yah uhm, DRIVE EASY when your engine is warming up, this is the word time for your engine, parts are warming up and expanding at different rates and this causes wear. When you floor it, you put a crapton of stress on parts, which casues excessive wear since the entire engine hasn't uniformly heated up yet. This is why you use lightweight oil in the winter, to try to counteract this effect as much as possible, but this dosn't help too much at all if your flooring 5 mins after crankup.
I usually wait at least 5 minutes after my water temperature gauge hits it's operating temperature to let the transmission warm up a bit etc etc.
You don't want to idle either, these engines were designed to run under a load, not idling out of gear. That and the engine will warm up faster if you put a little bit of gas in it. Keep the rpm's down from 3,000 and try not to hammer it (even if you are keeping the rpms below 3,000, it's the stress that really hurts it)
I doubt this is limp mode. Don't get the notion that your car is limping... hobbling back and fourth like a gimp would. heh lol. Limp mode (as best as I know) is when your transmission computer goes into an emergancy state, alerts the ECU so the engine wont rev too high and it wont shift into top gear (This is with an automatic and I'm not sure if I'm totally correct)
There's usually somthing really really messed up when that happens like the planitary gear's missing like 10 teeth and the chunks are floating around or somthing.. heh.