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Fun Running - Power of the Chi

There is this hump that I'm starting to crest. Sometimes it seems like an insurmountable mountain. Sometimes I feel the weightlessness of the downhill side. And now it's November 16th, cold and dark, and after a tub of Ben and Jerry's I'm struggling to find motivation to do the activity I love most.

Lately the thing that has gotten me out the door and onto the trail have been my entries into trail races. No matter how out of shape I am these days 20mi on Cougar Mountain ain't all that hard. I recently ran the last Cougar Mountain trail run of the year hosted by Seattle Running Club and before that thoroughly enjoyed Candice Burt's, Cle Elum 25k (aka 28k). Now that Candice has punched the sky with her audacious Tahoe 200 I find myself dreaming and pining for the open trail...and trying to will myself to do the training that will get me into some of the longer races. First stop will be a few more 25k and 50k races, then a 50mi, then a 100mi, then hell maybe that crap Candice teases my wildest fantasies with.

I think the current plan is to go with the momentum I do have. Rainshadow Running has just put up an excellent 2014 race schedule so I think I'll hit a few of them up first. At the outside of my ambition would be to throw in on one of four 100s in the next 2-3 years. 1. Pine to Palm 100 2. Born to Run 100 3. Bighorn 100 or 4. Cascade Crest 100.

It's quite possible I owe Luis Escobar the honor of running his 100 first. That is one of his pictures that highlight this post. I hear the Born to Run Ultra is a blast and here's to hoping Luna's own Bourbon swilling Patrick Sweeney will show up and do his level best to slack my parched gullet sometime before or after lap 2.

So what has me so optimistic these days despite the darkness and cold? Why it's the Chi Running of course! Since my last post early in the year I've continued to apply Danny's principles to my running, and my running continues to get faster and easier. My shoulders move less and less, I'm getting some mobility in my lower spine, my hips are finding better alignment, rotation, and swing, I've learned a fast downhill technique, and I've begun breathing only through my nose even on the longest runs. When I put all these things together and keep my cadence above 90 I've seen trail paces frequently drop to sub 9 min miles at times. On the flat I've even seen a quite few sub 8's. I'm no where near to averaging that pace in the mountains but I'm seeing it pop up more and more - and all this while expending less energy to get there.

Just a short post and update. The Chi remains strong. Since it's been working so well for me I plan on continuing the techniques as I ramp up my miles toward my first 100 mile finish.

Finally a shout out to Luna Sandals. Every mile of my last year of running has been in a pair of Luna Sandals. Feet heart Luna.


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