Sunday, April 18, 2010

Finding Peace on the Pavement

First I have to say OH MY GOSH, I have neglected my blog!!! Now to the story…

I have been running, and running, and running to prepare for this half marathon I will be running in less than two weeks now. I have not been able to find my zone that all of those runners talk about. You know that “runners high”. I can tell you every time I complete a run I feel high but I have recently been told that that is not a true runner’s high. All I could think when I learned that is “ugh, what I am doing wrong!”

I went to visit a great friend of mine this weekend, and it just so happens that she plans to run the same half marathon in a couple of weeks. We both had to do a 10 mile run this weekend so we decided to head out on Saturday morning before we would allow ourselves to enjoy any libations. My friend had to work for a couple of hours on Saturday morning and I took this opportunity to catch up on the most recent Runner’s World Magazine where I found a great article on meditative running. As I read the article I thought it was hokey, maybe even a little crazy. Who the heck can even say running long distances is even remotely fun; then I tried it...

My friend and I headed out to Slippery Elm Trail and began our 10 mile run. We stuck together for the first mile and then we split up (primarily because I am SLOW). I started wondering how in the h*ll was I going to finish this run; to be honest we had just barely begun. I started thinking about the article I read and how the author had transformed one of his runs by meditating; this is when I decided to try it out myself. Before I go any further let me just acknowledge that this may sound weird to many of you who know me very well, because you know that Sarah and meditating do not go together. I am not one for quiet, or serenity unless I am sitting in the middle of the woods somewhere. I am also not interested in yoga, or centering myself because I truly function best with a “controlled” chaos (although many of you may disagree about any of my chaos being controlled). I personally enjoy the hunt for my keys in the morning and think my world would be less peaceful without those moments.

To continue I want you all to know I have no idea what it means to meditate or even how to do it. All I could remember from the article was the importance of focusing on my breathing. I went to that place and focused on the gasps in and out, in and out, in and out… When all of a sudden I was more focused on my heel strikes and my breathing was as steady as it would be if I were just taking a stroll with a friend. I also closed my eyes and found myself feeling like I do when I am about to fall into a really great sleep. Mile 5 came and went along with 6, 7, and 8; I had found my inner peace!!! I seriously have absolutely no idea what carried me through all of those miles because I simply can not remember any of the run except for that peace I felt up until about half way through mile eight.

I finished the run, and am still alive to tell the tale. I know I have a much longer run coming in the near future, and am looking forward to experiencing that peace again!!! If I don't find it while running I'm going back to hiding my keys before I go to bed at night.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't done a lot of meditating in my life (or in my exercise either), but sometimes I count my paces when running. I've figured out that about 500 paces (1000 steps), running at my rather slow base pace, equals about 1 kilometer. And when I've forgotten to bring my ipod and can't focus on anything else, counting the paces can get me peacefully through my modest 5-8 Ks.

    You have all my admiration for staying with (and publicizing) your half-marathon plan - All the very best!