The first “polar vortex” a new description in the Lexicon for freaking cold weather came through last week and provided us with unseasonably cold weather after a couple of months of unseasonably warm stuff.
My favorite photo from the week:
The Androscoggin River and boy did the river look cold and uninviting that day
So the body, mind and Bennie are confused about what to hell is going on out there. However, Mother Nature will do what she wants and we will live with her choices. Although we might be making the mood swings a little more dramatic.
Enough about the weather – we get to run in it and deal with it just like we have every other year. Even though being a least a little honest about things, I have a lot less zeal for running in single-digit wind chills than I used to.
The running is going better than I thought it would just a couple of weeks ago. I did make 20 miles again this week, with a final 5.0 miler on Sunday on five days running. This was the first week of my sort of following the Chi Running Beginners Half Marathon Training Plan. I did pretty good, even if I didn’t always run on the days that the book called for, I still did the majority of the workouts the way it called for them.
Well…with one big exception, my countdown timer is not loud enough for me to hear it during a run (part of that hearing loss thing), so I have been doing my form intervals by picking a point and doing the form interval to that point. It seems to be working fairly well. The funny thing is I am starting to notice when my right foot goes back to where it used to be when I am standing, walking or running. So the change is starting to become more “normal” than not.
However, getting that foot to turn-in the last half inch to be straight will be a much longer process – too many years of it pointing sideways to change completely in three weeks. But there is a lot of progress in my form.
Another thing that I really noticed this week as the weather turned chilly was that I slouch and scrunch myself up when walking and running versus having good posture. So that is another thing that I focused on when I was outside walking or running last week. That standing tall and lengthening the neck thing.
The changes in form are something to think about a little more when the cold weather comes and you start wearing more clothing and attempt to stay warm. You do change things unconsciously and need to be aware of how they can effect your running.
I am running faster with less effort than I have in the past, which I attribute mainly to getting all of the body parts moving in the same direction – forward not sideways. Plus when I run with better posture it seems that things don’t hurt nearly as much that used to bother on every run.
So the best part of the week was that I ran mostly discomfort and pain-free! It was pretty nice to just run, although I do have to do my pre and post run exercises every time, not just most of the time. They do make a difference in how I feel.
Another week of Kismet 2’s. They just feel right for me and when I go for a walk or run I reach for them. I know that I should rotate things around a little, but to be honest I like the way they fit and provide me with the right amount of feedback to let me know when I start walking or running with splayed feet. They are just comfortable.
Overall, it was a pretty good week. After three weeks of starting Chi Running, I can say it is helping me run better. However, it is not effortless, it takes a lot of focus and persistence to keep doing the “little” things that total up to a big change in how I am running. I have to keep reminding myself that “just running” is not the answer answer and stick to the plan.
Taking it one day at time, but I do notice some differences in how I run or walk, now I just have to make them how Harold runs and walks permanently and without thinking about how to run.