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"Don't let your happiness depend on something you may lose." ~C. S. Lewis

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PostHeaderIcon A new approach

Los Angeles – the setting of half marathon number four in 2013. Going into it, had a very different approach and coming out of it? Different perspective.

I wasn’t originally planning to run this race. I’ve run it two years in a row and just wasn’t feeling it much at all anymore. The big bridge hill at mile 9 sucks a@# and honestly, the scenery is pretty sketch for much of it. Sure, we start and end at Staples Center/LA LIVE and that’s an awesome setting but aside from a quick lap through USC, it’s not all that spectacular. BUT, a fellow runner and friend, one who I respect, had pinged me a few months ago and asked if I was running it. She’d just signed up and seemed excited to have me potentially running it too.

So I signed up. On the one hand, it was easy to do because I do know the course. And I knew it would be different as I would be staying downtown, in a hotel within walking distance, like I do with so many other events. That really seems to put a different spin on a race event for me. I’m able to really focus on the race itself, away from distractions like home or work or anything else. And I enjoy that ability to focus. It makes the race that much more of an event.

And then, there’s SO much work I’ve done in a variety of areas since my last half marathon. I’ve done a deep dive in energy transformation, somatic work, building an online business, building a brand, five elements, body consciousness, healing, training in being a life mastery consultant and transformational life coach including all the certifications and much much more. Been able to release so much over the last few months and embrace new and beautiful and powerful aspects of myself. Thereby, I can be in service to and for others. It’s an amazing life I’m building and it’s certainly infused and affected my training and this race, including attachment to the outcome. Or detachment.

Ended up looking very forward to the race, in spite of entering sort of backwards to it. Did some great training runs in high altitude in Tahoe as well as some good solid gym time, some nice long runs in LA in the summer including some inspiring personal training sessions with an awesome former trainer, short maintenance runs in Ottawa, and many varying distances and speeds in Seattle. And lots of jump roping of course! Along with some solid nutritional shifts and eliminating a lot of toxic input, feeling pretty prepared for this race.

And that’s just the physical. From a mental standpoint, I was very much feeling a whole new approach to running. I’d begun to fully embrace the concept of running with ease, of it being in harmony with my body, of trying out some affirmations while running. I still listen to music but feel less like I’m listening to the words (let’s be clear, not all of Rihanna, Eminem or Jay-Z’s music is exactly empowering for a woman…) and more just feeling into the beat. There have been times I’ve felt like I’m running faster than I ever have before, or running on air hardly feeling the ground beneath me, or completely losing sense of time altogether while on a run.

Then there’s an amazing phenomenon that occurs when I do a particular activity. Often when I feel like I’m “struggling” up a hill or with a long distance, I’ve begun to say to myself “I love myself unconditionally.” And the most awesome thing happens – my lungs fill with air, the effort is easy or even lightens altogether and my legs relax. If I’m running up a hill, sometimes I swear the hill flattens out. The point for me is not to say it over and over and over, to the extent that I don’t actually connect with what I’m saying. I wait at least 10 seconds to say it again, if I want to, so that it really has a chance to land in me, and have the desired effect – that I feel it.

Funny enough, during one run I couldn’t for the life of me remember “unconditionally” and instead “tremendously” came to mind. That had a similar effect and now comes to mind almost as often as “unconditionally.” It’s not a word I use readily so I love that it rose up in me all on it’s own.

I’m sure there are folks out there who would think this is silly or trite or even stupid, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. It’s a powerful exercise that has a profound effect in the moment of motivating me to enjoy the run experience a thousandfold more and that without a doubt has a longterm positive net effect. The most successful people in the world have the ability to pump themselves up through positive self talk and activity – here’s my version.

And, it’s congruent to incorporate this work into my love of running, to marry all my explorations and life changes into the life that I would love living. Can’t imagine super efforting in running and maintaining my transformational explorations. Or even completely letting go of running altogether to only be in pursuit of these explorations. Running is what has saved me many times over and I view it as a gift that keeps on giving, one that I’m grateful for having found a true passion for and salvation in.

Then the real test comes in a race, if it’s called a “test.” And that is to find the balance between solid preparation I can feel proud of, the desire to do well as well as detachment from what my finish time is and being fully in the moment in a race and honestly enjoying the whole experience.

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