So, you finish a race.  And if you are like me, you like to see the photos of you in the race.  When I am running I feel like a Bad Mama Jama, and if I can find a photo of me with that feeling, I feel super cool!

So this IS a picture of me.  It is in marathon #3 taken at the 13 mile mark.  I was so excited to see my family and throw out some high 5’s.  When I saw the picture after the race, I was super stoked.  I looked like I still had a lot of energy going for me – both feet were off the ground!    Truth be told, I made it over to my family, gave my high 5’s and then realized “Okay, I can’t do lateral movement anymore.  Just forward.  Forward is all I got.”

But I had the energy, I had both feet off the ground!

4 months after this photo was taken, 4 months after that marathon, the heel spur I budded reared it’s burr head and stopped me in my tracks.  Now when I look at this photo it reiterates the one thing I took for granted for so long.

I was a heel planter.

It wasn’t until I couldn’t plant on my right heel anymore that I realized how much I relied on it.  Changing my form was HARD!  I had no idea it would be so tiring and unrewarding to plant mid foot.  But the stride was only one thing I did wrong.

The other things I did?  I ran straight up and down.  I let my legs reach out in front of me and pull me along.  Years of cross country and running through bumpy ground – I look down when I run!  Here is one of me again – same old stride.  Plant on the heel, saggy torso, legs reaching out, looking down.  This one is at the finish line of a 5K, where I finished somewhere around 23:45.  So I was pushing it hard at this moment (for me).

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My heel spur has forced me to focus on my stride.  I must plant mid foot now.  But in general, my form needs work!  2 other things I’ve been taught come back into focus to really help me focus on my form.

  1. Sometimes I imagine there is a rope tied around my hips.  And it is pulling me.  If I run under the notion of being pulled by a rope around my HIPS, the run is actually easier.  My legs go under me, not reaching out in front of me.
  1. Even before the spur, if I run with my chest up – things go better!  I look up.  The rope on the hips mental game helps keep my chest up too.

I still don’t have it all down yet.  Good form is not second nature to me.  I’m still plugging away at remembering to tie the rope.  When I get tired, I get droopy, and I don’t even realize it, things get hard.  Keeping my whole self in shape, focusing on the core muscles in cross train days, helps keep my running posture upright and high without me even realizing it.

Here is a good look at a good vs. bad stride from an affiliate site.

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I’ll catch on soon (fingers crossed)!  Happy running travels!

And this one keeps me smiling as I run – have you seen it?

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