Posted by: jawsome | March 10, 2009

Monday 6 miler

On Sunday, Matt and I went out for a nice 4 mile walk with Japhy. He’s been having some hip (?) problems lately, so we wanted to take him on something mellow. It’s so hard to keep him walking on a leash when he wants so desperately to frolick freely. We decided to hike down the ocean steps to the beach (105 steps) and walk along the beach. Matt decided he wanted to run a bit, so we ditched our shoes and jogged down the beach. Running barefoot actually felt really good, and had me thinking I should do it more often.

Then, yesterday I sucked it up for my 6 mile run. Thanks to DST (which has thrown my schedule off in many other ways) I can now run in the evening (yay!). I started my run at 6:07, knowing the sun would set at 7:07 (allowing 20 minutes of “civil darkness” until 7:27 – ????) I left the HR monitor and the iPod at home, so I could better practice my chi. As I said in the previous post, Matt got me the book Chi Running which is about using your chi to help you relax and run with better form. I haven’t made it all the way through the book, but I practiced some core principles on my run. I worked on my lean, relaxing, and breathing. Running with a lean is interesting – theoretically it helps you by getting your legs further behind you to reduce pounding. I found this to be true on my run (it also makes you faster as you are pulled forward by gravity).  I need to get my form down better through drills before I perfect this technique. The breathing was actually really helpful. Danny recommends breathing in for three strides and then out for two. This helps because you get more oxygen per breath, and the odd number of strides helps minimize diaphragm cramping. I liked it. Finally, the relaxation really helped. I noticed that when the running gets hard I tend to tense up my shoulders. Because I didn’t have my iPod and could concentrate on my form, I worked on forcibly relaxing my body when I noticed this happening. It helped!

I also tried to practice smiling on my run. This is something you absolutely must try. If you haven’t heard, the physical act of smiling can make you happy. As a psychologist in training, I am familiar with this idea and tried it on my run. What fun! The best parts of the run were when I remembered to smile and relax my shoulders.

Blog dare: on you next run, try smiling for at least 30 seconds. I bet you’ll notice a change. Let me know how it goes!

Ok, back to work. Sigh. 12 hour Tuesdays. 😦  (pics will be added later)

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