Running into the New Year

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In theory this is week 6 of half marathon running training. As always seems to be the case when I try and train for running race, life events try to stop me. And so it has proved again. As mentioned in my last blog, early running training came to a standstill when I got full blown flu. A cautious return to running saw me largely back on track by Christmas despite the snow and cold weather conditions. We travelled to Ireland for the holidays and I felt confident I could keep to the running training plan. Unfortunately, the day after we arrived my husband was admitted to hospital with a racing heart and shortness of breath and eventually diagnosed with a bi-lateral pulmonary embolism possibly triggered by his climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro in November. He was finally discharged on New Year’s Eve.

Needless to say, this was very stressful and due to the many demands on my time, it was impossible to follow my training plan. I was running, just not as often as I wanted. Unusually for Ireland, there had been heavy snowfall and temperatures didn’t rise much above -7 or -8 on the days over Christmas. This didn’t bother me. In fact, I thrive on running in these conditions. The pace was slower but there is something magical about running through freshly fallen snow in what becomes a very silent and beautiful world. It amazes me how the landscape is totally changed. Stress and broken sleep did take its toll and some of those runs felt tougher than they should have. Running in the snow also gave me an opportunity to work on y’chi. One of my weaknesses is a tendency to look down when I run. However, it is very hard on the eyes if you are constantly looking at snow so I had to adjust my gaze ahead to break the glare. I am still trying to teach myself to run using and trusting my peripheral vision.

I normally run 5 days a week which fits well with the ChiRunning Intermediate Half Marathon plan but have not managed that once since I started it! It’s a New Year and I hope to be able to get back on track. We are back in London and I’ve had a good start with a couple of superb runs. I am enjoying the discipline of the individual focuses in the training plan and working on some that I may have let slide. In running terms, 2010 has been an excellent year and my running form continues to improve. I never lose my enthusiasm for it and still learn something new each time I run.

I look forward to what the New Year will bring. I will continue to work on my running form and hopefully target some more races. I have made a New Year’s resolution to do the ChiRunning body looseners before I go out running, something I had also let slip in the last couple of months!

And finally to leave you with a quote from the American distance runner Steve Prefontaine which I read last night:

“I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, ‘I’ve never seen anyone run like that before.’ It’s more than just a race. It’s style. It’s doing something better than anyone else. It’s being creative.”

Happy running!


Posted in Beginners

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