in Running

A cyclist running

I used to call myself a runner. Now I’m a cyclist trying to run.

I ran 8 miles on Leif Erikson yesterday, which is a gravel/dirt double track trail/fire lane in Forest Park. It’s not very soft, it’s a bit rocky, and yesterday it was pretty muddy. So lots of hopping over puddles, avoiding the particularly deep mud, and trying not to sprain my ankle on the rocky bits.

It’s a little odd for me because my general fitness is very high, but the running muscles are struggling to keep up. Thankfully I have been working out at POINT for the last couple of years, and many of the workouts involve single leg jumping and agility work, so at least my ankles are strong. Otherwise I’d be totally screwed right now.

Every time I’ve run Leif in the last 2 months, my calves are so tired and tight the next day I can barely walk. Last time it was always as bad as that one time I decided it would be a great idea to run 3 miles barefoot on sand while I was in Florida. By the way, if you never run barefoot, probably a bad idea to start out with a 3-miler. On sand.

While I was out there yesterday, I had to 100% focus on keeping my pelvis tucked and pointing straight ahead, no side-to-side hip swaying. I recall being a kid and seeing super models walk the catwalk and seeing how they would move their hips as they walked. So I started emulating that. I’m not really sure if that’s what caused my terrible form, but I’m sure it didn’t help. F you super models! So now I’m trying to channel my inner samurai with Namba Aruki. Ok I’m not really doing that exactly, although it would be pretty amazing to run an entire race samurai walking.

I can feel all the little muscles (and some of the big ones) getting tired around mile 6, and yet my heart rate is barely above resting, at least on the flats. Even my coach finds it odd that my heart rate running is way lower then while cycling. I imagine it’s because the big muscles are being restricted by the weakness of the little ones. You’re only as strong as your weakest link.

What do they say? Train your strengths, ignore your weaknesses? No no, train your weaknesses, race your strengths? How about just train all the things, race all the things. Spoken like a true Type A.