A Brief Break from Running

It’s no secret my blood sugars have been very low this week.  (Not just typical low but low enough I have not felt compelled to run).

I’m not injured (but thank you for everyone that asked).  I just made the executive decision not to run outdoors because if my blood sugar gets to low, do I really want to end up on the side of the road?  No, no I don’t.  Plus, we must remember our running fitness is a collection of workouts, not an individual run (good or bad). 

That being said, I’ve been doing some easy cross training and have been fine.  When my blood sugars get low like they were, I know I just need to take it easy…stay away from certain foods that spike and lower my blood sugar at high rates and make it through.  Also, this is not listening to my body…this is called not being stupid.

I have preferred to stay in one spot for my workouts (ie: the gym) so that if I start feeling sick or weak, I can easily stop with plenty of people around.  (Which knock on wood hasn’t).  It’s always better safe then sorry in this case…could I run through, have some okay runs and come out the other side with a normal blood content…I could but it only takes one time (one stupid mistake) to pass out on the side of the road and get hit by a car.  (was that morbid?)

Segwaying into my winter training post.  I don’t know what I’m going to do.  I really haven’t decided if I want to train through a winter in Oswego, NY (if you google it, you will see it is one of the top 10 snowiest cities in the country).  Running in 0-20 degree weather (without the wind-chill), plus a couple feet of snow doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest.

But then again, neither does running 80 miles on a treadmill weekly. As desperate as I am to redeem myself from my cyst injury, I’m not sure now is the time and I’m 100% fine with that.  Tentively, my plan is to run an hour on the treadmill daily (will there be days I don’t?  Sure.  Will there be days it’s nice enough to go outside?  Sure.) and take it from there.

I am running the Shamrock half marathon (VA Beach) March 17th

I am running the Nike Woman’s half (DC) April 28th

Past that I don’t quite know.  I’m very very very tempted to run the Pittsburgh half (May 3rd?). 

But really, everything is always tentative because who knows about injuries…ect.  I’ll probably probe around looking for 5ks, ect in the North to keep me busy on weekends but I’m not going to go into serious 90 mile training (I doubt) until March again.

Questions for you:

1.       What are you doing with winter workouts?

2.       Do you like the winter? Snow?  Negative temperatures? 

If I didn’t run outdoors (and enjoyed skiing), I might enjoy the North.  Actually scratch that, nothing about being cold appeals to me.

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  1. First off, I understand your pains of Oswego weather! I’m from outside of Buffalo and the weather is just as nasty here 🙁
    Also, congrats on realizing your body’s needs. I always have trouble accepting I need to take it easy or maybe even skip workouts because my body is telling me to.
    My plans for the winter are to take it as it comes. If it’s nice out, I’ll run outside. Otherwise, treadmills, cross training and weights it is! I really want to try to train for a half but I’m not sure if I’m ready for it. Decisions ahh!

    1. You could do it! How about the Flower City half in Rochester? That gives plenty of time and it’s a really scenic and pretty course! 🙂 (or I believe there is a Buffalo half marathon in May too!)

      1. Yeah I’ve looked into both of those marathons and I’m not sure which I’d prefer more. The Buffalo one would give me about another 3 weeks to train. It’s just so scary deciding to do it and signing up!

      2. (Are you doing the half or full?). From what I’ve heard Buffalo is much flatter. I’ve done Flower City and it’s one of the more hilly half marathons I’ve done but downtown Rochester is pretty and highland park is pretty.

      3. I plan on just doing the half! Hmm maybe I should stick to Buffalo then. Hills aren’t one of my favorite things when running.
        Have you done the Rochester Marathon in September? I did the relay for it and I’m assuming it must be a different course because my whole 8 mile leg was canalside. So. Incredibly. Boring.

  2. This probably sounds dumb but how do you check your blood sugar levels? I have started tracking all sorts of random numbers because of this post http://www.wasatchandbeyond.com/2013/01/2012-review-jake.html (btw you should check it out, I think you’d like it/him)…maybe I will add blood sugar level to my collection of data:)

    My heart rate in the morning has really been a good indicator of how ‘recovered’ my body is for that days workout. I love that you point out training is a COLLECTION of workouts – sometimes hard to remember when you are stubborn, but important!

    Winters flat out SUCK! I like to pretend I am hardcore and running in the single digits is ‘fun’… SoOverIt :)Have a good weekend lady.

    1. I actually get it all done at the doctors. I’ll def be checking that out-thanks!

      I hate winter. I’m not a winter person and I fully admit that LOL.

  3. I’m glad you are listening to your body! I think I am going to treadmill today to because since running yesterday I’ve had a wicked headache (PS – ever happen to you???) I hate winter, point blank, there is honestly nothing I enjoy about it. I like sunshine and warmth!

    1. I do get headaches but I don’t generally run through them because for me personally it means I don’t have enough sugar in my brain. I am the exact same way about winter…I just hate being cold.

  4. I think you should totally come down to Pittsburgh and run the half. Just my thoughts. 🙂
    I give you a lot of credit for living/potentially training in such a snowy place like that! I am such a complete wimp with the cold. It’s kind of pathetic. One of my friends mentioned that she wanted to go running in the park this weekend because it’s supposed to get up in the 50s here. I immediately told her that’s still too cold for me. 😉

  5. I think you’re being really smart for staying inside (duh). You know your body better than anyone else and it’s better to be safe that sorry. It’s definitely a little *REALLY* scary to think that you could end up on the side of the road. I’d take cross training and the dreadmill over that too.
    You know my feelings on running outdoors lol but I don’t know if I could do it for an extended period of time. Luckily, our cold streak lasted about a week, not 4 months. The training will wait and you took two months off for your cyst without it really compromising your speed and fitness levels, so I’m sure that if you train smartly (which I know you will), you’ll come back stronger than ever. You always do!

  6. I’m okay with the winter and snow as long as there is enough to go snowmobiling. And I would really prefer that it wouldn’t affect road conditions because driving is no fun in poor ones.

    Winter workouts for me are mainly in a gym (when I get there) but I do walk Bo (my dog) occasionally out in the winter weather.

  7. Way to play it safe girl! No need to risk injury (or extreme treadmill boredom for that matter! LOL) at this point in the season! Congrats on running the nike womens half in DC…one of my dream races…you are gonna rock that tiffany necklace girl! So much better than a medal 🙂

  8. Your plan looks very similar to mine – my ankle has improved, but with the ice, snow and generally shitty weather coming to NE England, I can’t afford to take any risks. Obviously it’s nowhere near the severity of your blood sugar problems, but twisting my ankle again would…not be good. So I’ll have to be treadmilling I suspect, if I can force myself to do it, and just get outside whenever possible. I’m really crap about running on the TM though – I absolutely hate it. I also pick up injuires running on it for more than an hour too, so even if my mind doesn’t burn out my body does.

    I think you’re being totally sensible though, and not morbid at all. You’ll dominate those races no matter what.

  9. You are being super smart with this . I know my dad is the same way with his blood sugars and sometimes no matter what he does it just doesn’t feel good to him. Got to listen to your body and find what works for you.

  10. Good luck Hollie, I can’t imagine having to worry about that kind of stuff. Is it weird that when I read top 10 snowiest cities I put Oswego on my list of possible places to live in the future??

    1. You ski though! LOL. Not weird at all. Syracuse might be number one (it has been before) and there are a ton of great skiing places. I wish I liked skiing when I went to college in Potsdam since Lake Placid is really close and obviously a premier and Olympic site.

  11. Exciting news on the race front! I am all too familiar with upstate winters–you know you live in CNY when running in 25 degrees is warm, lol.

  12. If you run that Pittsburgh half, please let me know! I’d love to meet up since you’ll be in my city haha…and I’m running it, too, but I also know I’ll never keep up with you…love to grab some food and coffee though 🙂

  13. Pittsburgh is the 5th! .. ps just got an email that it’s supposed to sell out in the next few weeks! But definitely don’t risk it if it would hurt the progress of the injury!!

  14. you could def mix cross training and running and still be in good shape for your halfs – maybe not PR shape but you saw how much fitness and strength you maintained through injury so you never know!! We’re sort of in the same boat right now – for me I just want to preserve as much running fitness as possible, increase my strength and aerobic fitness and then train hard for running come spring 🙂

    1. You are failing proper blogging protocol. You are supposed to comment life is but a bucket of butterflies and sunshine, great for listening to your body and you can PR on running 1 mile a week in a half marathon…But alas we are in the same boat because that is exactly what I want to do.

      June 2nd there is a half marathon in VA called Run for the Dream. It would be a fun road trip..just saying. 😉

      1. i think i smell what you’re steppin in… i could definitely get down with a half marathon in june 🙂

  15. Last winter I handled outdoor runs just fine (it’s snowy and bitter cold in WI too). This year I’ve become a baby and can’t do it. This week I decided to go from 26.2 training this spring and do the 13.1 instead. I really want to push the pace and smash my PR and keep lifting. My workouts are about to drastically change to include sprints, tempos & hill runs.

    CAN’T WAIT !!

  16. I think you’re smart for staying inside. I HATE the cold, but I have a half in Feb so I have to be used to the temps. BOO BARF!

  17. I’m cool with the cold (pun unintended). I’ve been running in Anchorage (Alaska) this winter and it’s been pretty awesome! We’ve had a low snow year, though, which had certainly made things easier. I’m such a sweaty beast that usually within ten minutes I’m roasting regardless of what temperature it is. I despise warm weather for running.

  18. 😕 Sorry to hear about the blood sugar issues, girl. I’m not diabetic, but my levels are on the lower end of normal so I sometimes struggle with some nasty side effects. Smart of you to keep the workouts inside, and I have to commend you for being determined enough to keep on working out… when I start feeling the effects of low sugar, I basically get too scared to do anything. As for the cold? I hate it… which makes it really inconvenient considering I live in the land of ice and snow.

  19. I don’t mind the cold but I really REALLY HATE the snow. I live in Toronto so sometimes we get dumped on, sometimes we don’t. Hasn’t been too bad so far (knock on wood!). I would honestly rather chew tinfoil than run long on the dreadmill so even if it’s snowed, I’ll run outside. It’s a pain in the ass but at least I’m outside!

  20. That sucks about the blood sugar levels. At least you’ve realized that running on the road probably isn’t the safest thing. We would all dearly miss your hilarious posts. And I can see why you’re stuck with the whole running 80 miles on a treadmill. oh my heavens. more kudos to you if you do it!
    Defeinitely not much of a winter person! But I like all 4 seasons so I guess I can’t be too picky

  21. Oh my gosh, look at you and all your races! I think you’re very smart to run indoors. Good for you for taking care of yourself, with such a tricky situation.
    Have a good weekend! Happy I checked in here, because it looks like you are one awesome blogger! 🙂

  22. Man, I hate to hear that you are having blood sugar issues, but I have to give you major props for being so cautious early on! I’m sure it will pay off in the long-run and things will stabilize. I don’t know how you train in such cold weather, I’m a baby when it comes to the cold and can’t even imagine having to run in such temperature!

  23. eeep! That’s scary about your blood sugar – I’ve never experienced anything like that so I can’t say I relate, but I give you mad props for being cautious with it and taking the needed break from running. Definitely safer that way. This past fall before I knew what was wrong with my hip, I would ride my bike on the indoor trainer instead of outside so that if it started randomly hurting I could hop right off the bike (rather than riding who knows how many miles home in pain). I like the winter training plan or lack of plan – choosing between the cold and the treadmill is like being stuck between a rock and a hard place, so yeah I wouldn’t wanna be doing anything serious either. But hey, keep that base up and because you’re fit and smart, you’ll run some good 13.1’s this spring!

  24. Holy cow you are real and smart and I love the comment about it is not listening to your body, it’s being smart I have something to add to that Sunday! haha Thank you for taking your health seriously girl. Your safety is so important. I know so many running the Nike half. I bet that will be fun! I cannot wait to see you Sunday basically, and to catch up on your blog because I miss your day-to-day musings and fun! O and the waffle and pancake recipes since those are my new obsession. That and coffee

    1. I’m so excited to see you! My parents were like “we thought you were leaving on Sunday” and I told them I had very important business to attend too and was leaving on Monday instead LOL!

  25. I’m sorry your blood sugars have been so low! Good idea to not push it, it really does only take one moment. I totally understand your dilemma – I hate running in the cold and snow of NY, and you live in a snowier part. I run on the treadmill, but I know you got injured from that, so that must make the decision harder. 🙁 I hope you feel better soon Hollie!

  26. I have been mostly toying around with various things at the gym into my marathon cycle starts on Monday. Once that starts, I will hopefully get as many cold weather runs in as possible, but I am hoping for more global warming like today (50 degrees in Ohio!). At least the winter should be mostly shorter runs.

    Good luck with your blood sugars; this has been an issue for my mother for a long time.

  27. Hollie, I’m so proud of you for listening to your body & taking time off from running for the time being. I would hate to be driving (if I lived in the states near of you of course) and find you on the side of the road. Keep doing what’s best for YOU <3 <3

  28. I was going through a peaks and troughs blood sugar who’s it what’s it (never really did figure it out) about a month back … there would literally be points when I was fine and then 5min later, I had to sit down on the floor unable to get to my juice/snack feeling like I was alternately going to vomit or pee my pants. If yours is anything close to the same, I can understand not wanting to be outside alone. Just knowing that the bus to work would take an hour was frightening. And being at work? Agonizing and mortifying — they needed to set up a special clean shelf for me (I work in a lab — no food or drinks).
    Hope you get it under control. For me, I just tried to keep eating normally and have both low and high GI carbs when a low hit — raisin bran was good. It blows, but you’ll be able to handle it if you’re smart, like it sounds like you’re managing.

  29. Winter can be tough, yes. I struggle to continue running in winter in fact. Near Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, we see temperatures in the -20’s, -30’s and even -40’s somewhat routinely through the winter months. Windchill makes it seem so much worse too. I really don’t mind 0F temperatures, but an 8F day with 25 mph wind can be pure misery to attempt running in if there is a lot of exposure. So, trails in trees are the place for me to be.

    But, then, I run primarily to remain in condition to nordic (cross country) ski. Its been good to me and has provided a really therapeutic effect. The cardio benefits are amazing, and I have yet to experience any sort of repetitive / use injury like running has handed me when I feel overzealous. Indeed, if I get carried away skiing, the worst consequences I’ve faced have been a day or two in bed for a dozen hours while my body scrambles to restore glycogen and rebuild.

    I hope your levels get back to normal, I’m sure its very frustrating as well as concerning.

    1. Actually that is somewhat near where my uncle lives! I’m the same way-the wind is what kills you seriously! I’m glad you enjoy nordic! I’ve specatated but never tried myself!

  30. COME TO PITTSBURGH!! I would love that! Anywho, I’m sorry about the blood sugar issues, that’s no fun at all. I am totally with you on being indecisive about cold weather training. I like having a mix of the treadmill and the outdoors, though I usually end up on the treadmill LOL.

  31. First of all, I think you’re doing what’s best for your body and that’s always the right way to go! Sending positive vibes your way…get well soon girl!

    Second, AhHHH we MUST have a blogger meetup in DC because I’m running the Nike Women’s Half as well!!!!

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