May 27, 2014

That Last Push

For the lastyear, I have made my final push for my Master's Degree in Counseling.  This month my name was called and this summer I am completing my last two courses.  Let me say I have never felt so desperate to stop doing something!  The only thing on my mind is the finish line.  I draw every day on the last few km of a marathon.  It is my image, what I refer to, what I meditate on.  You know the agony, the feeling of being spent, longing to just stop running and enjoy the crowd cheering, after throwing up and crying.  HA!  This is my image.  
I have mentally prepared, I would say for this moment as I have run.  I am thankful, as the feeling of discouragement can be so strong. It is just you and the books, the discussions, the papers and the writing. The long haul feels long, but from experience, I know that I have trained, and that pushing forward is so important.
I have not posted much lately, for conservation of my energies is also a part of this journey! I continue to run and will continue to post as I have energy or time.  I am running over 30 km a week right now, and my enjoyment increases in the last year each week. My mileage will crreep up and I think I will sign up for a half-marathon soon.
Now back to my studies!

November 23, 2013

Running But No Frills!

Long time no post!Running continues this year, but its the busiest I have ever been. Posting, therefore has taken a back seat.  New career transition, new schedule, ongoing schooling has all been overwhelming my priorities, all while keeping sane!  New trends in my running regime include no headphones (my thoughts to myself) and accepting slower times for now.  No races on my schedule have left me to renew my appreciation for the times I have carved out to rejuvinate and exercise.  No injuries which is awesome, but there is less pushing for times.  This is a time of my life I never imagined how demanding it would be.  If ever atime came when I would be tested to see if running would stick, it is now!
Keep running, people!  

August 07, 2013

Naked Running

I read a lotof tweets, facebook statuses and blogs regarding running.  Those who have seriously changed their lives with a physical activity buy in completely:  its a part of the process.  In order to make real change, we often need to buy in hook line and sinker to a new way of living, a new way of thinking.  Often the new way is taken to extremes, becomes religious and fanatical!  I am in a different place than when I started.  This place is going for more runs with no devices on my body: aka running "naked".  I am going bak to the simplicity of running to enjoy moment by moment the experience of my heart pumping, my breath rhythmic and my mind wandering.  I push at times and go very slow others.  I am not training for a race this year.
Some people tweet that running is their whole life.  It is not my whole life.  It is an important part of self care for me.  It is not the only part.  I love running at times and I have moments of ugh.  Freeing myself from that which is overtaking my passion for life is important.  Devices are sometimes distractions from this passion, a pressure builder for more output, which I already have enough of.
So, enjoy your run.  Take care of yourself.  Unplug once in a while.  Dont worry if your passion is waining in the process.  Find those moments of enjoyment, access your inner passion.  
I work towards overall health, and until my body can no longer do it I will keep on running.

June 08, 2013

Running : Discovering Your Limits

I understandmy life journey differently now.  I use my experience in running, the good and the difficult, as material to draw from in relating to others.  I see challenges from a lens of how I have experienced a marathon, or a solo run, or recovery.  Not sure if you can relate, but in conversation with people, it becomes an analogy that is quickly accessible to me.  

I am in the middle of my masters degree, and the only way I can relate this to others or to understand it myself in how I am feeling is to refer it to a marathon.  First half, you are feeling energized and alive, able to keep a steady pace.  Second half is the real grunt work.  None of a marathon is easy.  But the endurance really shows in the ability to keep moving, keep working hard.  Endurance training is a test, to find the end of one's self.  I have felt the end of myself and been rattled!  How I face life's demands and challenges suddenly gets altered in this revelation:  I have limits, and I have experienced them in a way that is emotionally jarring!  

I have seen the first bit of my running training as a discovery of the amazing sort, all honeymoon.  And then the limits were found, and now I am running to maintain, but in all honesty I feel the wind has come out of my sail a bit in my drive.  I guess I ask myself, now that I know how far I might push myself, why bother visiting that limit over and over?  I know this is probably faulty thinking, but it is a process of experiencing the journey.

April 16, 2013

Boston's Finish Line

Evil.  It exists in our world, explodes in random places.  This year's marathon in Boston was cut short due to evil.  I think of all the dreams people were fulfilling as they ran their race and how it turned so quickly to tragedy.  My heart is sickened to know that for two people their race here on earth ended this week.  I think of all the people affected by the chaos, stopped while on their final stretch, told to go home, to wait.
I reflect as well on my own marathons, wondering how that must have felt.  It is intensely emotional to train for months and complete a marathon.  I would have been confused.  I would have been hurt.  I also would not have cared about the race when I heard.  I think of my last time I recorded.  I was at 3:31:57.  This seems to have been before the time recorded the blast hit first for the Boston Marathon.  The blast may have been when I crossed, had I run a difficult race with the same experience as I had last.  This last marathon was a slow and painful race for me.  Then I reflect on the kind of race people were having that  morning.  Some had good races, some bonked.  Some achieved a PR.  Some did not finish.  That day a certain fate awaited runners.  Some had been stopped just as they hit that painful last 5 km, when one digs deep to run their best despite having nothing left.  I think about how that may have dictated their fate with those explosions.  Being at the wrong place at the wrong time, one can only speculate.  I would have felt guilty had my family been subject to a blast because I bonked or because I was PRing.  Or because I ran at all. It seems that this terror attack was meant not for the runners but for those who cheer them on, a densely populated and highly visible event.  Its confusing, and twisted.
Let me just clarify to those who went for their dreams that morning:  it is not your fault.  No one could have predicted this.  Only the sick bastards who planned mayhem are responsible for this tragedy.  You ran and you trained.  Hard. 
More long term, how will it feel to get on a course again to run another, perhaps this race again?  I imagine the road to heal this wound will be long.  But that is what runners do.  They are in it for the long haul.  God has given them longevity, perspective, reflection and strength.  We understand our limitations, we push ourselves.  We are conscious of recovery.  I stand with my brothers and sisters, their families and friends and those who support each runner and say that this tragedy will not stop us.  We hurt with them and it was evil and wrong, but evil and wrong will not stop us either.  I look to the place where evil and wrong were conquered.  It was not a place of might and anger.  It was the place my savior, Jesus died on a viscous slab of wood, by choice, to vanquish death and wrongdoing.  He can change the most evil of hearts, he can heal the most wounded of souls.  He will help us run again.  Pray with me to the One who can do this miracle, and lets keep running to the Finish.

"...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."Heb 12