Saturday, October 1, 2011

We're talkin' FORM

Form in running - not form in art.

Just a little break from the studio - although I have come to realize that taking good care of this home I live in (my body) is critical for everything else I do - including my art.

Look at that bad form - is it any wonder I have back problems?

So I've been working on my form. I discovered my love of running late in life, consequently I never had the benefit of P.E. instructors or track coaches to help me understand the basics of how to run. I actually hated running. P.E. instructors in those days (I am hoping this has changed) were most often former athletes who morphed into intolerant drill sergeants, belting out belittling criticism of anyone who did not fit their idea of what people should be able to do. Fellow students, especially the athletically gifted, followed suit in their disdain of the athletically challenged. I grew up fearing anything remotely connected to exercise, convinced that I was a dismal failure.

I honestly can't remember what made me start running. All I know is that at some point I realized that running took me somewhere else - an incredible place where I have such a sense of possibilities and fantastic ideas - and even more wonderful - the realization that THEY ARE FOR ME, just waiting for me to grab hold of them and DO THEM!

So I run. Predictably, because I don't know what in the heck I am doing (running is easy right?), I get injured. Then I can't run. Which is bad. Very my dearest friend who has to live with me can tell you.

I have searched magazines, Internet posts, and running sites for relevant information but it is either confusing or not applicable to me. Finally a couple of fellows published the Rebel Running Guide. It is for the beginner to intermediate runner.

There was great rejoicing throughout the land.

As a disclaimer I can tell that I found it to be overwhelming, even for someone who runs already. My aforementioned dearest friend helped me through my whiny frustration with some good advice: start small. Do what you can do. Work up to doing all of the warm ups, strength training, cool downs, different types of runs etc.

What did I start with? Yes, you probably already guessed: form. I tried two simple things - keeping my feet under my body (rather than out in front), and shortening/quickening my stride (kind of goes with the feet under the body thing).

Workin' on our form (please note...Super Sprecka already has excellent form)

Oh, and I began with SOME of the warm up exercises. And I don't do the core workout after the run, I do yoga (my quest for a good yoga tape/book is another story - this yoga tape is the best I have ever found), because inflexibility of my spine is a MAJOR issue for me.

Dreaded warm-ups (or in this case, because I AM a rebel, using a warm-up as a cool-down)

I am excited to take my running to a new level.

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