Last October an acquaintance confused me with my sister-in-law and gave me book on running, Chi Running, to be exact. I graciously took the book, not wishing to point out her error, that I was not a runner, because she was so excited to have found a great deal on this interesting book. Months later it surfaced on my nightstand and I began reading it – in bed. This humored my husband to no end, and I endured many inquiries about how this running practice worked while I was prone.
In February, I thought my increased interest in the teachings of the book (I had actually stood to check alignment a time or two) might be a “sign.” I went to the local running store in early March to join their running club. I met their certified Chi Running instructor and told him of my injury-related hesitations to running. He enlightened me on Jeff Galloway’s Training Method and the local Galloway group, and I attended their Sunday, March 4th meeting.
Following the Galloway method really allows most anyone to run. The program is that you run/walk/run. The intervals vary and your pace varies, but in general the prescribed run/walk ratios help you meet your running goals without injury. People of all shapes, sizes and ages can run using this method. As someone fighting a perpetually swollen knee and plantar fasciitis I can assure you that this program works!
The next thing I know, I was committed to a half marathon and following the training schedule right out of the Galloway book. Luckily, a good friend and 17-marathon-running-enthusiast, MaryAnn Eikens, decided to join me. Now, I call her “coach.” We missed very few Sunday’s and ran weekly together. Many weeks later we pulled in a friend who was trying to restart her running game, and now we had a team…and I was out of excuses.
The encouragement of the group and the regularity of Sunday runs followed by our weekly efforts felt GREAT. Not only was the running fun and injury-free, the camaraderie was well beyond my expectations. As instructed- we set goals. Mine were:
1) Finish the half before the elite runners finish the full
2) Finish in under 2:30:00
Thanks to the great training schedule with the entire local Galloway team, as well as my own tiny team, I made all three goals. I finished at 2:26:56.6, and watched the elite runners come in! I am injury free and ready to go again. I have recently signed up for the Sweathouse half in September, the Pensacola half in November, and look forward to the Missoula FULL marathon next year!
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