On August 24th, I met with Dale for the first time just to talk about where I was with my running and where I wanted to go….and if it were even possible.
I had toyed with the idea of running and was coaxed a little further by a friend after we completed a Mudathlon. The goal was to do the ½ marathon in Las Vegas on December 4th.
During the meeting, I mentioned to Dale that I had landed wrong and irritated my left knee during the Mudathlon. After trying a couple of normally easy moves, he told me to come back for my evaluation after all signs of irritation were gone but not before. That meant a lot. I could see right then that I had found someone who was not interested in just pushing me, but also looking out for my health as well.
On September 2, we met again in the 102 degree weather for my evaluation. After running along with me, Dale mentioned that I was running too straight and that I needed to lean forward at the ankles. This seemed foreign to me at first, but it is the one thing that has made the biggest difference in my running and my enjoyment of running. That one little tweak in something can make such a big difference in the way I feel and perform is crazy, but very true. Prior to making this adjustment, I did not really enjoy running due to the jarring of my hips/lower back and sometimes shin splits. I can honestly say that I have had none of that since I began my program on September 6th.
I told him on my first day that I could not run a full mile without walking or stopping for a drink of water. After the evaluation, he told me that I did not need to walk and that I was cheating myself and that if I would hydrate properly I should not need to stop for water within the first mile. I took his advice, made sure I was drinking enough every day, and pushed myself to run and not walk. I was amazed! Every weekend on my long run, I was a little more proud and gained a little more confidence that I could meet my goal.
I completed the ½ marathon in Vegas (my first) on December 4th in 2 hours 19 minutes – just two days shy of a three month program. I know that I would not have accomplished this without the confidence and tips from Dale. The program he laid out for me was so easy to follow and I believe training within certain heart rate zones allowed me to advance at the correct pace for my body.
Oh – and did I mention that I didn’t walk at all for 13.1 miles? J
I’m a Believer!