Thursday, April 18, 2013

Just run

Last Friday I ran 10 miles. I on purposely tried to run slow, or slower. I don’t think I will try this again. By the time I got to mile 9, I felt more tired than I normally do. My legs don’t like to run slow. And they don’t like taking small steps. When I downloaded my Garmin, I was not surprised to see some very slow times. Yes, I meant to run slow, but my time got slower and slower with each mile.

10.2 miles, 1:40:37 minutes, 9:51 pace

On Monday I watched the elite women run the Boston marathon. Most ran in true elite style. Small steps, very little bounce, arms low. Most. A few ran in a rather non-elite style. Yolanda Caballero from Columbia lead the front running pack for many miles. Her stride was rather long, her step was bouncy, and most of the time her hands were clenched and held high. The same could be said of Ana Dulce Felix of Portugal. Even the commentator for race pointed out the ladies’ poor running form. Felix finished 9th with a time of 2:30:05 and Caballero finished 14th with a time of 2:35:10. Neither came even close to winning, but their so called poor running style made me reconsider changing my running style.

I have long legs. It is more comfortable for me to take one long step than two short steps. My arms and shoulders feel better when I hold them just a little bit higher than what is recommended. And as far as trying not to bounce, well, that’s just not going to happen. I’m a heel striker, although my newest pair of shoes indicate I’m not as bad as I used to be and I’m seeing more tread wear in my forefoot than my heel. I'm never going to be one of those gliding runners, but that's OK. I'm still a runner.

Wednesday was a beautiful day. I headed to the park to run for as long as I could before it got too dark. I didn’t think about my steps. I didn’t think about style. I just ran. At 3 miles, I glanced at my watch to see I was running incredibly fast. Had I been running a 5K, I would have had a fantastic time. At 5 miles, I was still flying along pretty good. The hip felt great. No pain in the knees. There were a lot of runners in the park which always helps my motivation. At 6 miles I was still moving pretty good. Had I been running a 10K, I would have had a fantastic time. At mile 7, the trail was starting to get a little dark. I was at a point where I could do another 2-mile loop of the park, or a half mile back to my car. Not being able to run very well in the dark, I chose the short trip back to my car. My legs still felt good and I had plenty of energy.

When I downloaded my stats I was quite happy.

Forget about form. Forget about trying to run like an elite runner. Just run.

7.35 miles, 1:05:57 minutes, 8:58 pace

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