A Passion for Running

Welcome to the home of Mark aka The Running Blogfather – a 40 year-old dad, husband and marathon runner who's beaten injury and is on the comeback trail!

red deer marathon report part vi – a personal best = joy + anxiety no more

passion for running category: running on Wednesday, May 23 2007

This is part six
Part one is here
Part two is here
Part three is here
Part four is here
Part five is here
Success in Red Deer was a huge win for me. A personal best for anyone at any time is a big deal, but this PB had a lot of extra goodness packed into it.

An explanation is in order. You see, since my October 2004 injury, I changed pretty much everything I did relating to running:

  1. Stopped Using My Brakes: I was a deeply entrenched heel-striker. I replaced that with ball-of-the-foot running. A big change.
  2. Adopted the Pose Method of Running: The method was the system I used to change lots of things including running on my heels. Total adoption of the method was long and painstaking. It took about two years before I felt fully comfortable with it and another six months before I felt ready to put it to the test by training for a marathon.
  3. Ditched My Nikes: Specifically, I ditched the high-heeled-big-on-structure Nikes I’d run in for over 15 years, and replaced them with the most minimalist shoe I could find – a shoe that has virtually no cushioning or support.
  4. Made the Move to High Mileage Training: For a long time, I had this feeling that magazine articles with titles like “Get a PR Marathon on 40 Miles a Week” were leading me down the garden path. I felt I needed to increase my mileage to maximize my potential as a runner. I began reading about Arthur Lydiard and shortly thereafter found my coach. Venturing down the high mileage path was the ultimate test of the other changes I’d made. If those changes were not good ones, I knew I’d pay for it – after all, prior to making the changes, I used to break down (in various ways) at much lower mileages than I was about to attempt.

To sum all this up, there was a lot riding on Red Deer. I really wanted to do well there to prove to myself that the changes I’d made were the right changes, and that they were worth the effort!

Getting a PR on the tough Red Deer course was ample validation for my efforts and the pressure I’d been feeling for far too long was quickly replaced by joyfulness. I’ve been all smiles since Sunday – you just can’t get that thing off my silly face.



Comment by A

Wednesday May 23, 2007 @

I follow your blog with interest since I’m trying to master Chi Running myself. I’m glad to hear that what you’re doing has paid off.

Comment by jeanne

Thursday May 24, 2007 @

now do you think your methods will work for anyone or is it really for seasoned runners?

Comment by Andy

Thursday May 24, 2007 @

I’ve tried jogging on the front of the foot and it feel so alien to me – didn’t realise there were benefits.

Comment by Lara

Thursday May 24, 2007 @

I know this has been a real journey for you over the past couple of years (not that the journey is over by any means!). I’m glad all your hard work has paid such dividends. You SHOULD be smiling!!

Comment by aprilanne

Monday June 04, 2007 @

Way to go Mark! I’m always impressed by your races. What’s next?

Pingback by Top 10 Questions Asked by Beginning Runners » Complete Running Network

Tuesday June 12, 2007 @

[…] and ChiRunning – two methods that teach similar ideas. I have personally had a great deal of success using the Pose […]

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