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Ran My First Half Marathon with ChiRunning

When I was in the Marine Corps, we did the “suck it up” type of running with zero emphasis on form. Needless to say, I hated it and refused to run anymore. So, once I left the Marines, I got fat.

Skip ahead to 2013. I was training for boxing and, while reading on how to eat healthy I came across a reference to ChiRunning. I picked up the book at my library and was instantly hooked. Effortless running! I knew how good running could be for cardiovascular health and for fat loss, and here was a book that laid out everything I needed to know. I tried several times and had adopted some of the basics, but I just wasn’t getting to the level that the book described. I watched YouTube video after video. Still something was missing. I left it alone and kept to what I thought ChiRunning was.

Skip ahead to July of 2015. My wife was killing herself with her runs and workouts, training for half and full marathons. And watching her painfully power through her workouts reminded me of ChiRunning. We had several conversations and I decided to join her at her next half on August 1st. I went for a 2-mile run and, at 278 lbs., I was hurting. There was no way this was going to cut it. So, I looked online and found a class a week before my scheduled half.

The class I signed up for was a half-day class with other students. That’s when I met ChiRunning Instructor Missy Robertson. She lives 3 hours away from where the class was being held, and everyone canceled on her but me. Instead of rescheduling she showed up, with me being her only student! We worked on everything from planning to technique. After meeting with her I realized my goals were achievable. I ran 3 half marathons in 2015. My 1st half was 2:54, 2nd was 2:36, and 3rd was 2:33! I was happy. Working on little things each time I ran started building a solid base.

My first half marathon for 2016 I exceeded my goal for the year of hitting 2:30 and I actually ran a 2:20! I have another race this weekend and I have learned that gravity is my friend; going fast is not going to kill me; and walking when I need to, is smart so that I can go fast after brief walking breaks! Thank you ChiRunning, I look forward to always improving my technique so that I can run injury free!

Thomas H

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