Day 35 – Fourth Time

I have not missed many run/walk/jogging opportunities lately (we’ll simplify this to call them runs).  If I have not run it’s been because I’ve been sick or it’s rained…and it’s rained a lot over the last two weeks.  However, I am glad that I didn’t run for one of the weeks as it gave me time off to recover; and my times have gotten better.  The last two runs I’ve done I shortened my overall distance by half.  That seems counter intuitive, in a way, however my goal is to run this 80 foot (high not distance) drop then 80 foot rise and the sections in between – once that happens then add a second one.  After that, then go back and do the one long course adding another half and so on.

Before today’s run I watched a couple of videos that I think have been very good at describing how to run – I’ve included those at the bottom of this post.  You would think that having been in the Army for 17 years and being a horrific runner that I would’ve been able to find people who would teach me how to run…but that’s not the case.  I would get horrific shin splints (caused by pulling my toe up just like you do when you march), calf pain (caused by landing on my heels), and I was always exhausted at the end and felt like I was going to die.  About two weeks ago I wanted to improve my form so I would actually enjoy running (which I did from June to October of 2002 when I was able to hit 5 minute miles.)  So I read about how I was heel striking (and I bought new shoes) – so I fixed that and started to lean forward – at the waist which would give my quads and but a great workout; so much so that I couldn’t go up and down the steps in my house.  I figured that wasn’t right, but I continued.  Then I watched the two videos below and a few on Chi Running…they look awkward, yet smooth and effortless – so I started practicing some of these techniques and today I cut another 2 minutes off of my time – which is pretty exciting.  My lungs were yelling at me wondering what the hell I was doing, but within a few minutes after finishing they felt better than before…and I felt like I had done something (and didn’t want to die afterwards.)

I’ve officially been running since the 14th of June, but I’ve been much more consistent since the 16th of July (so about 1 month.)  I do try to get out at least twice a day.  My goal is to do something like P90X2  in the morning and run 2x a day – or do 2 runs (one to start the day and one at noon then P90X2 later.)  I eat very healthy; by very healthy I mean mostly vegetarian and almost no cheese at all.  My Achille’s heel happens to be Coke – which I’d like to cut out completely.

So, what changes have I noticed the last 1-2 months of running?

1) Well, the biggest change I’ve noticed is that I look forward to getting out of the house and I don’t feel so bad putting myself before work.  As a matter of fact, I put myself before everyone two times a day – this is quite a first for me.  It doesn’t matter what goes on at noon I put skype to ‘away’ then change and go run – I then do the same thing about five pm.

2) I’ve also noticed my stress level gets down.  I look forward to the run and when it’s a more than normal stressor of a day I look forward to the run even more and I’ll even count down the minutes until it’s here.

3) Because the route I run is semi-secluded the medic in me steps up.  I hydrate better than I normally would and I make sure that I eat something small like carrots before the run.  After the run, I try to eat so I don’t get sick.  I spent 12 years not eating breakfasts and lunches then eating dinners.  For dinner, I try to eat in more moderation.  I used to eat a ton of dinner because I didn’t eat the rest of the day.  I still eat more dinner than I probably should, but not as much as I used to.  I also attempt to have more salads before dinner and sometimes that means I don’t eat what everyone else has – and I don’t feel bad (e.g. not well) nor do I miss it.

4) I have more energy and even though I go to bed later and don’t want to get out of bed as early in the morning, I don’t have the afternoon “nap” feeling.

5) I have a clear head to finish out the workday.  One of the hurdles I had to overcome was the belief that if I didn’t stare at the problem for hours on end then I wasn’t getting it done.  I have since realized that if I run into an issue and step away (like I used to when I smoked) it clears my head and I usually find the answer while I’m away from my desk.

That’s it for today.  I think I’ve spent enough time on this blog entry 🙂


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