Originally I had this written as “Happy Monday!” but it didn’t feel honest. I have a case of the Mondays for sure. It’s Valentine’s Day and The Chef is gone for the week. We celebrated Valentine’s Day this weekend with an amazing couples massage but I’m missing him now. It also started raining today in San Francisco and I’ve been spoiled by the summer-like weather we’ve been experiencing recently. I checked out the forecast for the next five days and its looking so grey and wet that I don’t even want to see what the ten day forecast looks like. Seems like there are going to be a lot of treadmill runs for this girl in the near future!
The Chef and I took advantage of the sun over the weekend. On Sunday we went to Tomales Bay and had a BBQ/picnic enjoying their fresh, local oysters. I highly recommend this! It was a gorgeous day and a great, cheap, DIY, fun time with friends. We’re going back soon and I’ll write a post about this first experience later this week. Stay tuned!
On Saturday I went to a half-day ChiRunning workshop. I read the book ChiRunning a couple of months ago and wanted to try out one of their clinics to ensure I had the concepts of the technique down. The ChiRunning technique was developed by a man who has run ultramarathons since the early 90s without injury. He studied Tai Chi and applied a lot of the concepts to his running only to realize he was running faster, with less effort and no injuries. Sign me up!
While the book is certainly helpful, there is a lot to remember so having a certified instructor watch you do the exercises, run and correct your form is priceless (well actually it was about $100). Essentially you have to remember to: keep your shoulders relaxed, head facing forward, stand tall, align your shoulders-hips-ankles, tuck in your pelvis, don’t stick out your butt, use your core, rotate your hips, align your knees, feet are pointed forward and not turned in or out, arms at 90 degrees, don’t lift too high with your knees, lean forward from your ankles, focus your y’chi and most importantly land on your mid-foot. Simple, right? I told the instructor at one point that while I’m sure this running technique is supposed to make the motions feel easier, I was exhausted from trying to remember everything! I did experience moments of perfection though. It all came together and it was truly like I was running Tarahumara style in Born to Run, except I was doing laps in a parking lot in SF. 😉
It’s a step by step learning process. As with anything, practice makes perfect. So I think I’m going to implement some shorter, easier runs after work during the week, simply to practice technique until it becomes more automatic. Today I did just that, a quick thirty minutes, focusing on only keeping my arms at 90 degrees and relaxing my shoulders (one of the hardest things for me!). The post-work run is a great detox from the day.
Here’s how I did last week.
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – 3.77 (the Migraine Monster came again so I had to cut this run short)
Wednesday – 5.37 + 5.05 (two different runs, one before work and one after)
Thursday – 4.97
Friday – 0 (I was not feeling so good so I opted for an additional day of rest)
Saturday – 6.07
Sunday – 5.02
|Month||Week||Actual Miles||Goal Miles|
|Jan||1/1 – 1/9||14.51||49.59|
|1/10 – 1/16||32.99||88.16|
|1/17 – 1/23||44.29||126.73|
|1/24 – 1/30||44.62||165.3|
|Goal Status Check||136.41||165.3|
|Feb||1/31 – 2/6||36.47||203.87|
|2/7 – 2/13||30.25||242.44|
|2/14 – 2/20||281.01|
|2/21 – 2/27||319.58|
|Goal Status Check||203.13||319.58|
I took things pretty easy last week as I had just run the most amazing half ever! I also didn’t want to push myself too hard during the weekend because I had the four hour running workshop Saturday and had a stomach that wasn’t really agreeing with me at all for some reason (and by “some reason” I mean the pizza I ate Friday and the taco truck I stopped at on Saturday). The good news is that I’ve been feeling so strong recently! I’ve been running faster than ever and it doesn’t feel as difficult. The ChiRunning workshop also helped me to re-realize the important role yoga, stretching and weight lifting play in running. I’ve practiced yoga everyday since the workshop and plan to include it in my new nightly routine. I’m also reading a new book about yoga called Poser which we should talk about soon. 😉