Saturday, July 14, 2007

running with the ostrich

Photo: Robin and Mhairi

My running form finally started to return during today’s short run. I’m really surprised that it dropped off so quickly. Ten days doesn’t seem like long. Maybe it’s related to my increased biking during that period. Maybe I just settled a little too deeply into the spin technique.

Yesterday’s running form improved a little over the previous day’s rugby style to the gait of a goofy high jumper. (It’s okay for me to say that ‘cause I used to be one of those goofs.) Many jumpers seem to have a funny walking/running style. It tends to over accentuate the heel raise along with at bit of a hop/bump in each step. I’m convinced that it is this very stride unintentionally repeated over a lifetime that leads to the increased jumping ability.

About halfway through today’s run I noticed that my fists were clenched. I think I’d been doing that for the last couple days, too. Once I released my grip the rest of my body relaxed and everything fell quickly back into place.

It was at this point in my run that I remembered my ostrich technique. Sometimes as I’m running I visualize the form of a running ostrich. My hands imitate the feet of the huge running bird. My hands are mostly open and faced palm down. They sort of paddle along just below the level of my elbows pretending to be making strides of their own along the ground. The elbow bend reminds me of the backwards knee position of the ostrich. A bit strange I admit, but pretending to be a flightless bird seems to help me find a smooth and efficient stride.

There used to be an ostrich farm in my hometown about a hundred years ago. I guess back then it was pretty common to see ostriches running along – now they’re just in my imagination.


Anonymous said...

What a delight! Smiles, M

Geoff said...

sounds like your foot just went through the same thing as mine this past winter. after a stretch of increasing my mileage pretty quickly the top of my right foot got really sore and swollen and i could hardly walk on it. i had to stick to biking for about 10 days and then a week after that i ran a 100 mile race with no trouble in my foot. at the time i thought for sure i had a stress fracture but then it went away as fast as it started and hasn't bothered me at all since. my advice to you (and me): just try to increase the running as gradual as possible.

supahb said...

from the picture of you running it seems you have lost quite a bit of weight in your neck and legs region since I last saw you. make sure you are getting enough liquid calories to balance out your mileage, ok? I am doing the same over here by means of gelato. can't be too careful.

Jonah said...

Thanks Geoff. My foot feels like I would imagine a stress fracture to feel like, too. No swelling, though. I hope it takes the same speedy recovery path that yours did. I'm going to try to keep the mileage down and a little more consistent for a while.

Hey SupahB. Gelato sounds nice, but I don’t think birds can do lactose?