Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Brief post - sweaty and tired.

Tonight we did a quick 3 mile loop that took us past our alma mater...good old American University. As we ran by, I took in some of the recent changes to the campus (like a random boat sitting outside of the Katzen Arts Center?) and thought about how little I ran during college. Funny how that works out... once I left AU, I finally started using all the facilities (track, tennis courts, etc.)! Good thing it's only 1.5 miles away ;p

Anyway, that was my random moment while running. We finished in
28:30...not too shabby for the first run back after a long, food-filled weekend! It was actually pretty nice out tonight - not too humid, though I did run with one of my Fuel Belt bottles.

Lately I've been trying to focus on my running form, like a huge nerd, paying attention to where my feet strike. The most efficient and natural way to run is with a mid to forefoot strike (it also causes the least amount of stress on your body). Think about when you run around the house barefoot (what? I totally run around barefoot!). What hits the ground first? Your heel or the balls of your feet? Unless you have heels of steel, I'm willing to bet the balls of your feet hit first. Don't run inside barefoot? Try jumping in place (shoes or no shoes). Ah HAAAAA! Balls of feet!

Why do I want to run efficiently? I dunno, it just seems like a good idea. Kidding! First of all, I don't want injuries. Injuries = BAD. You know all those not fun injuries that overpronators are well, prone to getting? You can't really overpronate if you don't run from heel to toe. There isn't enough time for that extra movement. Quickie info on overpronation - it's the rolling inward of your foot at the end of your gait cycle. Everyone's feet roll in a little bit (pronation), but overpronators roll in significantly. Rolling in is bad because it eff's up your ankles, knees, shins, you name it.

Another draw for me is the speed. I want to be a faster and stronger runner. I'm not talking about being a competitive racer or even trying to beat Jamie during a weekday run. I'm talking about improving my times and how I feel throughout the run. Have you ever gotten to that point during a long run where you start to feel your torso slumping a little? Maybe hunching your shoulders a bit? Fatigue! I want some good running posture! hehe. I guess one of the first steps is to stick to a core strengthening routine (yes, I slack with the strength training!). Please send suggestions my way! Any lower back strengtheners are welcome too...my butt and hip will thank you :)

By the time we got back to the apartment, there wasn't much sunlight so it was back to taking pictures under my dining room lamp. Tonight's salad was
Brown Rice, Romaine, Avocado, Salsa, Spicy Monterrey Jack, Black Beans, Corn and Mom's Leftover Skirt Steak
Light and filling! No dressing needed for this...the salsa, spicy cheese and avocados all mixed together add tons of flavor! I also squeezed a little bit of lime juice over the top of the bowl. One thing that would have made this better? Cilantro :)

I'm off to shower and sleep so I can get my butt on the treadmill early tomorrow morning for my Wednesday 5 miler! Nites!


MarathonVal said...

I didn't realize you ran Chicago last year, that's awesome! Was that you first time doing the course? I can't wait for this year. Even last fall I found it to be quite hot, not as bad as 2007 but not ideal running temps, so good for you for having a good race!

Anonymous said...

ack! I didn't know there were so many things to keep in mind while running! And I didn't know you went to American U! So cool!

Mia {runs and rests} said...

I am so jealous you live so close to your university! Must pay attention to my running form next time.

Jamie said...

I LOVE AU - look at the fabulous new website :)