I'm coming back to running more and more. I've been out twice this week already, in the early morning before dawn (especially now with the EDT shift), before the traffic and hustle-bustle of the world begins. I'm still not used to waking up at 5.30 like I did earlier this week. I'm less than used to rolling out of bed and getting ready to go for a run. But here's something I discovered. Once I get rolling, I forget why I wanted to stay in bed in the first place. Sure it's warm and cozy, but moving forward seems so much better than laying there, fretting about the coming day.
I've started reading Chi Running by Danny Dreyer. I haven't delved into it deeply, yet, but one of the things he advocates is "Body Sensing" or being more aware of your body, how it is moving and how you can alter your body, form etc. to improve your running and results. There is a constant flow of information to your brain about your body (more than it just screaming, "Why am I awake and why are trying to KILL ME???"). Your brain also has the ability to consciously and unconsciously send information back tot he body to improve what I am doing. I made a point of trying to be more in tune with my body and my surroundings this week and it really felt better.
On Tuesday, I felt I was going to loosen up well and run smoothly and I did. I was very fluid and felt strong going up hills. I noticed things more. My neighborhood has a smell to it of dryer sheets and fabric softener in the early morning. I thought it was my brain making fun of me, but it was definitely there. I noticed it again on Thursday's run. Speaking of Thursday's run, I woke up at about 6.15 and got going. I felt stiff and knew I was not going to set any speed records...so I didn't try. The other thing Dreyer talks about is "listening to your body" and letting the feedback you are receiving drive your running, as oposed to letting your ego drive. The ego in control, he says, leads to pain and injury. I'm inclined to agree with him.
I really like the Chi Running philosophy so far. I like being more in touch with my body. Before I started reading the book, the closest I came to "body sensing" was when nature called in the last quarter mile of a run. Fortunately, I am still running relatively short distances (5 miles and less) and didn't get caught out; I made it home without incident, but only barely. I mention this because I came across THIS STORY from Dave Milner, passed on by a friend, which has to be one of the more hysterical things I have read recently. It's not for the squeamish, but I split my sides reading it.