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Started running in 2008 to join works Hairy Haggis team for the Edinburgh Marathon. Failed through injury!
Tried again in 2009 and ran with similar Achilles injury - couldn't let them down again! Followed that up with a Jog Scotland 5k.
2010 got more serious - joined the local running club and started regular parkrunning all in January. Those Achilles injuries came back in 2010 though, ended up not running for 6 months, and struggled at start of 2011.
Now a big fan of Chi running. By Dec 2011 I've had 5 or 6 months without Achilles problems which is a record for me.
April 2012 perseverance and the introduction to Chi now paying off. Took a Chi course in January which took me to a new level of understanding from having read the book. April has seen me running my first half marathon in a time I'm delighted with. Never been able to train long enough, injury free, to get to that level and I've ran PB's at 5 and 10k also in April.
2012 now complete and whilst the rest of the year never quite reached the highs of the first quarter it was still my best year yet. Didn't quite manage my 700 mile target for the year as the pesky Achilles problems returned and I got very little done from September. It was a record year for mileage though . If I can get another 2 - 3 months injury free in I reckon I can again get back to breaking PB's but more importantly just enjoying the comradely and positive mental and physical benefits that running provides.
As 2013 draws to a close it feels like it has been an awful running year. With all PB's set in 2012, 2013 seems to have been my year of PW's (Personal Worsts). Why? It's always difficult to pinpoint one aspect. My mileage and the number of races completed is way down on 2012 but it is still up on previous years. These are a direct result of of my usual Achilles injuries. I don't feel I’ve had any decent injury free periods during 2013 and my take on that is that my attempts to take a more bare-footed approach, a bi-product of chi running, have been a path that has not worked for me. I have a high-arched foot, with a shorter Achilles and the balls of my feet naturally sit lower than my heels. I now have increased insole support in my running shoes, along with stability added to decrease the pronation on landing. I hope I look back next year to say this has been a major success! I still believe chi running is a big positive for my running. Almost two years in now, from my chi level 1 course, and my posture seems to be finally getting to where I want it to be. As with all chi it is a lifetime improvement programme, not an instant fix. Deep heat rub on my Achilles before running would also appear to be having a positive affect. Also seem to have been mentally weak during solo training runs and races during 2013, and 2nd half of races have seen sharp declines in performance even when my training should have been sufficient. Will be preparing in advance so I can be better prepared for when it happens next year.
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