Friday, December 2, 2011

sorta kinda ice, no heel-toe running, and advancing toward 3 steps per second

My phone said it was 27 degrees outside this morning when I headed out for my run; when I got outside, there was enough moisture in the air that I was glad I had put my goofy face warmer on.  Wet cold air is cold.  

On a happy turn of events, the City of Rock Island came yesterday and FIXED the water leak that's been bubbling up out of the middle of my street on a very steep hill for months now.  This made getting to the top substantially easier, as I wasn't trying to negotiate around THAT in the dark.  

I think we must have gotten a little snow shower or sprinkling of rain or something.  While the pavement wasn't flat out WET, it did have an extremely thin, almost imperceptible layer of ice sort of patched along here and there.  This made my run interesting.  I never actually slipped, but I kept feeling the slipperiness under my feet at the edges of my shoes as I ran.  It kept me running in smaller steps than usual, and when it was time to turn around, I didn't just loop in a hustling circle...I came to a stop and carefully turned, determined not to fall in the road right there in one of those dark spots where it would be too easy to get run over by some bleary-eyed early morning driver.  

By the way, I don't know if I've mentioned this week that my run cycle has been 

5ish minutes of warmup walk
1 minute slower jog
9 minutes faster run
1 minute slower jog
9 minutes faster run
1 minute slower jog
9 minutes faster run
5ish minutes cooldown walk

It has been a pretty easy cycle; next week I'll definitely advance to the next level, which memory seems to tell me is 1 minute slower jog, 14 minutes faster run, twice (I'll check the tiny book to verify, but I think I'm right on this one.) 

Recently I spent some time looking at youtube videos on running form, just trying to make sure I'm not messing myself up in any major way.  I think I'm doing okay - I lean forward right, my arms do the thing they should, and my feet come down on the middle of my foot (I didn't say that well, but my brain is struggling this morning...trusting you get it). 

I had a very, very brief stint of a bit of running in college, for just like 4 weeks or something, while I was in a mandatory PE class that was "fitness" - a lot of weightlifting and some running.  I got killer shin splints in those few weeks.  My tiny running book told me what that PE teacher never did...that shin splints come from taking too long a stride and landing on your heels.  I REMEMBER landing on my heels...feeling like properly running was that kind of extending and stretching.  MAN shin splints hurt!  I remember!  The good news is that I don't do that silly kind of running anymore, and there is no sign of shin splints.  The videos all say land on the middle of the foot, and I do, which is a pretty short stride.  

NOW....interestingly, one of them said I should be making 3 steps per second.  I make 2 steps per second.  This goes a long way in explaining to me why it takes me nearly 15 minutes to run a mile.  Sooooo....after I do the next couple of phases and get up to 30 minutes all at my current faster pace, the next thing I'll do is more intervals.  Back to the original beginning, with the "slower" part being what is my "faster" part now...and the "faster" part being 3 steps per second.  Oh, the dread that fills me when I consider this advancement.  But I'ma do it, fer realz. 

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