Sunday, January 2, 2011

Foggy puppet-footed New Year's run


Today's run (street): 5.6 miles

Perhaps I should explain the title to this post. After taking Saturday (New Year's Day) to rest, I thought I'd make my 2011 debut at Stillwell Woods. In the past I've run Stillwell after a snowstorm and discovered that much of it was runnable as long as I wore the right shoes. I planned to wear my Helly Hansons that make short work of rough surfaces and packed snow. I got up early and waited for the sun to rise before heading out. When it became light enough to see the streets I noticed a heavy fog enveloping my neighborhood. The surreal view of the roads, combined with mid-40 degree temperatures, made me change my mind about Stillwell. I decided instead to run on the local roads.

That explains the foggy in the title. The puppet footed running relates to the mid-foot style of landing that I've followed as much as possible when I run. I still have trouble consistently landing either mid or front footed and I need to think about ways to make my feet fall forward more naturally. A technique that I've adopted is what I think of as "puppet feet." Just like the way the feet of a marionette seem to  drop when the figure is "walking", I think about bringing up my knees and let my feet fall. I'll usually land mid-foot and I can do this at a fairly brisk cadence (85-88 SPM). This technique also works well for me on inclines and small hills.

I ended up running a very pleasant 5.6 miles, enjoying a different view of my neighborhood and feeling good about my first run of the new year. Tomorrow I'll return to the office and the work week routine: 4:00 AM runs, the commuter train, schedules, meetings and earlier bedtimes. My kids return to school from holiday break on Monday as well so we're dedicating the rest of today to doing some fun stuff. The first run in the new year is completed and I enjoyed it completely. Happy running to everyone in 2011!

2 comments:

  1. I like the puppet-footed image. Fog sure does wonders for creating atmosphere. =) Sounds nice.

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  2. It really made for a fascinating run. There were a few times when I'd make out silhouettes of people a few hundred feet ahead of me. Some turned out to be fitness walkers, others dog walkers and in one case, another runner. It was both surreal and fun!

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