Friday, February 13, 2009

Run Like the Wind (Or Against It)

By Wednesday night, I was feeling great about running - my muscles weren't very sore, I'd gotten two runs (-ish) under my belt, and the beautiful weather and scenery was making me think that maybe there is something to this running thing. Yesterday was an off-day (meaning I had no running scheduled), so I was still feeling strong and good. I was also feeling grateful for not having to run in the crazy winds in the northeast, especially after I saw my neighbor's shed had blown completely over. But maybe I was feeling a little too cocky about the whole thing, since today's run definitely kicked my butt!

It started out okay - no kids waiting for the bus (is it a vacation day?) and it was already over 40 degrees when I got up, so I didn't have to wear too many layers. I got through my first two 60-second runs with little exhaustion, and was feeling the burn after that. But when I turned around at 11 minutes left to head home, things really started to go downhill. That's when the wind really became a factor.

It is great to live at the beach, I have to say. Even through the winter, I've been happy with how mild it is (though cold) and I really love being able to head down and look at the water to restore my serenity. But it's windy here on the best of days, so we resign ourselves to picking up everyone's trash as it breezes onto our lawns and repeatedly going outside to right our own garbage cans when they're blown over. And with the high winds of yesterday still blowing through, I felt like I was running through a bowl of jello this morning. At one point, the wind was strong enough to knock me slightly off course.

All complaining aside though, I did it - I finished the run as per my plan, and although I was really wiped out when I got home, it was worth it. I definitely love my post-run shower most of all though.

Now that I've got week 1 of running under my belt, here's a couple of things I've learned (that I haven't already mentioned):

- When you're new to running, you have to consider that you have new hydration needs. I'm a migraine-queen, but had managed to get them under control in the past couple of years so I'm not getting them daily anymore. Until this week - suddenly I had a migraine every day, though I hadn't changed anything else. I needed more water! As soon as this was pointed out to me yesterday and I had a big glass of it, my migraine was instantly reduced, no Excedrin needed! I learned it's also important to drink more water all the time, not just right before/during/after a run - your body needs it!

- You can just lay in your bed celebrating yourself on your days off from running - keep your body moving! Since I already love yoga, I picked that to do on my off-days. For me, it helps stretch out my sore muscles, quiet my mind, and focus better. I'm even going to be taking a yoga class on Thursday nights starting next week, and I think there's a nice balance between yoga and running.

- Layers are key when running in variable climates. My coach told me that I should feel a slight chill, but not cold when I first start. If I'm warm enough, then I'm likely to be too hot when running. So on Monday, when it was in the 20s, I had on sweatpants, a tee shirt, long sleeve tee, and a fleece. But the last two days, it's been warm enough to run in stretch pants, a tee shirt and thin fleece. Makes me wonder what I'll do when it's in the 90s. I guess I'll be running at the crack of dawn - my two least favorite things, running and getting up early.

Now that week 1 is over, I'm interested to see how week 2 will go - an odd schedule next week means I'll be running Sunday/Tuesday/Friday, and ramping up to 90 seconds running and 2 minutes walking. My dad asked me how much "laying down time," but I can say that I haven't needed to lie down during a run yet!

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