A Beautiful Run

The day was bright, but by 4:30 the sun was low and weak and stood no chance against the wind. My home weather station said 36 degrees. Sustained winds were around 30 miles per hour. That added up to a wind chill in the low 20s. I put on shorts and two old long-sleeved technical shirts with a short-sleeve over them. I should have worn gloves! I lasted 40 minutes in it, my eyes watering when I went into the wind. I ran 4.5 miles. This is not-far, slow running, but it's what I should do now, building up after the long layoff. It was a beautiful run, a bunch of 1/3-mile laps around Normandale Park, all of it on grass or dirt. I worked on landing under myself instead of reaching. I'm not trying to remake my stride and suddenly become a midfoot or forefoot striker; I don't think there's any evidence that intentionally doing that is a ticket to fast, injury-free running. But I am convinced that getting my hips forward a bit, and striking under them, is where I want to be. Here's why: I did it and it felt good. My Achilles did not hurt. I don't claim to understand what "Chi" running is, exactly—I read some of the book, and then it disappeared. But I remember there was a tremendous emphasis on relaxing, so I tried to let me legs just sort of dangle down there as I leaned every so slightly forward and felt myself moving forward almost without trying. It felt, oddly enough, natural and easy. Just one run. We'll see how it goes.

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