Running is the hardest on my body and my mind. It quickly became clear that my body is not in running condition nor do I have the proper muscles built up to be very effective. My heart rate is steady in the 170’s, and 180’s when I run, and it is hard for me to find a method to cool down or lower that rate without stopping to walk. Being new to running I thought it was important that I learn as much about form as possible. Steel City Endurance had sign ups for a Running Skills Clinic at Schenley Park, and I was happy to get registered. I had run a couple of times a week the first couple weeks in May and averaged around 10 minutes a mile. My best time was 28:37 practicing 3.1 miles and furthest distance 4.5 in the park. The clinic showed me that my form could be improved. I learned to hinge from the ankles and not to step in front of my torso which will help prevent overstriding and the many injuries that come with it. (Hopefully, I can add some footage from the clinic soon). I have loosened up a lot in my shoulders and arms as I imagine carrying eggs in my hands and talk to myself during my run. I also love the analogy of being a hamster on a hamster wheel, always running with gravity and good posture as I keep the wheel moving. My Garmin calculates my run cadence which helps determine if I am overstriding and I immediately saw a difference in my results after taking this clinic and paying more attention to where my front leg is placed when it hits the ground.
I know that one of my weaknesses is competitiveness. Normally that is a positive trait, but when it comes to an endurance sport, I really can’t stand being passed by other runners or cyclists for that matter. Okay, I am ridiculous, but I purposefully run at the park to get used to it. I was okay during my last MS150 ride because I was just trying to finish, now if I can capture the same attitude. I am hoping with a little patience and adding a bit of distance and time to my run training I will gain some confidence for my final journey (the run) in the race. Better yet, I get fast enough that not many will pass me (haha). One thing is for sure, the bright shoes keep my cheerful and even glow in the dark.