For the first time, I ran 20 miles non-stop and it was NOT a struggle.

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I had a sprained calf muscle in September and couldn’t run for about six weeks (it could have been three weeks, but I started physical therapy late). This destroyed my plans for running the Chicago marathon in October.

Fortunately, one of my sisters sent me some information about a ChiRunning workshop heading to Atlanta in October. I figured that I would have to start my training program all over again and maybe I’d just give this a try.

As a runner, I have had chronic pain in my Achilles tendon for months. If I ran anything over 18 miles my tendons and joints were pretty achy. What did I have to lose with this technique? I got a chance to run once between my recovery and the weekend of the workshop and I had the usual aches and pains. What I usually run at a 10-minute pace turned out to be a 12-minute pace.

I attended the October workshop the second week after my recovery. As I ran, I remembered Danny telling us in the workshop that we shouldn’t expect everything to fall into place immediately because there are so many components to adopt. Well, I couldn’t wait to try it. I was just getting started on a new training program and I was ready to put this baby to the test. Before this run, I listened to the CD, watched the DVD, and starting reading the book. I felt that this new knowledge, things should be different. And they were. First, I noticed that running hills was easier. I also noticed that running was more interesting because I had to make changes to match the terrain. I also noticed that a change in the way that my heels felt. I wasn’t striking with my mid-foot now. When I ran the 10-miler this time using the ChiRunning technique, I had dropped down to my normal pace and it was painless.

I could go on and on here about the results that I’ve noticed, but the biggest breakthrough was this weekend, when I put myself to the challenge. I remembered Danny saying that if I used his technique properly, I probably wouldn’t have pain in my Achilles, I wouldn’t really need! to take walk breaks, and that my joints shouldn’t be stiff. Well, yesterday I decided to put it all to the test. I ran 20 miles using what I learned from Danny’s workshop. I didn’t take any walk breaks. I focused on posturing and did my body sensing. I’ve always taken walk breaks for anything over 10 miles. That’s how I learned to train for marathons. Yesterday was different!

For the first time, I ran 20 miles non-stop and it was NOT a struggle. When I finished, I felt a little tired, but I wasn’t stiff and my Achilles tendon feels good. I love it!