One of the casualties of running with a plan is that it can, at times, supercede just about everything else in your life. This is part of why I like running in the morning. You get up, run, go to work, and then are free for the rest of the day. Of course, a faulty alarm clock, staying up too late, weather and all sorts of other things (including old fashioned laziness) can really mess up a morning run. Then you put it off till the evening. Once you've run in the evening during the week, it can be really difficult to switch back to a morning run 10 hours after you finish your evening run. So, you can either blow off your social plans, be sweaty in a bar, or suck it up and get running.
I went with the last option today, after seriously considering the others. It felt a bit like the last half of a 12 mile run. I quickly found it was mostly just due to stiffness (I do need to start stretching after runs). With some extra mental effort, I got my form under control, and as my body warmed up a bit I started to feel pretty good.
|Taken from Amazon.com|
My mental check list - thanks to Chi of Running. I'm not a physiologist, so take this list with a grain of salt, and most importantly - listen to your body.
- Feet aren't striking in front of you: If they are, you're heel striking and all that force is going right to your knees.
- I listen to the sound of my feet hitting the ground: If it sounds like I'm slapping the pavement, I focus on striking either flat foot or mid foot.
- I check my posture: Its tempting to lean at the waste, especially when going up hills. Instead, focus on leaning from the ankles.
- I check to make sure my arms aren't crossing in front of me and aren't too loose or too tight.
- Then, I speed up and see how its all holding together.
- Lastly, I check my mile pace as I pass my mile markers. Often times, I'm feeling good - but going slower than I think, or am feeling like I'm dragging, but actually making really good time. Time your splits, they REALLY help with pacing. (Also, if you're using a nike plus or a Garmin, you can make sure they're as accurate as you think- hint, they're great tools, and I plan to get one when we move up to marathosn, but with limitations)