The sun gotta be my most favorite thing in the word. Well, the most non-Muggy related favorite thing to be correct, because he has the same effect on me as the sun does: they both manage to make my cheeks pinker, my shoulders loose, the tightness in my calves relaxed, and my mood high all day long.
After many months of long cold winter, the sun has finally returned to New York, perching ambiguously behind the shiny top of the G.E. building at first, but slowly sneaking out and beaming through the shaded windows behind my cube. Taking advantage of a slow Friday, I waited impatiently for the clock to strike 6, slipped on my running shoes and bolted out of the door before any watchful boss could catch up. The pavements of 6th avenue were flooded with people, particularly girls in colorful dresses showing off bare long thighs and freshly-painted toes peaking from open sandals. In Central Park, runners crowded the paved roads, snaking around lazy horses and tuk-tuk drivers. The cement glistened under the sun, and I felt my feet lighter, my calves excited, my thighs ready for a good work out.
After the first two miles, the shin splints kicked in and it became quite unbearable to keep going. The gatorade fortunately helped, and by mile four the pain faded away. As the training goes on, I have started to feel more and more of my body. With every strike on the ground, I can feel now the vibration it sends upward through my legs which swing like a pendulum in the socket of my pelvis, and the twitching quad muscles striving to keep up. I can feel the pores on my face opening, releasing sweat, breathing, panting. It is as if the whole body aligns in its motivation to move forward and swallow the miles. There are, of course, times when I feel my body succumbing under fatigue, and falling out of alignment. My pelvis sit back, creating a kink between my lower body and the rest of the spine. I have attempted to fix my posture unsuccessfully, until taking a Healthy Running workshop with Julia Pak of Balanced Runner (www.balancedrunner.com). The exercises though simple worked like a charm. As she puts it, sometimes we unknowingly disalign our bodies, creating cross-motivation which impedes the overriding movement of running. Think of our arms and legs as pendulums, swinging from our hip and shoulder sockets. We want the pendulums to swing most efficiently. That means eliminate any unnecessary weights and movements by curling the arms up rather than down, tilting forward rather than backward, landing on the middle of your feet rather than the heels. I cannot wait to try out the new running form tomorrow!
April sun is here. The city is warm and glowing, like a girl in love.