Sunday, June 6, 2010

What Gets Me High!

While visiting SF a few years ago, I ran from the Presidio,
across the Golden Gate Bridge and back. What a joy!

I’m a runner. Running clears my brain, keeps me fit, makes me high; and it makes me feel accomplished.

I don't run on a treadmill; I run outside in the fresh air. I'm particular about where I run, what I wear, what I listen to, in what temperature...etc. While training for a marathon twelve years ago, I hit my personal best at 13 miles but had to stop running for six months because of an injury.

I discovered the high of running when I lived in the Rocky Mountains. I had terrible cabin fever - it snowed 9 months a year - so, to relieve my angst, I began running on an indoor running track. By adding a lap or two each run, I got up to 10 miles (using a clicker to count my laps – 10 miles=180 laps).

During my years of running I’ve discovered what works and what doesn’t and I’ll share this information with you in this post and the four that follow. Each person finds their own best way to do things, but these suggestions will get you started. If you are already a runner they may make it more fun for you.Or maybe you have some suggestions for me!

The topics that will be covered:

Part 1 (This post)

* Temperature
* Food
* Water
* Stretching
* Where to Run
* Terrain

Part 2

* Good Days/Bad Days
* Safety
* Music
* Distance
* Speed
* Traffic
* Alone or With other People

Part 3

* What to Wear
* Essential Accoutrements

Part 4

* Injuries
* Stretches
* Weight Training

Part 5

* Music my running secret!
* Sing-a-long

Temperature: My deal running temperature: 45 - 55 degrees. Tolerable: 35 - 45 and 55 - 65. I’m impressed with people who enjoy running in temps over 70 degrees. I’d love to know their secret.

I’ve run in rain, sleet, snow, and fog (all in one day); it was unpleasant to say the least. The best alternative run in bad weather is on an indoor track. (If you like to run on a treadmill, more power to you. I get too bored and hot.)

Food: Eat breakfast before running in the morning. Fuel = a better run.

Water: Bring water on hot days or long runs.

Stretching: I stretch after running and often in the middle of a run at a stop light while waiting for the walk sign. (More about stretches in a later post.)

Where to run: I run where people can see me. Call me paranoid, but isolated running scares me – I read too many news stories about weirdos. Why take a chance.

Terrain: I run on sidewalks. I’ve run steep hills; they're good for your cardio, but I think the best runs have some flat stretches and some hills. To get used to hills, run until it doesn’t feel good. Then walk until you're not winded. Run again and repeat. Eventually you’ll be able to run hills easily. Be careful, my injuries have occurred from running downhill. It’s hard on your knees.

My favorite running surface is asphalt paths and, at least where I live, they are more and more of these available.

I run trails, but only with other people. Again, fear of weirdos.

I’ve a run on tracks but, I prefer to go somewhere. My favorite run is when my husband drops me a distance from my destination (say 5 miles from the gym where he works out).

Continued in the next post...