23k and Disappointment

Problem

 

Ran 23.6k this morning, but planned to run 32k as the last Long Slow Distance (LSD) run before I begin a three-week taper to the October marathon in Wolfville.  At 11k my back began to hurt and my cadence dropped from 90 to 85. Anita from the LIverpool Running Group diagnosed the problem for me earlier in the year, my hips were not level, and this was constricting my back. I practiced diligently the proper Chi form for weeks and my back no longer hurt. From 11k to 18k my form declined. So I tried to run/walk for a few kilometers, till at 23k I could run no more and Pamela was gracious enough to pick me up.

I love running 5-13k, at those distances I seem warm up by 3k and then have a 2-10k of running in the zone. Chi running makes me feel like I do not use my legs and it feels good. At about 16k fatigue starts to break up my form and it becomes an endurance event.

Since I have never run in my life and just started in March, I do not seem to have the muscle memory of others. If I run 13k I never feel tired at the end of the run. My legs feels fine. At the end of longer runs I am injury free, but sore, really sore. My feet are sensitive, my joints are stiff, and I feel a general ache all over. 

Reason

A coach told me recently, when I mentioned I was training for my first marathon at fifty-six after never running before, to continue, enjoy the marathon, and make it my last. I thought he was overstating the case, because of Chi Running I was not pounding the pavement as before, but something about it rang true. As my LSD runs began to extend from 20-29k, recovery time was longer after each. Two weeks ago, after running 29k, it took five days before I felt ready to run again. 

I have not maintained the Chi Running Forms as diligently as I did in my early training and now as the distances increase I am not able to maintain my posture.  

Decision

I started running in March of this year and have run eight hundred and seven kilometers to date. I have completed a 5k, 10k and Half-marathon race. I have run two additional half marathons in training and several runs of greater distance. My longest run is 29k. Despite the fact that Danny Dryer, the author of Chi Running and Chi Marathon recommends a new runner train a year for a half-marathon and two years for a full marathon. I tried to create a nine month training program to go from zero to marathon, and maybe if I was fitter or younger at the start I may have done better at the longer distances. I have lost 35 pounds and feel great. Most importantly I have remained injury free as Danny states in his books, Chi Running does work. 

Maybe I have bit off more than my body can chew in the first year. Next year I will be lighter and have longer to train. So I am going to stay with my 5-13k runs and get my weight down, then train again in the Spring next year for a marathon.  

Updated 2017-1208: The following is a link to benefits of running. https://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/health-benefits-of-running.html