Monthly Archives: January 2009

Running past 50: Chi Running update

Chi running is making an impact, I’ve been working on it for the past month and today accomplished a personal record: 6.6 miles @ 10:30 pace. we’ll see tomorrow if Chi running made as much difference as I hope, with regard to my heels. Yay!

Self-talk: snap out of sluggishness

So, last week I ran 25.4 miles in 6 days…and was mostly miserable and slow and slug-like.  I set a goal and I reached the goal, but it wasn’t very…er, rewarding.

I was reflecting over the weekend about the kinds of things I was thinking when I was running:

  • This used to be a rush, what happened?
  • I’ll never enjoy running again…the “break” over the holidays was a disaster
  • Maybe I never ran very well; yes, I’m certain I never ran very well
  • This new way of running just isn’t fun…and it’s too hard
  • God, I’m so tired, I just don’t have any strength

On and on.

I realized over the weekend that I was actually training my brain with all this nonsense.  In fact, I used to push myself.  In fact, I used to come to a hill and say, You can do this…over and over.  But somehow I’d stopped that practice–that’s really the only thing that had changed.

Interestingly today I headed out sort of sick of all that junk.  I’d had a cup of coffee a while before the run and felt pretty energetic.  And I’d made a half-hearted promise to do better at my self-talk.  I didn’t define it very well but just decided to be more mindful.

When I started today’s run, I thought: I’ll go as far as Holly and down to the beach and will not stop to walk.  I immediately started to bargain: well, if I just feel to tired…I’ve just taken two days off, maybe I should build up with a short run, yeah that’s the ticket…and if my muscles just don’t feel strong….

On and on.

And then I grabbed myself by the tee shirt and said: You are going to run the first two miles without walking, and then we can discuss it.  At every point when I heard that little wimpy voice say, “oh maybe I should walk a little now,” I’d spy a spot way ahead and say, “get there and we can discuss it.”

On and on.

Bottom line: I finally managed to get my pace for four miles down to the same neighborhood as before the holidays and the illness and the whole long dreary down time.  When I finished the run, I felt an old gleeful energy coursing through me: I’m back.

Dear World

I’m seeing this on Facebook, other blogs, Twitter and all around. Don’t know the actual source, so can’t link it accurately. But I truly enjoyed the concept, and hope you do too, so whoever penned this: Thanks!

Dear World:

We, the United States of America, your top quality supplier of ideals of democracy, would like to apologize for our 2001-2008 interruption in service. The technical fault that led to this eight-year service outage has been located, and the software responsible was replaced November 4. Early tests of the newly installed program indicate that we are now operating correctly, and we expect it to be fully functional on January 20. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the outage. We look forward to resuming full service and hope to improve in years to come. We thank you for your patience and understanding,



Michelle Obama Rules.

Michelle Obama: South Side Girl

I have a crush on Michelle and think it’s so awesome that she’s our First Lady. She’s amazing.

Greg Soejima Memorial Fund

Some of you out there in Seattle and/or Spokane may have known Greg Soejima, Seattle resident and dad of two, who passed away January 4th. Patrick Byers is raising money for a “koden,” a japanese tradition of raising a small amount of money in memoriam to the family. Go to Patrick’s Facebook posting for more info. Greg: may your journey be peaceful.

On the run: Chi Running?

Just as I’d made a new year’s res to do a 10K this year, along comes the idea to do a half-marathon Feb ’10. My friend Di (fam’s looking good, Di!) ups the ante on that idea and suggests one in Big Sur, CA this coming Nov. I protest, I dig in…and yet, somehow, I sort of agree.

My biggest concerns, other than somehow the pressure of training might make me fall head first OUT of love with running…were my heels and feet. I take such tender loving care of my heels and feet, as they hurt after long runs and require lots and lots of stretching and sometimes icing.

I thought: what on earth would they do after 13.1 miles?

At about the same time I’m mulling this thought over, I get my new book, Chi Running which I think is about the spiritual path of running but is instead about a new approach to the form of running based on T’ai Chi.

I’ve been reading it and here’s what I think initially: the promise is music to my ears (run injury-free!) and the book indulges in some pretty serious hard selling, all told. And I’ve now tried it two days in a row. I know I’m just learning, early days, novice and all but I can’t exactly say it’s a lot easier. It requires pretty different muscles and I can’t seem to get comfortable, though today was more comfy than yesterday.

On the other hand….my feet don’t hurt. No, they really don’t. In fact, they don’t feel like they’ve been running. Course, I’m not running full out, because I’m not comfortable running yet, and for some reason, though I don’t feel as tired, my legs feel not as strong as they were. And that tells me I’m either using different muscles or I’m doing it wrong or I’m in worse shape after the holidays than I thought.

But last week I ran 6 miles the old way and felt pretty strong. Today I just ran 5 miles and didn’t feel very strong…and I was running the new way.

Some observations: I’m probably not relaxed cuz I’m paying too close attention to what I’m doing; swinging my arms as suggested helps my forward motion but is more swing than I’m used to; focusing on the back kick is waaaay more than I’m used and requires something I don’t yet have nor know about. I’ve imagined myself standing on one foot while making dinner, holding my other foot up behind me to build the muscles it takes to get that high back kick.

But the lack of pain in my feet definitely has my attention, so I’ll keep at it.

More will be revealed.

Yowza! And I thought taking up running at 53 was big…

Margaret Hagerty at 85

Margaret Hagerty at 85

And I thought taking up running at 53 was a big deal. Fuggedaboudit! Margaret Hagerty is The Boss.

Here’s a quick story of Margaret Hagerty, profiled in Runner’s World (print version) this month. At 64, she quit smoking and took up running (this isn’t the first time I’ve heard that sequence of events…). That was 20 years ago and at age 85, she’s recently completed her 80th marathon.

80. Marathons. Not 5 or 10K races.

I’m simply blown away by that. Plus she runs between 4 and 10 miles a day.

Way to go, Margaret. You’re an inspiration!