Running on Insight: Reflections (Week 11)

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

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about reclaiming.  As a yoga teacher, I have the privilege of guiding others as they restore strength and range of motion in the body, and with that, a mental repatterining.  Yoga and mediation become a way of being, and has a way of seeping into all aspects of life.  No matter how dedicated we are to our practices, there are times when we can become stuck in patterns that may have worked for a period of time, but now no longer serve us.

I see this in my running.  When I was a new runner, my kids were very young, and the only time I had to myself were the early morning hours before my husband took off for work.  I claimed that time as my own, creating a morning running habit.  It was quiet time in which I could relish, and it set the tone for the rest of the day.

Over the years, as my kids got older and my work schedule shifted, I slowly crept out of the early morning running routine, and in the last year or so, began favoring meditation, coffee and writing in those first hours of the day.  This meant my run had to shift after the boys were off to school, and that also meant it contended with email and admin work, appointments, wasting time on social media and anything else that happened to come up.  While I would get the miles in, they often felt tasked and something to do rather than truly enjoy.  My running practice didn’t have the same purity it had when it was the very first thing I did each day.

So, here I am, training for my 11th marathon, and have decided to reclaim my morning run habit.  Now, a week in, running as the sun rises, I am feeling restored.  I notice a difference in my energy, focus and productivity, and I sense my nervous system welcoming this familiar habit.  As I work around my boys’ school schedules, I’ve borrowed a page from Sheri Piers‘ training log and am splitting my mileage – 3-5 before the kids head off to school, and the rest after.  This too, has also helped in the flow of my day and in managing my work schedule.

The best part of all is having rediscovered a part of myself that has been lying dormant for some time.  I truly feel like I can be more present and attentive to my work and to others when starting the day out of doors, breathing in fresh air and allowing my legs and thoughts to run.  This is what running should feel like.

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