Thursday 13 March 2014

Running Dark

I took a little time to reflex during my run last night.

Now I'm not exactly sure what people think about my exploits (or Triathletes in general).  Some think we're crazy.  Some simply can't see why we all do what we do.  Some just 'get it' and don't need to question at all.

I suppose that everyone finds their own way to unwind / distress / chill out / relax / find a different place - whatever takes your fancy.  Some people drive fast cars.  Some take foreign vacations.  Some get drunk.  Some go Clubbing.  Some read!  Me?  I look for the moments like last night run ...... 

The calf injury is all but gone. I don't think about it anymore.  Focus has now moved to the Right shin (!) with a single sore point just above the ankle.  Running is still quite limited to once a week.  It's still progress compared to the first couple of months though, so I'm happy.  I'd like to be doing more, but at the moment I feel 90 years old the next day!!  Gentle is the key word for me still.

Having had a really positive run last Wednesday evening when I really tried to reign in any notion of time / distance / thoughts of previous runs and concentrate on technique and relaxation, resulting in a fantastic feeling that I could go on and on, a light heart rate and no real element of stress or tightening up, I again left it a full week to ensure there was not a delayed reaction or anything bizarre going on with the leg.

I did the exact same run last night, again just focussing on form and low energy exertions.  This together with an almost perfect clear sky, moonlight to guide the way (lack of street lights in some areas!), the decent of a little fog, a chill in the air and the country-side was just M.A.G.I.C.  That is what makes training worth-while and keeps me motivated.  Now that is Running Dark!! Tremendous.

So, the secret?  (N.B.  This might be all cobblers / psychological etc, etc - but it seems to work, so I don't really care). Over Christmas I read a book about Chi Running.  While I do quite like the image of this Tai Chi stuff in some desolate Country Park, alone with just a pack (!) of Stags watching from a misty hill-top and the sound of the odd Chinese Gong / birds (do I watch too many movies?), I'm not necessarily convinced by the 'inner Chi' / 'let your Chi flow' preaching’s.  You can't measure it, see it or buy it.   

I do however like the idea behind the 'technique' side of Chi Running - A strong CORE, standing tall with head / shoulders / hips and ankle aligned, and using the tilt from the ankles to allow gravity to provide forward momentum, not necessarily your legs so much.

At the moment, this is what I think of while on the run, together with the recollection pointed out time and time again through the book - Remember when you were a kid running around without a care in the world, never thinking about running or getting knackered?  Run like that kid again!! 

Now, my memory isn't all that good, but it does give you a bit of focus and helps relaxation.  It also subconsciously helps with pace.  Although I'm still really early out of injury, I'm well up on my target race pace.  Last night’s run was 7.5 miles at just under 8 minute mile average (believe it or not, I actually remembered to not only charge my Garmin, but USE the bleed'in thing too - Happy days).
Progress indeed.  I won't look for a pace any greater than this, just build in Brick sessions (hard ride into a medium distance run as the training regime builds up) and try and maintain this.

Enough of running.

Went Mountain Biking with the Club last Sunday.  One word - MUDDY :)  Another word - BLOODY MARVELOUS (OK, two words. Sue me). 

The Ashford Tri entrant list for this Outlaw is down from Six to Five (Hope Andy recovers soon and get's back on that horse (Wrong sport?).  The rest of us have taken to gather about once a month to have a catch-up, brag about training pace, worry about how quickly this event is coming round, talk nutrition, training plans, compare injuries and anything even vaguely related.  It's a really great evening. A sort of self-help group!  Last week was all round my place.  Apart from the dog embarrassing herself, I didn't cook, so no food poisoning at all.  Bonus! I may have inadvertently scared Sally about the bike distance.  Real sorry Sal!

Stuff to do next - not necessarily in this order:

•Visit the Osteopath again.  I will try to maintain this as I'm sure that I'll be constantly battling the lower leg injury.

•Book another Swim Analysis at TheTriLife.  May be a bit too late to change anything drastic, but I'd appreciate the guidance of more experienced triathletes

•Get out on the TT Bike

•Get out on the TT Bike

•Go running

•Get out on the TT Bike

•Purchase some of the race neutrition products and get experimenting with the re-fuelling on the go (HIGH5)

•Re-charge the Garmin

•Take some pictures of the TT Bike

•Post about the TT Bike

•Obsess about the TT Bike

Later people.

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