Reasons to Stop Running

>> Tuesday, August 28, 2012

From the title, you might think this post is going to highlight warnings signs of injury. When to take it easy or lay off completely if you feel an ache or pain while running. Actually, it's about something else entirely.

Sort of.

Have you ever been out for a jog and --halfway through -- just not felt right? It happened to me today. I felt dizzy and dehydrated despite having guzzled water all day. I ended up walking a mile home. Weird.

Or maybe you've had pesky digestive issues fare up after a warmup mile? I've been there. Multiple times. That's dull knee pain suddenly turn sharp? Happened to me. Maybe you were far away from home and lightning starting to light up the sky. Yup. That too. And I'm terrified of lightning. Ever get lost? I did once when I squeezed in a 4-miler 6-miler during a business trip.

Or perhaps you, like me, have been followed for a mile or more by creepsters in a truck or on a bike. No, really. Both of those things have happened to me in the past couple years. And I'm sure it's happened to more of you than I'd like to think.

I could go on.

There are a number of reasons to stop running or to modify your original plan. It's a day-by-day, assess-by-the-moment sort of thing. Rarely -- OK -- never have I encountered a complete emergency, but I always thought it's good to be prepared and plan for if something does goes horribly wrong. (I'm a worst-case scenario planner, can you tell?)

I guess I started thinking more about this issue when I was pregnant. Especially when my belly got bigger and bigger. I became worried that I wouldn't feel well on a run and I'd be far from home. So, I started running a mile loop. And eventually I found a couple different routes where I was never far from home. I now use these same paths if I don't trust the weather report.

I don't have a list of tips for this post. It's more of a conversation. I am interested in what you do to stay safe. What plans you have if you need to stop or if something stops you.

Have you thought about it?

If not. Have you thought about it now?

I'm planning to do a follow-up with some tips. For example, carrying a cell phone is probably a good bet. But it's something I've never done. Something I have done: Identified different "safe" or "useful" places along my usual routes. Like Wegmans if I need to use the bathroom. Or a certain long-hours convenience store if for some reason someone follows me. I'll list more in part II.

Bonus: Later this week, we'll be reviewing ICEdot, which is an emergency identification and notification service via a lightweight, silicone bracelet. And we'll be hosting a giving away where one of you could win one for yourself!

Stay tuned . . .

And today on Writing Chapter Three, we have the third installment of the Baby Must-Haves series. This time, we're looking at 6 to 9 months.

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