A couple of weeks ago I gave you all a comical look at the ways I try to get out of going for a run. This time I am going to go through some serious reasons why I may postpone or cancel a run.
I live in a central Illinois, a place known for having somewhat volatile weather. Weather here at times can not only be inconvenient but actually dangerous. You often have to schedule runs around the weather. In the summer it can by punishingly hot and humid. On top of that we often get sever thunderstorms. These storms can come with torrential downpours, strong winds and tornadoes. In the winter we can get blizzards and ice storms that make it treacherous to walk let alone run. Don’t forget the very frigid windchills that can kill a person in minutes. You have to be very flexible about when you run. You might schedule a run in the early morning but there is suddenly a storm so you have to move it around. It is even harder in winter to schedule things. The sun only shines for a small part of the day but then sometimes the warmest part is in the middle of the night. There was a month long period this winter where it was either way too cold, or the trails were icy or snow covered. I got only one run in.
I guess I could run on a treadmill, but I have always hated that.
I have noticed that a light run when I have a small cold seems to help, but when I came down with something that had me coughing up brown stuff for days I realized it was time to take a break. Twice this winter I came down with something that sapped all my strength and left me coughing a lot. Pushing it would only have made things worse so I nursed myself until better.
Determining the severity of an injury is harder to do. Is something actually wrong or is it just sore. I am over forty. If I am running regularly things hurt. Heck things just hurt. I’ve had bad knees since I was twenty. There is an old picture somewhere of me in college with a knee brace on. My friends called it bionic knee. My knees will often be popping, tight, and a little sore. If I go for a run it loosens them up and they actually feel better. A few times I have done something worse to my knees and tweaked a ligament or something. Then running just made it hurt more. I had to take sometime off and ice it etc. A couple of times I have developed mild plantar fasciitis. Then I had to rest and take it easy for awhile. You need to know your own body and its cues. Don’t be afraid to go to the doctor if you are worried about something.
A video posted by @wonky73 on May 30, 2015 at 11:57am PDT
I just learned that today is National Running Day. It is a complete coincidence that I had a post about running scheduled for today.
I hate running. There I admitted it. I follow a few running blogs and get confused when reading them. It seems these people are running through fields of flowers with rainbows and unicorns dancing around them. For me running is like going to the dentist. You know you will feel better afterwards but it’s horrid at the time. During almost every run at about the half way point I think, “I should just stop and walk back. Or lay down in the grass and die.
Last Saturday I woke up realizing I needed to go for a run. I checked the weather and was happy to see storms and heavy rain was scheduled for almost the whole day. As if on cue it started pouring rain outside. So I ate breakfast. The rain stopped and I checked the weather again. Oh no. A good three hour gap in the rain had showed up. I couldn’t run right then though since I had just eaten. About an hour later, dang still no rain. I started to put on my stuff to go for the run. I grabbed my ipod nano and Yes the battery was dead. Can’t run without music. But I went anyway. The humidity sapped most of my energy and it ended up being one of my worst runs in awhile, but I did it.
Excuses I’ve tried to use to get out of going for a run:
It’s too sunny
it’s too cloudy
It’s to dry
It’s to wet
It’s slightly raining
It may slightly rain in the next several hours
It’s too hot
It’s too cold
It may become to hot or too cold at some point in the future
I can’t find my running shoes
I don’t like the color of my running shoes
My running shoes smell funny
My favorite running shirt is dirty
My favorite running shirt is clean
My insert random joint/muscle is slightly sore
My ipod’s battery is dead
I haven’t eaten recently
I’ve eaten too recently
Inspiring quote by a dead man:
“Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired. When you were younger the mind could make you dance all night, and the body was never tired… You’ve always got to make the mind take over and keep going.”
Awhile back I ran a self improvement blog called the slackers guide to life. I still own the url www.slackersguidetolife.com. As you can see it just redirects to here. As with most of my blogging attempts it never quite took off the ground. I ran it for over two years and had maybe thirty posts ever. Every few months I would hide all the posts and schedule them to reappear as if the blog was a running concern. I did not give up on the idea of self improvement. I just got tired of not succeeding and having nothing useful to write about.
There are several reasons why I didn’t want to announce the return of the Slackers Guide to Life right when I first started making positive changes. Studies have shown that just announcing the intention to change can satisfy the desire for change. I wanted to have some success under my belt before starting to write. I also wanted to concentrate on the actual changes in my behavior and not worry about having post worthy things going on.
So what successes have I had over the last few months? With one fairly long break do to weather and sickness, I have been running somewhat regularly. My resting heart rate has dropped from around 100 bpm to the mid 60s. I have moved up a notch on my belt and even started wearing some smaller pants I had lying around. I’ve taken to rarely eating out, maybe one lunch and 2 dinners, this has helped both my health and my wallet. The last three months I have, amazingly, been within my budget.
So look forward to some more posts in this series.
Near the end of October I started jogging again. Every few years or so I get the bug to seriously take up running again. Serious means being able to run a 5k. I could go all sorts of directions when blogging about running. I could talk about he life lesson learned from the rapid improvement or how it improves my mood. What I am going to talk about is the weather. Stupidly, I’ve taken up running outdoors as we transition into winter. Even with my cold weather gear we’ve already had a week were it was too windy and cold to run outside. I might have to jog some on a treadmill… ew. Most places joke about their weather: “if you don’t like the weather just wait an hour”. No place is that more true than in the midwest.
Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I went for a jog. The temperature almost hit 30F and brisk wind blew from the south producing a wind chill of 19F. I wore four layers on top and two below the waist. My fingers and toes got cold and the cold air burned my lungs.. It was not a pleasant experience. I would much rather run when it is 90 than when it is 20. I think sweating is better than freezing.
On Sunday I went for another jog. Again a gale wind blew from the south. The slight difference was the 60 F temperature. I only wore a windbreaker and sweatpants over my usual summer running gear. By the end of my run sweat soaked my clothes.
After work, four days later, I went for another jog. This time it was 40 degrees with a breeze and a slight rain falling. I had a good run. The best since I restarted running.
So that is Illinois weather for you. In less than two weeks we had: 19 degree windchills, 64 degree weather with gusting winds, 40 degrees and raining, and also there was a bonus ice storm mixed in.