Today is a good day. I've been out for about a week with some tendonitis on the top of my right foot, but yesterday was the first day with no pain and so today was the first day out running. I went out for a hilly 10k (apparently with a category 4 and category 5 climb thrown in, but who's counting?) and I got it.

Since I haven't been able to go out, you know, actually running this week, I've been thinking a lot about it. Watching technique videos, reading all of you lovely people's thoughts and activities, mentally going through drills that I want to try, soaking it up (I'm still not a serious runner though, ok?). 

I hit the road and although I started out treading carefully on my right foot, watching out for any hint of tendon pain (I'd decided I'd stop the minute I got any - I'm not sitting out another week), I was pleasantly surprised and seemed to be running stronger than I was at the end of last week. My confidence boosted, I shoved my hands around the back of my head, as I think Eric mentioned somewhere on the site recently, and got myself into a good, upright stance. I've been doing a bit more core work in the gym lately and running like this I felt, I dunno... solid, I guess. I got myself used to that position for a few minutes and then managed to carry it through with my arms back in a regular position - and it felt good.

The same thing happened when I shifted my attention to making sure I was 'running with my groin'. I'm fairly sure my knee-lift's been ok up to now, but focusing on this really made it happen with a lot less direct effort and concentration (I hope that makes sense). This worked especially well on a couple of the long uphills in the first half of the route, even if I did have to pull myself up a couple of times and remind myself of my posture. On steeper climbs in the past, I've almost felt like I was running with my shoulders too much (picture a computer game character climbing a ladder), but today my upper-body stance stayed pretty constant across the different inclines.

Then, at around the 5km mark, the 'getting it' happened. Everything clicked into place - I suddenly realised I was in a good, strong, upright stance; my breathing was controlled and regular; I nailed a good cadence and I was definitely driving from my hips. Totally in the zone. I'm not sure I'll be taking a week off from running intentionally any time soon, but I read somewhere that mentally practicing, running through drills etc, can be as effective as physical practice - it definitely seems like there's some truth in this.

Aaand, in other news, I've entered my first competitive race. It's a half at the end of September and I cannot wait.

- Ben

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Comment by Lori Enlow on August 12, 2012 at 11:41am

I know that feeling of when it all "clicks". Awesome eh?  Yes visualization works!  Very powerful tool. Lots of well designed studies prove.  Sounds like you are on the right track!  Learn and grow!

Comment by Ben Brewer on August 12, 2012 at 7:15am

Thanks Lori - and good luck yourself, very inspiring stuff :)

Comment by Lori Enlow on August 11, 2012 at 5:43pm
Good luck!

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