See below for a race report from Teri, a recent ChiRunning adopter:
Let me start off by saying I am not what you would call a natural runner. I only started running a couple of years ago and I have since developed a love hate relationship with it and seem strangely unable to give it up now even though I force myself through every run.
My first ever half marathon experience actually started out with Race Weekend in May. I had never done an official race before and wanted to do a 10k for that event, however my running partner at the time only felt able to do a 5k. So I began my search for a 10k that fit into my shift work schedule. I came across the Army Run and thought it was perfect. Until I discovered they had only a 5k or a half marathon. I had never run more than 10k in my life but decided that in life to experience personal growth you need to challenge yourself to do something scary every now and then so I signed up and guessed my finish time at 2.5-3hrs figuring that would be a safe guess.
Enter my wonderful chi running instructor Eric. I had just started working with Eric around this time and he had a lot of things to correct. I had bad posture, a lot of wasted movement and a total inability to just relax and run. I discovered by looking at pictures from Race Weekend I was twisting my whole upper body from side to side as well as bending forward at the waist. He patiently worked with me on my form and gave me lots of advice and encouragement.
On the day of the big race I was extremely nervous. Due to time constraints as a result of shift work and some other family stuff I missed 3 of my long runs and as a result hadn’t run further than 16.1 k during training. But Eric had given me what turned out to be the best advice ever to prepare me. First of all he reminded me my goal here was to complete, I wasn’t out looking to compete for time. With that in mind he told me to be careful of my pace and not race off at top speed at the beginning. That was important because between nerves and the crowd it would have been an easy trap to fall into and then I would have likely run out of steam at the end. I truly believe this was the single most important factor in my success.
In the end I finished in 2hrs 15min and more importantly a huge sense of accomplishment. I experienced no pain what so ever until about the 19k mark. I suffered a bit of hip pain but my recovery consisted of a bit of ache the day of and the day after and by Tuesday I was good as new. Also, and this came as a huge surprise to me, I could have kept running further. I attribute both of these things to Chi running and the words of wisdom imparted to me by a guy with loads of experience, a passion for the subject and more importantly loads of patience. I am happy to admit that since completing the half I find I do in fact enjoy running more now. I now lace up my shoes and go out into the world and just
appreciate each run for the experience it is. And that is perhaps the best and most unexpected result of all.