Successful Houston Half Marathon thanks to Chi Running!
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:
- Core engaged
- Elbows swinging to the rear
- Never stepping past my hip
- 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.
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