Lesson 1

30 March 2020

OK, so the first lesson. Starts with the construction of the foot: 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and 38 tendons. The bones of the two feet make up about 25% of all bones in our body. The feet are the body’s shock absorbing system.

Our arches do double duty: they support the load of our body weight and collapse to help reduce the impact of landing.”They also have a built-in spring action that both decreases the impact of landing by compressing (coiling), and releases this potential energy into motion by expanding (springing)”.

I really like this reference: “Longtime USA Track & Field coach Rodney Wiltshire once explained why the heel strike is inefficient in very simple terms: ‘Biomechanically, when you heel strike you’re literally putting on the brakes. Great runners don’t put on the brakes with every stride’.”

The big toe and the first metatarsal bear more weight, the smaller toes function to increase our awareness (and perception) of our foot’s position.

Then it deconstructs the landings:

  • heel strike – landing on your heel first
  • midfoot strike – landing simultaneously and with equal weight on your heel and ball of your foot. It is also called flat-foot landing.
  • forefoot landing – landing on the balls of your feet

Then it breaks it down into frames:

  • beginning frame – as the foot gets ready to make contact with the ground it slightly supinates
  • middle frame – when contact with the ground is made, the foot rolls inward, pronating toward the big toes as the spring system coils
  • end frame – the spring uncoils and body weight unloads over the ball of the foot and the big toe

The takeaway: “Besides absorbing the shock of your body weight, landing on the ball of the foot unleashes the muscular-tendon elastic system, decreasing both impact and energy expenditure, while helping propel you into your next stride. The heel strike, by contrast, takes this beautifully evolved system out of the equation and the ankle, knee and hip have to handle the impact of running.”

Did my movement preparation routine – a sequence of stretches – first. Took about 10 minutes and it hurt. My muscles are so tight!

Then came the body weight perception drills. The first one was about shifting the weight of my body from the pringiness position. The goal was to increase perception of where I felt my body weight in my feet.

The second drill was about running gently in place feeling the spring action in my feet and registering each landing and paying attention at how I perceive my body in space – alignment, running posture, etc.

The workout was about shifting from my normal everyday position into my springiness position at least 5 times.

Then followed the strength routine – 8 reps for every exercise.

Prom 44 with David

Prom 44 with David

25 March 2020

Such a beautiful day at the Prom!
Only day visitors from 7 am to 7 pm. We bumped into the ranger who was sweeping the track and evacuating the campers. Best job in the world at the moment!

We also bumped into an elderly (maybe not that old but older than us) couple, they were anchored in Refuge Cove with their catamaran and on their way to New Caledonia (if they could leave the country) along the coast – on a leisurely hike… best life!! I wanna be one of these when I grow old! Maybe shouldn’t wait until I grow old.

I checked out Mt Ramsay – always wanted to do this. It’s a discretely signed track (pink tape), quite rough. Didn’t go all the way to the top, because one of the rocks looked like a problem coming down. Anyway, the beginning of the track is a landmine of shit and used toilet paper, but the view is priceless!

I was struggling with the uphills, especially when combined with sand, still not recovered from Razorback. They felt very hard, not that much in the legs, but more in the trunk. Thankfully, my companion was very patient with me – thank you David.

I have been practicing the “be present” mantra for most of the day. What that did to me was that I was able to run effortlessly. It worked on the flats and most of the downhills. On the more technical downhills I was mindful of the still recovering ACL and my proprioception still not being 100%.

Landing on the ball of my feet felt light and easy. In spite of all my efforts to be present, I did loose concentration, tripped and took two falls that ended me covered with dirt and leaves. Hit my knees, my tummy, my right ISIS. Right shoulder and lower arm scratched. Had to wash my arms off at the next beach.

There were lots of “look at that coulour!!” along these 45 kms and also “how lucky we are to be here?!” We also took a lot of pictures – at least I did.

Saw two snakes between Oberon Bay and Lt Oberon Bay. I ran by the first one obliviously when David told me. We’ve been talking about this – people running by snakes and not even noticing them… I must have been tired by then, because I usually look. And I usually look hard for snakes.