Kick It Out

Monday came and went and I was in the oddest mood all day.   I was tired, like stupid tired but for some reason I wanted to run.  Which is odd in itself because Mondays are my rest days and I always look forward to just going straight home after the chaos that is Monday.   Thing is, Monday’s have only been a rest day since fall and darkness sent me into the gym in the evenings.   I refused to go to the gym on Mondays because of the crowds so I picked a Tuesday- Thursday schedule.   Last summer was more of a run when I felt like it kind of schedule.  isWatermarked

I kept it super easy on Sunday with a puppy jog, on more populated roads, so I optimistically packed my gear on Monday morning.  I still wasn’t convinced but figured if I stuck to the usual plan at least I didn’t have to pack for Tuesday.   🙂  Slacker at my finest, right?   After work, I was still dead on my feet but wanted to run.   So I changed into my gear and then just couldn’t decide.

I was like Goldilocks, I didn’t want to run at work because it was too windy and kind of chilly.  I drove towards run town but wasn’t feeling it either.  It was still windy and I wasn’t liking the temp my car was showing.   Which was sad because it was in the 60’s.  Plus I figured one lap of the lake and I would end up bailing the first time I passed my car.  So I headed home for the river path, opposite end of town from lion sightings.   Third time’s the charm?isWatermarkedI set out with the low goal of 20 minutes.  If I still wasn’t feeling it, I would call it and just go home.    As I walked my warmup, I noticed something.  The way the sun was going down behind me and where the pouch on my belt was, I had the perfect silhouette on the ground.  I first selfishly noted that my shadow looked thin, thank you tricks of the shadows.   Then I noticed my hips, well first the previously mentioned pouch and how it was moving.  My hips were all over the place.   Do they always do that?  I am trying to run for crying out loud not strut the catwalk!

I started to run and just felt off for the next half mile or so.  Nothing ached or hurt, it just felt awkward.  Maybe it was because I was thinking about it more?   It seemed like my left leg wasn’t fully engaged in the party.  So I decided to focus on my form for the rest of the out and back.   I ignored my pace and my watch buzzing at my usual walk intervals (I’m still using walk breaks on most of training runs) and just paid attention to my legs.   I tried to focus on bringing my left leg around but telling myself that didn’t work.   Next I told myself to bring my knee up a bit higher on each step.  No luck.  I was running tall but it wasn’t helping.   IMG_9828The word “kick” lodged in my mind around mile 2 and for the next 2 miles, I repeated that to myself every few feet.    I focused on how I kicked back each time my left leg moved- not sure if that makes any sense.   I felt straighter and any ankle twinginess I had went away.  I felt pretty good at the end of the 4 miles but man my brain was tired.  Trying to think about my form and run at the same time was hard!  But I felt better than I had prior to my run.   :0    I checked out my Garmin data later and noticed a few things.   Over the last 2 miles, my average cadence picked up and my stride length increased.   The cadence made sense but I felt like I was taking shorter strides.  Huh?  And my run inadvertently turned into a mini progression- 12:52, 10:04, 9:25, 8:30.  Double huh.

Now to see what happens next run.

Ever felt like your stride was just funky?  What did you do?

Ever been completely exhausted but felt the urge to run?

14 thoughts on “Kick It Out

    1. Maybe it’s because I start out walking but I’ve found speeding up helps me straighten out my form sometimes. Just like a short series of strides. I’ve never participated in a class before, that sounds interesting.


  1. Focusing on form can definitely be mentally exhausting. The trick is to work at it enough that it becomes second nature and you don’t have to think so hard anymore. Nice work!


  2. My stride is almost always funky… so much so that it only really distracts me when it all of a sudden feels “right” and I get confused 🙂 I’m like Courtney – if my stride is really funky I’ll take a walk break and shake things out a little, then start again. And I echo Rae too – that’s one of the things I’m working on at my gait-retraining sessions… just drilling the correct form over and over so that muscle memory takes over and I can just go.


    1. I know that my stride is far from perfect but seeing it in shadow form was alarming! I wish I had more access to the track for practicing the correct form. I was a little worried that I wasn’t paying enough attention to the cars. I was but I can see how it could become very distracting. But I am looking forward to working on my form again. 🙂


  3. Yes to both! My form isn’t stellar to begin with, but I have definitely repeated “kick” or “pick up your feet” or “shorten your stride” to myself during runs to try to get better. Nice work!


  4. That Garmin data is a little odd. A faster cadence usually means a shorter stride (which is a good thing!). Anyways, I’m glad you got out for a run and really focused on form. It’s a really tough thing to do, but I think it will help a lot in the long term 🙂


    1. That’s exactly what I was thinking! I figured my stride would shorten. At first I was excited about the increased cadence but when I noticed the stride data I was just confused. I am hoping that I can continue to focus on form for a while, particularly now that SLO will just be a fun race. 🙂

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