Part of my April goals include starting C25K again with the ultimate goal of getting prepared to start a half marathon training plan. I was running fairly regularly about 6 months ago when I got hurt. The last time I was running I pushed myself so hard without listening to my own common sense, let alone to the experts in various magazines and books. I read an article that talked about running at the pace you are at, not at the pace where you want to be. Guess what? That advice didn’t seem to phase me at all and even though my pace was more at a 15-16 minute mile (or even slower) I kept pushing to hit 12 minute miles or less. I was a newbie, I had no business thinking that a 12 minute mile was doable. I thought pushing that hard was a good idea and that it would get me to my goals faster. Always in a hurry…until I got hurt and was sidelined!!
So now that I’m getting back into a running habit I’m definitely nervous about doing things the wrong way. I’m worried that I will re-aggravate an injury that isn’t even completely healed and still causes me pain from time to time. For my own peace of mind I had to do some research and figure out what I was going to do to head off any possible problems. I may still get hurt or things might not go my way but in the end I will know that I did everything I needed to do to stay safe.
Issue #1 – Heat
I live in an area where the summer temperatures get up to around 115 degrees. It’s basically too hot to go from your house to your car to your destination and back. Air conditioning is your best friend in the summer. My training is going to be mostly outdoors this time around. Treadmill running not only becomes boring but it’s not really indicative of outdoor race running.
I’m going to plan on doing my runs as early in the day as possible or in the evenings when the sun is going down. I’m also going to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! I need to look into Nuun. I also hope that starting my training plan earlier in the year than I originally planned will help. I’m getting going about a month early with C25k so that should make things better. I do have access to a work gym at city hall should the weather be unbearable.
Issue #2 – Being too Slow
Ok, so this is just a “problem” in my own head. I feel like I should go out there and sprint my workouts and I just need to get over that notion.
Remind myself that this is my journey and no one else’s. I will go at my own pace and work up to the pace where I want to be. The fear of injury should keep me from pushing too hard…hopefully. I’m also going to set my workout app to beep at me if my pace becomes too fast. I’d love to get a Garmin to help me with that but for now I’ll use Map My Run (I’m boycotting Nike…hehehe).
Issue #3 – Places to Run
I’m at a loss for finding places to run. I live smack dab in the middle of my city. We do have the wine country close and there are tons of parks but I’d love to walk out of my front door and just go. This is probably not going to be the best option for me though. Many running areas are further from my house.
I’m planning on meeting up with a local running group. Freakin’ scary as hell!! I’m so self conscious about meeting up with others that already run and appearing inadequate (see problem #2). Again, this is all in my own head and no one else probably cares so I’m just going to have to get over it. There is a group on FB that has beginner group that start every few months. I’m going to join up with one of those. I’m also going to check Map My Run to see if I can find running routes others around here use.
Issue #4 – Planes, trains and automobiles (and possible gropers)
Since I’ll be running outside I’m nervous about getting hit by a car or random skateboarder. I’ve also heard some stories recently about joggers being physically assaulted right by my house. I live in a very safe area, mind you, but there are assholes everywhere. I’m a little nervous for my safety.
Always make sure someone knows where I’ll be and when I plan on being back. Try to run with others (running group) as often as possible and when alone stay on well traveled paths. Try to run during the daylight hours when possible and stay aware of my surroundings. I also need to curb the headphone usage so I can hear things around me.
Issue #5 – Passing Out, Needing a Toilet or Getting Injured Too Far from Home
This one is really freaky and I have issues! What if I pass out or roll my ankle and can’t get home? Also, what if I get runners trots?! I have a friend that I worked with who passed out on her run. She hit the pavement and had a complete black out. She doesn’t even know how long she was actually out. I’m hoping this is like the adage “lighting doesn’t strike twice in the same place”! Since I already know someone that passed out on a run it should never happen to me, right? PS: I’m pretty sure she did NOT have runner’s trots at the same time of her black out so there’s that silver lining.
Keep identification and emergency contacts on me at all times. Keep my phone with me so that I can call for help/someone to pick me up. If I’m feeling less than stellar on a run, I’ll walk or have a seat to regain my bearings. I should probably avoid fiber, coffee and other triggers before my long runs too. Do out and back runs so I’m not too far from home at any given time on shorter runs.
Issue #6 – Being Injured
I do not want to get into a rhythm and then deal with an injury. This gives me the most anxiety out of all the issues listed.
Slow and steady! I’m going to move through each of my training programs day by day, week by week. I’m not going to skip days or weeks because I think I’m ahead of the schedule. I’m going to move slower than I think I should. I’m also going to incorporate cross training. I didn’t do any of that previously. I just ran! Strength training, stretching, foam rolling and taking care of myself in general are a must and I will do what I need to do to stay healthy. I’m also going to listen when my body says it’s had enough and I’m not going to “work through the pain”.
Do you run? What are your safety tips?
Gratitude Journal: I’m grateful that I’ve never had an on the run injury or mishap that I couldn’t recover from. I’ve always been able to make it back to my starting point, probably because most of my previous running was treadmill running. Any who, getting hurt on a run or crapping your pants is scary as hell and could also be embarrassing. Yikes!