Okay, I admit the rollers are fun. But I miss running. Oh, so much I do. But since I’ve been running, I’ve had multiple stress fractures, horrendous blisters, problems with my achilles, shin splints, my toe nails keep falling off, constant lower pack and shoulder pain, that weird disappearing leg syndrome thing and various other problems I’m sure I’m forgetting. And it finally occurred to me, after all these years, that maybe it isn’t normal to be injured all the time and just maybe these mysterious ailments are not a bizarre paranormal experience exclusive to Runner Susan.
Obviously, I’m tired of being injured. So, this morning, I attended a running clinic specifically geared toward improving running form . . . and to be quite honest, I wasn’t sure how much I’d actually learn from the clinic seeing how I’ve run over a half-dozen marathons*. I don’t consider myself an advanced** runner by any means, but come on, I’ve been running a while – I am not a beginner.
The clinic involved several leg drills and some warm ups and then we ran. All good, but get this: while we ran they video-tapped us. What a genius idea. I can’t believe of all the videos I’ve made from swimming to weight-lifting to rolling, that it never occurred to me, Runner Susan, to video tape myself running***.
There were about twenty of us in the group, and we watched each person run (on. a. big. screen. and. in. slow. motion) while we critiqued and complimented each other. I certainly learned a lot, not from just watching my own videos, but watching others as well. But the most important thing I learned was it’s always good idea to go back and examine the basics.
Let us bullet point Runner Susan’s form faux pas’ from head to toe – I’m all about saving space.****
- I look at my feet and not 10-12 feet ahead of me
- My arms are too low, I need to bend my elbows more and keep them closer to my body
- I have superman hands, and runners prefer potato chip hands*****
- I lean to far forwards
- I need to bring my quads a little higher and not shuffle my legs as much
- I have a pretty dominant heel-strike******
- Everyone loved my pony-hat from Bondi Band*******
All simple basic things that I didn’t know (or ignored) I was doing, but easy enough to correct. I kept trying to blame all my ailments on everything from my shoes to over-training – but honestly, my form looked pretty bad on film compared to the other runners – and basically, I need to start all over and re-examine every move I make while running. Oh, and basically, I need to eat a few more salads. Seriously, when my buttocks were plastered all over the big screen, I could see where that invisible ten pounds I’ve been griping about was deposited. jiggling. with. every. push. of. the. pause. button.
And the other thing I learned? Is there is always more to learn. Anyhow, it was a lot of fun and a great clinic. But boy, do I have a lot of things to practice before the next clinic. So, fair warning, soon there will be videos of Runner Susan actually running. On her running blog. Take that rollers.
*half-dozen sounds better than 8
**advanced = so thin that you are propelled by the wind and gravity has no affect allowing one to run unfairly fast by default
***okay, so it never occurred to me to video tape myself running during daylight hours
****except when it comes to my personal presence
*****yes, I know, this defies all logic – potato chips are for eating
******hence the new Newtons
*******it’s important to list the positive as well as the negative