I have to admit that I much prefer the temps this morning than last week’s wind chills in the negative numbers, especially since I didn’t have to bundle-up. Being able to wear running tights, a l/s tech shirt, a running vest, gloves, and a regular ball cap was rather nice. Even if there is a bit of mud to contend with now.
Today my plan called for 6.0 miles at a more comfortable effort, but my 6.0-mile course still isn’t runnable, and I didn’t want to drive into town. So I opted for 5.0 and was happy with that. Running courses around me are still a bit limited due to snow, ice, and now mud.
I am working on techniques from “The Lost Art of Running,” and those changes from the book make more of a difference than I thought they would. Things like upping my cadence a little with the idea of getting it a little higher, running with my head-up versus looking down so much, focusing on keeping my elbows back and others are making a difference in how I feel when running.
Going downhill, I feel more in control by shortening my stride and leaning down the hill a little, versus my usual lengthening it out, pound my heels while leaning backward to slow down. When I look at the graphs, I am going just as fast but without beating myself up nearly as badly.
The first 3.0 miles were quite good, and I wasn’t pushing the effort all that much. However, that still is about my limit for my present conditioning to maintain good mechanics. Somewhere after 3.0 miles and definitely going back up Philbrick Hill, I lose focus and physically my beautiful form deteriorate quickly.
I am focusing on good form, so when it gets to the point where I am unable to hold it properly, I walk to catch a breather and then get back to running. The quick walk breaks do help, and though I walked twice on the big hill today, I felt better than I did before.
My final mile was excellent. I didn’t go back to overstraining to increase my pace when I got on the dirt section on Philbrick and maintained good form down Stevens Hill until I had to slow down between the lower gate and the big pine. There was too much mud/muddy ice to run faster than I did.
When I changed my movement patterns, I knew that I would have to deal with decreased quality miles due to the larger cognitive load I would have while getting the body adapted to new movement pathways or finding a few old ones that I used to have back in once upon a time.
It will take time to get where I want, but I know that I am running better and more efficiently this week than I did at the beginning of last week, so that is tremendous progress. Now to get out there with the iPad and video what I am doing and get back to reality.
That way, I can make corrections immediately and work on things in real-time instead of getting frustrated about how I look when I am running, then giving up this stuff as another bad Harold idea.
Four out of five miles were right where I want them to be, and the hill work will get better as I lose weight and get in better shape. For now I need to focus on staying healthy, better running mechanics, and having fun with my running. And yes, work on my mileage base, I have a few thoughts on that I am bouncing around in the old noggin and need to reflect on a bit more before I go off on some wild tangent — again.