Morning Runs and Requirements

I used to run at lunch, it was a great stress reliever. These days, it makes more sense to run in the morning, things get too hectic at work. It still relieves the stress, in fact I usually start the day much more relaxed after a good run.

Right now I’m spending a lot of time on my runs focusing on form, specifically leaning forward and picking up my legs. Leaning forward felt really strange at first, like I was sticking my butt out. I think that’s because I actually was sticking my butt out, bending at the waist. Now focusing on leaning my pelvis forward and moving my legs back has made leaning a lot more natural.

The other thing that I’ve been working on is picking my legs up instead of lifting them forward. This feels really weird, like I’m almost running in place, I’m still playing with this, trying to concentrate on not pushing off at all.

I’ve been trying to relax my breathing — not the frequency, but the urgency, if that makes any sense. I’m just trying to breathe in and out easily, and relaxing my upper body when I exhale.

Finally, I’ve been experimenting with my arm swing. Swinging back on level ground and downhills, swinging forward on uphills. Anything to maintain the forward lean angle with the ground.

One thing I havent been focusing much on lately is effort. When I start the run, I start as slow as I want to. When I pick it up, I go as fast as I want to. I haven’t been pushing the pace at all, but the strange thing is that I’m running as fast as I used to when I was pushing it. Runs have turned into a great meditation — I’m focusing on form and breath and all of a sudden I’m gliding. I think that this is all in my head — I’m no Kenyan when it comes to form or effort. But it’s been great to get out and look forward to long runs as a chance to unwind.

When I’m not focusing on form, I’m thinking about a problem at work, or the new project. Garmin has done a lot of the heavy lifting to enable uploading to a web site — initial investigation shows that they have plugins for mac and windoze, and provide javascript access to their API. So that side of the house looks covered. Which is fine, I don’t have any issues with accessing/uploading the data, I just want to remix it in a relevant way.

One thing I was thinking about this AM was that I like to do a lot of long runs or rides because they are adventures. Even the climbs I was doing, like Outer Space and Orbit in a day, were about having a great time on moderate terrain and covering a lot of ground. The North Ridge of Stuart was another grand adventure. Every 1/2 marathon I do is a mini adventure of one kind or another, and RAMROD was some of the most amazing riding I have ever had the fortune to experience. In 2005 we got blown off of Rainier’s standard route, but still had a blast.

The thing that is missing from all of these great memories is data — I would love to have seen a Google Earth view of all of them. I would have loved to be able to insert comments/pictures at any point in a map, for instance mile 60 of RAMROD when the previous nights dinner asserted itself :). That way these adventures can be stories that I can share with people, to give them a sense of what I was feeling/thinking at what point, and where these adventures actually took me. It would have been great to see what my heart rate was doing up Cayuse Pass or slogging up to Muir with a 50 lb pack on. It would have been great to show the turnaround point on Rainier and how far off of the standard route we were (hey, 2 feet of new snow buried the wands. You try finding them at midnight in a blizzard!).

To sum up as more requirements:

  1. the application should allow me to inject pictures/comments into a map of the event.
  2. the application should show me my speed/heart rate/average pace/average hr when I roll over the map. (Ooh, that’s going to be a tough one 🙂

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