Thursday, August 24, 2006


What are those reminders? Sign up for each of these races: the 10 mile Bridge Run on September 16, and the Grand Rapids Half Marathon, on October 29, 2006. I'm amazed I can even think of doing either of these, as last year it wasn't even a remote possibility. Once the tri season is over, my plan is to build up on my running -- again. It seems like I have done this so many times, only to have one injury or another sideline me. This time I feel much more confident that I will accomplish this. I haven't done that much high mileage on my running, but I am getting there. And of course I always equate being able to do a 3-4 hour triathlon with the ability to convert that into a 1-3 hour running race. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

The last time I had this confidence boost was 2002 when I did my first Olympic triathlon and figured I could easily turn that training into doing a marathon. While I actually did train for that distance, the tri and the marathon were two totally different things, and the outcome was less than desirable. Not from my training or running performances, but just the race itself. Something just had to throw off the whole thing, so it turned into more of an ultra than a marathon.

But that was then, right? And this is now, and I am looking forward to moving ahead. The 10 miler may be a little difficult, with timing and all, but the half marathon should be doable with all the time left to train. I'm not going for fast, just looking for a fun way to build my miles. Both are local races, so I know the courses and can train on them, which I like to do. Both are relatively flat, so all my hill training over the next couple of weeks for my next tri should only build strength.

And both races are fairly new to the area. I think this is the third year for both. I have done the 10 miler before, back when I was on the brink of my ankle injury, so if I could make it then, I can make it now.

All this I attribute to my good sense to take the Chi (Chee) running clinic and get my running form back in shape. I know I mention this time and again, and like everything else out there, what appeals to some will not to others, but this basically was one of the things responsible for my turnaround and progression back into the tri and running world, so I can't help but be thankful I came upon this program.

And just as an aside, Chi running is nothing mysterious or anything that requires a lot of change, but the little change it requires brought such good results to me (and others) that I don't want anyone to think I am performing this weird ritual before running or anything much different than what anyone else might do. The main points again are: relax, correct your posture, and put a lean into your running to gain speed, rather than using muscular strength alone. Muscles get injured and tired, so by relying on my form rather than just my muscles to propel me, I am using less energy and thus there is less chance of injury. And Chi means energy, so the better I get with the Chi running method, the more energy I should gain. (That's my belief anyway.)

So while the summer has been busy with tris, the fall will be for running, when the weather is more conducive to building mileage. And for me, more running actually equates more strength in everything else I do, including swimming and biking, and also builds more stamina, as you all well know.

And the fun continues!

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