Monday, September 3, 2007

Reflections on 5 months of Running

This Labor Day marks my 5 month anniversary of running!

I thought I’d dedicate this post to what I have learned and have yet to learn about myself and running in general.

What I have learned…

1. Running can be fun! It isn’t a death march, or torture event. Once you start running (which is the hardest part), and get through the first 8 weeks or so, running can actually be fun!

2. Running is great exercise! My heart rate when I started running peaked at 220 bpm – I thought I was dying! Now it’s 160 or so!

3. Running is a great way to meet people. I moved to NH nearly 2 years ago, and before I started running, I only knew a few people (most of them from work.). Joining a running group has been a great way to meet some very cool people!

4. When running, you see more of your neighborhood, town, and region. I have discovered some great routes, vistas, neighborhoods, and parks in the last 5 months – most of which I would have never discovered driving around.

5. Running gives you time to listen to more of your music collection! I have a huge CD collection, but never had time to just listen to it. Now with a mp3 player and running – I get to hear some great tunes.

6. Running podcasts are both motivating and entertaining. Folks like Steve Runner from Phedippidations and Dan and Nik from 4 feet running offer great motivation, advice, and best of all humor. I have to say humor is the best company on a long run.

7. There is actually a way to rid yourself of those dreaded side stitches!! (I just learned this - and it works!). I've tried pushing on the stitch with my hand, change my breathing, nothing worked - but this works - purse your lips and blow out like you are blowing out one of those long balloons (for balloon animals). Try to make it come from your belly (tighten your belly when you exhale.) Try it, it works! A stitch is a spasm or cramp in your diaphragm and you have to contract your diaphragm to rid yourself of it - like any cramp.

What I have yet to learn…

1. Why I’m a such slowpoke?

2. What is the best pre-run food? I'm still recovering from the Luna Bar!

3. Where can I find the perfect running short that doesn’t ride up! Some people swear by the running skort, but these things just don't fit me right!

4. What is the best way to stay hydrated during a run (I carry a bottle at the moment, but would a fuel belt be better?)


Dan Medeiros said...

I'll have to try your technique to get rid of side stitches. I get them when I run too fast, and I push my fingers them and breathe deeply--they go away, but it does take a while. Thanks!

I like peanut butter before I run. But I don't have any experience with skorts.

Rebecca said...

Skort! - HA!

I can't do peanut butter before I run. I've tried it with disastrous results.

I also can't eat bananas, dairy, sushi, or luna bars.

I do like the energy gels....which is basically pure sugar. Maybe I should just try sugar.....hhhhuuuuuummmmmm.