Variety in Running and Walking is the Spice of Life
One of ways I get to enjoy and benefit from running and walking is to participate in a wide variety of organized events. By “variety” I mean the spectrum from running and walking road to trail, hilly to level, short to long distance, sunny to rainy weather, varied locations, individual or team walking or running, and so on. In recent months, I've participated in races with staggered starts based on age and gender, a steep up and down run on a nearby mountain and a fun run and fund raiser through a local park. The race that stands out this year is a long distance “sprint relay” race (part of the civil War weekend between the University of Oregon and Oregon State University) all the way from Eugene to Corvallis, a distance of 52 miles. Four other Masters aged men and I took 5 turns of about 2 miles each to cover the distance. When we weren't running, we were waiting for each other at the next transition point or were cheering loudly from our vehicle as we passed our team mate runner on the road. Aside from the camaraderie of tackling this event as a team, it was great to see the rural land and communities near Eugene. It was also a challenge to run-stop-run so many times as our bodies, as well as our minds, tended to shut down after our run and then needed a jump start every time it was our turn to run again. All in all, a demanding yet fun run and to make it even more memorable, we won the Masters division (40+) even though our team averaged over 60 years of age.
Without a doubt, the key to being able to enjoy and do well at all such varied organized races is the ChiRunning technique and the ChiWalking technique with all of their positive features. Good posture and running technique are at the foundation of effortless and aware running. No matter what kind of event I am in, I am always engaged in self-monitoring and adapting to the conditions around me. Flexibility and focus, working with, not against, nature make it possible to enjoy the variety and the variety gives me the opportunity to be a true, pain-free Chi Runner and Chi Walker. I wonder what kind of variety you've experienced in your running or walking undertakings!
This week, another new adventure as my gal friend Kathy and I head to Austin, Texas to run the Austin Half Marathon. Our first time there ensures another taste of variety and another “spice” for our running and walking lives. Off we go!