I was hoping for an epic trail run on Mother's Day. But the virus was still lingering in the background. Less than a mile in I knew that it wasn't going to be my day for 15+ miles flying through the woods. But sometimes epic comes in small, almost imperceptible doses. I've learned that every day on the trail is soothing to the soul and if you learn how to listen, it teaches you many lessons.
So I took it in stride.
I had considered running in my Teva sandals instead of my usual trail runners. My feet felt hot and sweaty and I want to start transition to barefoot running. But I chickened out because I thought that I'd go long. I have run trails in sport sandals before, a long time ago when I forgot my running shoes and I was running with my dog and a few others that I was doggy sitting. This was long before the present barefootin' movement, so I thought that I couldn't continue doing that for all the usual lame reasons.
Anyway, back to this Sunday. I was kind of bummed out that I didn't just use my Tevas now that I could tell I was going to have to cut this run down to about 7-8 miles. But I just went ahead and ran with "barefoot" technique. I concentrated on erect posture (without sucking in the stomach and tucking the tailbone - just thinking of pulling up on the crown of the head) and landing lightly on the mid/ball of the foot, not crashing on the heels. I concentrated on being relaxed. Fairly quickly I was getting in the "zone" - just gliding along through the woods softly. This was pretty good considering that the rest of me felt a little feverish and sniffly. I considered going to the top and back down, which would make a comfortable 11 miles.
But then there was a gurgling in the gut. The other side of viruses....gastro problems. The length of my run was now beyond my control. I'd have to turn back down when I hit the Dean Trail crossing. I couldn't risk an "accident" on Mother's Day when there were more hikers than usual out. Getting caught by a hiking family while taking care of business would not be my idea of a good day.
So I concentrated on keeping my nice gliding form and being relaxed while holding in my "problem". I won't lie, I had to stop and walk a few times to keep it all together. But I did make it back to the trailhead bathroom without incident. (Whew!) It ended up being somewhere between 7-8 miles in about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Not bad considering the terrain and the inner conditions!
A word on form - I've been reading the McCall Body Balance Method. It's about how we are moving our bodies and holding our postures in unnatural manners that are causing lots of problems. I got this book because I suspected that I was out of whack. In the few days that I've been practicing the methods my piriformis problem has dissappeared. It's going to take a while for me to change the way I've been moving and holding my posture but I'm hoping that it becomes second nature (again) soon.