Running and Non-identification - Chi Running

Running and Non-identification

Posted by Michelle Muldoon on Tue Mar 1st, 2011, 11 comments

I’m a bit late in blogging about running my Half Marathon but half term got in the way!  If you read my blog you will know that I have been following the Chi Running Intermediate Half Marathon Training Program.  Training had gone pretty well and I lined up at the start line on Sunday 20 February feeling pretty relaxed apart from the normal pre-race jitters with approximately 8,000 other runners.  Given the race was on the coast, weather conditions were perfect for running, overcast but with no rain and no wind. I did the Chi Running body looseners and jogged for about half a mile or so before the start.

This was my second half marathon but the one I had properly trained for. I had decided to start running at a given pace based on my running training and what was possible for me at this time. I started out running at a slower than intended pace trying not to get caught up in the “go out too fast and die later mentality” knowing that if all went to plan I could make up the time later.  I had written some form focuses on my hand to remind myself later on in the race when I might fatigue. It’s a little harder to stay mentally focused in a race situation with so many distractions but most of the time I was able to body sense my form and stay in the moment.  When I got tired, as I did in the latter stages, I used various focuses to help me, such as alignment, core engagement, lengthening the back of my neck, circular feet, relaxed lower legs and letting my arms dangle from my sides occasionally.

The race went very well.  My target running time was 2:07 and my chip time was 2:07:55.  This is by no means a record breaking time but a good time for this runner now, given my history and the outlook for me as a runner a few years ago.  The best thing about running this race is there was no recovery time. I went out for a run the following day and felt good; I had no DOMS and no issues since, just a great feeling of achievement.

The title of the blog is ‘Running and Non-identification’ because I have spent the last week practising non-identification.  In the Chi Running book, Danny Dreyer, founder of the pain-free Chi Running technique, describes it as “getting your ego out of the way”.  We are all obsessed with times and PBs.  Everybody wants to know how the race went but what we really want to know is what time the race was run in.  I would love to be able to say I ran it faster, I’m only human but that time is not now.  I have already entered my next Half Marathon in May and I look forward to seeing where Chi Running and consistent training can take me.

For now I will leave you with a quote from Danny:

“Your goals must come from your body and from your present reality, not from other people’s ideas of what’s cool. Don’t think outside of yourself. Let your goals be an expression of who you are, not something that will impress someone or earn praise.”

Happy running.


  • half marathon training,
  • race pace,
  • body looseners,
  • alignment,
  • danny dreyer,
  • recovery

11 CommentsLeave a comment below

This is so great! I just finished my 2nd half, and can’t wait to train for the next using the chirunning! You go girl!!!

Congratulations, Michelle, and thank you for sharing your story!

Laura Houston Mar 1st, 2011 06:31pm

Love it! And (at the risk of praise) that is an awesome time! Congrats and I look forward to reading more about your training!

Michelle Muldoon Mar 2nd, 2011 07:00am

Thanks for your comments.  Sony, enjoy Chi Running:-)  Laura, you are too kind!

That is an awesome effort Michelle. 2:07 hours is a pretty good time. I am planning on doing my half marathon for the very first time in July and I am a bit nervous. I am basically starting from scratch never done any running before but have Danny’s running DVD and half marathon book to guide me through. My goal is to finish it. Wish me luck ha ha. By the way I will be looking forward to your post in May after another half marathon under your belt : )

Michelle Muldoon Mar 7th, 2011 09:19am

Thanks Maja. Good luck with your training.

Thanks for your notes on the half. I found it helpful b/c I’m gearing up for one May 29 and have been following the Chi Half Marathon Training Program.  Lots of little issues and most recently struggling with a sore toe.. the one next to the big toe. 
I’ve been working on the program since beginning of January (started very slow and repeated wk 5 at least 5 x!) but last weekend hit the 10 mile run and feel ready to move ahead.  You’re very inspiring!

Michelle Muldoon Apr 14th, 2011 03:45am

Thanks Phyllis!  Try to relax your lower legs as much as you can.  Ensure you do not brace your toes, you may be able to body sense whether you do this when you are walking more easily.  Good luck on May 29 and let us know how you get on.

Thanks Michelle…you’re right!  I have noticed a tendency to grip my toes—especially when I’m getting tired.  I’ll try to keep this in check on Saturday when I do the 11 mile run.  I’m so excited to be running this distance!  Never in a million yrs did I ever think I’d be able to!

Sadly I’m struggling this week..only four weeks to the half marathon and I had to take a week off… nasty problem of shin splints.  I think I ran the hills improperly!  Hopefully I’ll feel better this weekend and be able to do some running and then next week build up so that I can resume the full training again.  Doing some cross training stuff—biking, swimming, core workouts.  How long do you wait before returning to running? Does the shin splint problem have to be 100% better?  I’m going nuts!

Michelle Muldoon May 3rd, 2011 07:02am

Hi Phyllis, If you can relax your lower legs, the shin splints will go away!  Check that you are not dorsiflexing your feet. You do not want to do this while running or walking, it creates a lot of tension in the lower legs. A great way to learn to relax the lower legs is to do the slow motion walking exercise.  Keep the ankles relaxed at all times and let them ‘float’ up behind you while letting your toes ‘hang’.  Also, keep your stride as short as you can to ensure you are not overstriding.  The metronome will help you with this.

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