

I do too know heat! I have run the Peachtree Road Race -- Atlanta in the am -- 90+% humidity and comparable degree number. Halfway through the race, you were sure the tar must be melting and that's why your feet didn't want to move!

And it's HOT here. I go to the library so I can breathe in the air conditioning! (Hmm. Jog around the stacks?) (I might knock down a senior citizen.)

It was cool the other night and the kids were with their dad, but I decided to go have sex instead. That's aerobic, right?

Anonymous said...

I'm going to do it. I will run in the sweltering heat of the deep south and I will have skinny thighs like my runnermama freak marathoner friends.

It will kill me to do it, but it will help that I can curse you silently in my head the whole way.


So there.

*stamps foot*

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across this yesterday. Got on board last night. I am a walker through and through -- my typical workout is 60 minutes of fast walking on small incline, but this time I ran 30 of it. I've never been able to do this before -- was always running too fast. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Completely inspired. I appreciate all the helpful tips. I will try them ASAP. I don't have workout shoes with me, so it might be Monday. But I'll try it. Promise.

Paige said...

Hey Sarge, still muddling through the shin splints but delighted to add that having a dog/puppy is quite the motivator! (sp?) We walk over a mile but maybe only run for half of that now.....adding a little each day. Just wanted you to know that you and the puppy has got my ass in gear!

Anonymous said...

This is a late comment to an old post, but I wanted to let you know I started with a beginner's running program offered by a local running club. I've been at it almost 12 weeks. Today I ran a mile without stopping, walked a minute, then ran another mile. This is considerable progress given that 12 weeks ago I could barely run one minute. Would you consider doing another post on running in the heat? Also your considered opinion on what causes super-red face and headaches after runs? Yes, I am hydrated. Thanks for the inspiration. Cheers!