Pat’s Story

 

Pat attended our Chirunning workshop early in 2013. Having spent many years running, he associated running with pain, tension and general hard work! How delighted was I to get this email from him following his Connemara Marathon in April 2013. 

A combination of several things made for a great marathon experience, well within my limits, comfortable, extremely enjoyable and fond memories. Your tips were a major help.

I’ve run the marathon distance many times, and longer distances aswell, and I am always dogged by hitting the wall, grim negative thoughts about life, energy gone, dreadful crashing feeling. I’ve notice that this experience has gone from my running now. I didn’t hit the wall once in last peak phase of training (weekly 18-27 mile runs).

The things that worked so well for me in the race were as follows :

  • shaking hands and shoulders out frequently worked a charm for me
  • same goes for neck, and keeping pulling my head up as you showed me. No stiff neck even after full marathon
  • visualising being pulled forward worked
  • keeping mind centred and focused calmly upon the simple act of one step at a time really worked. Mind not flitting around. This brought me to a really calm concentrated peaceful efficient running mode
  • I continuously and deliberately triggered off grateful thoughts about how happy I was to be so extremely fit and healthy and in a wonderful place and time during the race.
  • tilting forward from the ankles was a major help, especially facing into 18 miles of high winds and on the three Category 1 hills and the many shorter brutal ones aswell. I fell forward the whole way, almost effortlessly
  • Most importantly – I had energy welling up in me at the final stages, I was not passed by a single runner from mile 19 onwards, I got faster and faster each mile, I ran mile 24 in 8:01, mile 25 in 7:05 and mile 26 in 6:10. That is simply a miracle for me. The 7 minute mile pace felt like effortless gliding and believe I could have maintained it for several more miles.

It was pity to have to end the race at mile 26.2. That’s how I felt about slowing down after the finish line.This was my first time seeing and running the course, so I ran conservatively, with the same finish time as Dublin 2012, ie, 3hrs 47 min. I ran deliberately slow for first 8 miles. But, as you know that’s a reasonable improvement, as this is a much more demanding course.

I crossed the line in fantastic form, straight onto bus back to Galway, jumped in shower there, then jogged 1 mile down the road with heavy kit bag over my shoulder to bus station and straight onto bus to Dublin. Did 5 mile gentle recovery run on Monday morning + lots of stretching and foam rolling, 20 hours after crossing finish line, and managed 3-4 weekly recovery runs since + swims. So I came through this marathon in fairly incredible shape.

I’ve ordered the Chi Running book from the library again, after quickly flicking through it after doing the 1 evening workshop with you. I will now read it in detail, and start implementing more of it. I want to continue running long term, injury free, and at higher performance levels.

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