RSS

Boston Marathon 2013 – A Year Later

I had drafted a blog entry last year after the race that I never published.  I am here a year later finally having completed it and having added to it.

I had run over 500 miles since the first of the year.
Last year, I had done more pull-ups, push-ups, curls, shoulder raises, and other core exercises than I had ever done before.

I had done hill workouts on the street and on a treadmill; I had done speed workouts out on my street, on the track and on the treadmill; I had done tempo runs; I had done race pace runs; I had done my long distance runs; I had done my 3/1 runs– where I do a chill pace for 3/4, then turn it up for the last quarter for up to two hours.

I had exhausted my body for four plus months in anticipation of an awesome finish at the Boston Marathon.

However, nothing could have prepared me for what happened on Monday, April 15, 2013– both on the course, and the events that transpired after I finished.

For the month or so prior to the race, sleeping through the night had become difficult.  I am not sure what it was.  It may have been my mind, my body, perhaps both.  It may have been the excitement of knowing I would be competing in the most prestigious race in the world, held annually in the great city of Boston, Massachusetts on their Patriots’ Day holiday.  At this point, it does not really matter what it was, but I was not sleeping well, and I was terribly excited for the time to pass.

Eventually it was Friday, the 12th of April, and I was to get packed and get everything ready for the early departure the next morning.  We left Cleveland on Saturday morning, and with a quick stop in Newark, we arrived in Boston at lunchtime.  We took the appropriate trains to get to where we were staying, with an awesomely hospitable new friend in Jamaica Plain.  As we exited the train station, I was introduced to Will and he took us up the narrow, winding streets to his third floor “apartment.”

We had a quick lunch, and saw that it was still early enough to head downtown for the Marathon expo.  So, Christina and I went to Hynes Convention Center to grab my bib and a couple hundred dollars in wicked-sweet marathon loot.  Eventually, my mother and sister caught up with us and we found everything we needed and headed for some genuine clam chowda.

We awoke Sunday knowing that we could take it easy, since the expo fun was done.  Christina and I headed to the Prudential Center to try to find a cap because it was a little chilly and we were planning to enjoy a Duck Tour later on.  The mall in downtown Boston was packed with the regular crowd, plus the runners all enjoying a beautiful day of commerce in the city.  There were Boston marathon jackets/hoodies/t-shirts/hats being worn by everyone around.

Later, we enjoyed the Duck Tour hosted by MacIn Quack, a Boston transplanted Scotsman.  He showed us the city, gave us a historical narrative, and took us in the water for another, more unique, view of the city.

Eventually we made our way to the Little Italy chunk of the city and found a restaurant that supplied the much-needed fuel for the following day.  Then, it was bedtime.

Surprisingly, I fell asleep Sunday night and slept for several hours without a glass of wine or a beer.  I woke, threw on my race garb, and jumped on the train.  Several months prior, I had reserved my spot on a bus that would take me to the start.  The bus left from MIT.  Not knowing the city terribly well, I barely made it to said bus before departure.

I am incredibly grateful that I made it onto the bus because I caught up with a racing friend, Frank, and he introduced me to the “other Ryan,” and we chatted it up the whole way until the bus parked a little ways from the race start.

It is impossible to describe the race start for the Boston Marathon without seeing it.  Suffice it to say that to find a port-a-potty without a half hour line is impossible.  So, seeing 30 men urinating outside the same building because there were plenty of trees in the front is not unlikely.  Then there is a good walk among thousands of very fit, jittery, energetic people to a town not any bigger than a small suburb of Cleveland.  There you see the sign:
hopkinton500
A wave of absolute Greatness sweeps over you.  You stand on or near the same place as some of the greatest runners the world has ever bore witness to.  It’s pretty overwhelming.  I could not help but try and take it all in.

A short while later, many of the participants began removing their throwaways as we heard the wheelchair athletes began their race.  Then, at 10:00 AM, the elite field took off, among them Americans Shalane Flanagan and Jason Hartmann, who would each reach the finish line on Boylston Street in fourth place in their respective genders.  Then wave one began.  I was in wave one.

The Boston Marathon course is incredibly challenging.  There are many blogs and other outlets that will tell you about the rigors of the course.  I finished the first half of the race in 1:33:56 and was staying on target of where I wanted to be.  Side note: The wall of noise in Wellesley is unlike anything you will every experience in your life unless you run this course.  I wanted to go out slow and save enough for the incredible uphills that were yet to arise (pun very much intended).  Around mile 16, my legs began to cramp and the rest of the race was a run/walk.  I ran as far up each hill as I could possibly go, and walked for a little while, before enough came back in the legs that I could commence running again.  My muscles were locking up everywhere.  My calves, hamstrings, quads, even my hip flexors were lacking hydration and sodium.  They began to lock up at the slightest effort.  I somehow struggled through the remainder of the race.  When I reached the last few turns and saw the mass of spectators, I decided that I would run the last stretch, no matter how much it hurt.  My mother has a video of my final efforts “running” to the beautiful royal blue and yellow Finish Line of the 117th running of the Boston Marathon, and it is far from beautiful.  My stride is short, broken, awkward and uncomfortable, but I finished.  This was around 1:40 PM EST.  Luckily, my family who attended the race, left their spot on the fence to meet me at the “Family Meeting Area.”

I struggled through the finish area, walking very gingerly around a corner to where my gear check bag would be found.  I remained there for a long while.  It was a struggle to lift my legs up to get my warm-up pants on and cover my goosebumps.  Eventually, I was able to throw some warm clothes on and walk to the meeting area where I met my fiance, my mother, and my sister.  We found the nearest train station and headed back to the apartment in Jamaica Plain.

The walk took much longer than the previous attempts, but eventually we made our way up the hill and I prepared for a shower.  My mother and sister ventured to a nearby ice cream establishment while I got in the shower to wash off the sweat and Gatorade that had adhered to my body.  Shortly thereafter, the bathroom door was opened and Christina, my fiance, informed me that there was a terrible incident down at the marathon finish.

The first bomb went off just over an hour after I had crossed the finish line, at 2:49 PM.  The second bomb a little after that.  The city of Boston went from happy and proud to terrified and injured.

Three were killed: Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell and Lingzi Lu.  May they all rest peacefully.  264 others were injured, including hearing loss and/or severed limbs.  Some details can be found here: http://abcnews.go.com/US/fullpage/boston-marathon-bombing-victims-people-affected-23243060

This is the first time where I can honestly say that I have thought about a day every single day since.  I think about how if I had given in to the injuries I’d had nagging me leading up to and during the race, or if I had some medical team pull me off the course forcing me to stop, or if I had gotten dehydrated and forced to stop, or if there was any reason that I had been unable to cross the finish line at the time that I had, that my family may have made up a portion of the bombing statistics.  My mother, my sister, and the future Mrs. H., were all standing on the bombed side of the street, not much more than an hour before it happened.  When they saw me shuffle past, they screamed for me and I did not hear them, did not see their signs, but they left immediately.  I am also incredibly pleased to say that Frank, his family and friends who attended, Ryan, and his family who attended, all made it away from the finish area unscathed.

The part of town we were staying in is where the Samuel Adams Brewery is located, and we paid a much needed visit.  The donations they receive usually go to help with different charities, but that day they were giving to the organization that was going to help the victims and families of the victims.

The city of Boston had changed overnight.  We revisited the same mall the day after the race, and it was nearly empty.  Most of the businesses there were closed, and since one of the exits opened to the street where the finish area was, some of the mall was off-limits to civilians.  There were National Guard and SWAT team police officers at every train station with automatic weapons and bomb sniffing dogs in tow.

Needless to say, I am glad they found who committed the cowardly acts, and pardon me for saying it, but I hope the suspect who was killed at least suffered before he perished.  I will not write their names.

For Sean Collier, who was killed while the bombers were attempting to flee the city of Boston, and probably the country, may he also rest peacefully.

I feel as if Shalane has a much better chance at victory this year, and I hope I am not the only one who will be rooting for her on Monday.

As I write this, it is almost EXACTLY a year since the events in Boston took place.  I still get teary-eyed thinking of everything that happened surrounding the marathon last year.  I am selfishly glad that I ran fast enough so that my story is hardly an interesting one.  I wear my Boston Marathon 2013 jacket as often as I can.  I wear my “Boston Strong” wristband every day, hoping people ask me about it.  I care not for the attention, but want everyone else to remember.

This year’s Boston Marathon is six days away.  I have a few friends running and I wish them the best of luck.  I am jealous and I wish I could be there again.  I would wave to each and every spectator and try to thank them just for being there.  I would also try to run a much better race than I was able to a year ago.

If we get nothing else from what happened at this great race one year ago, care for the person next to you, no matter your differences.

I apologize for my sudden shifts in thought.  I am no writer.

P.L.H.

~Andy

 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags:

Hey Kids, How We Doin’?

Yeah, so it’s been a while… again.

I have had a lot going on.  Give me a break.

Well, where did we last leave off?  Oh yeah, I had won a brick! https://bikerunfoodfun.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/my-running-new-year/

Since then, the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland has opened and I am loving it.  It’s a lot of fun to go in to work each day and play games for a living.  Compared to past employment, it’s a haven and they PAY me for it.  Yeah, for realz.  For the first month or so, they were working my tail off because they did not have enough people working in the poker room, but that has since changed with the hiring of many new folks (thankfully, because I was exhausted).

This is when training was still going on, but gives you an idea of the beauty of the place.

Since I am there every day, I may have become complacent about the appearance, but it’s gorgeous.  We had lines wrapped around the building in the evenings for the first month, and though nights are still pretty crowded, you can usually walk right in.

I need a segway to talk about athletic junk instead of work…  Hmmm…  Well, how about them Olympics, eh?

I had some minor training setbacks, now that I am working on my next marathon in Columbus in October.  My sister and my girlfriend have also both decided to drink the sauce and attempt 26.2 in Columbus.  I am excited for them both to experience the challenge and run through the ‘Shoe on the same day that I do.  I will be waiting for them at the end, screaming my lungs out.

We attended a wedding for some awesome friends who came in from DC:

The weekend of my birthday (and my father’s, August 4-5), several Humbles, a couple Dziaks, and a couple Volkerts embarked on an ambitious cycle ride to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.  I had not done much training for the ride, other than my running (which had been hindered by a calf strain), and some rides on the stationary bike at my gym.  Even though Pan Ohio had gone smoothly last year, for some reason I always have trouble with cramping on the first day of the MS ride.  We set out early Saturday morning with eight people to Team Fiesty.  At the first rest stop, we had decided as a team, to attempt the century lap, bringing the day’s mileage to 101.  The next portion of the ride was rather grueling (especially when Jeffrey and I missed a turn and added two miles to the leg we were on) and the heat was starting to kick up.  We made it to the lunch stop, and several people had to, understandably, drop out thereafter.  The day was only getting hotter, but eventually three of us made the entire route to Sandusky High School, with a fourth, who rode separately, completed his 80 miles without a hitch.

Day 2 was much easier, despite a good amount of rain early, and also despite the NASTY climb right at the end of 82 tough miles.  Everyone (five of us) that set out for the second day completed the mileage (kudos to Jeffrey for the roadside flat fix), and four of us rode through the finish rainbow together.

While at the finish dinner, I had to excuse myself to use the loo and when I returned Christina’s father, Terry, had somehow managed to get the cafeteria to sing “Happy Birthday” to me while I was forced to stand there as Terry had given up his seat and taken mine.  It was actually a really cool and unexpected moment.  One of those one time things that will never happen again.

So, the cycling is done, for who knows how long.  I am definitely taking next summer off of the charity cycling and focusing on my running.  I need to accomplish a few ambitious goals with my running before I get too old and lose some speed.  Next up could possibly be the River Run Half Marathon, but I may instead just focus on the Columbus Marathon, and then do the Half Marathon in Las Vegas in December.  I did have some pretty outstanding runs this week after recovering from the ride last week, but I do not want to force the training to progress too quickly for the River Run.  It’s a wait-and-see.

Do you like to overbook yourself for races, or focus on a few quality ones?

I have been cooking more, including a lovely Mahi Mahi, butternut squash ravioli combination last week (be jealous, it was delicious), but I forgot pictures, and I am going to Lola with the lady this evening for the first time ever.  It’s a late two year celebration that I am looking forward to (will try to take some pics).

Enjoy your running and training, folks.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

My Running New Year

So, the end of last year was a little rough, but once everything was done with the belly and I was back to normal, I began hitting the gym for running on the treadmill, and some light upper body work.  Since it’s been such a nice end to Winter/beginning of Spring, I have also been able to head out for more running outside.  It’s been pretty fantastic.

I did not run St. Malachi all out this year due to my lack of mileage for a while with working full time and training for the casino.  So, once things settled down and I officially went on the payroll for Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, I knew I could get out and run whenever again.  So, I’ve been slowly trickling miles in.  I began with a run or two each week, and now I am up to three runs per week.  The mileage base felt decent enough to put a good effort into a 5k.

Yesterday, I posted on Facebook hoping someone would accompany me to a race in Cleveland Heights.  I have never done a “road race” on the East side and wanted to get out there.  It was the only race in the middle of the week, and seeing as how weekends have been consumed with working in the mornings, it has been my only choice.  Mr. Lee Sackett responded to the invite with a text, we sorted out the details and headed to Cleveland Heights for the Earth Day Run.

I checked out the results of last year’s race and was very optimistic about my chances of taking home the top prize.  That was until I was a mile into the race…

One guy took off at the beginning and led for most of the race.  I stayed with the guy who eventually won for about a mile and a quarter, when I slowed down after hearing our first mile was around 5:07…  Oops.  The second mile felt like it took forever, and the last mile wasn’t too bad.  The course rolled a lot, and it did not necessarily feel like it, but you paid for the hills at the end.  Someone tried to outkick me down the stretch, and I wasn’t having that.  It did take me kicking one of my shoes off to keep him from getting back in front of me, but I took fourth place overall, and second in my age group.  I was awarded with a brick (with a small etched plate signifying that it was a prize) and a packet of seeds for my efforts:

Image

I was hungry.

I felt like the course went a little long because my final time was over 19 minutes.  I know I slowed down, but there is no way I ran a 5 minute mile followed by two 7 minute miles.  I’ve been running long enough to know my pace was NOT that slow after the first mile.  So, while I began my running new year with a decent showing, I was not entirely pleased with my result, but I did get a brick!

What is the coolest or weirdest prize you’ve ever won in any kind of competition?

Also, it’s finally BASEBALL SEASON!!!  Baseball is my sport of choice. I love going to and/or watching games.  My Indians have had a rough start of it, but it’s still my sport to watch.  Go Tribe!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

I Don’t Like the Cold; I Like Hills

It’s been cold for several months.

Not the usual Cleveland winter this year, but it’s still been cold.  I do not like the cold, but I will still run outside when it’s cold.  The only thing that stops me from getting mileage done in the cold is when the sidewalks are covered in snow and/or ice.  I don’t like the idea of twisting/spraining/breaking an ankle when I could have just as easily gone to the gym and treadmilled up for the day.

Adding to that, the doctor said my surgically repaired eyeballs would not like too much cold air and wind, so to stay inside when exercising as much as possible.  I’m treadmilling up for now.

The problem with this is that I am the sick freak that LIKES hills.  Hills are something that I decided I would be good at and enjoy because everyone always talked about how dreadful they are.  There are no hills on a treadmill.  And yes, I know that you can turn the incline up on the machine, but if you think that is the same thing as turning the corner to climb the Rockcliff exit coming out of the valley, then you’re just silly.

Why do I like them?  Because they are an amazing test that really get in your head if you let them.  They show who is the most fit, conditioned, and well rounded.  Because leaning into a hill at the proper angle and using those calf muscles to get that extra push-off to fight the going UP as well as going FORWARD just feels good.  Basically, hills determine who is the most mentally and physically tough.

Now, how did I become good at them?

I really don’t know.  It may be a mentality that I have about it.  They encourage me.  Or it may be that I decided senior year of college that I wouldn’t let anyone beat me on the hills.  I was not the fastest guy on the course, but I never got passed on the hills, and did a lot of the my passing there.  And we had some tough hills, including one at either Ohio Wesleyan or Wooster’s course that was absolutely appalling.

When I see a hill I anticipate the pain and anguish and exhaustion I will feel on the way up, especially if I have run the hill before.  I welcome that, knowing it will make me stronger once I hit the summit.

When I am approaching the bottom of the hill, I do not slow down in anticipation of the extra effort required.  Instead, I speed up A LOT for at least the first ten or twenty meters.  Show the hill you’re not scared.  Plus, you’re going to feel like hell pretty soon after starting on a hill.  If you give this extra burst toward the beginning, you will still feel like hell, but you’ll be much further up the hill before finding that you’re thinking about it.  If it is a shallower hill, I try to still keep a faster pace than normal for as long as I can.  If I burnout after the hill, then at least I didn’t let it own me.  But more times than not as soon as I get to the summit I can stretch out my stride for a quarter to a half mile, then my legs feel rejuvenated and ready to go again.  This is true for both day-to-day runs as well as racing.

Get good at hills and you will be able to jump higher and further, and have much better sprinting and kick speed (and you’ll get sexy, super-toned calf muscles).  It increases strength in a lot of important areas and will make you much tougher in local road races, and give you a nasty kick at the end of that 10k/10miler/half marathon you’ve been training for.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Steak Love & Biscuit Love

I know that I talk about how much I enjoy cooking and especially the eating part that comes after the cooking, but I have hardly mentioned any specifics.  Well, many months ago, I cooked steaks at home using an Alton Brown (best!) recipe.  I sort of have a man-crush on Alton, and he is one of few people whose recipes I use frequently.  The results were so good that I have repeated cooking steaks in the same manner several times since then.
Image
If you can’t see it in the picture, it’s a beautiful pink on the inside with a gorgeous seared crust on the outside.  The texture is absolutely perfect every time and even the fat tastes SO good.  Two things that he mentions quickly that I highly recommend is that you have at least an inch and a half thick steak, and you must use a cast iron skillet and do them one at a time.  And use ribeye.  SO good.  SO damn good.  The one pictured above is when I flash fried some onions in the leftover grease in the cast iron at a high temperature and threw them on top of the steak.Image Click here for quick vid.

Did I also mention biscuits?  Last weekend, Christina and I decided to make breakfast for her sister-in-law because her brother was out of town.  So, we turned to this Alton Brown guy who has a quick and easy homemade buttermilk biscuit recipe that I threw together while Christina made some breakfast sausage and homemade gravy, and we combined the two:
Image

It looks rather bland in the photo because my new camera-phone does not do it justice, but the biscuits are so light, fluffy, crumbly and delicious.  The gravy with the biscuits was pretty perfect as well.  We destroyed the whole batch in a hurry, along with some fruit on the side for a scrumptious and healthy start to the day.

And, since they were so good, Christina and I made them again this morning to go with Alton’s Steel Cut Oatmeal.  Yum.

Any favorite recipes that you’ve concocted and gone back to repeatedly?  Send a link if you have one, so I can try them as well.  🙂

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

A Lot Going On

It has been WAY too long since I have posted.  So, let me try to fill you in quickly on what’s been going on.

A lot.

For starters, just before Thanksgiving, I started getting really awful pains in my stomach after meals, after runs, after workouts, after riding my bike.  I dealt with it, figured it would go away.  I ran Turkey Trot, but not much more around or after that because the pain was too great and random.  It nagged.  Christmas then came and went and these pains became more frequent and more severe.  I was not running as much.  The week after Christmas, it became severe enough that I asked my dad to take me to the ER.

Mind you, I HATE going to the hospital.  So, it had to be pretty bad pain to force me to do so.  It was, and it was not going away as it had previously.  I ended up spending two nights in the hospital due to stones I retained from when I had my gallbladder out nearly 6 years ago.  It was not pleasant and when I’d had the surgery years ago, I was informed I would not have any further problems.  Boy, were they wrong.  The problem was taken care of, and I returned to running and working out only a week after the procedure.

Visited the Christmas Story House on Christmas Eve:
Image

Earlier on the day that I ended up in the hospital, I was at a different hospital for a different reason.  The birth of my oldest brother’s first child, Kaelyn Patricia:
Image

And needless to say, the weekend after I got out of the hospital was New Year’s, and my girlfriend, Christina, and I attended a black and white party with some great friends:
Image

It was a busy holiday season, as always, and a new baby and some health issues only added to the fun.  If this was all that was going on, it would have been too much.  However, there has also been something else…

Back in September, Caesar’s Entertainment started advertising and announcing all over that they would be hiring for table games positions for the new Horseshoe Cleveland Casino that would be opening in March 2012 (since that time the opening has moved back to May 14).  I completed an application and sent my resume thinking that would be the end of it.  At the end of September or beginning of October, I got a phone call from a Nevada area code, I picked it up.

They did a quick, over the phone interview where they asked a few questions and basically had me embellish about myself.  They said I made it through the first part and I would have to come for a group interview to be held at Quicken Loans Arena.

I believe this was the middle or end of October when they were scheduled, and I went through their interesting interview process in order to find out that I had been invited to participate in their Tables Games Service Academy.

Commencing on December 7 of last year, I have been going to Thistledown racetrack each Wednesday through Sunday night for four hours to learn the ins and outs of casino dealing.  For the first few weeks we learned basics of game protection, cutting down chips, and handling cards and chips in the manor with which was expected upon completing their class(es).  For the weeks to follow, we focused on individual games.  I was lucky enough to be chosen to deal poker first and foremost, and after successfully testing out, I moved on to Roulette and had a lot of fun with that game as well.

This past weekend were final auditions and I successfully completed both games I had been prepped for.  It was pretty exciting and I should be getting job offer paperwork within the week.  So, naturally, since the classes are still going on, I began to learn a new game tonight that they may let me test out of at the end of the week.

It has been quite an interesting experience and I have met a vast array of unique, interesting, and enthusiastic people throughout the process.  I am definitely looking forward to what awaits me in the next few months and I will attempt to keep you posted.  As I am permitted, I may be able to go into further detail about the casino training and everything surrounding the process, but I do not know how much I am permitted to say.  In other words, you’re getting the barebones story and later I hope to be more forthcoming with information.

I did sign up for the Columbus Marathon in October.  It runs through Ohio Stadium (The Horseshoe) this year, which is UBER exciting.  Also, I signed up for the MS Society’s pedal to the point.  I am trying to raise money for an amazing cause and could use your help.  Even a $5 donation would be heavily appreciated.  At least read the page.
http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR?px=6784845&pg=personal&fr_id=18300

Thank you for reading, I know I keep getting long-winded.  But hopefully I will be able to update with shorter posts more frequently in the near future.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Lesson on Form

I am not here to tell you how to run.  However, I feel my form is pretty good (even though I am still trying to correct a few things), and I have been complemented on how I look while I’m running.  I am told I look fluid and natural.  This is because it feels good when I run.  I do not experience the pain that most others feel until I overdo it pretty heavily.  I do not get shin splints, plantar fasciitis, hip problems, patellar tendinitis (anymore), or any of the other common issued associated with running.  Every once in a while I am afflicted with a sore muscle or two, but that is usually from over-training.  I like to believe that I do not get these injuries because of my form and I have read a few books that have said form can fix most injuries people deal with.  So, here are my recommendations on trying to correct YOUR form:

1.  ARMS – Your arms should be relaxed, bent at the elbow at ninety degrees and should not bend further and unbend, they should stay at the same angle the ENTIRE TIME YOU ARE RUNNING.  Your hands should be loosely cupped and should swing straight forward and straight back, reaching the level of your nipple and reaching back to being even with your hips for each stride (hands go nips to hips).  You should NEVER be reaching across your body with your arms, this is wasted motion.  Everything should be forward motion.

2. FOOTSTRIKE – This has been getting some major attention from books and magazines and there is much debate regarding what shoes to wear and how you should land on them.  If you’re running a certain way and NOT experiencing injuries, continue to do so.  If you’re getting discomfort, pain, or some of the injuries I previously spoke of, maybe it’s time to look into changing your footstrike.  I land on my midfoot and my forefoot supinating a little to land on my little toe first and then rolling to the other toes.  My heel touches down gently thereafter and I get a light “push off” from the middle of my foot.

EXAMPLE OF BAD FORM:

3. HIPS AND PILLAR, HEAD – There should be NO movement in your torso and hips while running.  It should feel like a rod goes from the bottom of your tailbone up through your head holding everything therein still.  Your head should remain still with your chin up.  If the ground is uneven and you want to keep an eye on where you’re landing, keep your head up and look down with your eyes only.  If this is uncomfortable on your back or your midsection, that may be a good sign.  Keep it up and it will strengthen both and it will feel more natural and beneficial.  Again, if there is any movement in the different parts of your upper body and hips, it is wasted motion and could be tiring you out faster than you would be doing so otherwise.

4. BODY LINE – Your body line should be slightly leaned forward, as if you’re almost just catching yourself from falling forward.  If you’re landing correctly you will use the momentum gravity creates to propel you forward, using much less effort.  This is still the one I have the most problem with, but I am working on it.  I have been caught, even very recently, standing straight up toward the end of a race.

Remember, form is a very difficult thing to teach your body.  But, watch a little kid run around.  They stay on the front of their feet, use their arms, and have BIG HUGE smiles on their faces while they do so.  Somewhere along the lines we forgot how to run this way.  Also, do yourself a favor and buy some more flexible shoes.  Your feet need to do what their meant to do.  The first thing I do when shopping for shoes is test for weight and then bend them in the middle of the sole.  The more they bend, the more likely it is that I will WANT THEM.

Also, and lastly, I have seen runners who stand straight up, bobble their heads, bring their arms across their body and land on their heels and they run MUCH faster than I do.  Find what works for you.  But, if you’re getting injured a lot, or just feel like you’d like a more fluid motion in your stride, then try a few of these tips.  Or contact me and we can meet on the track and I can show you or give you pointers on your own form.

Or for an example, find video or pictures of Ryan Hall’s running form.  They say it’s perfect and I agree.  There is a reason he’s a 2:05 marathoner.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on November 14, 2011 in Uncategorized