Yeah. No blog post since March. Got busy. Gardening. Relaxing in the sun. Hanging out with buds and baby LanLan! Making vegan smores. You know..summer stuff.
It was nice.
Anyhoo…a story about the next big thing in running (if I have anything to do with it!). When the weather got nice here I stopped running my usual long distance road work and took to doing cross country runs with a hiit protocol. This is the greatest thing ever ( for me anyway). I just LOVE it. It’s an insane rush to run so hard that you feel like puking. It’s really GREAT when you simply can’t do another step but you still do 20 more and then you totally collapse, after crawling your way into some shadow and sitting there for 10 minutes as you recover. Hills are now something I don’t pace myself up…they’re something I friggin’ RACE up. Zoom zoom.
I never got any of these highs when I trained for/did the half by the way. All that distance running was just like a 5 k run, only longer. It was ok, but it wasn’t hard and it didn’t make my brain full of good brain crack like this new running style.
Anyhooo…this leads me to the stick bit. I was running cross country a few weeks, having a good time but still feeling like I was *missing* something, a primal something that took a while to filter down. I needed a stick. To run with. Like my ancient great grandmas had. Something to beat the bears off with! So I took some wood from a 5 year old pile of trimmings down the back alley and then I sort of whacked off all the braches and smashed the sharp bits so they were dull and then I ran with my stick.
All of a sudden you’re getting all this extra sensory information. Balance is heightened, your pace has more marking due to the swing ( or no swing ) of your arms, your fingers feel the beat of your feet and changes in ground surface. It’s just awesome. I told the hubs and he was doubtful but he was willing to try although he wanted a nicer stick than mine. He made himself a much better stick and went for a run and guess what? He Loved it too! So I went online to look for the special stick you want to commit yourself to for the rest of your running life. AND THERE WERE NO RUNNING STICKS! Crazy. I did find the awesome Kingfisher WoodWorks studio though…they specialize in Japanese bokken and other top notch fighting tools. (I found people on martial arts forums discussing and drooling over the Kingfisher made schwag. People in the know want it baaaaad.) They also make walking staffs and, and here’s where we come in, they do custom staffs! I got the hubs the 46 inch staff and I took a 44 inch staff, the same size as my Running Stick beta.
These Kingfisher guys were so nice. They put up with my crazy runner self ( runners will know what I mean…when you’re telling someone the why’s and how’s of why you’re a runner and you kinda go on and on and on…and on…because you’re a running CRACKHEAD.) and, within a few weeks, they sent up the most beautiful, perfect weight, smooth as silk, strong like a mofo Running Sticks. I’ve taken mine out every day since I’ve had it. One day I used it to move a big grumpy scary cat off the path. I’ve knocked snow off bushes (and right onto my head ! Duh.) and I’ve added all sorts of stick work to the hiit work. For instance, I am running as fast as I can run these days. To go faster I’d need to go into professional training, with clean eating and a Coach. Not gonna happen, right? So now when doing a hill at 100% leg speed I hold the stick up over my head to keep my arms up and pumping even more blood through the system. BAM. Increased heart rate and better hiit results. I also hold it in both hands horizontally over the waist area and twist back and forth to engage the core more and get a sort of salsa dance feel to bits of the run. And to improve my chi running form I hold it in my right hand straight up, like a maasai runner. You can use it to do all sorts of shoulder and core stretches and it will also support you as you’re bent double nearly barfing from hiit hill runs in a warrior style.
It’s just the greatest thing ever. So now we have these beautiful, sacred feeling pieces of art to attend us on our running practice. If you’re looking to swank up your run and connect with your inner ancient running self, get a random stick and give it a go. And when you see how awesome it is buy a custom stick ( or a bokken…mmmm….Kingfisher bokken…) from the nice fellas at Kingfisher.
This is my gift to the running world.
<insert wild eyed runner grin here
We just got 30 centimeters of snow so the garden is a hawt mess but I’ll try to blog again once or twice before 2015.
Sorry Dear Reader for the spotty writing over the year…summer here is SO short here you just have to grab it by the horns and be outside running and gardening and making babies cry!