“I went out for longer runs and even ran marathons again and not only was I pain free but I was able to keep up with my old marathon times even though I had reduced the weekly mileage a lot.”
I never ran in High school or in college, I actually had a very bad experience in middle school with a teacher that ruined running for me as a teenager.
In 1997 I immigrated to the US, I was an avid cyclist and loved biking around New York City. My bosses partner was a triathlete and marathon runner at the time and he invited me to run a 5k with them in Central Park. He said If you can bike 100 miles in a day you can run a 5k. So I did and I loved the atmosphere of the race in Central Park. Later that year I witnessed the New York marathon first hand and thought, hey I can do this. One year later I ran my first marathon in New York City and what a humbling experience it was.
For the following years I trained for many more marathons and dealt with countless inflammatory injuries until in 2010 I had to take a break for a year because I experienced lower abdominal pain and I was just burnt out from running 30-40 miles a week pretty much year round. After a year of not running and focusing on core strength training I returned to running but still suffered from abdominal pain during and after runs longer than 1 hour. I saw physical therapists and chiropractors as well as my primary physician nobody was able to help.
Then 3 years ago I saw the 5th doctor who ‘knew’ what was wrong and this time I underwent surgery for inguinal hernia. 3 month later I started running again and the pain came back.
2 years ago I joined a box in Tustin and started out with endurance CrossFit where I learned a different running style and in addition I worked on overall conditioning of my body. I reduced running by 70% and worked out in the box 4 days a week. I was fast from the moment I joined but could barely back squat 75 lbs.
The other big change came in form of a book. I read “It all starts with Food” and was curious, I said the worst thing that can happen is that nothing happens and I go back to eating lot’s of bread and pasta. During our summer vacation I started eating clean and did so hard core for the next 30 days. Guess what, I lost over 10 lbs. which was scary for a skinny 6’2″ 175 lbs guy but after running my first 1/2 marathon in 6 months I noticed that my lower abdominal pain was gone. I went out for longer runs and even ran marathons again and not only was I pain free but I was able to keep up with my old marathon times even though I had reduced the weekly mileage a lot.
I still love long distance running and marathon races, I am 16 marathons away from having run one in every state of the US (50+DC) but I also became hooked on the camaraderie and the diverse exercises of CrossFit. Being able to do both and benefiting from the healthy environment has gotten me into great shape, I think I would kick my 25 year old butt at currently 46.