ChiRunning in thin air

I was in Colorado this weekend for a friend’s wedding, and proudly brought my running gear to head out for a short run on Saturday morning.

Denver is the Mile High City: elevation 5, 280. I grew up there, so I have a fair advantage of a few more red blood cells than sea-level dwellers, and because Asheville is about 2,100 feet.

In any case, I went for about a two mile run around the neighborhood and flood plain where I grew up. I have distinct memories of riding my bike and (dreadfully) running the same route years ago. It was such a visceral moment remembering the frustration I felt when I used to run that it sort of alarmed me. But it ended up being a great quick jaunt through memory lane.

It’s a basically flat course, with a few gradual hills. Always aware of my chin now, I kept my crown high and my core engaged and my stride short. When I finally got into a rhythm, I switched my focus to pelvic rotation: because there were a few downhills, I was able to get a pretty good-feeling pelvic rotation and could tell that my feet were landing underneath/behind me and not in front of my on the downhills. That was great feeling.

I passed a few other runners and walkers to whom I desperately wanted to shout, “ChiRunning, follow me, ChiRunning, follow me! I can show you the way!” Strange, I know.

The funny part was at the wedding: I chatted with a few friends/neighbors who said, “Liz, I saw you running in the flood plain today. Was that you? You looked good!” Jaw dropped. Really? You saw me? And I looked decent? I got a good chuckle out of that one.

I did my Body Looseners and walked before running, and walked a bit and stretched after running. I felt great, no soreness, no knee pain, no side aches, just a bit of breath shortness because of altitude. Hoorah!

(I was sore the next day from dancing for 4 hours straight, though… next up: Chi Dancing!)


Posted in Technique

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