I went running this morning for the first time since the poison oak struck. It didn’t go too badly – about 2.5? miles in 40ish minutes. I was running a lot faster than usual, spurred on by my happiness at seeing GOATS near my running track. Every year when the grass is tall and dry in the summer, a goatherd travels around my area with his herd of goats, and they act as live lawnmowers. It is SO SO SO awesome. Every time I passed the goats (once per lap) I got really happy and yelled “HI GOATS!” and they gazed at me with sweet and startled expressions and then resumed munching. I just wanted to keep going and going so I could pass them again.
So I did 9 laps? maybe 10. But a few of them I walked because I was receiving calls from my endocrinologist (to advise me on blood glucose control while I am on steroids) and had to walk while speaking. And I needed the walking breaks, believe me. I started experimenting with a different kind of gait – higher and faster and bouncier, instead of my usual shuffling old-lady jog. It definitely wore me out more quickly – I was a LOT more short of breath than I ever have been, but in a good? way.
I have to rememer this. I like running! It makes me feel good! Even when I am struggling and have various aches and things. I was all endorphined up afterward which was partly due to seeing the goats as well. In addition to the hundreds of adorable creatures, there was the goatherd, whom I did not see, but who was standing at the back door of his little trailer (with solar panels!) on the hill, playing jazz saxophone into the hills. Now what could be more perfect or surreal? The whole thing was just too great for words, and a perfect re-entry into runnerdom.
My friend K (hi nutellamama!) invited me to run a 5k this Sunday but I do not quite feel ready for that. Too many weeks of nonrunning have passed. But I do hope I can find a good one to do in late August or maybe September.
My stupid poison oak really flared up after my run. I think maybe due to heat and sweat. But I had big new welts on my face, neck, back, stomach, hip. I came home and took a hot shower (which I really needed) but that only made the PO worse. Itch itch itch!
The prednisone (which I think I would be insane without) has definitely helped things, but it hasn’t gone away completely and does have periods of worsening. It also is making me sleepless and sort of manic. Last night I stayed up until 3am, working on making two books on Blurb.com. I have been reading a lot about prednisone AND poison oak and I see that this could go on for weeks (please, no). Weirdly, it seems that a common side effect of steroids is weight gain and appetite increase, but I have had the opposite (thank you!). I’ve barely eaten.
So it’s weird. I don’t feel like myself at ALL. I feel manic and jumpy and sleepless and odd. But also a little euphoric and very goat-happy. And glad to be running again.
Did you know that the last time I had poison was 10 years ago, the week that I completed my first and only marathon? My dog had gone for a walk in the woods (with dog walker) and come back to sit on my lap and kiss my face. That was brutal. I took steroids then and my racewalking partner was convinced that it helped me really pump it up for that marathon because I ended up running the last mile, something I’d never done before. So. Who knows. Don’t anybody report me to the sports authorities, please.
July 25, 2009 at 6:13 am
I love the scene you paint – goats and jazz saxophone! Well done on the run too!
I hope this PO thing gets better soon… It sounds nasty!
July 25, 2009 at 11:33 am
I love foodfoodbodybody! That goat story makes me want to carry a camera on my jogs from now on! I made my first 5% lost at Big Weightloss Corp. after 3 long months and got my little star and thought “this is cuz I check her blog every time i have the urge to eat stuff I don’t need!”
Anyway, unsolicited 30 year old advice from my high school coach (he speaks to me in my mind to this day) — DO change up your running stride, but do NOT “bound” which is what we call high bouncy steps. Bounding is bad for your joints and wastes energy in the wrong (vertical) direction. Next time try lowering your arms (it’s harder than you think to keep your elbows at 90 degrees), relaxing your upper body and hands, leaning forward just a little, and swinging your arms more. This is really good for getting up hills, too, since when you focus on your arms, you end up lengthening your strides, too! YOU ARE MY INSPIRATION Foodie McBody!
July 25, 2009 at 11:59 am
Woo hoo hoo nutellamama! YAY on that 5%!! That is fantastic!!!! I am excited for you.
And thanks for that advice re the “bounding.” Which is probably why I was so out of breath. I think what your coach was talking about is “chi running” which I’ve been attempting to learn via Youtube, but it’s all so confusing, you know? Recently my sweet? spouse told me I was the most awkward runner he had ever seen (GEE THANKS) and I have really been trying to change up my gait but honestly I have no idea what the heck I’m doing.
I’m going out to meet M and attempt a lake run this morning. I’ll miss the goats but it will be good to get back to what used to be routine. I’ll get back to a 5k sometime this summer, promise!
July 25, 2009 at 1:13 pm
Omigosh, the poison oak sounds terrible! I should go google some pics right now so that I know what it looks like, that and poison ivy. I hope you recover from it quickly.
Running with goats does sound very surreal indeed.
i’m glad Nutellamama mentioned about the bounding. When I read that you were trying to run “bouncier” warning bells went off in my head. I’m hardly a running expert but from what I’ve read/heard you want to avoid vertical movement as much as possible. I think it’s hard to learn Chi Running from You Tube lol but I did see a video for Newton shoes that was pretty helpful, for me at least. I’ve only read a little of the ChiRunning book and I think you’d like it. I’d like to see the DVD too.
July 26, 2009 at 7:07 pm
It’s so great when a run is surreal like that. You feel like you are in a movie or a music video! What fun.
Glad to hear you’re back to your running and I’m so sorry to hear about your poison oak. That just has to be miserable! And congrats on your great weight loss week too. You must be doing something very right. Maybe after all you’ve been through, your body really needed the brownies and mac and cheese! I hope you are back to your old un-itchy self soon.