Saturday, December 11, 2010

8 Days to the Unknown*

What is Toes Down and Go!?

"Toes Down and Go!" is what I say to myself just before a race as a reminder and rallying cry that what I am racing for isn't a time on a clock but to know my limits of speed, endurance, heart, and focus.

"Toes Down and Go!" is the title of my memoir and travel guide I'm writing about my experience as a runner and travel running. The full title of the book is:

"Toes Down and Go: Traveling the World at 7MPH,
Voyages of personal and geographic discovery."

Volume one is about my running trip to Puerto Rico, which begins on December 20, 2010.(* This trip is shaping up to be far more challenging than I'd expected and I'm little more worried and a little scared about what might happen while I'm there. In the next TD&G! entry I'll tell you why.)

"Toes Down and Go!" is derived from an observation in Christopher McDougall's book, "Born To Run". He writes that one key to developing a mid-sole strike (generally considered to be less punishing to the joints than heel-striking) is to point your toes down when running. (We naturally lift our toes when running and that enhances the heel-strike.) I tried toes-down running three days after struggling through what was at the time the longest distance I'd ever raced or run: The Boston Prep 16 Miler. (I had to wait three days to try because Monday and Tuesday after the race I could barely walk.) The first time I ran toes-down I was faster and ran farther than on any training run I'd done before. At the end of it I didn't feel any pain but I did feel elated. The mid-sole strike transformed my running – so I'm a believer who tells everybody (including you!): point yer toes down when you run!

Toes Down and Go! is for us all to run fast and far, to run the things that trouble us into submission and resolve them, to run our dreams into action and make them real, and to live happier more successful lives.

So, Toes Down and Go!, everybody!, and thanks for letting me share!


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