No that isn’t a typo, and I sadly did not receive any presents or gifts of running goodies and paraphernalia (and don’t we runners love some good running ‘bling’??!!).
This week’s post is about being present in the run.
It sounds a bit zen/new-age/airy-fairy, but being in the moment of the run is something I fight to do almost every time I lace up my shoes.
As I ran around the Tan this morning, I found my mind wandering towards next weekend when I have a big-arsed run planned for the Sunday, and then started pre-planning all the stuff I need to do later today and during the week. I swear if I had an Executive Assistant with me I would have asked them to be taking notes and organising meetings.
Then the sound of a few runners voices interrupted the scheduling process, bringing me back into that moment. The moment when I could eavesdrop effectively on their conversation (and let’s admit it – who doesn’t like to?), check out the talent running in the opposite direction (again, who doesn’t like to??), watch the golden snow of autumn leaves sweep across the path in front of me on the breeze, feel the sweat just starting to pool around the rim of my running beanie, and be warmed by the sun appearing from behind clouds.
It is a bit like mindful eating, I guess – something that is promoted by a friend of mine, Lesh Karan, The Mindful Foodie. Mindful eating is where you take the time to slowly savour food rather than eating quickly, distracted by other things such as the TV or computer. There is a great infographic from eating mindfully that uses a marathon as an analogue to eating mindfully (see below – you may need to click on it to make it bigger to be able to read it!).
Similarly to when I eat, distracted with trying to knock off other things at the same time, I am guilty of doing the same when I run.
In trying to be more mindful, my run changed from being one where I was clocking the kms and the time, to one where I wondered what I might experience as I rounded the next bend. My energy shifted from power to relaxed, and the soreness and tightness in my legs dropped off a bit.
I had given myself permission to stop watching the clock and start feeling the run a bit more, and gained immensely.