Hey PDB readers. Part of my FATOBERFEST strategy is to run 12-15 miles a week. I’m excited about the fall, because the dropping temps mean I run faster (by faster, I mean slightly faster than how long it takes a supercentarian married couple to make love). If you’ve ever thought about taking up running, this post offers a frank observation about the weird things your body will do when you start running. This post originally appeared on my wife’s site, Simply Healthy Mama.
Running is not for the timid or the thin-skinned, especially if you’re a big boy like me. Running will make your body do things you never thought–nor wished–it could do. Running will make you healthier though, and will improve fitness and stamina. When you’re starting out, you will probably experience some pain. As a larger runner, there can be more pressure on certain parts of your body, which does result in aches. Some problems should improve the more you run, but other pains may be a sign that something is wrong. If you’re experiencing regular pain in your joints, you may need to consider visiting a local doctor to check for tendonitis or any other injuries that you might have caused whilst running. Although running is important for health, be sure to look out for yourself and stop if you notice any consistent pain or aches. That could be a sign of something worse.
So if you’re thinking about getting started on a running program, here’s an uncensored list of problems you will face as you start:
- The jiggles. No matter how form-fitting your running gear is, something is going to jiggle. It may be your thighs. It could be your butt. Well-endowed ladies, it will be “the girls” (Simply Healthy Mama can hook you up with some great sports bras). For me, it’s my gut. That’s where all my extra weight congregates. And boy, does it rock ‘n’ roll when I’m running. You’ll get used to it. And after awhile, you’ll notice there’s less junk in your trunk and less roll in your stroll.
- Sweat. If I wrung my shirt out after a typical run in the winter, I could fill a blue whale’s aquarium. In the summer, I could flood the Pacific Ocean. A few words of advice: pre-treat, soak and wash your running clothes (twice) in hot water, and use lots of fabric softener. Otherwise, they’ll stand up on their own and smack your mama.
- “Chub rub”. This is My wife’s term for chaffing. You don’t notice it until you stop. And then it’s a fire down below. And we’re not talking about the flames of passion. The best $10 you will spend is on a tube of Body Glide. Yeah, I know. It sounds like something you’d find at an adult novelty store. But it’s worth every penny.
- The glow. After a run, I look like Poe’s inspiration for “Masque of the Red Death”. I’m sure people who pass me think my head is going to explode.
- Breathing. You can’t. Especially in the summer, when the humidity makes you feel like you’re breathing peanut butter.
- Soreness. Shins, knees, feet, legs, willpower.
- Worn shoes. Experts say you should be able to get about 500 miles out of a pair of mens running shoes. The experts aren’t 6’2? and 267 lbs. I managed to get about 185 miles out of my first pair. I squeezed around 315 out of my second pair. I jogged 331 miles on pair number three. More weight equals more stress on your shoes. Be prepared to shell out the duckets for good running shoes more often than the beanpole who passes you everyday that you secretly want to strangle. If you’re looking for some new running shoes to give you the best running performance possible, then you may want to look at somewhere like Vessi footwear as they have a tremendous selection of running shoes that could be perfect for your feet.
- Gas. I constantly get the burps and the farts when I run. You will have to learn to drop your shame off at the front door when you leave. There’s little room for politeness when you’re pounding the pavement. Just make a comment about hearing a barking spider and move on.
- Moody bowels and bladder. This happens to all runners. Sometimes nature calls. The difference between most runners and me is simple: they chowed down on pasta the night before, whereas I scarfed down too many hot dogs. Take it from me–do not eat hot dogs the night before a run. Otherwise, you’ll be praying for a magnolia tree to magically appear in a neighbor’s yard.
- Possible weight loss. I haven’t lost any weight from running (FATOBERFEST will change that). Nutrition is the reason why. But I haven’t gained weight, either. Some of you may drop a few pounds, others may lose an entire person.
- Resting heart rate. Before I started running, my resting pulse was around 90. Now it’s around 70. That means my ticker is stronger and more efficient.
- More energy. While I still cherish my lazy times, I do have more energy throughout the day.
- Increased aerobic fitness. When I first started running, I could barely do a 13 minute mile. Now I can do a 9 minute mile (just don’t expect me to go any further at that pace). I’ve completed a half marathon, which I hope to never do again.
- Simply Healthy Mama and I have something we enjoy doing together. We’ve done several 5Ks and a half marathon together. And this is something we’ll be able to do together for the rest of our lives as long as these ol’ bodies last. And now that we’re running, they should last a lot longer.
[photo credits: followthefatman.blogspot.com & thedrawplay.com]
Aaron Saufley is a husband and dad who happens to moonlight as a hospice chaplain and preacher. He thinks Netflix is the greatest human invention next to pizza. He loves hanging out with his family, and when he has the time he also enjoys writing, a good cigar, craft root beer, smoking a mean rack of baby backs, movies, and trying not to die while running. Follow Aaron on twitter.