ChiRunning.com

Holy fudge, America.  Some of you have heard me ramble on about
running.  Or juicing.  Or my racial paranoia (that doesn’t
mean it isn’t true).  Or emotional baggage.  But today I come
to you regarding running.  So far I’ve only ventured to the
treadmill but I may be taking on the outdoors now that I have the
technique necessary to avoid injuries, shin splints and knee blow
outs.  Famous last words.

I don’t remember how I found this site.  Oh, yes I do.  I saw
the ad for the new Nike shoe that’s supposed to be close to running
barefoot.  In theory a training shoe like that will … well, I
don’t know what it does.  Somehow, doing a search on Google (have
you seen Google maps?  suh-weet) I came across a few sites on
running barefoot.  Apparently, running on bare feet is supposed to
be the way to go.  I don’t know about that.  I don’t know any
large, safe, grassy areas to do that on.  Ended up on another site
talking about how people tend to land on their heels as opposed to the
balls of their feet and end up with compounding injuries as a
result.  And then I came across ChiRunning.com.  I looked it
up in the newsgroups as well and found some precursory info and
favorable opinions.

I experimented with it the next morning — with what I had read about
from the newsgroups — and it felt different but it felt good. 
I’ve been doing the “random” course on the treadmill and decided to try
the “weight loss” course again for a day.  It was a breeze even at
a pace I had been having trouble with for some reason.  I had
plateaued, I guess.  Couldn’t keep up a 6mph (or 10 min/mile) pace
for any length of time — even with walking intervals — without being
worn out after about half an hour.  I usually do 40-45 min.
sessions so that I can cover 5K each workout.

So I did the “weight loss” course and felt pretty good afterwards
despite the fact that my digestive tract was full of the previous
night’s pizza.  I even ran during my workout the next day and
didn’t feel like my legs were going to fall apart.  I rarely run
two days in a row without paying the price in pain and sore joints and
worrying that I’m getting old.  What day was that?  That was
Tuesday.  Ran Monday and Tuesday.

Yesterday, Wednesday, I got the ChiRunning DVD and watched it.  At
first I thought that it wasn’t worth the $40 I spent on it.  It’s
probably, like, 40 minutes total showing you some of the details and
explanations of the running form, drills, loosening exercises,
etc.  Doesn’t seem like it should cost as much as a season of a TV
show, y’know.  And I was a little peeved when the DVD referred me
to the book for more info on something.  But I watched it and
watched the parts about cadence and stride numerous times because I
thought it was cool.

Today, Thursday, I went to do my workout and decided to try something a
little different.  Since this so-called Chi Running really does
feel like a lot less effort I wanted to see if I could do something
I’ve never done before.  I’ve never been able to run a mile in
less than 11:30.  And even then I felt like crap afterwards. 
That would be an average speed of, what, 5.2 mph.  Slow. 
Slo-o-o-o-o-o-w.  This morning I did a mile in 9:41, which is an
average speed of about 6.2 mph. And that was without pushing it. 
And I felt perfectly fine afterwards.  Did some interval work to
see how it feels to actually run (8mph) vs. jog (6mph) with the Chi Running form, more or less..  Versus
walking.

Next on the list: shave a minute off that mile time, run 5K in
30 min. or less, learn auto-cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

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