Foggy puppet-footed New Year’s run

Today’s run (street): 5.6 miles

Perhaps I should explain the title to this post. After taking Saturday (New Year’s Day) to rest, I thought I’d make my 2011 debut at Stillwell Woods. In the past I’ve run Stillwell after a snowstorm and discovered that much of it was runnable as long as I wore the right shoes. I planned to wear my Helly Hansons that make short work of rough surfaces and packed snow. I got up early and waited for the sun to rise before heading out. When it became light enough to see the streets I noticed a heavy fog enveloping my neighborhood. The surreal view of the roads, combined with mid-40 degree temperatures, made me change my mind about Stillwell. I decided instead to run on the local roads.

That explains the foggy in the title. The puppet footed running relates to the mid-foot style of landing that I’ve followed as much as possible when I run. I still have trouble consistently landing either mid or front footed and I need to think about ways to make my feet fall forward more naturally. A technique that I’ve adopted is what I think of as “puppet feet.” Just like the way the feet of a marionette seem to  drop when the figure is “walking”, I think about bringing up my knees and let my feet fall. I’ll usually land mid-foot and I can do this at a fairly brisk cadence (85-88 SPM). This technique also works well for me on inclines and small hills.

I ended up running a very pleasant 5.6 miles, enjoying a different view of my neighborhood and feeling good about my first run of the new year. Tomorrow I’ll return to the office and the work week routine: 4:00 AM runs, the commuter train, schedules, meetings and earlier bedtimes. My kids return to school from holiday break on Monday as well so we’re dedicating the rest of today to doing some fun stuff. The first run in the new year is completed and I enjoyed it completely. Happy running to everyone in 2011!

Happy 2011!

Happy New Year! For no particular reason I chose not to run today. I was caught up in New Year’s activities this morning that carried into the afternoon. By the time I was ready to run I’d decided to forgo my workout. I’ll defer my first run of 2011 to tomorrow morning.

Ideally the paths at Stillwell will be runnable on Sunday. I’ve been happy for the opportunity to run outside this week a couple of times but the snow has limited me to my main neighborhood. It’s wonderful to have local streets that are safe for running but following the same course does get tedious. I wish there were web cams at Stillwell and Bethpage (and Belmont Lake for that matter) that showed conditions in real time. That would save me a trip if the snow is still too deep for running. I’ll probably head to Stillwell first, because it’s closest, and check that out. If things don’t look good I’ll probably return home and have my first run of the year around the neighborhood. Either way it will be a celebration of running in good health in January. I’ll never take that for granted again.