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.
So I got up last Sunday determined to go for a run since I hadn’t run in about a week. It was overcast as I was getting ready so I checked the weather online. A big red warning bar greeted me. Eighty percent change of strong thunderstorms with heavy rain. It was claimed they would hit later in the morning. I clicked on the radar and only saw a tiny shower hundreds of miles away. It’s not like I was running a marathon. I’d be back in a half hour. I ran then did the post run stuff: shower, eat a bit. It was about the time the storms were supposed to hit so I checked the weather again. The heavy storm warning was gone. It now claimed a hundred percent chance of rain that should come about noon. So noon rolled around and there still wasn’t any rain. Now the weather site listed a fifty percent change of rain about two pm. Two pm came around an I had to go somewhere so I checked again. Now it said a twenty percent chance of some showers around eight pm.
It never did rain. Not a drop.
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.