Distance Running a Reality Again with ChiRunning

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I had been injured on and off for about 3 years when I came across ChiRunning in an online search for “shin splints.” I had suffered bilateral tibial stress fractures in the fall of 2005 while training for the Chicago Marathon. The next 3 years were filled with disappointment after disappointment. I would be injured, heal, and then re-injured.

In 3 years, there was never a time that I was pain-free. I made the decision to live with the pain, and for the most part, I tolerated it, but injury was always lurking around the corner. I tried 3 different ortho docs, 3 chiropractors, 4 PTs and a partridge in a pear tree, and they all gave me the same answer: “You’re just not a distance runner … give it up.”  Funny thing was, they all also said, “Your alignment looks good, your gait is neutral and you’re built like a runner.”

I loved running. So after all of the money spent in orthotics, therapy devices, heating pads, ice massages and splints, I turned to ChiRunning. At this point, my enthusiasm for a cure was at an all time low, but what was one more attempt going to hurt?

I read the book, got the DVD and I spent evenings on the phone with her, trying to run through my kitchen correctly. My husband thought I was insane! While the phone calls were helpful, it wasn’t enough.

So the weekend I was supposed to be running the Disney Marathon (but, of course, was sidelined yet again) I was off to Dayton, Ohio for a ChiRunning workshop. This was no short trip – it was a 6-hour drive for us … the best 6-hour drive I have ever made!

So fast forward to today: in December, just 11 months after attending the workshop, I ran the Memphis St. Jude Marathon and qualified for the Boston Marathon with a 3:39:42 PR. Then, just 4 months later, in April 2009, I ran the Boston Marathon and PR’d again with a 3:39:08. I ran 2 days later with no pain. I am running 60 miles a week and feel very little soreness. I used to wake up stiff and sore while running 35 miles a week.  Next on the agenda is an ultra in Chicago this fall.

I guess the docs were wrong – I am a distance runner! I’m sure glad I didn’t give up! Thanks ChiRunning!”

-Emily