LSD Runner Discovers ChiRunning

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Allow me to introduce myself, and a little bit about me. My professional background has been in Personal Counseling and software development. While doing both of these disciplines I did a fair amount of training.

When training counselors, I organized everything into four simple steps.

1)      Establish Rapport
2)      Gather information
3)      Decide on an intervention
4)      Execute the intervention.

In my opinion, these four steps describe what is involved in most counseling and training. However, I was insistent that new counselors could convince me that they had established rapport, before they started gathering information. They needed good information before they could decide what to do. They needed to decide what to do, before they could do it.

In May ’08 I was 244 pounds, 53 and very inactive. My daughter lived with us with her son (Aden, “Little Bug”) and she said to me, “Popie, Gramie and I have been worried about you, and I think ‘Little Bug’ needs to have you around for a while…”

I said that I would lose some weight.

In Apr ’09 I was 55, weighed 160 pounds and was in the best shape I have been in since I left high school. During the Summer of ’09 I started running. I did this on my own with out any training, or any real plan. I jokingly say that I enrolled in the Forrest Gump school of running; that is, I started running and then I ran some more.

I just slowly added more and more distance to my meagre efforts. By November I was running 250 – 300 km a month. On a running site someone asked how far did you run this month, I posted that I had run 298 km, and that I thought that was not bad for someone who in May ’08 had weighed over 244 pounds, and who did not consider himself a runner yet. Some one replied, you run 298 km in a month and you are not a runner? I explained that for me running was something I did, but being a runner would involve running being part of who I am, and that these two states were very, very different. Another interesting thing that happened is someone asked what I was training for. I noted that I was not training for anything, I was just running.

Some time in late Dec. ’09 I noticed that I had made a shift in how I talked about running, I had gone from saying things like, “I run, and I have run about 250 km this month.” To say things like, “I am a runner, I have run about 250 km this month.” In short, internally I had become a runner, it was now a part of me!

Both before and since becoming a runner I have had a few “Magical Runs.”  I know when they happen, and I also know that it has to do with state control. I have always tried to focus on the process, on form, but I have not really known what exactly that was. I tried to pay attention to my body, and what felt good and what worked. I picked up your book 3 days ago, and you describe what happens in “Magical Runs,” or at least something that is very similar.

My perception has been that speed was a factor of length of stride, at least until a “Real Runner” informed me that stride length should not change, the number of steps per min should change. I found this confusing.

I can run LSD runs very easily, but have not had much success with building speed. Well that is not exactly true, since Aug 09 when I stated to log runs, I have taken 15 min off my 5km runs, but then I started out very, very slowly.

I am also scheduled to run in the 10km Event May 29, 2010 here in Ottawa with my 13 year old grand son as my running buddy. He does cross-country, biathlon and power skating in hockey. We have agreed to start out together from the back of the pack, and each run our own race (no expectation that he will wait for me), and to meet up after the finish line.

I had started trying to work on my speed, but after reading your book,  I am back to my old way, trying to build a steady cadence and also focusing on from. On May 29, I will do what ever I will do, but I will do it differently. I will be practicing ChiRunning between now and then, and during the race I hope to be doing something that begins to approach ChiRunning.

I have found some ChiRunning Instructors here in Ottawa. I have found this beneficial, and I have only just begun. Sorry for the overly long post, but I wanted to share with you the beginning of my journey and let you know that even at first reading I have found your book helpful.

Michael M.