Thursday, June 11, 2009

Itchy Legs

So I've been feeling very guilty about my lackluster post this morning. I've been so busy posting things like this and this that I have let my first true typing-into-the-cyber-ether love, my blog, go without real attention today.

I'm sorry.

Please forgive me.

On Tuesday afternoon I bought some ultra cool new running shoes. They are grey and teal and seven kinds of awesome (not the least of which is that they were originally $80 and I got them for $55, yessss), and look like this:
I got them because the three interchangeable pairs of sneakers that I'd been wearing since 2002 (don't judge) all came apart within a week of each other last year. I'd been making do with wannabe athletic shoes that were in no way suitable for running, because I only went to the gym and lifted weights and such, and you don't need shoes for yoga or pilates (or even for weight lifting in your bedroom, which is what I usually do lately...)

However, we'd decided to take up running and so I needed some proper shoes. After a disastrous attempt to buy some online (ouch on the arches), I bit the bullet and stopped by a Big 5, where I picked up my new friends.

So T and I (and my new friends) went running last night on a trail in the middle of Manhattan/Hermosa Beach. What the heck, you say? I have no clue. It's in a giant median and it has mulch on it and is a real running trail - you almost forget that there are cars whizzing by on each side of you beyond the one-trunk-thick tree barrier.

It's amazing.

Except for the itchy thighs.

I'd forgotten about those. Not fun at all.

If you don't run, and you start to do so, (and I think this may only happen to women), you sometimes run the risk of having itchy thigh syndrome for the first few runs.

I don't mean itching from any logical reason - clothes don't matter, weight and fitness don't matter. I wear a size 0/1 and my thighs were maddening.

It's as if your skin is on fire. Scratching doesn't help. Actually, nothing helps. Smoothing your palms over the offending areas (mid thighs) momentarily eases it, but as soon as you stop the sensation is back in force.

I don't know why this happens, but I vaguely remember it from when I started to run after never doing so years and years ago, and my previously-non-runner aerobics students used to complain about it a lot when I'd take them running in the stadium:
Ah, fun times.

My layperson hypothesis is that the tiny capillaries in your skin there aren't used to having blood forced into them as it is when you're running and your heart is pumping and the like. So, when all these things are happening, and that blood is getting pushed into your thigh muscles and the surrounding areas (a.k.a. that skin), those little nerves, which aren't usually so, are being fed, and the capillaries, which aren't usually so, are being stretched, both groups are going:

What in the hell's bells is going on here?


But they get used to it. It goes away the third or fourth time you run.

Which means, yes, I will be running again tonight. (argh)


5 comments:

Lyryn said...

I want a pair of those! Great brand! I love the gray and blue! :)

Lyryn said...

I want a pair of those! Great brand! I love the gray and blue! :)

The Shabby Princess said...

Yay for new shoes!!!

Shannon said...

The itchy legs...is caused from the rise in your body temp. when you're running/exercising. Crazy, but true! Here's a link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exercise_urticaria

Charis said...

Oooh thanks for the link! It looks aaaalmost right, except for my skin doesn't show any hives or redness and clothes don't matter (on this particular day I was wearing shorts and they didn't touch my legs where they were bothering me at all). I'd love to know why a rise in your body temp affects those specific nerves in that way, but I'm too busy to look it up lol!