Monday, 5 August 2013

Karen writes: New shoes...again

Just wore the newest pair of running shoes.  I could count off the last few years in pairs of shoes, the pair with purple stripes, the blue ones, pink, the two black pairs I didn't like but got them because they were cheap and so on and so on. Every pair capturing up to 800km in those worn asics soles, all reaching back into my running where will this latest pair take me I wonder.

I put the elastic laces in, I LOVE those things.  You realise ordinary laces are quite restrictive and don't conform to your foot and you never want to go back to them after getting used to the elastic ones.  They also make your shoe easy to get on and off, just by shifting the toggle, perfect for those who waste massive amounts of energy on running but are too lazy to take the extra effort to undo a pair of laces. So I put the shoes on and in the spirit of true procrastination  I speculated as to whether or not this pair would make it to Ironman, and figured eventually that they probably wouldn't. Then I ran, goodness they felt different from the old pair, those were obviously well past their best.  These days a replacement pair of running shoes of a brand that suits you doesn't tend to need breaking in to prevent blisters, but the soles of my feet usually get hot for the first couple of runs. There wasn't much heat tonight though, running was in the dark on this winter evening across the frosty grass down to Monday spin class at Te Puru.

"Work hard" called the fitly fabulous young spin instructor, "you only have 45 minutes and if you dont WORK you are WASTING your MONEY".  I dont work hard, I have a different excuse every time...oh, I ran a marathon 3 days ago...oh I am tapering...oh, I had a big bikeride... oh, I'm feeling lazy...oh if I work too hard I wont be able to run home...oh, actually yesterday I did my long run because oops, I have another marathon in less than 8 weeks.

So its 8 weeks out from the next marathon and I'm playing with altering my running style.  Why, because I found a book on it of course. This writer claims that running can be made more energy efficient by using gravity, it can also apparently be 'effortless and injury free', worth  a try, running represents neither of those things for me. I'm finding applying the theory is taking a lot of intellectual effort however, what with all the complicated instructions which I guess do have the benefit of making the miles disappear faster when you are constantly going through a list of 'things' to do.  Be mindful. Head held up by string. Long back. Lean forward.  Relax to go faster.  Shoulders neutral (how do you tell?).  Swing arms back.  Neutral hips (?). Legs are wheels not pendulums. Engage core (that dratted core again).  Land on midfoot not heel. Cadence up.  Feet straight ahead. Breathe from...where was it again? Be even more mindful...etc etc. I find when I concentrate on one point, I let something else go, or when I'm thinking about wheel motions for my legs my arms want to go in circles as well.

I have to admit I nearly gave up when I read the instruction that I should avoid conserve energy apparently.  Of course I cant possibly see the point of running and not talking!