Running – I live for running. Or perhaps running exists for me. Regardless of the philosophical debate, I have always said when I can no longer run I am going to walk out into the middle of nowhere, sit down, and pass.
That may seem a tad extreme, but we live in an era where everything must be extreme or you have failed and will not garner the requisite likes that validate your existence. Not sure I understand that, but whatever.
For those reading at home, or at work, or at your family’s house because you are extremely bored and the stories have been in summer re-runs for years, I used to help coach first time marathoners. Coaching myself is a different story.
I know all the right things to do, but often just continue down the same path that I have always taken. Because that path is familiar and I can count on it to get me from A to B. I have also known, for far too long, that I need to change my gait slightly or continue to suffer the inevitable knee pain that will eventually require another operation or at best, taking time off from running.
Changing one’s gait is not easy. Especially when you are trying to do it yourself. Admittedly, sometimes it is good to have someone yelling at you. Alas, my schedule does not allow for anything more than a virtual coach (no thanks) and to be honest, as much as I enjoy running, I would rather spend my running budget on shoes (I have far too many) and singlets, than a coach.
But I can do this; at least I am telling myself that. One simple change that morphs into a habit and boom, a much happier knee. Easy peasy, right? Let us pray says the individual without religion…
Thus, this morning, I embarked on a short three mile run with a single goal in mind: Lift me knees two or three inches higher for the duration of the run. I don’t want to get into the mechanics of it, but let’s just say that lifting my knees just a bit higher changes how my foot hits the ground; closer to the front of the foot versus the heel.
Let’s call today a minor triumph as I was, for the most part, able to maintain the new gait. Honestly, I faltered a few times during the last mile, however I noticed it immediately and shifted my focus to getting those knees up. I am going to say it was a good run.
I also felt a bit faster as well. Not cheetah fast, of course; but faster.
One run does not mean success and my plan is to stick with three miles runs until my body accepts the new gait and I can run without focusing on lifting the knees a few more inches.
Alright, now who wants a beer?
Listening to: Bad Company / Desolation Angels