As I've recently written, my commitment to run the Pocatello 50 this spring - knowing full well what that entails after running the beastly inaugural in 2009 - has had me actively seeking out winter vert here in Sun Valley. Those runs have dominated my recent posts, and I was going to give RJ readers a rest from these sessions, until something from the above pic from Sunday's outing caught my eye.
If you look past the Pioneer Mountains in the background, the wondrously lonely corduroy, and my favorite winter running tools - the Kahtoola KTS crampons - you'll see what can only be described as a full-fledged heel strike (as well as stark over-pronation). Now, I've read Born to Run, and even gave it my own tepid review here in Run Junkie - with one of my favorite titles to date: Mexican Food, "Mexican" Food, and Brief Thoughts on Christopher McDougall's Book "Born to Run."
Suffice it to say that I was skeptical of many of McDougall's suppositions but have tried to keep an open mind, and in the name of efficiency and injury prevention have even tried over the last three years with coaching, drills, and shoe choice to move to more of a mid-foot strike. For me, a true maximalist in shoe choice, the move to a minimalist-inspired approach was jaw-dropping even to myself. But chronic injury can make Shinola seem like penicillin. (What else would explain kinesio tape?) And I must admit to yearning for a return to form seen in this video from 1985 (from the post I hate Hank Dart...). Yes. That's me bursting out of the navy blue short shorts, winning the Condor League Championships 800 meters. Oh, the form (at least comparatively).
Drills and nostalgia, though, had a tough road to plane. The end result after all the effort to improve my form? An unchanged-momentum-stopping-knee-thrashing-earth-shaking-heel-strike-gait. That's exactly what I saw in Sunday's photo, and it was a bit of an epiphany. I finally decided that that is the runner I am and that that is the runner I am going to be, so I will embrace it.
This prompted me to fire off a tweet to that effect, which then prompted some funny and sage tweets in response - posted below in chronological order for those very many who most likely missed them.