Going Backwards to Move Forward

Right now MY running really sucks and to be honest it has for a while. It has been inconsistent at best, fraught with minor injuries and setbacks that have not allowed me to do many of the things that I wanted to do this year.

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I know what you are thinking another Harold post on how he is going to change, become a better runner and all that other horse shit that I usually blather on about.

This most recent malady – not really an injury, but enough to make things miserable when I run, has lingered for longer than I want it too. However, the more I have thought about things, it might be just what I needed.

What in the hell are you talking about?

The past few weeks of very little running have made me focus more on what I want from MY running, not your running, not Runner’s World’s running, not the running that all too many books talk about, not anyone else’s running.

What do I want from MY running?

I might have some answers, but the biggest thing is that…I still am not totally sure, I am still figuring it out and that is being quite honest.

 

All I know is that running makes me happy, even when it is not always pleasurable (there is a HUGE difference between something making you happy and something giving you pleasure) and it is something that I plan on doing until I can’t any longer.

Going Backward

Back in 2011 I got Chi Running as a Christmas present and I read the book in about 4 days, then attempted to incorporate some the ideas into my running that I felt were pertinent to me, over the course of the next month or so. Unfortunately, I was more interested in upping my mileage, doing running shoe reviews and getting my blog business off the ground, than doing work that Chi Running required. I fairly quickly let go of attempting to “do” Chi Running and went back to “just do it running”, with periods of attempting something different.

Well, I got to reading some of my old blog entries from that time last week and realized that I had been running consistently. When I read many of the comments on the book review about Chi Running blog post that I wrote back then, it really piqued my interest again.

 

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Enough that I got a digital copy of the book and have re-read almost all of it over the past two days.

I was pleasantly surprised.

Many of the techniques that I had started to learn, were ones that I still use. It wasn’t so much that they were special or novel, it was more the way they were presented, made sense, focused on where, you the runner were actually at and took a long-term view of your running.

Quality over quantity is something that I noticed a lot.

There are no short-cuts and it does take a lot of work to follow the Chi Running path and yes, I still have a feeling that attempting to do the Chi Running practice only from the book is fairly complex and not very realistic to only attempt it that way. However, there are more videos up on YouTube, there is a Chi Running App available that has video included and yes, I will be getting the Chi Running log book.

I think those things will help me get the basics of what I need to learn and then continue work on improving things that I will need to keep working on. At some point I think going to a live workshop would help clear up any other question that I have about Chi Running.

In other words, I have to embrace and be open to the changes that are necessary to use the Chi Running program.

Actually I don’t see that I have too much choice in the matter if I want to keep running for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, back in 2012 I was not ready to reset my running to the point that would have been necessary to embrace Chi Running at that time, now it is not really a choice.

Do I agree with everything in the book – probably not.

After all I know how to run and have been running for over 40 years. My running form is pretty much ingrained (even if it does suck in my opinion), it needs to be more efficient and not beat up my old body as much as it does.

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Since I am basically starting over right now with my lowest mileage in years, it seems like a good time to hit the reset button and embrace Chi Running

We will see how it goes.

Who knows I might even try Tai Chi at some point, after all it is something that I have always wanted to do. 😉

Things Don’t Seem to Slow Down – Week In Review 10/15/17

Getting up in the morning this time of year, means waking up when it is still dark, but it does mean that Bennie and I sometimes get to see some amazing sunrises.

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Fog in the valley

The leaves are changing colors and peak leaf peeping is now over. Unfortunately it was a decent, but not spectacular year for it. I thought many of the colors were muted and dull in our area.

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Mary running down-back

Fitness

I didn’t do a LOT of running this week, I decided to shut it down and take a much-needed week of rest, relaxation and recovery – from running. A chance for the old body to heal, not feel pressured to go for a run and yes, to take a good look at where I actually am as a runner. I really need and want to figure out what is most important to me and where I want my running to take me.

So the 1.0 mile total for the week was right where it needed to be.

Even with the no running it was still a busy week and I was very active.

I am starting to use the elliptical more, walking Bennie is simply part of the routine and I even picked up some weights a couple of times.

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Elliptical workout summary

I like my inversion table and try to use it 3-4 times a week. However, the last two times I used the inversion table – later on those days my right hip really bothered me and I couldn’t figure out why.  I put it off to trying to run or something else, then yesterday I hung upside down for 5 minutes and shortly after that, my right leg/hip started to hurt, even though it had felt great during and after finishing my 1.0 mile run and 2+ mile walk with Bennie.

 

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Later on I was reading some old blog posts from 2011 and early 2012 and I had an “aha” moment. In one of the posts I had written about my right leg being slightly shorter than my left one and remembered that my old PT always complained about it during treatment and warned me that it would be an issue at some point. Duh, no wonder why I get injured every so often.

I am out of alignment again. Just like a car it is wearing on the right side a little too much going down the road. Probably making a chiro appointment to get things back in alignment would be a smart move, but it will have to wait a few more weeks.

So no more hanging like a bat upside down – even though it does good things for other parts of the body, it does something to my outer-upper right leg/hip area and causes me to miss running – not a good thing.

Also I am getting ready to start something new with my running. Maybe even a complete re-boot, but I still have some thinking to do about it to figure out how and what I will be doing. However, change is coming because I can’t keep doing the same things, especially when they are not working.

New Vehicle

We did get a new to us vehicle – a 2013 Ford Transit Connect. Yeah can you believe it a commercial type van in BRIGHT red. We just had to get used to the not so American looking type of van – according to some it is pretty damn fugly ;-). However, the Transit had the features we wanted and if we decide to convert a few things we can use it as a small camper/RV next summer for a long vacation to see things that we never would otherwise.

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So far we are liking the Transit a lot, on our trip to NH last week, it performed well in the mountains and got over 30 mpg. One thing that I really like is that is like looking out a huge picture window going down the road – visibility is fantastic.

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Photo taken while driving down the road, it is like looking out a picture window.

There is a lot of room inside and it drives/rides better than the Ranger. However, don’t plan on jumping out into traffic quickly that 2.4 litre engine just doesn’t have a lot of “pop”, you need to plan when you go or wait until it is clear. I have started a couple of posts on the Transit and will publish them this week.

I will say it has nice road manners.

Camp

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Also in a bittersweet moment, as part of disposing of my brother-in-law’s estate, we sold the camp. So there will not be anymore upta camp moments and all we have are the memories that were made there. However, the family that now owns it, will make their own memories there and from what I saw will keep the place alive – as it should be.

Stuff

We are continuing downsize, get rid of, give away “stuff” we no longer need, want or have no future plans for.

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When Phil died, it helped us realize that we did not need as much stuff and that a lot of the stuff we had wouldn’t be missed if it went away. I wrote a lengthy post on this subject titled “What Happens to Your Stuff?”, where I discuss getting rid of stuff before you die, so that those you leave behind do not have to.

Finishing up October

I have a feeling that the rest of October is going to be like the last quarter-mile of a 5K, where we will be going like hell to get things finished and maybe some it might be a little uncomfortable.

Just a LOT is going to happen between now and then I have a feeling.

  • Hopefully close on the house in Lancaster, although until it happens we still have to go over once a week to check on things.
  • I have a bi-annual physical exam that I am going to fail miserably. Too much stress, not enough exercise, eating sucks (I have eaten at McDonalds more in the last 5 months than I have in the last 10 years), and stopping working just to mention a few life events that have occurred since June 1st – which is how your stress level is judged. However, I don’t plan to change anything medically, unless they find something very wrong with me, which I don’t think they will. I just have to get back to being healthy Harold again.
  • SD2 is supposed to close on her house by the end of the month, so we will be assisting her with her move.
  • TheWife has a series of routine medical appointments to go to
  • Buttoning up and preparing our house for winter, even though it is still unseasonably warm this fall, winter will come and punish those who are not ready.

Plus I am sure that other things will pop up over the course of the next couple weeks that were completely unexpected.

It seems that slowing down is not an option around heah lately.

I do believe that I will be glad when things finally do slow down – being on screech all the time really does suck.

However, I am looking forward to changing a few things about my running going forward and will have more on that later this week.