Sunday, May 31, 2009

Runner Down

I have now finished three Chi Running lessons. And, I have been trying to incorporate the Chi Running technique to my long runs. Yet, I cannot use Chi Running as an excuse for my most embarrassing running moment (and, I have had a few).

But, I can blame a goose. One that looks like this:

He/she looks relatively harmless.

I guess it might be a bit unfair to blame the goose and not my own feet. You can be the judge.

This past Saturday was a 6 mile run. We have done 6, 7 and 8 mile runs the previous three weeks. So this week was suppose to be an easy week. I would have time to practice my Chi running without pushing my knee too hard (still recovering and hoping my knee holds up).

Everything was going perfect. I was with a group of about 25 runners at Los Gatos Creek Trail. We were going about a 9:20 pace.

I was running on the dirt next to the concrete path. When there is a dirt path next to the concrete I generally try to run on it since I feel that it is easier on my knees. The problem with running on the dirt is that it can be uneven and there are many occasions when you have to jump back onto the concrete.

This time in my way is a goose. It is moving slowly and blocking my path. I have a few choices: (1) jump over it, (2) run it over, or (3) jump back onto the concrete path. I should have picked 1 or 2.

I really don't know what occurred. All I remember is that I stepped to my left to get back on the concrete and somehow I twisted my right ankle. I immediately fell to the ground. My first thought was wondering if I was going to get run over. My second thought was my knee.

I was running near the front of the pack. We were at the 4 and 1/2 mile mark. It happened very slowly. I felt my ankle twist. I feel myself falling to the ground. I try to land proper (if even possible) and try to roll away from the path. As I hit the ground, I hear someone call out "runner down". I watch the group run around me, some having to quickly move out of the way. A couple stopped, others faces seemed surprised. Luckily I did not take anyone else down. My hands, arm and legs were scraped up. My right ankle was very sore. Slowly I got up. I checked my knee and then walked off my ankle pain for a minute or two. I then start running slow with someone who stopped. I was able to get my pace back up and even catch up to some of my group. My ankle is still sore and a little swollen, but I think staying off it for a couple of days should do the trick. The worst part is just the embarrassment of falling down.

I guess at least I can blame the goose.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Running form

On Sat. I have my 6 mile run. This is going to be tough because my knee has been acting up. I just cannot get it healthy. Yet, I'm hoping by working on my running form I can take pressure of my knee.

Last year when I started running, I focused on my mileage buildup. It had been a few years since I ran. When I first started running, it was difficult to do 1 mile. So I worked hard on increasing my distance, but failed to pay attention to my running form. I tend to run very straight up with hard steps. When the miles built up, the knee pain came and has never really went away.

Now, I'm trying to lean forward and land softer when I run. This was suggested by my physical therapist and also got me considering my running form. There seems to be a lot of different thoughts on what is the proper running form. And, there are different methods (Chi running, Power running, Pose running, etc). I'm not sure if there is a right method. But, I do think it is important to think about your running form and if something is not working then to change your form so that you can prevent injuries and maybe even increase your speed. Thus, I'm trying the Chi running method.

So far with respect to Chi running, I'm in the middle of reading the book and have lessons scheduled (my first lesson is this Monday). It also uses concepts that I've been working on (leaning forward and landing softer). The idea is to use your core and rely less our your legs. I have heard really good things about it preventing injuries. I will provide updates on what I think of Chi Running and whether I believe it is actually allowing me to run with getting injured and whether it does help increase my speed.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Season 2 - another marathon?


Well, it has been some time since I have wrote. Mostly because I finished my marathon and had not been running. It is time to restart this blog, since I'm running again!

As some of you may know, I ran my first marathon last year (Oct. 2008). I ran it for me (it was always a life goal), but also in memory of my dad since it would occur almost a year from the date he passed away. I was able to raise some money for the American Cancer Society in the process. I also lost about 55 pounds in my training. And, have lost a few more since!

I have not been running because I injured my knee about mile three of the marathon (which made for a long and painful run) and am still recovering. It has been a long battle to get back running. It's been 6 months and I'm still undergoing physical therapy and still have to deal with daily pain in my knee (but it is light pain).

I joined San Jose Fit ( this year (a running group). I'm not sure what my knee will do or if it will let me complete a marathon this year. I have had a couple of setbacks in the past few months when I've tried to run. So I'm just going to take 1 run at a time and see where it goes. No expectations. My goal would be to run the marathon in under 4 hours, but that's only if I can do it without injuring my knees.

Last week (Sat, April 25) was week 1 and was a 4 mile run. I ran with a group that averaged about 9:20-9:30 a mile. To get under 4 hours in the marathon, I have to avg a 9 min mile or less. For now, I'm not going to push it and just see how things go. My physical therapist taped my knee up for the week 1 run and it seemed to hold. However, I had presentations in New York and had to fly out on Sunday. I ended up doing a lot of walking on Sunday and then was on my feet for a number of hours on Monday. By the time I came home, Monday night, my knee was sore and tight. However, after a few days it seemed strong enough to attempt a week 2 run.

I ended up buying a brace that was recommended so that I would not have tape my knee. I made it out for today's run. A 5 mile run. The brace held up. My knee was more painful last week. This week it felt solid (not as strong as my healthy (right) knee), but good enough that I was not worried about doing damage to it. We finished the 5 miles. Averaged about 9:20 a mile. It was fun.

Last year, I trained and did all of the runs by myself. This year, I'm trying the group running. It is different but also seems to make the time go faster and helps you keep a consistent pace. The people seem nice. It is great though to just be back out there!