Thursday, August 20, 2009

The hazards of clearing a mind

I've been getting ready for this Sunday's 10K and am a little concerned that I haven't been able to pull over a 5.5 mile run yet. Some people say it's the heat and humidity and that I should be gentle with myself. I think I've found another challenge.

I have always read that running can help a person work through problems, get a clear mind etc. but I have found that, just like in any other part of my life, if my head is full of junk I can't perform as well. I've been ruminating while I run and I think the weight of my thoughts has slowed my run. In fact a few times I've been brought to a complete stop as my thoughts, about something else entirely from the run, have been "I just can't do it", and my legs just respond.

I suppose the answer is to enter more of a meditative state when running and rather than chase after an answer, listen to the quiet until it presents itself. It's similar to making the distance run. When I'm focused on what mile marker I'm nearing, I feel the fatigue of the run, but when I focus on breathing, the finish line just appears. Huh. I think I already knew that, wonder why I wasn't listening.

When I'm swimming, there's so much to think about just to move through the pool, I have to be absolutely in the present, that nothing else can interrupt me. It's that kind of presence I'm going to work to achieve in my runs this week if I hope to get across that finish line on Sunday. And if I hope to have sound answers to my other larger questions.

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