Well, our first month of 2020 is behind us. Lot’s of resolutions have bitten the dust in the past couple weeks, but not yours! Hopefully, February has arrived with your training schedule falling into habit, and your feet falling into runs that are fun and manageable. Our race planning committee here at Garden Spot Village is getting excited with our plans for the big day, and like any other good party, there will be ice cream!
“I’m Bored”– Go run!
This is the time of year, when things get a little crazy at my house. The kids can’t get outside and play as they used to in the nicer weather, and there are only so many things to do to pass the downtime. Do your parent friends a favor, and encourage them to sign their kids up for the GSV Kids Half Marathon, on March 27. It’s great for the kids to have a goal, as they log 12 miles on their own. Then they get the thrill of competing for their last mile on the GSV campus course, and coming away with a t-shirt and finisher’s medal. My kids participated in the past, and encouraging them to complete their miles it”s a great answer to “I’m bored”. Register them today at gsv.run.
A Mindful Run
Last week, I mentioned an interest in learning more about meditating on a run. I promised I would try it over the weekend and let you know how it went. Meditating has been shown in certain cases to reduce stress, ease depression and help people cope with pain. No incense, no candles, but I was pleased with how the practice helped me put my brain to work on something other than reminding myself of how far I still had to go!
Train Your Brain
I wanted to focus on making my run a time for reflection and connection to the world around me. I started out with a light jog and tried to focus on the strike of my foot on the sidewalk. It isn’t long until I am thinking through the things I have to do when I get back home…make dinner, run the little one to her friend’s house, do the older two have any homework due tomorrow? WHOA. Next! The cadence of my footsteps is not loud enough to drown out what is going on inside this head.
Next up: focus on your breathing. Sounds easy right? Well it was easy, but I focused so much on my breathing, that it was all I could think about. That seems like I am headed in the direction of focused enlightenment, but what I really did was get so wrapped up in the breathing, that I lost my breath.
It’s important to remember, that one of the great things about running, is that it means something different to everyone. Some of you are competitors, some of you run for your health, and for some of you it is a social sport that brings you together with others with the same interests. Some of you run to burn off the crazy. I really wanted my run to become a time of cleansing for me, where I could wash off all the things that were getting me down. My next effort is what ended up working for me. One of the suggestions I had read was to choose a mantra, a verse, a phrase or even just a couple of words or sounds that you could repeat over and over until your mind had put itself into a meditative cycle.
Kind of ironic for a running mantra isn’t it? Well, that’s not all of it.
I am a busy gal, and I like to be that way. I look to fill every quiet time of the day, and I am coming to realize that this might be my problem. My next step was to try to still my mind with a mantra and make room for some mental quiet. But what is going to work for me? After a few attempts at reciting simple songs and phrases, my frustration is getting the best of me, This run is feeling long and laborious; and then it hits me like a refreshing rain, which incidentally does start to fall. Blast this mild winter!
Psalm 46:10 in the Bible- “Be still and know that I am God.” The very words: BE STILL– thunder in my brain. The rest of the verse proves to be the perfect iambic meter that suits my steps and keeps my mind repeating the easy phrase. It’s been a run of ups and downs (and not the hilly kind). What seemed to work for me, was finding that perfect phrase, both pleasing in tempo and a loving reminder that I am not in charge of everything, and that is okay.