I’ve been running off and on since I was a teenager. Unfortunately, like a lot of other runners, I always seemed to be getting injured. So a couple years ago, after having given up running (yet again) because of knee issues that orthotics and physical therapy couldn’t seem to fix, I took a look at my gait and thought perhaps — as a last ditch effort — I should approach running differently. So I tried to break it all down and start over. My frame of mind was “maybe I don’t know how to run very well. So if I was going to start running from scratch, how would I approach things?”
Yes…… “The Book” was the catalyst that made me give running another chance. But I knew that simply tossing my shoes in the trash and living on chia seeds wasn’t likely to be the answer. But it opened me up to possibilities. So I’ve been reading Maffetone and Dreyer and Mittleman and Romanov and van Aaken, watching the YouTube mobility videos by Kelly Starrett, and trying to piece together bits of wisdom into something that — so far — seems to be working for me. I haven’t really been injured since starting over, and look forward to running almost every day. My pace is a bit slower than it was a few years ago, although running now often feels like it’s adding to my energy instead of draining it away.
But I’ve still got a lot to learn.
So I’m starting this blog not only to provide YET ANOTHER voice to online cacophony, but also to foster conversations that will help ME become a better runner. I suspect I’m always going to be experimenting to try to make myself a better runner. That’s an important point (something that I’ve “known” to be true, even though I haven’t always acted that way); what works for me might not work for someone else, and vice versa. Runner’s World and Running Times and our running buddies can give us new ideas when it comes to footwear and training and technique, but we still have to test those ideas for ourselves to see if they actually work for us. And that means testing things honestly. Too often in the past I’ve either (a) wanted or hoped that certain products or techniques would work for me, so I’d ignore the warning signs that they’re not working, or (b) been particularly skeptical of other products or techniques, so I’d discount the positive results and amplify or exaggerate the downside. Confirmation bias is a high hurdle to overcome.
Hopefully the process of thinking and writing about running, and listening to what others have to say, will help keep me learning new things.