Running on Insight: Reflections (Week 10)

A weekly share on the practical and reflective elements in training for the Sugarloaf Marathon.

I have been feeling like that cartoon character who has a rain cloud over his head.  You know the one – everywhere he goes it follows him and only him around, while everyone else moves about unscathed. Most of my runs this week have had a near comical quality when it came to the intense shifts of the weather.  The driving wind and snow squalls seemed to happen only when I chose to lace up and get in some miles.  And that wind?  It decided to gust directly in my face at all times and directions.

Though I love winter, normally around the end of March I’m longing for spring’s arrival.  This stretch has been particularly harsh and long, and has created more challenges in this marathon training cycle, but any annoyance or frustration I’ve been known to feel around the perpetual “Groundhog Day” weather pattern is simply not there.  I’ve spent the last several months in personal study on the Five Element Theory, which is a philosophy within Traditional Chinese Medicine.  In this exploration of cycles and seasons, and witnessing the changes in nature first hand, my relationship to inclement weather has shifted.  Sure, warmer temps would be nice, but I am fascinated by the subtle changes of each passing day as we move toward the spring season.  According to this theory, wood is the element of spring, and the climate is wind.  In my time out of doors, I have taken more time to really notice my surroundings – observing the trees that were nourished by the water element of winter, and watching how they respond to the strong winds.  There is so much to learn from these cycles, and all is a beautiful metaphor for impermanence.  More to share on that in the coming weeks of training as I continue to get in the miles, while taking lessons from nature.

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