11/28/06 Taking it in Stride

Tuesday.  Would someone mind telling me what happened to the month of November?  I don’t know where it went and if this is any indication as to the speed of the rest of the months passing by I better get busy.

Yesterday was our day off from training but I am using it as my Pilates session day now.  (They added so much to our Friday Cross training that there would be no room for Pilates.)  Had a very good workout yesterday.  Elly is upping the resistance and putting me through more routines.  I also don’t stop and talk any more so that gives us time to do more.  I figured Monday was a good day for Pilates as it is after the weekend which will become more and more fatiguing and Pilates is great for putting stuff back where it is supposed to go.    The thing I like the most about Pilates is how it realigns the joints and muscles.  I love the reformer and if I had the money I would buy my own and use it every day.  But alas, they cost a lot of money and I have a small apartment.

Last night was the second annual Turkey Trot race for cookies that my friends put together.  I didn’t race (as it was my day off) but I went as the official time keeper and bag watcher.  It was actually a beautiful night in the park (looks like we have another one tonight). 

I got there early which afforded me the opportunity to observe people running in the park.  I was really struck by the variety of running styles.  No two people run the same.  Even four guys running by together — they had different cadences, knee height, posture.  It was really enlightening.  I watched the slow runners.  I watched the runners who looked like they should be slow (they were not bending their knees) but were actually running by fairly quickly.  I watched one of the really good park runners (I won’t name names) run by and was shocked to hear how heavily his feet slap the ground when he runs (yet he is a very fast runner.)  A couple of minutes later a woman ran by softly, noiselessly, effortlessly like she was gliding on ice.  Fascinating.

All different styles and yet they were all getting to where they wanted to go.  One woman ran by very fast but she was all arms pumping, pumping, pumping  — all business, definitely someone who works in law or finance, lol.  Not sure that is worth the effort.  A Japanese fellow ran by and he was most interesting because although his knees seemed bent, his legs seemed to move back and forth like pendulums — the angle of his knee never changing.  I wondered how he could do that?  Kind of like my straight leg running but with a permanent bend in his knee.

Across the board the fasty fasts all had a high knee lift –almost up to their waists (not quite).  They also had a 90 degree angle in their leg when their foot went behind them.  After the fasty fasts there was such a variety of methods that it would be hard to describe them all.  I’ve noticed several woman now who run with their head tilted.  I wonder why?  What could that possibly do for them?  (Look for them now when you are running in the park — you’ll be shocked to see how many you find.)

I also noticed stride lengths, the pendulum runners (like the Japanese fellow, their knees stay in one position and all movement comes from the hips) all had fairly long stride lengths.  That’s how they get their speed, not by cadence but by length.  They remind me of that Tony Little Gazelle machine — everything coming from the hip. 

For me I realize that I really have to practice getting my knees way up there — even over exagerrate for awhile until I get it.  (Of course it would be easier if I had less leg to lift).  It was a very good running lesson for me, just observing all the different styles out there.   The trick is to pick and choose what I like about each of the different runners and put togther my own style.

Tonight we have Farklet training in the park.  It sounds long but I’ll just do my best.  We start at the boat house, run south around the lower loop doing 1 mile at marathon pace.  (That would be nice if we could just stop there, but no then we keep going up the East side all the way to the great lawn, run around that twice with some pick ups in there.  Then get back on the drive up to 102nd, across to the westside and back down to where we started.  It’s actually only about 6 miles but it sounds like so much more!!! 

I have an educational video on running styles to share with you.  Very interesting to examine the different running techniques.  Enjoy  http://www.videotiger.com/cheetahvideo.shtml


Run Like An Antelope
by Phish

Rye, rye, rocco
Marco Esquandolas

Run, run, run, run
Run, run, run, run
Run, run, run, run
Run, run, run, run

Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul
You’ve got to run like an antelope out of control

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