Thursday, January 26, 2017

My New Hobby

I've never been a fan of running. (That's an understatement.) We have a small, outdoor track near our house, so I attempted to get into it this summer, but by about the second lap, my legs would start itching fiercely. Not to mention that it was 95 degrees from June through September. Don't get me wrong, we had a beautiful summer, but it was a bit too hot for outdoor running.

So I called it quits and went back to using the elliptical at the gym. Well, about six weeks ago, I decided to give it another try, this time on the indoor track. I  wanted to prove to myself that I could successfully go on a run without experiencing the terrible itch.

Even after a few runs, the itch wasn't going away. I would stop as soon as it started and rarely went more than half a mile. Mr. Handsome encouraged me to keep trying. "Just push through, and it will get better," he assured me. "Keep your mind focused on something else."

I decided to give it a few more tries, and rather than stop at the first sign of discomfort, I just focused on the music I was listening to through my headphones and willed myself to forget about the terrible itch. After pushing through on two runs, I was cured!

As an incentive to keep going, I found a great deal on a pair of New Balance running shoes in my favorite color. It's amazing how your perspective on running can change when you have pretty shoes to look down at. It really is all in the shoes.

Not sure how long this hobby will last (check back with me in six months), or whether I will be able to increase my distance past a mile or two, but for now, I'm pretty psyched about it. What are your thoughts on running?

49 comments:

  1. Anonymous1/26/2017

    Never was able to run, not even as a kid. I'd get a stitch in my side and get winded after a few minutes and that was it. PE class was the pits, when they forced us to run. I always came in last. I was sick a lot as a kid and once got a doctor's note to be excused from PE for the rest of the year. So I'm just not built for endurance sports of any kind. I could whip anyone at archery and badminton, though! Or math, a mental workout.

    I'd ask your doctor about that itch. It could be a vascular reaction, maybe benign but maybe not. You don't want to push yourself too hard at first without knowing how your body is going to react to exercise. Also, bear in mind any possible long-term consequences of running on the feet, knees, and hips. You never know (at your age) what's in store for you decades from now, traceable to what you did decades before. Wear and tear on joints is not fun to deal with later in life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous1/27/2017

      While it would of course be wonderful to have a fit figure,I agree with anonymous about the "long term consequences of running", which might include wear and tear on knees and hips,which you dont want bad knees from running! Rather than the impact of running,maybe you could instead choose something like speed walking. Good luck either way!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous1/27/2017

      I know formerly-athletic people who have now had knee and hip replacements, or back surgery. And a long-distance bike rider who had to have wrist surgery, after keeping his wrists flexed on the handlebars for years. Life puts enough stress on our joints. (Darn that gravity!) I can't imagine pounding my joints any more. Water exercise is probably one of the least joint-stressful "aerobic" things to do.

      Delete
  2. Well, I guess God's gifted me with the gift of speed because the students at my school call me "The Flash"; because I don't run, I sprint. I can reach an approx. of 15 mph at maximum speed.
    I actually think running is rather enjoyable, because it's a great way to let off steam. Everytime I run, I feel like I could fly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great! How often do you go running?

      Ellie

      Delete
    2. Thanks. Eh, everytime the school needs me to literally "run" a quick errand. Too bad I can only hit my top speed when I'm in a good mood.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous1/26/2017

    I love running, but I have an ankle deformity, that causes me to fall and twist my ankle every time I run for over 5 minutes. Does anyone have any advice for me on this? Thanks :)

    Lauren

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous1/27/2017

      Talk with a physical therapist, or use a brace and orthotics?

      Delete
    2. I'm sorry to hear that, Lauren. I had a friend on the tennis team in high school who had a similar issue. She wore a brace to all our practices and meets. Perhaps if you talked with a physical therapist they could help you figure out a solution. :)

      Ellie

      Delete
  4. Anonymous1/26/2017

    Good for you to stick with it! My husband & I took up running last summer! I never had any desire to run, but my hubby found a great app that starts out very slowly and works you up to a 5K. The app is called 5K Runner (by Fitness22). I don't know if i want to run 5K, but I actually began to enjoy running! We look forward to picking it back up after winter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's awesome! So I take it you prefer outdoor running?

      Ellie

      Delete
  5. Anonymous1/26/2017

    I do not like running, but I do like walking. I have an elliptical in my basement that I use a couple times a week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ellipticals are a wonderful invention. Great aerobic exercise without the intensity of running.

      Ellie

      Delete
    2. Anonymous1/28/2017

      My S-I-L got rid of hers after she learned it could make your backside bigger!

      Delete
  6. Anonymous1/26/2017

    I hate running, and I think it's only meant to torture children in gym class and soldiers doing PT.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that it's never fun when it's forced. Did you do fitness testing in gym class as a kid? That was always brutal.

      Ellie

      Delete
    2. Anonymous1/28/2017

      We had President Kennedy to thank for the fitness tests we were forced to do in school when I was growing up. Also, look up the silly Robert Preston record called "Chicken Fat." The school principal would put that on the intercom every morning, and we had to all stand up at our desks and do it! Wearing a dress, if you were a girl!!!

      Delete
    3. Oh my! Just looked up the song, and it's quite...interesting. I would definitely not want to be doing that in a dress with boys in the room, that's for sure! Was that for all ages, or just younger kids?

      Ellie

      Delete
  7. Running is great! Something that has helped me was a 'couch to 5 km' app; it slowly builds up your running time and surprisingly fast you're running much further than expected. You can listen to your own music at the same time but it tests you when to run and when to walk. It helps me every time I want to get going again, which is often because the endorphin high is pretty great!
    Also I remember you commenting a while back that you were looking for a deodorant that was organic and made without aluminium: I've been hearing good things about 'no pong' which is Aussie slang for 'no stink'. It's an Australian company but according to it's website they deliver overseas also. I think I'm going to give it a go, I wondered if you might like to too. Let me know what you think.
    I get super itchy legs when I run too but only for the first few weeks. I don't know what causes it either. I've wondered if it was irritation from grass or just my blood vessels being irritated from the new activity. I wonder how common it it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sarah,

      That sounds like an interesting app. I've been using Kiss My Face Active Life Deoderant and it has worked well, but I always like hearing suggestions from others. Thanks!

      I read that itchy legs usually means either dry legs or that you've taken a break from exercising and are getting back in it (as you said). In some instances, it can indicate a problem, but since mine went away I never bothered looking into it. I've heard of a few other people who have experienced it. Using lotion seemed to help it go away.

      Ellie

      Delete
    2. Glad to hear that you've found a deodorant that you're happy with. I'll let you know how I get on with mine.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous1/27/2017

    I just ran my third marathon. Running is just as much of a mental sport as it is a physical one so you need to learn to push through those minor discomforts. It gets better, and oh so very rewarding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous1/27/2017

      Discomfort is your body's natural way of telling you that something is wrong!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous1/28/2017

      Nonsense. There is no reward without a bit of pain. If it was easy, there would be no accomplishment.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous1/28/2017

      It's not nonsense. Exercise can produce micro-tears in muscle and create inflammation in tissues and nerve fibers, all leading to painful sensations that are the body's way of saying you need to stop. There's the battle during exercise between your muscles trying to work properly (aerobically) and pumping out lactate and other metabolites to keep the muscles from being injured from overuse. Enough of that overuse, if you ignore the signals, and you are "in pain." Your body is telling you that it needs time to repair the damage you did. It's not a sign that you're being "rewarded," it's a sign that there's real damage.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous1/28/2017

      There's no need for the average person to exercise to the point of pain and then continue exercising while in pain. Ellie isn't training for the Olympics.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous1/28/2017

      If there's major pain then of course you should get help, but if it only minor discomfort its not gonna hurt you if you've stretched properly. A lot of people don't do things because of minor discomfort that's not gonna hurt them!

      Delete
    6. Anonymous1/29/2017

      "Minor discomfort" has a way of building, and changing as you get older....

      Delete
  9. Anonymous1/27/2017

    I walk my dog several times a day (since I took him on from a family member ladt fall) and he got me running. I thought I was too old to run but I can sprint half a block now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you! :) what kind of dog do you have?

      Ellie

      Delete
  10. Anonymous1/27/2017

    Totally agree about the couch to 5k programme. I am now 60yrs young and have been running for many years. I have good knees, hips and no itch and enjoy running half marathons, as do many of my friends of a similar age. it is like any sport, you have to start slowly, be commited and build up slowly.I would also suggest footwear recommended by a specialist running store. Good luck . Run with a group, it is the best way to improve without pressure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's impressive! Hope I can be as fit as you when I'm 60. I agree that good footwear is important. Do you have a particular brand of shoes you recommend?

      Ellie

      Delete
    2. Anonymous1/28/2017

      It's less the brand, and more what fits your particular feet and gait. Check out a specialty running store, where they can analyze you!

      Delete
    3. Thanks! Happy trails! :)

      Ellie

      Delete
  11. Anonymous1/27/2017

    I get the same itch. :/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear that. :( I would try pushing through a few times and seeing if it goes away. Lotion also helped me. If it doesn't stop, I would definitely consult a doctor.

      Ellie

      Delete
  12. Anonymous1/27/2017

    Hope you don't go running on your own. Stay safe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I run at the track at our gym. :)

      Ellie

      Delete
  13. Anonymous1/28/2017

    Its the fabric and/or dry legs. Try better quality spandex/pants that breath and a good body moisturizer for your legs. You shouldn't be worrying about itchy legs when you run, running's hard enough:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great suggestions. Thank you!

      Ellie

      Delete
  14. Anonymous1/28/2017

    Hi Ellie, you are heroic! 1 Peter 4:1. That is a high standard that is a thing to use as a guide. Please be careful though, strong as you are it alsosays in the Bible we are weak and he is our strength. That is also a standard to use as a guide. I like to read yourblog daily to find your next post or read upon comments. Thasnk you and your Handsome husband!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Katrina1/28/2017

    I love the app Zombies Run

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yaaas girl! Keep it up. I am a collegiate runner and a 4x marathoner, and when I first started seven years ago, I was just like you.

    I struggle with running on the track too. What might help is to take your run outside, through your neighborhood, so you're not running around a small circle. If you have an open road or trail, perhaps, or just your street! Then you can enjoy the scenery. I also like to take the time for myself during a long run to daydream, think about my day, and especially think about what I'll eat when I get home!

    If you can do a little more each day, while being consistent, that's the key. Just run a few minutes more a day. Having a workout partner also helps LOADS.
    When you say, "itching", do you mean tingling, in a way? Could be the lactic acid in your legs, which kicks in when you're working harder then normal (when any runner pushes outside their regular comfort zone, so for you, running a bit farther then normal).

    I wish I could

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, that's awesome, Alisha! Thank you for the ideas. It's just an uncomfortable itch, not a tingle. It makes sense that it would be the result of running further than I'm used to.

      If you don't mind me asking, what were your times for the 4 marathons? It's encouraging that you only started seven years ago!

      Ellie

      Delete
  17. Anonymous1/29/2017

    Also. Your local run shop might have weekly (in person) clinics, like a beginners run group, or a Couch to 5K. Worth checking out. Getting involved in a group holds you accountable.

    A AMAZING resource is runnersworld.com.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous1/29/2017

    Hi Ellie,
    As I was looking through your old posts, I saw that you have a college degree, and your husband went even further to a dental program, which I heard is difficult to get into. I was wondering if you could write a post about your husband's experience in college and dental school, how he managed his time, and about his study habits that could make him a successful dentist. I would really appreciate this, and thanks for all you do!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there,

      I'll suggest that to him. Are you in college?

      Ellie

      Delete
  19. Anonymous1/29/2017

    I'm looking at your toes in those shoes, particularly where your big toes appear to be, and I think I'm seeing signs of bunions? In other words, your big toes seem to angle out from the medial (inside) side of your foot, towards your other toes. If you indeed have bunions or some other misalignment in your foot, I would talk to a foot doctor before embarking on a hobby of running. You may be setting yourself up for more problems later?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous2/19/2017

    I like trail-running. It is a great opportunity to work out some extra muscles that you might not on a sidewalk or flat track... and it helps me stay in shape for all the hiking/backpacking I do with my guy. I am also more fond of spending time in the woods than running other places, so it helps to keep me motivated! The trails around here tend to have at least one lookout, so those are always a good opportunity for a water break. :)

    ReplyDelete