A miraculous recovery: running “The Ultimate Runner” with ChiRunning

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I bought your book for my wife, who is new to running and was experiencing a lot of discomfort while running. She read the book and added a few dozen sticky note book tabs, so I figured I’d give it a read.

I am a high school track and cross country coach with 35 years of running training and competition.  I decided to work on my own running and attempt to be competitive again, because I need goals to keep me motivated. I began training for “The Ultimate Runner” competition in Winston Salem, NC. The event consists of a one-mile run, a 400-meter dash, an 800-meter run, a 100-meter dash and a 5K cross country run. Two weeks before the race, I began reading your book and working on my ChiRunning.  On race day, I ran the one-mile, staying very focused and finishing faster than I had expected. 30 minutes later, I was on the line for the 400, feeling very relaxed and focused.  I started off feeling great until I went to kick in the last 100 meters, over-strided and pulled my left quadricep.  I still finished but limped in across the line.  With 3 events to go I thought I was toast, but I just remembered the principles of ChiRunning, shortened my stride, watched my lean and opened my stride behind me.  I gingerly ran the 800, I “ran” the 100 meter, and was really just thinking about an easy jog/walk for the 5K just so I could say I finished all events.

I got in line at the back of the pack at the start of the 5K and started off easily with a short stride, being mindful of my center and running with soft legs. By the 1/2 mile mark, I was running relatively pain free and by the mile mark I was feeling great and passing a large number of other runners.  My goal was to run sub 23:00 for the 5K when I was healthy – I ended up running a 21:08 and was able to finish with a bit of a kick to pass two more runners in the last 400.

I owe it to ChiRunning.  If I hadn’t read your book, I would have been finished after the 400 meter dash.  I am going to read it again and use the principles in my coaching.  I told everyone I talked to at the meet about ChiRunning and I’m sure there will be some converts after my “miraculous recovery.”  I’m taking a break from running as my quad heals, but continuing to walk and cross-train, keeping the idea of Chi in mind as I do these other activities.  I just wanted to express my appreciation.

Thank you!

-Bob S.