form run, thursday (9/11 rememberance)
Danny and I met at the UNCA track. We did body looseners together and then ran at the track to warm up. I worked on keeping my ankles up, my spine extended, taking VERY small steps to begin with. (It is true that gear 1 in ChiRunning is almost comically slow!). It was helpful, esp. the small step advice from Danny. Everytime I run next to him, I am reminded that my steps are pretty big still.
He videotaped me again: I did my normal run across one arch of the track and then on the way back I did this exercise to practice a high ankle: When running, one leg at a time for maybe 10 reps, try to lift your ankle high enough, exaggerated enough, that the inside of your heel hits the inside of your calf, about midway up. Switch legs, and then try eventually, to do it with both legs and the same time. It really helped me recognize how to truly land mid foot and keep myself from dorsiflexing.
Apparently, I have taken up dorsiflexing, and this exercise keeps me from dorsiflexing and really was an ‘ah-hah’ moment to feel the true midfoot strike.
The video showed that I am collapsing a bit in my pelvis/waist, so I need to keep focusing on keeping my core engaged. It’s a lot to remember, but compared to the last time I was videoed there has been improvement. Danny and I could both see it, so there’s a little nugget of proof than even though my runs have been less than what I consider stellar, they are helping!
After a bit of this track workout, Danny and I ran up in the trails around UNCA campus with Mei Ling, the Dreyer’s crazy running dog. She’s a truly amazing runner. I marvel at how much she enjoys it and how FAST she can go!
I hadn’t run these trails before, and they’re pretty mild, nothing too crazy so it’s something I can use when I want a change of scenery from the track, but still have the track close. The run went well, and I got a bunch of pointers from Danny the whole way: “chin down, ankles up, watch your arm swing!…”.
It was good until the very end: apparently all this lifting of my ankle made me lazy and I apparenly didn’t lift my ankle and took a pretty ridiculous spill right in front of Dany and Mei Ling. It was like slow motion: “W.o.w…. h.e.r.e I g.o.o.o.o.o” BAM. right on the ground. Managed to run away with fairly insignificant brusing and scraping, but let me tell you, it was pretty embarassing. After making sure I was okay, Danny said, “Well that will teach you to keep your ankles high!”
I would say on scale: even with crazy humidity (I wonder if people see me all red-faced and sweaty and ask themselves if I have a strange disease)… 6/7.