TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Working on Form

Today I set off for a run specifically to work on my Chi Running form, oh ya, and to see how my hair cut works with my runs. Smile  (Worked pretty good, short enough that no need today to get it off my neck with pigtails.)

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I didn’t work on speed, I didn’t care about cardio.  I didn’t work on elevation today.  Today was sort of a lackadaisical run, sort of, because I had planned my run (which isn’t very lackadaisical), but then changed my mind at the end and took a minor detour.  My goals were to enjoy myself and to focus on form, specifically, my step. 

I ran a relatively flat route, Aliso Creek Trail, which begins paved, and up Wood Canyon.  Giving myself permission to stop and snap photos, I took the opportunity to check my column, making sure that it was straight.

My run was definitely different.  I cannot say that it was effortless.  But I felt stronger.  Much stronger.  And the effort I used to run my usual pace, even slightly faster, seemed less.  Occasionally, effort increased, in other words, I could feel my legs working harder.  I’d check my form while running, and sure enough, my core was not “engaged”, specifically, my pelvis was tilted forward.  Almost miraculously, effort decreased when I fixed that. 

Though I focused on my step, other corrections came to mind, as I noticed them immediately when they’d occur (it’s funny how your body gets used to doing things a certain way, and it wants so much to keep on doing it that way).  For example, my arms – when I kept them bent at less than 90 degrees with the elbows not passing my column, I felt even stronger.  Then every so often, I’d find them just kind of hanging out there, swinging out front.  Correction and strength returned.

At my turnaround, I felt extremely pleased at feeling some progress this early.  To celebrate, I took a little detour for some sight seeing on Cave Rock Trail.  Then I ran back on in to the ranger station feeling as strong as when I first took off.  (A few times back in, I caught myself looking to the ground, which I quickly corrected.) 

I’m going to need to work on this for a long time to get all the “focuses” working together.  I will say that my step much improved with today’s 9.3 miles.  And I’ll repeat, that while the run was not actually easy, it was comfortable, fun and most importantly, I felt strong.

Spring flowers on Wood Canyon Trail

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Crossing Creek in Wood Canyon

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Crossing over bridge on Wood Canyon Trail

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More beauty in wood Canyon

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Detour up Cave Rock Trail

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Running down The Rock

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Rattler crossing as I run final stretch on Aliso Creek Trail

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8 comments:

  1. That last picture makes me think about wearing ear buds on the trails.

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  2. Nice do! Good luck on your form.

    By the way, I'm working on form, too, after watching the LA Marathon and Rotterdam Marathons on TV recently. The best runners all have straight backs, relaxed shoulders, and head up. In other words, the opposite of how I run!

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  3. As long as I see the rattler first Jeremy, I'm okay with it. I actually saw this one from afar and RAN UP TO IT to get close enough for a picture, but far enough not to get biten. : )

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  4. Thanks Tom. I went to a running clinic last weekend, and the biggest critique the coach had about me was my head was down and my shoulders were tight. So, I know what you mean. You look pretty dang straight though when you run. Good luck!

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  5. How cool! The photos are absolutely stunning. I'm going to head out into Laguna Coast this weekend. Yea!

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  6. Have fun in Laguna Coast! Spring flowers are out in abundance -- it's lovely. But watch out for those rattlers Glenn.

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  7. You always run on the most beautiful paths.

    Love the new short hair, girl, it's cute!

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  8. Thanks Green Girl! I am very lucky to have such beautiful trails out here in the crowded O.C. : )

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