Saturday, September 3, 2011

Kitchen Fun, Hill Practice, a Bike Ride and Good News!

This morning's breakfast has become then norm for Saturdays since the blackberry season started a few weeks ago.  I love Saturdays 'cause The Captain makes breakfast... pancakes are just a bonus.

There is still steam coming off the egg here.

I made up a batch of Butternut Squash and Carrot soup, and while it was cooling enough for me to puree it with my immersion blender, I headed out to the street to practise my hill running ... I quickly read yesterday's blogpost to get a refresher and then off I went.

I walked a couple of minutes, then did about 1 block of slow running to warm up my legs and then the real work began.

As I came up the hill I made sure to keep my lean into the hill, swing my arms up higher and shorten my stride.

As the hill got steeper, I noticed when it became a real effort for me to strike the ground with my whole foot and decided at that point, to try the lateral stride.  I faced 10 o'oclock first as I am naturally left-footed, and did 6 strides in that direction, making sure to swing my right arm... which felt natural to me anyway.    Then I turned to 2 o'clock and did 6 strides in that direction.  It felt awkward and swinging my left arm felt very odd. 

As I crested the top of the hill I leaned into the natural Chi gait and then when I started down the hill, I slowed again, raised my torso to a more vertical position, engaged my core to keep my C shape, and used my heels to land on, peeling my foot off the ground to raise it to make the next step.

Then, when I got to the bottom of the hill, I turned around and went back the other way... I repeated this back and forth for 20 minutes, and then, deciding my legs had like had enough, I walked for a few more minutes and called it a done deal....

It was good.  And I enjoyed it and it felt great to be practising something specific and useful and it kept my mind fully engaged, too... I was so aware of the different motions I was making with the changes in the slope of the hill.

W3 R20 W3 and I covered 2 km up and down that hill!

I wonder what the neighbors thought!

So, for my review:

Gradual Uphills
  • more upper body work, less lower body work
  • swing arms forward and up
Steep Uphills
  • lean with your uphill shoulder
  • downill arm crosses your centreline
  • body faces to the side, not forward
  • decrease your cadence if you need to
Runnable Downhills
  • point your toes as your legs swing forward to prevent dorsiflexion
Non-runnable Downhills
  • no lean - keep posture vertical
  • pick up your knees slightly
  • land on the front of your heels and roll heel to toe
  • shorten stride length
  • increase cadence as your speed increases
When you find yourself surrounded by hills, think 'float and flow'...

The soup turned out to be delicious... I love making soup with the various squashes, pumpkins and sweet potatoes we are starting to see in the local farmer's markets this tiime of year.

I had a big bowlful for lunch with some sour cream stirred into it...

along with a fresh tomato and basil sandwich.

And then I got to bakings some cookies for The Captain... they were a bribe to get him to go for a bike ride with me this afternoon!

We rode hard for an hour and by the time we rode up the hill to get back to the house, I was done for.... my quads were like jelly again... I am thinking this is a good thing... exhausting these muscles a couple of times a week surely must be helping them grow and get stronger.

The Captain was so happy with the cookies, and so impressed with all my kitchen efforts today, that he barbecued lean beef burgers for dinner and made oven fries to go along with them.. delicious!  But he was too shy to let me photograph them...

Nose back in the Chi Running book for the evening.

And, oh my gosh, how come I keep forgetting to share this wonderful news... I won a pair of Recovery Socks on the giveaway that Jill had ... I am so excited as I have really been wanting to try them. 

1 comment:

  1. Yay! Congrats on winning the giveaway!

    Elle! YOUR GOOD ALWAYS LOOKS SO GOOD! Especially when The Captain makes breakfast (or yours!). I was just saying to my husband that I want to start shopping at Farmer's Markets more because your food has inspired me - fresh, colorful, comforting and healthy! Keep it coming!


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