Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Many Things Race Pictures Can Teach You

If you are anything like me, you both look forward to and dread getting an email after your race that says something to the effect of "brightroom has uploaded pictures of your recent ------ race."  Of course wanting to see myself, I click on the link and look at all the pictures of me, or the random man that always seems to be tagged as me in one of the pictures (does this happen to anyone else?).  After looking at many photos of myself running the past two or more years, I have come to learn a few things:

  1. I am a heel-striker, or so I think.  I was 99% sure I was a heel-striker until I went to a running shop and got on this pressure scale thing that said where all the pressure spots were in my foot.  My friend who was working looked at me in disbelief, saying that all my pressure was near the front of my foot and I must be a sprinter (she knows I like distance).  Weird, right?  I still think I am a heel-striker.
  2. I rarely look like I am having fun.  Last spring, after looking at my Rockford Half Marathon pictures, I was in shock as to just how bad I looked.  I decided before I ran the Chicago Marathon that I wanted a good picture and would smile for all 26.2 miles.  In those picture, I am smiling in the majority.
  3. My left leg is weaker than my right leg which causes it to stride funny near the end of races when I am tired.  My knee goes at more of an angle and my foot goes out.  It makes for some really awkward pictures....really, really awkward. 
  4. I move my arms only a very, very little amount when I run. 
  5. I am tense when I run.  My arms are higher than they should be.
With all this knowledge, I have tried to improve things like my stride and arms.  But, with all things, changes take time.  I do know that #2 can be changed without much effort.  In 2012, my goal is to take better race pictures that have me smiling.

Are you like me, and take not-so-good race pictures?  Or, do yours turn out well?  If so, I am jealous!


  1. My pictures look horrible. I look like I am trying to pass a kidney stone. And all my marathon pictures I look like death is about to get me.

  2. omg.. i HATE those race pictures and dread that email also. I determined that people running just look.... bad! it's like the age old rule, "never take a picture of somebody while their eating" I think the same should go for running. Unless you're super elite or something and look like a gazelle.

  3. My photos are 50/50. Some races it's quite clear I'm having fun... and others that I'm working hard (or in pain!)

  4. My pictures are terrible. I look completely miserable in all of them and my face is always distorted. One day I'll remember to smile and get a good one!

  5. I have had both horrible race pictures and decent ones. This is one arena where I think the advantage goes to the slower runner - we have more time to put on a pretend smile than you faster runners who are already past the photogs before you notice them :)