It warmed up today!
It got up into the low ’20s and only a ten mph breeze, so it wasn’t nearly as bitter outside as it has been. Plus, the sun was shining nicely. All things that made it so that I wanted to get a run in.
I decided to go ahead and run up in Waterville as a change of pace. I am running at least once a week, someplace else other than from the end of the driveway. It does help keep me a bit more in touch with things while still in this self-imposed lockdown mode of life. I don’t want to be a complete hermit.
Running from the Hannaford in Waterville has a myriad of running routes for any mileage that I chose to do, and today’s run was going to be 8.0 miles at a comfortable pace. At least that was the plan, like all plans, as conditions change, the plan changes as well.
I have been reading The Lost Art of Running by Shane Benzie and am finding that a lot of what he says about running form coincides with my thoughts. Not that I know a lot, but his philosophy and ideas did make more sense to me than many others have over the years.
So yeah, I have been motivated to attempt to clean-up the myriad of bad habits that I have accumulated after not paying much attention to how I run over the Winter and probably a lot longer.
It also means that my cognitive load for running is very high, and when you add in different movement patterns, the mind and body are toast a lot quicker than I am used to. I thought that 5.0 to 6.0 miles would be a good run and found out that maybe even that was a bit too ambitious.
The first mile went by pretty quickly, though I had to stop and retie my left shoe. It seems as though the Milers have a bad habit of not staying tied as snug as I would like, but otherwise, I felt terrific and was focusing on running better.
I decided at the last minute to go over to Winslow and do the Cushman Road Loop back to Waterville. Going across the bridge, I did a lot better than I thought I would, and then when I got over to Cushman, I was starting to feel fatigued and also needed a pit stop. I like Cushman Road. It is a nice long downhill that is not very steep. However, I was not attempting to run fast today and was focusing more on running well. Maybe in a month or two I will see how quick I can go down this section.
After a quick pit stop at McDonalds (no choice) and then a photo stop on the Sebasticook River bridge, I plugged along, avoiding a few snowbanks and wet spots. Something that I found out this morning was that with the Milers, if the bottoms wet and then get into the sand on the roads’ side, they are a bit slick and on ice there isn’t any grip. I damn near did a face plant in front of the gas station by the old Thai food restaurant.
TheWife warned me that if I went to Waterville that I would have a difficult time if I had to get on the sidewalks. She was correct as usual. Once I got to the Winslow Century 21 until I turned on Silver Street, the sidewalks were, for the most part, iced over, which meant that any decent pace that I had going went away. It was more important to focus on staying upright.
Once I got back on Silver Street, the road widened enough that I was able to stay on the road shoulder and played in traffic. That is the bad thing about running in Waterville-the traffic. Well, a lot more than I am used to in this day and age of being in lockdown.
Also, along Silver Street, the bottoms of my feet started to bother a little. Not sure what is going on with that because, in the past, the Milers haven’t bothered too much, maybe changing my foot plant slightly is part of that issue. It will be something that I will keep an eye on.
Although it seemed that once I got done at McDonald’s, I lost a lot of my focus and found myself reverting to my regular running form more often and had to keep re-focusing myself. I knew at that point that 5.0 miles were going to be enough. Between the bottom of my feet and the lack of focus, it was time to call it a day.
It was a good run, and I can see my mileage decreasing a bit over the next few weeks as I work on things for reasons other than miserable weather. I can’t say that I sweat too much today either. However, the weather is supposed to break on Tuesday, and we are forecast to get some temps ’40s and ’50s, which will be soooooo nice.
I updated my spreadsheet running log, to include other metrics that I want to track as I move forward and I started to use my Garmin FR35 again for the heart-rate tracking. I am not entirely overhauling my running form like I attempted last August, but I will get it back to where it was a few years back.
- Faster cadence – I was down around 168 spm for most of this year
- Pick up my head – looking at my feet too much
- Lengthen my stride a little – it is around 1.03/1.04 meters
- Be more positive during the run – I tend to think that I can’t too often
- Land more full-footed – not pounding the heels as much and land with more of a full foot landing
If I can do those five things, it will clean up many of the bad habits that I have picked up over the Winter errr years.
This is all a part of operation Sub 150, over 30.