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I’m what you might call an “intermittent” runner.  I grew up playing soccer and running track.  Used to love trail running back in the day :-)  I’ve run lots of 5ks and a ½ marathon… once.  

But I’ve always needed a specific goal to get me running.  A team, a race, a couple of pounds to lose, an objective. No goal = no running for me.  And it’s been nothing for me to go a year without running.  Like after that ½ marathon.  Trained for 6 months running up to 18 miles, ran the race, then… nothing.

Time to change.

Since committing myself to the art of self care, to finding balance & health and to helping others do the same, I know it’s time to toss out that old habit. Balance is about consistency.  It’s about doing what feels good and going (and growing) with it.  Time to run because I enjoy it and it’s good for me. No race.  No visible end objective.  Just running.    

Today is Thanksgiving.  That means Turkey Trot… or Tofurkey Trot, as the case may be.  It’s 45 degrees and raining in Cleveland today.  The last time I ran five miles was about 8 months ago.  What a great way to spend the holiday :-}  

My usual running M.O. is to zone out and spend the entire run with my overactive mind bouncing from subject to subject.  This is how I started:

I like that girls jacket.  I should get one like that.  I need to give some jackets to Coats for Kids.  I should do that before it gets too cold.  It’s not that cold today.  What if I was running in the snow?  I’d really like to go snowboarding.  I was gonna sell my snowboard.  I left it with the Timkeys to sell.  I wonder how the Timkeys are doing.  I think they got a new dog.  I wonder what its name is.  I wonder what my sister will name her baby.  I need to plan her baby shower.

On and on it goes…

Since my weekend in NYC at RHH Live and the Committed Impulse practice we did there with the fabulous Josh Pais I’ve been working on keeping my monkey mind in the present moment.  I know that if I want to do my best at anything I need to focus on what I’m doing.  So, I decided to focus on my running and not let the chatterbox in my head take over.  

It was a stretch at first.  It was uncomfortable.  At first I started thinking about how I was running, what I should be doing ~ breath slower, lengthen your stride, lean forward.  This was stressing me out!

Then I began to focus on just being there in the moment.  How nice it was to be running with all these people.   How great it was to just relax and enjoy.  

Bingo!  I got it.

Now I’m cruising along feeling great.  We pass the 3 mile marker.  “35 minutes!” the timer guy yells.  

WHAT?!?! Can that be right?  I thought we were running way faster than that… Damn.  We did have a hill at the beginning.  And it’s windy.  Okay get over it.  Just run.

4 mile marker ~ “49 minutes!”

SERIOUSLY?!?!  You’ve got to be kidding me!  Why didn’t I wear my watch? We should be finishing and we still have a whole mile to go!  I don’t understand.  

Now I’m tense.  Really tense.  

Remember Committed Impulse practice…  Okay, where’s the tension?  In my shoulders.  My neck.  Between my shoulder blades.  Feel it, breathe deep.  Breathe again.  Feel it.

Gone.

Wow!  That worked! Where else?

Hamstrings.  Okay.  Feel it.  Tension.  Feel it.  Breathe.  Breathe again. Feel it.

Gone.

Remember Gini Martinez (love her!) talking about tight pelvises.  My hips feel tight.  (Oh my god, I’m a butt clencher!)

Okay.  Feel it.  Feel the legs moving in the joints.  Relax the hips. Breathe.  Feel it.

Gone.  

Wow.  I feel great.  Never felt so good, so relaxed while running.  Feel like I could keep going forever.  Picking up speed.  Reaching the finish line.

“100 yards runners.  You’re at 48 minutes.”

WHAT?!?!  The mile timer was wrong!  (Or I misheard him…)  Who cares!?  I feel good!  Damn good!  

Best run ever.

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