Thursday, June 16, 2011
Last night, during my CrossFit WOD, I ran the mile. The dreaded mile. (Its a thing to be dreaded when you're as heavy and out of shape as me!) I havent run the mile in quite a long time.
I have a love/hate relationship with running. I've always, always wanted to be one of those people who lept out of bed each morning and pounded out 3 miles outside like it was as easy and natural as breathing. But everytime I tried running programs (I am a 5x couch to 5k program failure) I would break down halfway through. Shin splints. Always the shin splints. I bought numerous shoes, talked with various coaches and trainers, tried different running styles... Even gave the barefoot running a try. (Surprisingly, the barefoot running gave me the least amount of trouble)
Nothing was working. I'd get frustrated and quit. Plus, I feel so poorly when I run. I'm huffing and puffing begging my by to just get me to that next driveway or that next telephone pole or the next corner. Run, walk. Run, walk. Run, walk. No no, not even running. Jogging. Like a western pleasure horses jog trot. Unnatural, uncomfortable, but anything else and I'd burn out within a block.
So bringing us back to yesterdays run. As I was forcing myself through the equine jog trot, I took a gander down at my legs. I'm 6ft tall. My legs are looong. Unfortunately, I'm not talking about the slim, silky mile long legs that you hear about in romance novels. Nope. Mine may have the length, but they've got so much heft on them that they look like short, fat sausages that bend in the middle. Ugh.
Anyways. I realized that I never use my legs to their full potential. I suffer through a slow, torturously short strided jog trot just so I can save enough gas to get me through the entire run. My head whipped up, the light bulb came on. OHHHHH. THAT'S what I'm doing wrong.
I still had more than a half mile left of the run. The stop watch was running, waiting for me to return and hit the stop button. So I focused on 'riding' on my legs. I lengthened my strides, I righted my upper body, and I ran. And it felt good! Was I really wasting all that time jog trotting, trying to improve that way?
I would bet money that my second half mile was faster than my first half mile. You cant improve until you push past your limits, right? So I ran until I couldnt. I walked for a few strides to catch my breath, and I ran again. And I actually had fun.
And no shin splints to be heard of, by the way!