Monday, November 07, 2005

Musings on Sunday's run

I think Leah did a better job than I ever could of describing our great 6 mile run on Sunday. I will just add that it was wonderful to get back out there and that Chicago's Lakefront path is as good as it gets and it is probably at its best in early November.

But while running, I couldn't help but think some thoughts (it's what I do). One of the things I thought of during our run was how differently everyone runs. Granted, there weren't exactly throngs of people to look at on this particular rainy Sunday morning, but everyone we passed was just a bit different.

There was the girl who ran as if she either was nursing an injury or had one leg shorter than the other. Whatever it was, it gave the appearance that she had more control over one side of her body than the other. Then there was another guy who ran very deliberately and heavily, as if each step was a big commitment and he wanted to be absolutely sure of it. And, of course, the 50 year old super run who blew past us with his perfect form. I hate that guy.

Just to be clear, I'm not judging. I have nowhere near perfect form. Leah has, in my opinion, nearly perfect form. She holds her arms at the perfect angle, takes nice, clean strides, and doesn't bounce very much (especially when we run faster). And when she sprints, it is a thing of beauty. She is a real runner and a natural runner. I just picked this sport up later in life, so I have a few flaws in my form that I doubt I will correct anytime soon.

The main thing that I would like to correct is my arm angle. Mainly this is an aesthetic thing, as I think the race photos look better when I don't hold my arms up high. I've heard it helps with the running, too, but that's really just a side benefit of looking good. Maybe a picture would help. I run like this most of the time:

But when I get tired, my form really can go to a bad place. My arms get much higher...which would be good in boxing, but less ideal in running. Unfortunately, I've been known to get tired in races and then those arms start climbing...and then invariably a picture is taken. For example:

I think I've gotten a lot better about this in the past half year or so. I didn't really notice this happening during the marathon. Like they say, everyone has a different running style and different things work for different people. I'm not really concerned about having the "perfect form" or anything along this lines as long as I can run far. I just hope it doesn't go to the bad place anymore.


LeahC said...

I noticed Jason's "arm angle" when we were running in the summer because i could look at our shadows and I was like, why does your shadow look so different from mine.

Just a note that Jason has become a runner that is 180 degrees away from the runner he was when we started this running adventure years ago. He used to think that he couldn't do anything from running a mile, to just getting out there and trying. Through perseverence and some stubborness he has learned to enjoy the challenge and the only way you "lose" is if you don't try. WHEEE!!!!

partyrunner said...

i loved the arm angles. particularly the wind blowing behind you becuase you're so fast.

i too often practically stop completely in my tracks when admiring excellent-formed runner. why, just yesterday i almost fell down a hill admiring one's downhill form (wait, was that me in the window?...).