are you reading this? - Chi Running

are you reading this?

Posted by Elizabeth Frost on Fri Oct 31st, 2008, 7 comments

hey folks. I am curious: does anyone read this? I have had a few comments, but if you’re out there, let me know. I would love to have an idea if there are more than 2 people reading this ;)

Today’s run, (which is supposed to be a Thursday run) went okay.

I did 45 minutes of hills in the neighborhood: I am embarrassed by the low mileage, but there were some pretty substantial hills.

As much as ChiRunning has helped me learn how to run, I am still battling with the uphills. I LOVE running down hills, as I think most people do. I want to learn to like the uphills, but I have a mental block because I get frustrated at my perceived speed. Obviously gear 2 on flats is going to be different than gear 2 on uphills, but I still get irked by it.

I went out about 10 am, and it was below 40 degrees F. Pretty chilly, but I had cleared out my nose sufficiently so I wouldn’t be a mucus machine, and I lathered up my lips with chapstick. The run from Wednesday taught me that in cold weather, I need to protect my little face!

You can take a look at the course and the kind of elevation. It’s nothing too snazzy, but Asheville is quite hilly. So steep little hills up and down again and then a couple of long up and down hills. On the down I tried to get into gear 3 and on the up tried to just keep a good pace. The last really hilly run I did was a Thursday lunch run up near the Grove Park Inn, and I was going at an ant’s pace then up the hills. I tried not to do that today, but it wasn’t as easily done.

My heart rate was very variable. I was so so so grateful on the downhills after the seemingly never-ending uphills, and I could tell my heart was grateful too. On the uphills I peaked at about 184 bpm, and on the downs got down to 165 on some. Quite variable, and I am not sure that’s a good thing. My brain was okay, it wasn’t saying, “Oh, Lizzie, for heaven’s sake just stop and walk a little bit.” It was more like “Yeah, I know this is uncomfortable and it stinks, but it’s almost over and you can get up it, just go.”

I didn’t power through the hills, but instead just adjusted. I made sure I kept moving instead of stopping to walk or standing, even if that meant slowing down to ~ gear 1 some of the time on the uphills.

I felt a little bit leaden today in my legs. Not sure if it’s because I didn’t have the right food last night (lots of cheese, crackers, wine, grapes and olives) but I need to figure that out sooner rather than later. I think my body will be grateful come race day to have the right nutrition running through my system.

I had a hard time today focusing. I think that’s what hurt my speed. Really, 4.5 miles in 45 minutes? I guess it’s not that bad, but gosh it seems short. I was trying to focus on my arm swing, on keeping my heel lift good, and on letting my hips rotate as much as possible on the downhills.

I felt really great after the uphills as I started on the downhills. Of course, that seems obvious, but my heart rate and PRE adjusted immediately, which hasn’t always been the case. On the downhills, I didn’t feel like I had the best pelvic rotation, but I had my core engaged and my head forward to keep my lean downhill. That felt good, but the pelvis could have had a little more movement.

On the uphills, I did the sideways 11 o’clock/1 o’clock hill running sometimes. I felt a little silly because it was on short hills, but they really are steep and I wanted to make sure I kept moving.

Anyway, I would say over all it was probably around a 6 run, not great, but I was glad to finish. And I am not sore, which is a joy. I stretched after I got back, and then we got in the car for a few hours, and even after all that sitting, I still feel good and not too stiff. That’s a great feeling too.

Focuses were arm swing (which I was lazy about on the uphills and probably shouldn’t have been), pelvic rotation (I need to work on this a lot more)… that’s about it. I took chapstick in case my lips turned to sand paper, but I was lucky and it didn’t happen. WHEW. My nose dripped a lot, which I didn’t realize until I get home… yuck.



  • arm swing,
  • pelvic rotation,
  • heart rate,
  • chapstick,
  • nutrition

7 CommentsLeave a comment below

Hi Liz,

I am defenitely a frequent reader. I am training for my first half marathon in may 2009, and learning from your experience.

Chirunning helpt me to run better, with less pain.

Keep on running!!


runningrocks Nov 2nd, 2008 03:22am

Just read your blog for first time! I am adding to my favorites!  I, too, am training for 1/2 marathon but not my first.  However, this is my first using the ChiRunning method and has helped so very much. I can totally relate to hill running challenges; I use the sideways method of running up the hills on a very challenging course and my pace doesn’t change!  First time EVER for me!  I find that heelstriking on the downhills helps, too, as doesn’t blow out my quads.  I hope you learn to love your running.  It is the ONLY activity I do that I can do anywhere…literally…and find my calm within myself.  Oh, and keep on blogging…regardless of the readers posting comments it is good for you to get your thoughts out!

brenda gibson Nov 3rd, 2008 05:04am

Hey Liz,
I’ve been following your blog for a couple of weeks now. I just never think to comment much. I’m really enjoying reading about your training. I have written a few things down for my own running like your entry about “switched” and the exercise to get “unswitched.” I’ve also been kind of tagging along on some of your workouts (particularly the interval training) and putting them into my workouts. So know that while we may not always write, we’re here reading. I’ll try to comment more often. Thanks for blogging about your experience, it’s really interesting. I intend to have my students read along, too.

Hi Liz,
I loved reading about your training. I just completed my first half marathon Oct 19th The Other Half in Moab UT lots of hills but it was amazing.  In may I did my first 5K and in July a 10K I have not ever experienced anything like it, talk about the runners high. I hope your experience it just as wonderful. I learned about chi running after my 5K and have been trying to get it down. I have not had pain or an injury yet. I have a few read books about running and learned a lot. I attribute my good experience not only to chi running but I do yoga after runs. I think it truly helps with the recovery. I wasn’t even sore after the half marathon. Good luck.

Liz, I just started reading your blog and am so glad I clicked on it in the newsletter. I have done a 1/2M [Bayshore, MI, May’08] and am training for my next one in March. I have progressed from power walking to race walking, to running and now have found chiwalking/running. In combination with the Galloway idea of walk/run timing, it seems the best way for this 59 year old body to make it to the finish line and be injury free. I have had one formal lesson in ChiWalking from Ken in Ann Arbor, MI. I especially liked your early blog when you ran with Danny. So many helpful tips there. The hint about taping your chin was interesting-did you really do it? I will try. Thanks for the helpful things about relaxing, breathing and hill work. My 1/2 will be in Antarctica so I will force myself to go out everytime the weather is terrible in Michigan. I need to test what clothing works and get experience fighting strong winds and slush. So, I will put your blog on my Favorites and compare notes with you. Good Luck, MAV

D.Fitzpatrick Nov 25th, 2008 10:25am

I came late to the party but have been enjoying your blog. I will begin training for my first half marathon next spring and the comments you have posted will be helpful.

Randy Huffman Jan 23rd, 2009 02:03pm

I did just read your blog. You have done great. I am very inspired by what normal people can achieve with determination. It’s all about months of training to achieve a few minutes, here and there, of feeling like you are running effortlessly. When I catch myself in that trance or high, I blink and it is gone, but worth the effort.Keep up the good work. PS-It is addicting!!

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