August 1, 2007

Parades/Medals

I did this week's second day of running yesterday, and what I would like to know is, where is my parade? There is nothing--NOTHING--quite like the smug and self-congratulatory feeling you can get from doing some truly revolting exercise. It feels GREAT! Today I am strutting around thinking, "I exercised yesterday! Yes indeed! That was me, out there exercising!" Even through this fog of righteousness, one thing remains painfully clear: it still feels better NOT to exercise. The after-exercise is great, but so is the after-going-to-the-dentist: if it feels so good to be DONE, we are not talking about an enjoyable experience.

The second day was worse than the first. My shins hurt from the first time, which tells me I'm probably doing something wrong, and they did not feel better when I ran on them. The weather was miserable. The boys were less enthusiastic. And in the back of my mind I was hearing all the people who said they ENJOYED it! And that it got EASY! But we did it, and I'm glad.

While I was counting out how many more minutes of hell remained to me, I had a thought. In the comments section, there was a discussion of how FAST you need to be running/walking. And what I think is that your speed doesn't matter. I think all that matters is how trampled you're getting. If you're running along at 15 miles an hour but you feel all free and breezy (test: are you using words such as "enjoy" and "easy"?), you need to pick up your pace. If molasses is gliding past you but you're seeing a tunnel of light and hearing beloved ancestors calling your name, you need to slow down. We will not be passing out medals for speed, only for misery.

27 comments:

Tessie said...

I always think of what some famous running dude said once before I run: You almost never come back from a workout thinking "Man, I wish I hadn't done that". Of course, that's exactly the kind of comment that would cause me to punch someone square in the nuts during a run.

On the shins: It's probably your shoes. I'm not going to be all "well, just buy a new pair of $100 running shoes, SILLY", but one FREE thing you could try is to make sure that your laces aren't too tight, especially near the top. If they are, it can press against your ankle with every step and cause ankle/shin pain. Your feet swell anyway, so you probably don't need them as tight as you think.

Sara said...

Yay for you!! I went to the gym one day last week and was so proud---then I was sore for like 5 days.

But I may go again once this week.


Keep up the great work!

MrsGrumpy said...

Oh girl, you are making me feel so guilty for sitting here in my pajamas eating chocolate kisses.

Tina G said...

Now, I know LOTS of people enjoy running, but I decided long ago (8th grade) that it was not for me and it just felt like torture, which never got better. My husband told me that some bodies are just built for certain sports, and try as you might you will not acquire the runner's body, or the swimmer's body or the cyclist's body if it does not already belong to you.....I found that I have a nordic trak skier's body, and that will suffice. Swistle, don't ruin your shins and worse- your KNEES! Runners ALWAYS trash their knees- they were not built for that kind of repetitive impact. Okay- so you can see I'm anti-running. But most people who run look like they are in agony- except the long, lean gazelle types. Please spare your knees......Running is not for everyone.

Omaha Mama said...

I was surprised at how much I was sweating! Which was a lot!!!

I'm going for day 2 today (grimace).

Something that really made me laugh was when you spoke of the jiggling (is that the word you used?) during running. That took me back a little too, I was jiggling from ankles to neck. A person really should be more firm than that, I think. Hence, the running I guess. Ugh.

Devan said...

The jiggling is the main reason I won't run. I'd have to run in public! Where people could SEE ME!!
Also, I hate it. However, you are doing great. 2 days down!! I don't think speed matters either. It's just getting out there that's important.

Alice said...

do you have high arches? i do, and didn't realize how critical additional arch support was (like, with an insert, even if there is an arch in the sneaker) but had to quit sports in college because the docs thought i was getting shin splints and tendonitis... turns out i just needed a $5 insert in my dumb shoe.

janet said...

I had the same shin problem when I started running. I went to a running store to ask for advice, they made me run for them so they could see my form, which was very embarrassing.
Anyway, the advice they gave me is that I was running on my toes too much. Apparently it's something that beginning runners tend to do, but that only sprinters should actually do.
So I had to practice shortening my stride and putting my heel down before my toe. I was told to try to put my foot down gently, as if I was "treading on eggshells." Not sure what that means exactly, but I kind of get the picture.

Pickles & Dimes said...

I'm NEVER happy while I'm exercising - never.

In fact, if I were a cartoon, a little black swirling cloud of obscenities would be following me wherever I go.

I used to run track (way back in high school when I still had things called endurance and...less weight on my frame) and shin splints were pretty common. I'm not sure what type of surface you're running on, but if you can find something with a little more give (trails or a nice running track vs. asphalt) that might help.

Icing also helps. And over time, unless your shoes are the cause, your shins will feel better.

Jess said...

Sometimes you can get really good deals on very nice shoes. I have a pair of Brooks Ariel that are extremely highly rated for cushioning, support, etc. and that retail at over $100, but I found them on sale at City Sports for $45. And they are the most comfortable exercise shoes I have ever had.

Also, I'm excited about the medals for misery rather than speed. I'm pretty sure that I'll be winning more medals under this system than I would under the other.

Mrs. M said...

you're funny. :)

Marie Green said...

I want to be one of those people who loves to exercise, who ENJOYS it, but so far in my life I have not been that person. I hate every minute of it. Although I have noticed, in previous attempts at good health, that as I get my body into better shape, I do start WANTING to exercise. Not liking it while it's happening, but wanting to do it.

God, I'm so out of shape now it'll be a LONG time before I feel that way this time around.

el-e-e said...

I would guess shoes are causing the pain, and say if you're committed to this, don't put off getting real running shoes, fitted by a running store person.

Also, on speed: I was told by a C25k veteran that when you're just starting, it's totally OK to go slower than you think you should. In fact that was my little "mantra" when I tried the program -- I said it on 'repeat' to myself, as each foot hit the pavement. "Slower-than-I-think-I-should. Slower-than-I-think-I-should."

Katie said...

You're hilarious! My thoughts exactly. You actually inspired me to do 10 minutes of Pilates video a day. That is IT. That is as far as I go. So, do I get a medal for being miserable on the dog hair covered carpet in my socks for ten minutes while my wine watches me from the coffee table?

Stacie said...

I am reminded of someon who, talking about doing children's theatre, said, "It's like banging your head against a wall. It feels GREAT when you stop."

Black Sheeped said...

That's great! Good for you! And I agree, you can run as slow as you want. You should probably be running slower than you think you should, I completely agree with the above commenter who mentioned that. You're doing great.

4andcounting said...

Good for you. Sloth has taken up residence here, but I'm going to conquer it eventually.

As for shins, stretching and your shoes are the likely answers. Are you stretching before and after running/walking? And, how are your shoes? My husband had intense shin splints before going to a running store and getting the right shoes. Since then, little to no pain.

Keep it up!

Artemisia (formerly known as T. and sometimes Sagebrushy) said...

Yeah for you! I've been meaning to start this same running program, for, uh, four weeks now?!

You definitely deserve a parade and I deserve a kick in the butt!

Keep it up!

Shelly said...

I did it, Swistle. I started last night. I'll do night two this week tomorrow night.

Sign me up for the Medals for Misery competition - I'm right there with you. And just as a public service for all: do not walk or jog on a treadmill barefooted. Does not make for happy feet.

desperate housewife said...

Hmm, Medals for Misery. I like this idea. I want to institute it universally.

a happier girl said...

I have yet to convince myself to start exercising again so I say good job for running at all. Way to be.

Swistle said...

Sounds like I need (1) shoes and (2) more stretching.

Alice-- I have flat feet. Well, not FLAT, but weak arches: if I'm languidly kicking a foot in the air, high heeled shoe dangling from the toe, I have very nice arches--but not if the foot is standing on the floor.

Janet-- That is a horrifying story. I will not run in front of a store employee. In fact, that story has made me feel like perhaps I will order running shoes online, so that I won't even be ASKED to run in a store. I will try the stride-shortening and the eggshell-treading tomorrow.

Tina G, I really liked what you wrote. I used to be a good swimmer. Too bad lap pools are so pricey. But you give me hope that if running continues to suck, maybe it just means I need to find another sport.

Jess-- My sister-in-law is a runner, and she says she waits for a good shoe to come out in crappy colors--because then they end up on great clearances!

MrsGrumpy said...

Hey, Swistle, if you like to swim, sometimes local high schools will have lap swim times for small fees (even sometimes memberships). I've done this before and it is a great way to start the day.

Black Sheeped said...

Although the things I read about hornets were Officially Frightening, I think you should be happier because now you know that a) they are beneficial and eat other bugs and b) you know to respect them Even More. That's how I'm looking at it.

jonniker said...

Yes, it might be your shoes, but are you also stretching your calves and shins before AND after you run? You can prevent and heal shin splints relatively easily with stretching and decent shoes.

You need new shoes before starting any running program, and if that wasn't bad enough, you must replace them every six months, minimum. Further, stretch for at least 10 minutes before and after running and make sure you're working your shin muscles, too. Stand against the wall with your heels flat against the wall and lift your foot up, keeping your heel on the ground for 15 repetitions each leg. Do three sets on each leg, and that should help.

For calves, stand on the edge of a stair at about mid-foot, and let your heel drop until you feel the stretch in the calf muscle. Do three sets of 10, at least.

The lower leg is one of the most understretched areas of the body when running, yet it is one that causes so many injuries (says the girl who tore her foot tendon for that very reason).

Also, YES to running through your heel, not your toe. HEELS FIRST!

I'm sounding crazy. I'll stop now.

Swistle said...

Jonniker, you are BUMMING ME OUT. Sigh. This is giving lie to the theory that running is awesome because all you need is you and a road. Or that it's "just 25 minutes!" Now it's running shoes every 6 months, plus millions of hours of stretching every day. Sigh.

Jess said...

I tried to do session two yesterday, but my building's gym only has one treadmill, and someone was on it, and it was ninety degrees and humid outside so there was no way I was going to hit the actual road to run.

BUT. This is NOT an excuse as to why I didn't work out. Because I did. I did twenty minutes on the elliptical in what I hope was an approximation of what I would have been doing on the treadmill, PLUS thirty minutes of weights. Because damn it, it is too early in this program to be slacking off.