Monday, May 31, 2010

Real Maggots Love the Heat

... and then they turn into flies.

Boy, do I love a good hot-weather run. Muscles loose, no extra clothing, the amazed stares of neighbors as I return beet-faced and trailing a rivulet of sweat up the street ...

It’s going to get hot, and you are going to run, maggots. Run early if you can; go even slower than you originally thought possible; drink before you go, but not so much that you get hyponatremic; and don’t listen to the haters who tell you you’re crazy.

Find your wings, little maggots!

[Update: some answers in the comment section.]


yatima said...

Oh DoctorMama I owe my best ever Memorial Day morning to you.

We'd been talking about it for a while but I finally took my seven-year-old running with me this morning. I told her: "Slow down, slow down, slow down." She ran a good 1.3 miles without walking. Straight up Bernal Hill and then around and down it. Her first long run ever. I am nuts with pride.

Thank you!!!

Laurel said...

I run late rather than early.

DoctorMama, 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.

Anonymous said...

LOL, I was just thinking about your abs on the beach this morning - hope that doesn't come across wrong! I'm a maggot with only two 5K runs under my belt. Have started doing Edinburgh Parkrun with my 12 year old son. His time 23.01, mine 28 40 something, but hey it's a fun, inclusive event, with 200 odd folk turning out on a Saturday morning. I've never been into solitary exercise, so this suits me. The heat - well, it will likely never be much of a problem in Scotland (apart from marathon day recently, but we consider 25 degrees a heat wave!).

That pic of Nana has me gagging every time I check your blog though!


Anonymous said...

Doctor Mama,
I commented about 3 weeks ago saying that I had started to run for the first time in my adult life (and I turn 53 on Thursday). I pretty much immediately hurt my right hamstring, but I went really easy after a couple of days off to prevent further damage, and it worked itself out more quickly than I had thought. The good news is that I am still at it, although I suck big time. My problem is not my cardiovascular system (I don't mind breathing hard), but pains in my legs. After running a full side of the park here in my town my legs are screaming. And I never know which leg or which part will hurt - the pain shifts around. I take 3 ibuprofen about 20 minutes before I run or I wouldn't get very far. I go early in the morning to beat the heat. I stretch my calf muscles before running, but those are not what hurts. Often it is the front part of my lower leg - it feels stiff as heck. Good news is that my feet (which have given me problems in the past) feel better than ever since I have started running. I want to keep this up, so do you have any words of wisdom about the leg pain? Will it subside once my legs realize that they CANNOT stop me from running altogether?

DoctorMama said...

Go Maggots! You make me proud.

LD -- my advice is: if the pain shifts around, it'll probably settle down eventually. And you have shin splints -- which, yes, usually subside once you beat them into submission.

OMDG said...

When I was running (I'm back to swimming again now -- yay!) when it was hot, I'd have a glass of 40/60 gatorade/water before I ran. It kept me from feeling dizzy on the way home. Not so necessary in the pool, but it sure did help on the road.

Jessica G said...


Running in the heat is so hard! I'm 33 and healthy. I usually run 3-4 times/week from 5-8 miles each time. It's addicting and I love it. I've been doing this for about a month. Alhtough, I've always been a runner. I just take really long breaks in between. I think I'm officially a maggot. Today in 88 degrees I could barely run 3! I usually run first thing in the morning or around 8pm. Oh well. I am doing a 5K in a few weeks and I would love to finish in under 30 minutes. My best 3 mile run was exactly 30 minutes. What do you suggest to eat the day of or before a race? Do you still have those shirts? Jess

HeatherLiz said...

OK, I too appreciate running isnspiration! I loved that line "Running is the closest thing to mainlining happiness I've found". Rings true!

So here is my quandry. I am usually an 11-minute mile or more long-runner. At this speed I can go 7 miles or so and bounce back the next day.

My 13 year old son (who runs track) wants to train for a 1/2 marathon together. The first time we went out together I had to hurry to keep up with him. SInce that run I have been having pain on the medial aspect of my right heel. It hurts to put weight on it.

But I don't want to stop runinng! So what happens with a minor injury--run through it (slower, shorter) or take a break for recovery? Also, the 1/2 marathon is in early August.


Anonymous said...

Dude, I ran outdoors last week and died. Almost. I was in Vermont for my grandmother's funeral, and I went for a morning jog in 90-degree, muggy Vermont weather with a cousin 7 years younger and at least 25 pounds lighter than I. (That was my second mistake--I usually run alone and was probably trying too hard to be cool.)

I'd also only run once in the last week or so--I'd been abroad, doing more endless city walking than running.

Oh! And I picked up a cold on the 48 hours or so I'd spent on planes. Bleeeaaaahhh.

I did about a mile with her, then dropped out to get some water and chat with a different cousin whose restaurant was along the route (small town, lots of cousins, etc.). I did run the half mile or so back to the condo after my rest, but much more slowly. I think I got about 30 minutes in, but I really just needed to...move. And my body temp probably scared the cold off for a while--I really only spent a day and a half really feeling sick.

I'm SO sticking to the treadmill. Fake hills and 65-degree AC generate enough sweat, thank you very much. Plus, I'm way less likely to inhale a mosquito in my fitness room. I'm happily working back into my routine, now that I'm home, and y'all can keep your hot summer running. :P

Denise said...

Hey, Doctor Mama, I just started running again after a year off with a groin injury. It just started feeling better so I thought I'd give it a try - so far so good.

I have been trying to adjust my gait to see if I can take some of the pressure off my hip. I'm focusing on really working my feet - consciously trying to roll and push off with my toes, rather than just clomping down on my heel with my leg practically extended like I had been doing. Also, I'm focusing on cycling my feet instead of swinging them like a pendulum. Any thoughts about running biomechanics? It seems to be working - my hip and back feel much better, although my calves and feet are getting much more of a workout than they ever have.

Anonymous said...

You complainers need to try running in a 100+ degree, humid, subtropical Houston summer. (It CAN be done -- before sunrise.)


Unknown said...

inspiring blog ! I'm at the beginning of my med journey :D ... it'll be great to see you in my blog :)

Nessie said...

Thank you so much for your running advice!

I started running in Jan, and have kept up, and find myself missing my running time if I miss a day or two.

Any advice on the post pregnancy always having to feel like I need to pee while running, and what to do about it?

Ozzie said...


Personally, I just run at night and sometimes stop to pee. :) I also find that coffee in the 6 or so hours before I run makes the urge to pee much worse.

Anonymous said...

Running is all well and good -- but when is HB's birthday and when can we get more Stripper Nana stories?

I love your blog.


Anonymous said...

In your May 24 email, you wrote, "Two more weeks until this year's revealing getup is revealed." So HB's birthday is June 7 or thereabouts? So, what happened?


Ozzie said...

I also am shamelessly waiting for NanaNews.

DoctorMama said...

Jess: Just don't eat any simple carbs.

Maman Minou: sounds like you have plantar fasciitis. Do a search on it and you should find some good stretches. It can be a pesky problem; you definitely should run slower & shorter and see how it goes. August sounds kind of too soon, but it depends on your "base" -- how long and consistently you've been doing your 7 miles.

junebugs: there's an acclimation period for hot weather -- I think if you had to, you could do it. But since you don't have to, I guess it's all good.

Denise: I'm a big fan of running biomechanics, but they're tricky to describe/prescribe. Sounds like you're doing it right. Pulling in your stomach and tucking your butt are almost always good to do also.

Nessie: Don't drink anything for at least an hour before you go and pee just before you head out. Then try Kegeling every now and then WHILE running. Tricky, but worked for me!

DoctorMama said...

Oh and: Orange pointed me toward this article arguing against Kegels. Could be valid. Reading through it -- briefly! it's huge -- it sounds like it's more anti-doing Kegels wrong. I've always been suspicious of the "Kegel all the time!" philosophy, but the Kegel-on-the-spot maneuver -- learning how to squeeze so that you can do it just before a sneeze or whatever -- can work really well. Of course, I already have SuperGlutes, so I may be an outlier. Squatting certainly sounds like a good idea to me in general. (I AM suspicious of her claim that this is only a problem in the Western world ... seems more likely that people who spend a lot of time squatting have bigger things to worry about.)

Linda said...

Okay, it looks like I am going to become a maggot at last, starting today. It's either that or lose my mind.

I've been reading Runner's World and they had some interesting stuff to say about running barefoot and how it's good for plantar fasciitis, which I have. Any thoughts? I have to admit, I kind of like the idea of running barefoot but it seems a little...painful. What's your take on this?