Getting Started Again
It has been many years since I have run regularly. It feels like I have to learn to ride a bike all over again, my body is out of shape but it remembers the motion. I am going to document the process of getting back on my feet here in these run log posts.
So far over the last two months I have run every 8-10 days. I started with short, easy paced runs- less than 20 minutes, slower than 7 min/mile. But at that intensity I found I was becoming too fatigued and losing my running form.
Instead of pushing myself to try and match the speed I used to run at when I was in better shape, I have changed my plan.
Now when I run, I pace myself to around a 7 minute mile but take a thirty second walking break every 1-2 minutes. I stay mindful of how I am feeling. Is my form steady and smooth, is there any pain or discomfort? The length of my run is determined by my energy. If I feel good and want to go further I’ll go out on my route and turn back later. If I am tired and my form is too shaky I’ll cut it short and turn around sooner. I haven’t run over thirty minutes straight with ease yet but I should get there before June.
My biggest problem now is the cold. The winter has finally come and is making up for lost time. My run this morning was frantic and bitter cold. Even after I warmed up, lifted weights until I was sweating, and bundled up with sweat pants and a sweat shirt, as soon as I got outside my feet got so cold they hurt and my toes went numb.
After five minutes out my feet weren’t warming up and only getting worse, I turned around and headed in.
I don’t want to stop wearing my Vibram Five Fingers but I can’t torture myself all winter. I have worn them in the past when the temperature was around 30-40°F and my feet had gotten wet from the morning dew. I warmed up after a while, maybe twenty minutes of cold feet. Running faster and breathing heavier was all I needed.
This morning it was just below 20°F and dry, so I thought I would be fine (famous last words). As I stepped outside I knew I was in trouble. The wind immediately pulled away most of the heat I had built up after working out and within a minute or two my feet had turned into wooden stumps.
The solutions which come to mind are as follows.
I could get socks which fit with my Five Finger shoes. I am fairly sure my feet will still be cold.
Next, I could time my workout days to the warmer days and force myself to run whenever it is warm enough.
Next, I could stop running for the winter but then it would be necessary to hand in my man card and so this option is disqualified.
Last good idea, learn the Wim Hof Method and sing songs in dutch while I run.
If I am being honest, I do not like wearing socks with my Five Finger shoes. Idea number two is a no brainer, I was going to do that no matter what else I do. Idea three is right out and shall not be mentioned again. Idea four I was considering doing before and now I have a purpose for learning the Wim Hof Method.
I plan to post these logs every two weeks and with some determination I will have more progress to report next time.
Until then, on your mark, BANG!