I’m not running tomorrow, so I can close out February with a checkmark next to my goal – to run the elevation of Mt. Everest (29,029’/8,848 m). I ran about 1,500’ more elevation than the great mountain, totaling 30,556’ (9,313 m) for the month of February.
As I ran those 30,000’+ of elevation, I came to realize a few things that must go concerning my running if I’m going to have any chance of finishing Old Goat 50. First off, I’ve got to loosen up. Loosen my shoulders, my legs, my arms, basically get rid of all tension. Another thing I’ve decided, is that it’s okay to grab at branches. I used to forbid myself from grabbing a branch to climb a steep trail. Doing so made me feel weak. To this silly rule, I say, screw that. I will grab at branches, at boulders, or anything else that will help move me forward. Another odd rule I used to have (because again, I foolishly considered it a sign of weakness) is forbidding myself to use my arms to push off from my quads. When a climb is so steep that it’s practically more efficient to crawl, I will use my arms to push off from my quads. In fact, I will do it anytime such a move propels me forward.
There’s more that I learned, and in today’s run finalized. To begin, I have been adamantly against the forefoot strike, mainly because it irritates my neuroma. Scratch that. I can get up a brutally steep hill faster with a forefoot strike. Sometimes a forefoot strike is okay! And lastly, I’ve decided it’s okay to put my hands on my hips. Yes, hands on the hips slows me down. But that’s okay. Hands on the hips is a way of resting without stopping forward momentum.
Concerning this morning’s run, though I was no speed demon, I made decent time. Best of all, it felt like one of those “easy” runs. And lastly, the only reason I went up Mentally Sensitive is because it’s a bitch, a real bitch! (Excuse my language, I’m just in that kind of mood.)