30 Miles, Chi and a Sore Shin

I like running!  The miles I put under feet clears my mind and completing a run leaves me with a feeling of accomplishment.  To think that I’d be running 30 miles in a week was a crazy notion back in February but the goal of the NY Marathon has become my obsession and I continue to push myself.  In an effort to alleviate some of the pain associated with training – stiff muscles, blisters, knee aches –  this week I tried to change my running posture by incorporating something called Chi Running.  The whole idea is to balance yourself on your bones instead of your muscles thereby supporting your body on its structure.  Makes sense to me!  Implemented properly, this is supposed to relieve muscle exhaustion, fix over pronation and help the body run farther with less fatigue.

Well, I either don’t know what I’m doing or this is bunk!  I had a 6 mile run on Thursday that I tried this new posture and it about killed me.  By the time I hit mile 5 it was all I could do to finish, my thighs hurt, my hips and especially the ever present and tender left shin.  I spent a good portion of Friday icing, elevating and massaging my legs and the extra sore shin.  Then Friday night I thought, I’m still wearing the shoe inserts, maybe that was the cause?  I’ve adjusted my posture but was still ‘correcting’ for ‘incorrect’ running.

p10095bON Saturday, I tried Chi Running again, sans my Super Feet Shoe inserts, knee support or calf warmer. The result, less pain but still crazy tightness and another session of icing, massage etc.  I couldn’t believe how much pain I was in.  Worse than when I started running – at any time of my life.  I worried I’d really done some harm.

Sunday was a nine mile run to start a 32 mile week.  I questioned the wisdom of hitting the pavement but I decided that I’d been doing much better in the “old posture” so the foot inserts went back into the shoes, knee braces back on the knees and shin warmer on the tender shin.  In the old posture, Miles one and two weren’t pretty.  I must’ve been doing 14 or 15 minute miles and looked like a hobbled ex-con shuffling with imaginary shackles around my ankles.  I kept pushing though and by mile three was starting to feel better.  Something kicked in and it just got easier from there, by mile nine I was back to my normal pace – something like 11 minute miles – and was still tweaked but not in crazy stupid pain.  I actually felt good by the end and was able to walk around the house the rest of the day.

Today was another round of icing on the left shin (got to work at home).  I go five miles tomorrow then 7 on Wednesday and another 6 Thursday.  Chi Running ain’t for me for the NY Marathon.  I see where it could be benenficial but I’d need a trainer and a few months of working on the new posture to make it worth while.  For now, I just need to put miles under my feet.


tom lowe photo, llc

tacoma, wa 98406



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