Sunday, March 18, 2012

T Rex, running by feel

Once upon at time, when I started (trying) to run, I told people that wanted to know what it looked and felt like to picture a tired T Rex in a shallow tar pit, trying to get out. That was me. The tar pit has got only marginally shallower in the 4 years and a bit since then.

I asked my IMC coach to follow me on her bike and give me some run pointers. It was interesting to hear a little kid asking "Mommy, why is that girl on the bike covering her eyes?" I jest, KF would never do that. She gave me some really, really good pointers, and I've been working hard trying to do them regularly.

Today I decided to really work on them. I've been pretty good about cadence, in that one of my feet will touch down 88 times a minute when I'm doing good, and when I'm tired it slows to about 85 or 86. The plan was to run easy to warm up, and gradually run faster while trying to maintain good form. This means speeding up by leaning forward from the ankles, keeping my hips forward, driving my knees, lifting my heels but not pushing off with the toes, keeping shoulders and face relaxed, and maintaining mid to forefoot strike with the same or faster cadence.

Once I was going as fast as I could comfortably run with good form, I'd slow down again before getting out of breath. Then do it all over again. Fish Creek was really nice, with no ice on the path at all.

What was interesting was the comparison to the catch in swim. As your hand slices into the water, and goes vertical, there is an interesting feeling of catching a slice of water, and rolling it like a barrel under your armpit as you slide forward past that slice. With water being so thick, it's easy to feel. Today I was visualizing my knee and thigh driving forward, and catching a slice of air exactly the same way, to end up with a lengthened stride while maintaining cadence.

Or so it felt, no idea what the video would look like if someone had done that. It felt like I was running faster, and that I was getting both feet off the ground at once. I live for the day I see a photo of this. (Hint, Jason, hint.) Only went 45 minutes, and had a good stretch after. Then supper.

Follow up from our dinner with friends last night - I had a bigger meal than I've had in a long time. It took a while to go to sleep, and I was up in the night. Then book club brunch in a pub with friends this morning. The waitress was so cute. She'd been there till 4am the night before and wasn't quite with it yet. I think the coffee was so slow because she took the first pot for herself.

4 comments:

  1. This is good. I think I will finally look up the suggestions you emailed me a while back and have them check out my running form and etc. I feel like I'm a serious runner, now that I've done a 10k - so I should contact them. Hope you and Linda had a great Sunday!

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  2. We did have a great Sunday! Even though the book club pub hadn't quite recovered from St. Paddies day the night before. I now no longer remember what I emailed you. But then senility is creeping up on me faster and faster.

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  3. You crack me up - T-Rex. lol.

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  4. As soon as I say it, everybody knows exactly what my run looks like. I do it as a public service, you know, so people aren't shocked and horrified on the run. Plus, they'll know that's normal for me and won't be trying to put me down and end my misery.

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