Any runners here?

Discussion in 'Healthful Living / Natural Treatments' started by SuZir, May 16, 2012.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I have always run from my troubles. Very literally. Running is my most important stress handling method and I would have gone totally crazy till now without it. Most of my problems do seem much more manageable after good 10 mile run and without running I tend to turn grumpy sooner or later.

    I have always done some running. When I was young, I did track and field. My best sport was high jump but I also did well also in other jumps and sprints. While at college I was too busy to do any serious sports and just went to gym and did this or that sport a little and had an active lifestyle to keep me in shape. After difficult child was born I hit the hard times. He was colicky for the long time and after that he fell seriously ill and was hospitalised for some time and after those weeks in hospital his recovery still took all I had. So when he turned a year old, I noticed that after year of not sleeping and living with coffee, candy, snacks and wolfing down junk food in the hurry after all day eating nothing had left me with almost 30 pounds that were not mine. So I put difficult child to the strollers and started running, mostly on trails and dirt roads so maybe it was all that bumpy ride that messed my difficult child's head ;) Anyway, half a year later I was back to my original weight and fit again. And in love with long distance running.

    After easy child was born I often waited at home for husband to come from work with my running gear on. And in the moment he was in the house, I was out and leaving him to deal with our two little monsters. I also did run with boys. easy child in strollers and difficult child riding his bike. When they got older, I found myself sitting never ending hours drinking coffee and watching difficult child in practises for all his sports. I soon noticed that sitting there and being seen tended to lead someone coming up with something I could do. And while I did my fair share of volunteer work and fund-raising I wasn't that glutton for punishment. So I quickly understood the wisdom on the age-old military rule 'if they are not seeing you, they are much less likely to come up with ideas to make you do something.' So I started to take my running shoes with me and went to run while difficult child was in practises. It also made it much nicer because when difficult child was acting up in practises I didn't have to endure other parents looking at me with The Look, that told 'why aren't you doing something for that.' And I didn't have to hear the mutters about how they wouldn't let their sons to behave like that and how all we should really do is to give him few spankings that would make him unable to sit for a week. (Yeah, we tried also that, even though it is illegal here, and you can probably all guess how well it worked out...) The coaches were very clear that discipline during the team functions was on them, they didn't want parents to intervene. Of course we talked about difficult child's discipline problems with them and gave them pointers in what kind of things tend to work and what not, but while practises were going on, I wasn't to intervene. So not being there just saved me from having to bear other parents. So I run.

    I have found running excellent stress relief and it really releases endorphins and makes me feel awesome. It also keeps me fit and helps me sleep well. If for some reason I can't run in few weeks I start to notice it in my quality of life. Both in feeling more stressed and not sleeping that well and feeling myself more tired. My current goal is to take away one more minute from my time in half marathon and get it under 1h45min. But that of course is not the main point in this. The main point is the feeling you get, when you wake up early in the morning before the work, take the dogs with you and run that 10 miles in the trails and just feel the nature (and those endorphins running on you.) The whole day is likely to feel much better after that.
  2. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    Wow!! I'm so impressed that you run 10 miles every day!! I agree that running is an excellent way to stay in shape, a great way to relieve stress, just feel good. Although I've never been as fit as you are, running used to be my very favorite thing to do too. I used to only run half of what you run, just 5 miles/day. However, running still worked it's magic for me. Then stuff happened, I injured myself, achilles tendonitis, right foot. It took months before I was able to run again. About a year (?) I've lost track of time, lol...) after that, I fractured my right ankle. Once I recovered, I began jogging again, slowly building up to running again. Then last summer we had to move out of state. We no longer had health insurance and because of the athritis, I had problems with my right foot. I wanted to run, but was afraid that if I injured myself, it could cost us a fortune in out of pocket medical bills. We moved out of that apartment three months later and into another one that had an exercise room. I started walking, then slowly jogging on the treadmill. That is, until we had to move again...

    Within the past year, I have lived in three states and have moved four times. I was exhausted, missed "home," stressed to the max... (Too much "garbage" happening all at once.) I wasn't exercising and gained weight. In March I started using the exercise room at this apartment complex. I've been going faithfully, using the elliptical at least 4-5 days/week. I'm beginning to feel much better, have taken off a few pounds, and feel stronger. My goal is to get back to the point where I can jog again. The arthritis in my right foot bothers me but I know it's something I'll always have to deal with. I'm determined to get back into jogging. I doubt I'll ever really be able to run again but I want to at least be able to jog... There is just something about running/jogging, being alone, outside, fresh air, that seems to put everything negative that happens in life into perspective, makes me feel like I can get through anything, accomplish whatever it is I want to achieve... I'm glad running does this for you too! SFR
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi. Great read, thanks. I have run off and on, not continuously and not as committed as you, but I am aware of how much better I feel when I do. Those endorphin's kicking in is an excellent initiative too. I recall a woman I met over 30 years ago when I lived in Connecticut who had 2 kids, took fertility pills and then had 5 or 6 more. She was famous in the town I lived in. She told me when the kids were all babies, one day she literally ran out of the house to get away from the children and just kept running. Eventually she was on the cover of a running magazine. That's how she coped with all those kids.

    I walk and hike a lot now, often about 4 miles a day. As you mentioned if I don't it impacts sleep, mood, attitude, everything. You found something that really helps you, that's great. Good job!
  4. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    SFR, if your foot is giving you too much trouble and making it impossible to enjoy jogging, and if you can stomach some extra embarrassment, maybe you should google nordic walking. It looks silly, but it makes walking a much more effective exercise and gives almost those same endorphins highs than jogging and running. And it is much easier for your feet. Deep water running is also great exercise and very friendly to the joints but at least I find it boring. But I know many who enjoy it more than any other exercise and it has been very popular here for a long time, so it can't be that bad.
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I've never been a runner but I'm a big fan of exercising. It's how I deal with my stress!
  6. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    Like you, I don't think I would be able to get into deep water running. Others have suggested it, I thought about trying it, but know I would probably never stick with it. I never heard of nordic walking before. I'm definitely going to look into it. Regular walking doesn't give me the same sort of "high" that jogging/running does, but maybe this will work - Worth a try, especially if it'll be easier on my foot. When I injured myself, I got lots of good tips on how to relieve stress without running, but honestly, nothing worked the way running does. I'm totally hooked on aerobics!

    Thanks for the tip!! I greatly appreciate it!! SFR
  7. Hi. Another runner here. I started running about 13 years ago, did not run through my pregnancies but did run with jogging strollers when kids were babies and toddlers. I took them to a track with me as they got older and too big for a stroller. I would set them in the middle of the track while I ran. I was not always able to get a full run in but I refused to give up running due to childcare restraints.

    Running helps me mentally as much as physically. I love that runner's high. Whenever I have been sidelined due to injury or illness I miss running so much.
    I suffered from plantar fasciitis two years ago and had to adjust my training. I only run two days a week now (five miles) but do weights, core work and other forms of aerobic exercise on my non-run days. That has worked for me.
    Lasted edited by : May 21, 2012
  8. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    SFR, when looking for nordic walking don't get spooked by all those older people plodding on dragging the poles with them you see in some videos. While nordic walking is excellent exercise for people in different age groups and with different fitness levels and especially for people who have back and neck stiffness etc, the endorphins you get out of it appear only when done with some stamina. But it is used by many very serious and high level endurance sport athletes as their recovery workout instead of jogging because it is easier to the joints and gives the same level of exercise as slower running does for them (of course the speed they do walk is about the same as some joggers jog...) You can find many introduction videos from Youtube.

    I live in the climate there running outside is not so fun around the year and I find running in the gym boring. So at the winter I do a lot of cross-country skiing and run less and those few weeks in fall and spring when neither running or cross-country skiing really works out, I either bore myself in the running mill at the gym or with deep water running. Both just as boring to me. But I do know many like both of those as well.
  9. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I loved running. I can't right now because I am too heavy but it is a huge goal of mine. I now walk about 4-7 miles/week and I am trying to get that up to 12-15 by the end of June.
  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I too love running. For quite a while it was my go-to activity. I used to run 5K every morning before work, and try to fit in at least 5K on weekends as well.

    My doctors recently diagnosed osteoarthritis in my feet, ankles, knees and hips, and told me that I must stop running immediately or I would increase the speed of the degenerative changes, so I have given it up. To get the same intensity of exercise and the endorphins, I find that HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) works very well. It's a workout based on circuit training intervals that combine strength training and cardio with no resting between sets. A 35-min HIIT workout kicks my behind, but I feel great for the rest of the day.

    For those of you who can't run anymore for various reasons, I highly recommend it.
  11. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I'm sorry that you had to give up running. I was officially diagnosed three years ago with premature degenerative arthritis, and even though mentally I want to run again, miss it so much, physically I'm beginning to realize this is no longer possible. I was planning on checking out nordic walking as Suzir has suggested, got side-tracked with issues (kids, financial, etc..) and forgot about it until this morning. Now I'm going to not only look into nordic walking but look into HIIT too. Thanks. Do you do this on your own or in a gym? I found out there is a boot camp near this apartment and when the house sells (hopefully soon, should be getting a signed P & S this week), I want to look into this too. I know not being able to run is a very minor thing given everything that happens in life, but it's a really tough thing for me to give up. Every time I see a runner go by, I just want to get out my running shoes and go... SFR
  12. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    SFR, I do the HIIT training at home. I have a few DVDs, and I rotate them in 4 to 6 week cycles.

    Here is the one I just finished:

    Here is the one I'm working through now. I'm on week 2 of a 4-week cycle:

    I also have a couple of cardio DVDs which I alternate in. When I finish a HIIT cycle, I do a week or two of the cardio to let my body recover before I plunge in again. Here are my 2 favourites at the moment:

    All 4 of these DVDs came as a set at Costco for about $15.
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You might want to clarify with the doctor that the high-intensity programs aren't also a problem...
    Depending on the exact nature of the current damage, anything that has "impact" or "weight-bearing stress" CAN be a problem. For some people, the only safe option is water-based exercise (swimming, or water aerobics).
  14. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    IC, I did check with my docs before I started the HIIT program. It's high-intensity, not high-impact for the most part. And for the few high-impact moves, there are lower-impact alternatives.

    Actually, before I retooled my fitness program I worked with my docs to find out everything I could keep doing, everything I had to change and everything I had to stop immediately. Most of my fitness activities passed muster, thank goodness, but running was out mainly because since my feet, ankles, knees AND hips are compromised, any gait adjustments I can make to compensate for one area will affect others. Sigh...

    I can still dance though. I would have been crushed if I had to give that up. Jazz and tap are probably out, but ballroom is much more forgiving so I can keep going for a while yet.
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The reason I bring it up is... when one of my relatives went in for knee replacement, they didn't want to give her one because "she was too young" - too many of their patients were wearing the knee out in 5 years. Running, heavy-duty gardening (hand-spading, for example), various sports, etc. all had a major impact.

    The irony? By the time she needed her last surgery, they almost didn't give it to her because "she was too old"... she only got that one because she had been a "star patient" and they had a complete complex history (and lots of medical stories to tell).
  16. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    IC, I appreciate the information. And also the info about potential aggro if and when a knee or hip replacement is in the cards.

    My docs caught this right at the beginning. The degenerative changes are early-stage and mild. However, I am mindful that I can accelerate the pace of the changes if I'm not careful, hence giving up running. I guess my plan is to hold the osteoarthritis at bay for as long as I can, and then confront the spectre of joint replacements as needed once I age into the process. At 43 I know they won't even look at me, so I need to keep everything in working order for another 15 years or so...
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Let's see... that relative of mine would have been about... 45ish for that first surgery they said she was "too young" for...
    But - kuddos to you for catching it early, and doing whatever you can to extend the life of the original equipment. Many people do NOT, and pay a big price.