Removing the "I can't."
Running can, and should, be a social sport. Friends can make a run fly by, make 20 miles feel like 20 minutes. The catch is handing the days when your crutch isn't available, what do you do? Can you soldier on? When you find yourself wanting to cut the run short because your phone/ipod/cdplayer runs out of battery or debating running at all since your BRF has a cold, then you have a crutch not a tool. This is why I encourage people to get used to running solo.
Yes, chatting uses oxygen and slows you down at heart rate until you have been doing heart rate-led running for awhile, but it serves a second and more critical purpose of brain training. What do you do without distraction? What do you focus on? Can you focus at all? Do you say, "I can't run without...(X)." It is HARD.
I'll be the first to tell you that- it is hard to get used to being inside your own head, dealing with what goes on in there. I'm not a huge fan of, "Eat, Pray, Love" but the chapter where she describes her foray into meditation is AMAZINGLY similar to what most runners experience the first time they try to run 'naked' (sans Garmin, ipod, friends, all crutches).
I wanted to share this amazing blog post from Endorphin Warrior. Running is my meditation, my alone time, my prayer of gratitude and just about the only silence I get each day (except today when my WONDERFUL husband takes the kids out solo so I can work. Love you baby!). It took a long, long time to get here but I love what I've found. My head no longer scares me (maybe my head scares you, and IT SHOULD! #alltheburpees)
Calling Dr. JRo isn't Rabbit Hole Stage 6. It is, however, a really good idea if you need a little help learning to be alone inside your own head. He is a pro and has tools that I am not qualified to teach. Let's try to remove any remaining "I can't"s before we put money down for Spring Races and set goals at the pace test.
Namaste. Coach MK
“Learn to be silent. Let your quiet mind listen and absorb.” — Pythagoras (580 – 500 BC)
In a noisy, fast-paced world, I cultivate calm and silence within when I put my body in motion and exert myself. The silent periods I spend alone while running, mountain biking or hiking in nature – along with love and gratitude – are perhaps the most important part of my life.
When I began running long distance after college, I had no idea that my regular endurance training would become my form of meditation. But through years of endurance training, I have learned how “to be silent,” and now relish in this ability.
In general, the goal of meditation is to calm the mind, focus our attention inward, and get “in touch” with our own true nature. For me, this happens most often when I put my body in motion. It seems that the blend of body, movement, exertion, rhythm and breath is the perfect combination to temporarily turn off my concern with the outside world and draw my attention inward, leading me into the silent world where I simply absorb the present moment.
It is amazing, this time of moving meditation. I gain so much more than physical fitness. In this inner world of silence and reflection I find clarity, creativity, self-discovery, inner peace, spiritual connection and inspiration…all “blessings” that become a part of every other aspect of my life.
Perhaps more than anything, my training grounds me in the self awareness and understanding I uncover from within – my truth – and guides me to live a more authentic life. And living more authentically, I find, leads to a deeper level of contentment and greater happiness. My regular moving meditation makes my entire life better, helps make me a better person, and now, after years of physical training, I understand…SILENCE is golden.