Today is Monday, September 9th, and I am 26 days away from my next big race. On October 5th, my guides and I will be running the St. George marathon. Training for this race has been much more difficult than last year’s. Between moving, kids, work, family vacations, coordinating schedules and finding guides to train with, I have been feeling a little nervous and undertrained.
When I am unable to meet up with a guide, I run alone in my neighborhood. One full loop, that sort of looks like a capital B, equals 1.1 miles. I’ve run the loop so many times with the Strava App letting me know exactly where I am when I get to another mile, that I’ve stopped carrying my phone with me altogether. Running without the app, and running alone, has afforded me the solo silent space to just be. No Thinking. No doing. Just being. It’s a peace my mind and body appreciate so very deeply.
On a recent 16 mile run with one of my Achilles guides, I asked him,”What do you find yourself zoning out or zenning out on during your long runs?” He said he sometimes finds himself watching himself run in third person, as if he were on a run documentary with commenters in the background. This helps him run with good form and pace. I found that to be quite interesting since I was struggling with form and pace at the very moment as we were going uphill into the wind.
For me, when I’m zoned out and zenned out and getting in my miles, I am visited by my muse. My muse brings me clarity. The run gets my blood pumping. Together, a combination of creative juices flow, and my mind and body are again at peace.
Before I go pressing publish on this blog, here are a few things I’d like to end with.
find yourself struggling getting over that next hill, that next mile marker, that next midnight feeding, that next injection or IVF treatment, that next awkward conversation, that next task big or small? Consider focusing on your ways of being not what you are doing.
I wrote a list of 26 ways of being to get me through my first 26.2 mile run. A few of the words might change on this next marathon, but the concept is the same. After all, we are human beings, not human doings.
Lastly, tell me… where is your peaceful place, that place where your body and mind find the balance to just be, to zone out and zen out?