Archive for May, 2012


From Kitchenette, unfinished portrait of mother


Portrait of grandmother and great-grandfather

Ten of Heart, portrait of grandmother and grandfather


From Kitchenette, portrait of grandmother

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I have heard the echo of my heels, in the cool light, in the darkness. —  Ezra Pound

A woman said to me recently she walks faster than she runs. That’s true of me too. I began running recently and plan to run part of the Bolder Boulder 10K on Memorial Day.

A neighbor who lives in these condos is a running coach. In a discussion on running, he mentioned sub-130s and sub-145s. I finally realized he meant people who can run half marathons, 13.1 miles, in less an hour and 30 minutes.

My dog Scout and I did a trial run of the Bolder Boulder race course this week. We discovered we are sub-120s. We go 6.2 miles in a little less than two hours.

The Body Wheel

Danny Dreyer, in his book Chi Running, reminds us to maintain correct posture as we run, to align the ear, shoulder, hip and ankle as we take each step and to visualize our feet as if we were turning pedals on a bike. That requires lifting the heels.

I don’t have a wheel. I barely lift each foot from the ground, but when I see pros running in town, their knees do follow a circular pattern. Dreyer illustrates ideal running technique with photos of children. They have perfect alignment, lean, heel lift, arm swing, cadence and stride.

We lose ease in running as we become adults because it takes more effort. We no longer run with smiles on our faces. As children much of what we do is perfect because we’re not fighting something in ourselves that wants to get it right.

700 Breaths

I am only a few weeks into this and can run about a mile. Today I took about 700 breaths during my run.

Sakyong Mipham suggests we count our breaths to take our minds off discomfort in our bodies. In his book Running With The Mind of Meditation, he compares running to forms of meditation that direct you to calm down the mind by focusing on the breath.

Today, as I finished my run I found cottonwood and maple seeds on the ground. I collected cottonwood seeds as a child, wondering if they were like cotton in the fields of Tennessee where I lived.

We called the wings of the maple seeds whirlybirds. Whenever I throw one into the air now, I realize how few people remember me as I was then.

I try to remember. I try to become less mechanical, less worried about technique, to become the person I was as a child when I watched the seeds drift through the trees at twilight.

Even as a beginner, I realize that something about that has more to do with running than trying to be technically perfect or finishing a race.

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