23k and Disappointment



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. 


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.  


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

LSD - 12 mile run toward 1/2 marathon

LSD (long slow distance) runs build endurance. I want to participate in the Valley Harvest Marathon on October 13th in Wolfville, NS. As the race gets closer I will decide whether I can do the full marathon or just the half. But in the meantime I will train for the  full marathon.

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Yesterday, I intended to run  12 miles at a 13:30 pace but I ran the 12 miles at a 13:03 pace and ran 10 miles the previous week at a 13:20 pace.  I felt surprisingly good throughout the run. I was running mid 12s to 13 for the first nine miles and then slowed to 14-15 pace because my left adductor was tightening and It took over a mile for me to adjust my posture enough for it to relax. I ran the final mile at 12:54. Felt good. 

Next week it is at 13.1 mile run (half marathon distance). 

I must be rolling up on my toes and pushing off, because they are still sore this morning. Need to work on my mid foot strike and lifting my feet rather then pushing off with my toes. Another form focus for this week.  

Today is an easy run day, just to loosen up. I will let my toes rest a little more and do either an afternoon or evening run.  

First 10 Mile Run

High Volume, Low Intensity

Starting February 24 I have run 5-6 days every week. The five days of February only totaled nine miles. March was eighty-seven miles. April has twenty-two miles down so far and I am up to fifty miles a week now. I am trying to maintain high volume and low intensity in my runs to burn fat and build endurance. Speed is not a concern now. I will continue to maintain a low intensity (HR zone 2) on 80% of my runs and allow speed to increase gradually over time. I have run one hundred and eighteen miles to date without injury, thanks to Chi Running and my New Balance MT-10 running shoes that feel like perfect fitting gloves on my feet. The following are my current personal records.

Personal Records

  • 1 mile - Mar 7 - 11:24 mi/min (improved from 13:27 on Feb 24)
  • 5 k - 2013-0320 - 11:26 mi/min (improved from 12:07 on Mar 10)
  • 10 k - 2013-0324 - 13:38 mi/min (first run)
  • 10 mile - 2013-0331 - 13:07 mi/min (first run)

Chi Running Works...First 5k and 10k

In an earlier post I mentioned how I read Chi Running by Danny Dreyer after Jamie Constable sent me a link through Facebook. Three weeks later I ran my first 5k here in Blue Rocks. Not fast, but it was pain free and actually felt good. I am now planning on running the Lunenburg 5k on June 9th and the Epic Canadian 10k on June 29th. Using Danny's recommendations I created my own Training Plan below.

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PDF of training plan here.

I have just completed the first week and will try to maintain the target pace for tempo and long runs. My tempo pace this week for 7:54, a minute faster than target, but my long run pace was 9:41, slower than the target, because I was trying to stay in Zone 2 (aerobic / fat burning zone) and I slowed whenever my heart rate reached 135 bpm and resumed when it dropped to 132 bpm.  

Today was also my first ever 10k, see below. 

If you would like to give running one more try, read Chi Running. The physics make sense and Danny Dreyer's clear and detailed discussion is inspiring. The subtitle of the book is "A Revolutionary Approach To Effortless, Injury-Free Running."  

It is becoming more effortless every day and feels natural. He has also written Chi Walking and Chi Marathon books. See below. See you on June 9th.