As I have begun to experience first hand the euphoric feelings of running, my experience in Boston has become even more significant. That day has forever changed me both mentally and physically. But as I continue my running journey during these past few months, I have come to hate the treadmill. As much as I love running outside, the recent weather has made this difficult. Cold weather running can be very fulfilling, but also risky.
One thing that I have learned this winter more than ever is how important appropriate running gear is to stay warm and dry. I have been layering with a compression layer both top and bottom. This is followed by a slight loose fitting pullover and then a wind and water resistant jacket. I also bought some wind resistant pants that I wear. I will either wear just a hat or also a baklava and a hat as well as gloves.
Running outside inherently has other risks as you are sharing the road with vehicles. Recently, there was a well publicized death of a Virginia runner, Meg Menzies; who, while training for Boston, was hit and killed by a car. Anyone who runs outside has most likely been in some dangerous situations themselves. I myself have almost been hit by a few cars whose drivers were not paying attention and many times seemed to be distracted by a phone, cigarette or in one case, both. Thus it is always important to pay attention to your surroundings. Honestly, since becoming a runner, I have also become a more careful driver. The recent tragedy of Meg reminded me of the importance of the rules of the road. It’s always important to run against traffic and wear bright reflective clothing and use reflectors and lights as well. The use of headphones can also be risky as you need to hear what is occurring around you; turning the volume down and/or using only one ear bud works out well.
There is nothing like being out hitting the pavement to clear one’s mind. However, it is important to protect yourself from the elements, environment and to be prepared for the unexpected. I always run with my cell phone and my driver’s license (or other bracelet identifiers that I have) and I urge you to do the same.
Train strong, train safe,
Jeremy D. Metzler, MD
Prevea Primary Care Sports Medicine Physician
Medical Director for Cellcom Green Bay Marathon
Medical Director for University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Team Physician for St. Norbert College
We’re proud to have Prevea Health as our official health partner. Prevea Primary Care Sports Medicine Physician, Dr. Jeremy Metzler currently serves as our medical director. He was working at the finish line medical tent during the Boston Marathon in 2013 as the tragic events of that day unfolded. Dr. Metzler will be sharing his story on the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon blog about how that day changed his life and his journey to becoming a marathoner.