This morning was one of the toughest runs I've had in a while. It wasn't the distance or the elevation gain, but a combination of being way too freakin' hot and me trying to really push my technical ability. Basically, pushing too hard on a hot day. Oh well, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger - so long as you learn the lesson!
After yesterday's thoughts about constantly striving to make technical improvements while I am skiing, I reevaluated my running skills - which I have to be completely honest, are fairly poor. Traditionally, I am a vertical runner. This means that I tend to push off my back foot into the air rather than forward in my stride. For the past few weeks, I have been focusing on reaching my front knee then foot forward so that I can actually run further each stride! This is kind of like moving from plank to runner's pose in yoga, something that I am also not very good at but constantly improving :)
This morning, I was able to take my mental cues from paddling and rowing, where you have to reach out for the catch of the stroke before the blade softly enters the water. My initial efforts today were a light, flowy leg stride through the air, where I would then try to land softly on the ball of my outstretched foot. The idea was to then grab with my toes and pull that front foot underneath me. Just like a stroke through the water.
While this was an initally awesome idea, I had overstepped my ability level with this new technique by choosing to run up Ramshead on the mountain biking trails (before the bikers wake up, for safety reasons). Just a little too much, too soon and I ended up cursing myself and my stupid new technique the last mile up the mountain where I was neither light nor flowy but instead felt like a big block of skier forcing my way through an untrimmed mess of trees. You know, where you can smell that kick ass line but just can't seem to find it? That was me this morning.
Thank goodness the mountain was beautiful and bike trails are, for the most part, in the shade. Otherwise, I feel there would have been a puddle of dehydrated and pessimistic goo where once a skier was running. At one point, I realized that I was drinking my own sweat as it dripped off my face. SOOO gross! And it's supposed to be even hotter tomorrow!! Argh!
Next phase: I am going to try to use the different phases of the turn to adjust my running stride. I'm going skiing tomorrow!!
See you on the Mountain,
on a side note - these photos were taken with my iPhone, so the quality is pretty poor. I was too lazy to to carry my backpack today.
Location:Ramshead, Killington, VT