Like the Sun she Shines, Running Edition

Life reflects running. Running reflects life. I’m not sure who stared at who first, but either way, running and life are always a perfect reflection of each other.

Just as soon as I identified the ego that had creeped into my daily life, I had a great afternoon run to remind me that there is no room for ego in running either.

Running task: 10 minute warmup, 5×1 minute intervals with 1 minute recovery, 10 minute cool down

Goal: Ignore my garmin. Don’t force the pace. Let the run happen.

This is exactly what I did. I set up the intervals on my garmin, and I let the beep of each interval guide me. During each minute interval, I let my body open. I felt my hips open up. I felt my stride lengthen. When my watch beeped again, I let my body settle. I recovered. I never looked at my watch. I didn’t let an average pace determine if I was fast enough or slow enough. I didn’t let a self-imposed expectation determine if the run was a success or a failure. When I finished the work out, my body felt alive. I was smiling. I had just worked hard. I honored and accepted what my body had to offer in that very moment.

I didn’t look at my garmin at all until I sat down to email my running coach. I emailed the details of the run not knowing or caring if they were “good” or “bad”. It was my ego that wanted a label. My ego wanted to label the run “good” or “bad”. Not looking at my watch during the run allowed me to avoid the trap set by my ego. It allowed me to experience the run instead of defining it. The run didn’t need a label. I already knew it was a successful run. The run just felt right.

“When you don’t cover up the world with words or labels, a sense of miraculous returns to your life that was lost a long time ago when humanity, instead of using thought, became possessed by thought. A depth returns to your life. Thing regain their newness, their freshness. And the greatest miracle is the experiencing of your essential self as prior to any words, thoughts, mental labels, and images.” ~Eckhart Tolle

I just ran.

I often get asked why I wanted to be faster? Why do I want to chase down the rather large goal of qualifying for Boston? I don’t have a simple answer for these questions. My goals for 2014 running are big. I am looking to take 14 minutes off of my half marathon personal record. I’m not doing it for the time on the race clock or to put a check in a box. I’m doing it to honor the tiny whisper in my heart that tells me I am capable. I’m doing it because it feels good to see a goal on paper that is impossible right now knowing that I can work hard, that I can be disciplined, and that I can honor my body to make that goal a reality.

“There was some kind of connection between the capacity to love and the capacity to love *running*. The engineering was certainly the same: both depended on loosening your grip on your own desires, putting aside what you wanted and appreciating what you’ve got, being patient and forgiving and… undemanding…maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that getting better at one could make you better at the other.” ~Chris McDougall

I set these goals because they help me experience my essential self. These goals, my running, all of it translates to living my life with a whole heart.

Around mile 23 at the Richmond Marathon, 2013
Around mile 23 at the Richmond Marathon, 2013
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