Successful Houston Half Marathon thanks to Chi Running!

Posted by Elizabeth Frost on Tue Feb 1st, 2011, 6 comments

Well, I did it! I finished running the Houston Half Marathon on Sunday! It was the second time I had run in the event; two years ago I ran the same race, which was the first time I had run 13.1 miles. Thanks to the pain-free Chi Running technique, I was able to run the race then, and again this year, joyfully and without injury.

My goals for running the race this year were to finish and to finish uninjured. Kristin (Ivan's sister-in-law) and I had both run the race two years ago, and we were at the start line again together this year... However, this year we decided on running together, which we hadn't done before.

Due to illness, work schedules, traveling and incredibly cold weather, she and I were both less trained than we would have liked and thought it would be good support and more fun if we ran together. If none of you has ever run a whole race with another person, I would highly recommend it. It was so much fun to run together, and it actually made the time go by rather quickly.

Going into running the race, I knew I was going to need to rely on my technique and Body Sensing to get me through the race because I hadn't run the mileage that I would have liked during running training. To stay safe and connected to my body, these are the things I focused on during the race:

  1. Core engaged
  2. Elbows swinging to the rear
  3. Never stepping past my hip
  4. Crown tall

The weather was slightly rainy at the start, and again at the finish, but we were able to run in nice cool weather which was fantastic. Running this course is so great -- there are loads of fans and volunteers along the entire course which makes for a very entertaining, fun and supportive race. With the rain, the road was slightly slippery in places, so we just watched our footstrike and made sure to take smaller strides where it was slippery.

About mile 11, I got a very strange, sharp twinge in my lateral left knee. I immediately shortened my stride, back off my speed and watched the way my feet were tracking, making a very conscious effort to strike neutrally on the ground. I haven't fully diagnosed what it was, but I was so grateful to have my running technique "down pat" in order to fix the issue immediately to avoid injury.

We were smiling for the entire race; it was so much fun to run with someone, the course was so well supported, the weather was excellent for running and we both ran a better race than either of us expected. I am thrilled to have done another race. I am thrilled to have another positive experience under my belt. I am grateful I was able to run 13.1 miles at all, and that I was able to run and have so much fun with Kristin. We both have great support systems and had 6 smiling faces at the end of the course to cheer us toward the finish line as we raced the last .5 mile, pace for pace, crossing the finish line at the same moment. Thanks for a great race, Kristin!

While I don't have any other races on the calendar yet, I am going to enjoy running and walking just for the sake of it for the next several months.

Many thanks to those of you who have continued to read my blog and make comments. It is very encouraging to know that many of you are still reading this after several years, and I am looking forward to continuing to blog about my experiences to inform others who are learning and practicing the Chi Running technique.

Tags

  • half marathon training,
  • knee pain,
  • half marathon training program,
  • houston half marathon

6 CommentsLeave a comment below

Laura Houston Feb 1st, 2011 02:52pm

Yay!! Congrats Liz - glad you had a great time! That’s what it’s all about. Hope you got to enjoy a post race margarita down in H-town! grin

Woo hoo! Way to go! So glad you finished and finished having fun!

Charlene Ragsdale Feb 1st, 2011 07:13pm

Thank you for a great article.  I am new to ChiRunning and just ran my first Half in December.

I look forward to having ChiRunning a part of my training for many years to come.

Good luck to you and keep up the great work.

Thank YOU, Liz!  I couldn’t have done it without you, and didn’t realize (until our race) how much fun and motivating it is running with someone else.  Thanks for the injury prevention tips, too.  Talk to you soon! smile

Tom Jennings Mar 11th, 2011 04:54pm

Great job Liz!!!  Maybe I’ll see you at Oil Creek someday, lots of people hike or go slow on the short 50K race distance.

Nancy Nelson Apr 30th, 2011 12:06pm

Way to go Liz, You guys sounded like you had a such a great race together.  Thanks for the tips too, really appreciate them, I am running my 2nd half tomorrow, so I will remember your hints.  Take good care and Congrats again!

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I wanted to take a minute to thank Danny and everyone involved at Chi Running. On January 1st 2010 I limped off the Buckeye Trail in NE Ohio with another pulled calf muscle, I have to admit I was done running. 

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