One of my sisters came for supper this evening but I managed to squeeze in a quick 6 km run before she arrived, and I'm soooo glad I did. The weather was balmy - so much so that I went running in shorts for the first time this season. Admittedly, I wore a long sleeved shirt with them but still.... SHORTS!... in March!! It was glorious!!
The other awesome thing about my run tonight was that I spent considerable time practicing my chi running techniques. They don't feel at all natural yet but, nonetheless, I ran 6 km at an average pace that was 20-30 seconds faster than my usual pace for that distance - and I wasn't even breathing hard by the end. It felt like I could run forever. Seriously, I'm beginning to think chi running is going to turn out to be a very very good thing - not only because it may let me run faster, but because it may let me run faster and feel better doing it.
For example, I worked on my armswing tonight and found I could substantially reduce the tension in my left neck and shoulder (a chronic issue for me) by swinging my arms forwards and backwards in my shoulder sockets, rather than across my body. As my arms moved more freely, my shoulder and neck seeemed to relax automatically.
I also made some good progress towards getting my pelvis to rotate and my hips to relax so that I could attain a more open, natural stride - one that made running down hills feel like a breeze - relatively speaking anyway. I had no idea my hips were so tight until my instructor pointed it out last weekend but what a difference it made when I managed to release some of the tension.
Maybe the best part about my run tonight was how relaxed my mind felt by the end of it. I was so focussed on listening to my body and putting the chi running techniques I learned last weekend into action that I had no time to think about anything else - with the result that all the stresses and concerns of the day just melted away.
It's too early to say for certain but - so far, at least - it very much looks as if I'm going to be another chi running convert.