Do you stop to visit friends mid-run?

 Gotta run!

 Picture this. You’re running along outdoors, clocking your miles, when you see a friend or neighbor, beckoning you to come near. Or maybe you encounter someone you know on the trail. Do you run on past him or her, or do you stop to visit for a few minutes? 

For me, it depends on several factors. Here’s a dozen possible considerations, on-the-fly. (I'm just being honest here.) Maybe you can think of more questions you’d ask yourself right about then.

  • Am I trying to beat incoming weather?
  • Am I sneaking in a run during a scheduling crunch?
  • Am I meaning to contact this person anyway?
  • Am I just starting my run?
  • Am I overdue for a deadline?
  • Am I pretty sure this person will want an extended conversation?
  • Am I nearly done with this run?
  • Am I struggling with this run for some reason?
  • Am I eager to connect with this person?
  • Am I clocking an important training run?
  • Am I gearing up for a tough race?
  • Am I running to keep up with my training buddies?

 I guess the point is that there’s no hard-and-fast rule that a runner has to stop and chat, when a simple hand-wave can suffice for now. It’s always possible to follow up later with a call or a text or a social-networking message.


If you do stop to socialize, do you pause your activity tracker?

I wish I’d remember to pause and restart my Garmin, every time this happens. (It’s especially tricky in colder weather, when we tend to wear several layers of sleeves, along with mittens or gloves.)


To jabber or to jog? It’s always a judgment call.

Maybe sometimes it’s important to pause and enjoy the journey, greeting a friend along the way. But sometimes we just have to send a wave and keep on going.


Related Items:


Image/s:Composed by this user on online generator

Feel free to follow Runderdog on Twitter, as well as Run Run Run in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois (Runderdog Runs the Midwest) on Facebook. Please visit my Amazon author page as well.


Why do runners crowd the road shoulder?

 Beep-beep! Road runners (Nope, not the feathered kind.) dash and dart along city streets, county roads, rural highways, and other thoroughfares. We pound the pavement, logging training miles for marathons and more. Frequently, that means we endure honking (and other signals) from motorists, as they roar past us. 


For safety reasons, pedestrians (including runners) are supposed to go against traffic.

 Non-runner drivers may wonder why runners often crowd the road shoulder, perhaps even stepping over the line into the actual roadway at times. Quickly, at least 16 reasons come to mind, listed alphabetically.

  1. Agricultural equipment – It’s not unusual for rural runners to encounter balers, mowers, planters, plows, sprayers, and other farm tools along the edges of roads that pass farm fields. Short of vaulting over these, joggers have to step sideways to pass them.
  2. Broken glass – This is a sticky widget for runners. Who wants to plant a sneaker on someone’s discarded liquor bottle or other glass item?
  3. Car parts – Hubcaps, blown tires, and other automotive components clutter roadways. You guessed it: joggers have to steer around them.
  4. Chewing gum – Gross! This is a sticky widget for anyone making tracks along a route.
  5. Dead stuff – Roadkills are buzzkills for runners. ‘Nuff said.
  6. Dog droppings – It’s hard to pick up the pace, if one steps where someone else failed to pick up after pet.
  7. Gravel and slippery sand – Got road construction? Navigating such areas in running shoes requires detours, often into the edge of the actual roadway.
  8. Ice and snow – Winter runners can bank on it. Snowplows don’t usually clear road shoulders. That puts us right in the path of oncoming drivers, as well as their slushy/salty splashes.
  9. Mud – It doesn’t take an unpaved dirt road for a jogger to find mushy mud. And don’t get me started about potholes.
  10. Parked cars – This is extra tricky on curvy roads or when drivers park their cars half-in and half-out of driveways. (If I had a nickel …)
  11. Pets – Runners appreciate it when pet owners control or otherwise contain their pets. Sometimes pet perimeters extend all the way to the edge of the road. So we might veer away from an excited or seemingly agitated animal.
  12. Puddles – Splish-splash, I was taking a run. Wouldn’t you rather step around a puddle than in it? Ask any runner about cranking out miles in soaked sneakers.
  13. Ruts – Unkept road shoulders or areas of soft, soggy ground can trip up runners. That puts us in drivers’ path.
  14. Tall or thick vegetation – Can you say, “Ticks”? If you’ve ever found an embedded tick after walking or running through unmowed grass or woodsy areas, you get the picture.
  15. Toys and bikes – I’m still surprised to see these left along roadways, unless it’s bulk pick-up day.
  16. Trash – Whether dumpsters or piles of discards, these send runners sideways to avoid tripping or other surprises.

 Generally, runners do our best to stay out of harm’s way. Most of us are not deliberately trying to interfere with traffic. But sometimes we have to shift our paths a bit.

 Sure, it’s courteous and safer for runners to go in single file, if we’re running along a road. But we still may step into the street, if the shoulder sports hazards. And, of course, runners are supposed to go against traffic, unlike bicyclists and those in/on other wheeled vehicles. It helps when we can see vehicles coming in our direction. But we need drivers to look out for us as well. (Dare I launch into a diatribe about texting and inattentive driving?)

 Maybe that’s why many runners choose to log their miles on trails, rather than roads, whenever possible. Some even stick to walking/biking paths or even sidewalks.

Related Items:


Image/s: Public domain photo


Feel free to follow Runderdog on Twitter, as well as Run Run Run in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois (Runderdog Runs the Midwest) on Facebook. Please visit my Amazon author page as well.


Can you run with sleep apnea?


It’s not exactly sleepwalking.

 Lots of runners find themselves gasping for air after a speedy sprint. Maybe that’s why so many of our finish-line race photos are so comical, or even scary. But what happens when runners (or other folks) experiencing gasping or a struggle for air while sleeping? Doctors call that sleep apnea, and it’s not uncommon among runners.


“You can’t have sleep apnea. You’re not fat.”

 My primary-care physician actually said that to me, while I was training for another marathon. “If you can run a marathon, you surely don’t have sleep apnea,” he added.

 My Garmin watch/activity tracker consistently showed respiratory and heart-rate fluctuations and awakenings overnight, during hours when I thought I’d been sleeping.


One sleep study later, I was diagnosed.

 Based on that experience, I began researching apnea and running. Here’s what I learned.

 Sleep apnea affects some 10-30 percent of all adults in the US, according to the Sleep Foundation. It’s a sleep disturbance, marked by plentiful nightly episodes of cessation of breathing. These not only affect respiration, but they also increase blood pressure and heart rate, as the body struggles with the lack of oxygen.

 Basically, apnea causes breathing troubles and poor sleep, which domino into all sorts of complications. Apnea sufferers may experience choking or gasping. The lack of quality sleep can cause morning headaches, daytime drowsiness, reduced energy and endurance, slower muscle recovery, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, memory issues, weakened immunities, dramatic snoring, and more. What’s more, apnea increases a person’s risk of heart and brain issues over time.

 Contrary to my own doctor’s pat answer, apnea isn’t restricted to those with excessive weight, although it’s most commonly associated with obesity (and frequently with diabetes). It’s found among those with narrow palates and necks, as well as those with thicker palates and fattier necks. Men are more likely to have it than women, and it’s more often diagnosed in folks aged 50 or older. Not everyone who has apnea actually snores. And it can run in families.

 Once diagnosed, apnea sufferers are generally prescribed CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy, wearing masks with hoses connected to monitored devices.


Where does running come into play?

 Exercise has been found to help those with sleep apnea for multiple reasons:

  • encouraging cardiovascular health
  • gaining lung capacity
  • reducing stress (and stress hormones)
  • increasing endorphins (How we runners love our endorphins!)
  • helping with weight loss
  • reducing abdominal and neck fat (common with obstructive sleep apnea)
  • improving strength and fitness
  • bettering sleep habits

 These benefits combined can help to reduce the severity of sleep apnea effects for lots of people. Of course, sleep apnea experts urge everyone to consult their own physicians before embarking on new or increased exercise programs (including running).


Running can be especially helpful with sleep apnea.

 Pounding out a few miles in the great outdoors, while rhythmically breathing fresh, open air, has been lauded as therapeutic for those with sleep apnea. Actually, running or walking can be helpful.

 The trick is to choose an optimum time of day for running (or workouts), while energy and endurance may be as high as possible. For many runners with sleep apnea, that means lacing on sneakers early in the day.

Additional frequent advice for those with sleep apnea focuses on weight loss, healthy diet, good hydration, non-smoking, side sleeping, and regular exercise.


Related Items:


 Image/s: Creative Commons Licensing, Wikipedia Commons photo


Feel free to follow Runderdog on Twitter, as well as Run Run Run in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois (Runderdog Runs the Midwest) on Facebook. Please visit my Amazon author page as well.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...