The 27th Annual Smith Barney Harrisburg Mile took place along the water on Front Street Wednesday evening with 13 different heats. The course is point to point flat course with approximately 150 yards of slight incline at the finish. The money raised for the event benefits the newly renovated Harrisburg YMCA. This was my third race in twelve days and it was the race I finally found the mechanics that I have been searching for in the past.
As runners, there are times that we lose our form, speed, or technique. In the last few races I was feeling that I was working too hard at times and not feeling any flow with my running. I thought it might be my arms, legs, or extensive travel. Before the Harrisburg Mile, I had the awareness that my difficulties had to do with my body position when I was running. The best way to actually see my running style when I feel strong, fast, and bounce can be seen in the OneMileRunner.com logo. Notice the torso of my body slightly forward with my chest leading me down the road. The last month or so I have been feeling my chest falling behind my hips affecting my stride, arms, and foot plant. This would happen most often when I was feeling tired during a race or workout. I remember coach Ray Helsing telling me, “David you are leaning back.”
So at Harrisburg I had three aspirations: Start off with a strong 1/8th of a mile, keep my torso in the same position the entire race, and then trust this form will work. Two moments in the race I felt my torso lean back to this passive, slower, and easier position. Both times I corrected the position in order to maintain my strong form. It felt great running like this. For the first time in weeks, I flowed. There was not a lot of effort to feel speed and bounce. I finished in 4:49 and gained the confidence to use this in future races. I hope to run a lower time now in the next few races. Check out the video at http://blog.onemilerunner.com/2008/07/19/abc-news-channel-27-harrisburg-pa.aspx
Here is a photo with Anne Aufiero, President of AdAbility, Inc. in Harrisburg who set up the television interviews and handles the marketing of the event for Smith Barney.
Then I am here with the winner of the Elite heat, John Butler, who ran the Harrisburg Mile in honor and in memory of his grandmother who passed away recently. John ran a 4:15 and has been the winner of the event each of the last three years.
It was fun to be back in Pennsylvania for two races. Sekyen and I returned to Florida for a few days before we fly to Vancouver for race #13. This is my only race outside of the USA this summer. We are both looking forward to spending time in Vancouver and running the event in Gibsons, B.C. on the 26th. Here is a clip from the local NBC station in Harrisburg.