Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Exercise Diary: Deja vu with an awesome twist

Well, this is a first.  I went on the exact same route I took yesterday, and again without my camera.  It's just too much to carry.  I can't wait till I get an iPhone in July.

Anyway, I went to Vermont again and did the same ~5mi route I did yesterday (Nike told me it was 4.7 this time).  It was just so nice today that I had to go for a nice long run.  A long run without the dead squirrels, without the dog trying to chase me, and without having to make a decision as to whether I want to try the trail.

But this time, I completed the entire loop without having to stop and walk.  This never happened to me before.  Yesterday when I tried the route I stopped at 1.5 miles because the last mile was all inclines and I was just exhausted.  I remembered that I had stopped right before reaching a bakery and started running again after passing a farm stand.  This time I was hoping that I would at least past my stopping point last time and just see if I could go farther.  Although I kept climbing,  I never stopped.

It felt wonderful!  Although I had seen the scenery already yesterday I wasn't bored.  It was still fresh enough that I didn't quite remember exactly what to expect.  There were more cars on the road that I had to avoid, and few other runners and a dog walker.  I didn't even stop for a drink.  I ran right passed the convenience store that I got my ginger beer yesterday, and just kept going.

As I was running I could kind of feel that my shins were getting tense and tight, and my ankles were protesting a bit.  But I had better controls of my downhills so I didn't get any sharp pains in my ankles, and after stretching my shins now feel better.  I didn't even get aches in my thighs like I normally do after running too much the day before.  It was just so wonderful, and I again felt sad when I turned onto Main Street, knowing that my run would be over soon.  It was also getting dark and there aren't a lot of street lights in the country side so I wasn't too keen on taking longer than I had to.  But I definitely felt like I could run more.

I just read online today an article about how to improve one's running form.  Proper running forms described in written forms are always so mysterious to me because I feel that I know what the person is talking about, but cannot quite replicate with my own movement.  And the article really didn't offer anything new, just stuff I had read before but have felt that I haven't really mastered (which is why I didn't save it and now I can't find it anymore).  There was a section about arms, and about straightening the back and relaxing the shoulders to open the chest more. Again, not new info, but it was put in a slightly different way that I thought was a nice technique to pay attention to.

And I put that to test during running today.  Toward the end of my running I was getting tired and my form was slipping.  I kept reminding myself to straighten my back so I don't slouch (which took some self-cajoling to do at first but definitely helped with running after I did it), but I also remembered to take a deep breath and drop my shoulders, and it really helped.  My torso was straighter, my head was held higher, and I had an easier time moving forward and even climbing hills.  I still shuffle quite a bit, my feet didn't kick very high, and I noticed that I scraped my shoes a lot.  They were making so much noise I could hear my shoes scraping the pavement even over the audiobook that was blasting through my headphones.

Anyway, it wasn't the most exciting run in terms of route, but I feel that I have reached a new milestone.  I feel that I have improved so much over the past few weeks since I took up running, and I'm just really happy with how I can push my body and my will to keep running, and how my body allows itself to be pushed.  I still didn't run faster than I did at my 5K, so now I really know that my speed has not improved as the distance increased, which really is okay, but still, I was hoping that I could go even faster.

The rest of the week is going to suck, weather-wise.  I don't like to run in the rain and it seems that we are going to get quite a bit of rain on Saturday, the second 5K I signed up for.  If it really rains as hard as the forecast says it's going to, I may just not go.  Running in the rain and mud is not going to save the world from cystic fibrosis.  I will just send a check or something.

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