Army Veteran with Old Injuries Runs Pain-Free!
Today it clicked!!! I finished reading your book a month ago, but it has really been almost a year since I have been exposed to the concept of ChiRunning. Let me take a step back to explain my excitement. I have been in the Army for nearly 26 years and have had my bumps and bruises. I have a wrecked back with degenerated vertebrate and discs, 3 knee surgeries, 1/2 bone removed from the arch in both feet. Needless to say that pain is part of my daily routine. I cannot recall how long it has been since I have ran more than 2-3 miles. About a year ago, I met another soldier who had been training with a ChiRunning instructor because he had a messed up back and wanted to continue to run. Unsure of the concept I went out and ran with him. Surprising it did not hurt. I was convinced of the concept, but it was a while before I bought your book, then one day I visited a book store closing sale and your book was on the shelf so I bought it. I have been working on the form and concept on my own for about 7 months. I have had some success, but only running a couple of miles at a time and then I revisited old habits too easily.
This morning I decided I would go for a Long Slow Run (LSR). Long being a relative word, I though maybe I would push myself to 4 or 5 mile. As I said in my opening, today it clicked. I started off with my Merril Trail Gloves on my feet, metronome on my collar, heart rate monitor and GPS. I did not pay any attention to any of the electronics with the exception of the beep reminding me to keep my tempo at 90 steps a minute. I started off at a comfortable pace, just enjoying feeling my body move nice and tall, good “c”, feet landing behind my body. I just enjoyed the flow, felling my feet move like a wheel. I looked at the GPS and realized I just ran two miles — NO PAIN! So, I just kept running got to 3 miles and my perceived level of exertion was less than my normal first mile. After 3 miles I started feeling a little strain in my left calf. Revisiting my body scan I let the tension go and kept runing, 4 miles, 5 miles, 6 and then 7. This is fun so I kept going. I got back to the house and I was at 8 1/2 miles so I decided to just finish the last mile ending at 9 MILES! Wow! The only reason I stopped is that there was more to do today. Now several hours later, I still feel rested.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
Jack from Virginia