ChiRunning in the New Year: warm/cold, sand/snow
Despite the lack of blog posts, I have been running regularly for the last month…
Over Christmas, I met my sister and parents on a Mexican beach, where my sister and I ran a few times together on the soft sand. Then, over the New Year holiday, Ivan and the dog and I were on the cold beach in South Carolina … and then this week, I’ve had the pleasure of running in snow and cold in Asheville. (Running in the sand and snow are great ways to check out your footprint and watch for heel-striking or toeing-off.)
Today was the 1-year anniversary of my 1st half-marathon. It was a beautiful day for a run, and while I was running, was having very happy and fond memories of my first race in Houston, and how wonderful it felt to cross the finish line, feel triupmpant and have a big grin across my face…all thanks to ChiRunning. And congratulations to my running partners from that race, Kristin and Richard, for finishing the race again today… way to go!
Shelly, my coworker, and I ran together in Bent Creek with our dogs this morning for 5 blissful miles. It was a slightly foggy, slightly cold, great day for a run. We headed out around 10am, and discovered that there was still snow on that side of town (and ice!)… The icy ground was isolated to only a few areas of our run, interspersed with wet patches of gravelly path. We had a great time with a very mellow starting pace, staying at a steady and consistent speed for quite awhile. We focused on our Columns, making sure our pelvises were tucked and our crowns tall.
I have found that when I get cold, my posture goes to crumbles. Having someone else to watch helped me stay focused on my own posture, too, and helped me stay tall and give my lungs plenty of room to breathe deeply.
A few times I caught my arms creeping upward and tightening. I took a water bottle and was carrying the dog leash, which made it a little harder to stay at 90 degrees, but it was a good focus to practice. I imagined that for every arm-swing, my knuckles brushed my hip bones — right around where my pockets might be located on a pair of jeans.
Shelly did well, and we both felt so grateful for ChiRunning; just a few years ago, neither of us felt like we could have run any distance at all without despising every step. What a contrary story we can tell now!
Next week, we plan to run a local “Hot Chocolate 10k” in Asheville. If you’re running it, we’ll see you out there!