Running, charity and all that laces them together.

Running, charity and all that laces them together.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"Light on Your Feet" by Heather M.

     I have continued running three times a week for .6 miles each time. I wear the Saucony's I mentioned in a previous post, and I continue to try to get the hang of running from midfoot to ball of foot (instead of striking my heel). It's continues to be a difficult transition, and it just doesn't come naturally to me. I have read up on the transition a bit more, and I have realized that the object is not to 'strike' with a different part of your foot, as much as it is to avoid reaching ahead of your body with your foot. Reaching ahead with your foot, which is what happens when I try to open up my stride, causes your heel to hit first and almost stop your forward motion. Running on your mid or forefoot involves pushing the ground behind you, not reaching out to get to what's in front of you. You shouldn't be banging your forefoot off the ground either. You should be making an attempt to be as light on your feet as possible.
     Yes, I know, how can you lighten the load on your feet? To most people, it makes no sense at all. We think of pushing ourselves along with our legs and feet. To move further and faster, you have to push harder, right???  I can only understand being 'light on the feet' (a little) because I am the mother of a ballerina. Have you ever wondered what is in one of those pointe shoes ballerinas wear? You probably think there is something that hold their feet in place and helps them to balance and dance on their toes. Well, you're wrong. Almost all pointe shoes are made out of paper and glue that is layered together to make a hard vamp(or front part of the shoe). Some have bigger and flatter bottoms than others which help with balancing, but 99% of the work is done with the feet and the rest of the dancer's body. The feet are trained for a long time to point and to perform releve(or to stand on the balls of the feet). However, you don't just work your feet over the years and put a pair of those shoes on and hold your whole body up on your toes. Here's something else you do - over all of those years, you learn to pull up out of your hips and elevate yourself (you don't just push yourself there with your toes). It's a difficult concept to understand, and even harder to do.

     I am going to try to apply this type of logic to my running, not necessarily the pulling up out of the hips, but by trying to use the other parts of my body - besides my feet - to help me run. I'll let you know how it goes over the next few weeks.

PS: I have an appointment with the podiatrist next Thursday. Hopefully, he will be excited about my plan (and give me a shot in my heel). The pain hasn't gotten a lot worse since I started doing this little bit of running, but it waxes and wanes. Lately it has been doing one of those things a little too much.

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