A.M. Ran with Jeff. He is mostly over the swine flu. He monitored my form and compared it to what he saw in the footage of the Berlin marathon. He was able to see elite men, and the slower group that was running with the women. He noticed that almost every one of the slower men had a stiff looking spine, while none of the elite men did. Then he noticed that not surprisingly I had a stiff back. We spent some time trying to figure out the cause of it. The only way I could make it look not too bad was to lean forward excessively. Did some experimentation to see how hard it would be to run with that kind of lean at faster paces. So we ran 0.5 in 2:43, and then 0.25 in 81. It was not too bad, but there were no miracles either aside from the top of the quads feeling the strain instead of the lower portion.
10.1 in 1:14:41.
Then took Benjamin and Jenny in to the State Cross Country Championship. Benjamin ran 13:17 finishing fourth behind Aiden Troutner (12:08), Joshua Blackburn (12:47), and Lucas Norman (13:02). During the race Benjamin looked like he did not know how to run fast. His stride was long, but his turnover was very low. This should not have been a surprise as we have not done anything fast in the last couple of months due to my foot problems. More than anything, it was my oversight - I got too busy with other things and forgot to pay attention to make sure we were prepared for the meet. But on the other hand, no big deal, it is just a Bantam championship. Just get out and practice racing, who cares where you place at the age of 10.
Jenny ran a decent race finishing 7th in 14:28. Iain Hunter's daughter (I am pretty sure that's who it was, her last name was Hunter and she almost chicked Benjamin) won with 13:23.
Later in the afternoon I was pondering the forward lean matter, and remembered a detail. Some time ago Iain measured Jeff and I at his lab. One of the measurements was standing on the force plate for 2 seconds to determine the weight. But the force plate is a smart gadget. It does not just measure your weight. It gives you XYZ components of the ground reaction force. And I remembered that my X component was quite a bit bigger than Jeff's. Yes, when you stand upright there is a fluctuating X component in the ground reaction force because it is next to impossible to find such a balance that your center of gravity would be in the perfect position.
So I decided to integrate that component, or more precisely the acceleration from it over time. Turned out that over 2 seconds of standing I generated a velocity change of 0.1 m/s. Jeff did only 0.02 m/s. In other words, I had to work with my legs to pull my body forward quite significantly, or else my center of masses would have gone backwards and I would have landed on my rear at the end of those 2 seconds. Which means that my center of gravity when standing up is shifted towards the back with the feet ending up in front of it. I wondered if anybody has ever written anything about how the natural position of the center of gravity would affect running economy and found this article.
I tried the exercise suggested in it for correcting the Upper Cross Syndrome, and I like the feel of it. I also liked that it is easy to remember and do spontaneously during the day. We'll see what happens in a month or two.
P.M. Julia, Joseph, and Sarah ran 0.5 together, then I ran 1 mile with Julia in 7:52. That is her new mile PR. Her splits were 2:04 - 2:00 - 1:55 - 1:53. She was not planning on setting a record, just started out a little quicker, and I was able to talk her into trying to break it. Her previous record was 7:57.