Unexpected Joy -Day 8

October 9, 2016

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."

~John Bingham

The courage to start

A perfect morning for a race with the crisp air delivering a shiver of excitement. The cooler temperatures always help my running, but my intentions were without heavy goals or expectations like previous races. I intended to do my best and run a good race, without the usual wave of anxiety that often comes with my weighted expectations.

This was my 16th  race of 2016 and other races had me believing they would be my best, delivering a disappointing sting afterwards. Even then I continued to remind myself if it was easy, it would not be a goal worth achieving.

Running has always been a transformation of emotions providing time to unravel the mixed up stories I debate. I picture the words blanketing the trail behind me as I release them and move into a new story, a better story that by the end of my run fills me with joy.

Competitive running is another thing, it is a race you complete with others while competing with yourself as you push your mind and body through difficult places. The toughest part for me is my breathing, calming my breath, getting enough air without wheezing and inducing the panic of my asthma.

Twice during this race I had to walk to get my breathing under control. Inwardly I thought of the time I would allow to catch my breath and return running while outside I gasped for air. Observing the time, I slowed my breath by providing a twenty-second reprieve. 

Running races for me is a battle between the regret of not reaching my goals and the hesitation in breathing, but with each race I am learning more about my body and mind and the ways to influence their support. 

As I saw the finish line approaching I dug for the reserve they always say we should have, but all I wanted to do was finish as I negotiated with my body to push for one more minute. My goal to PR was to be anywhere under 27 minutes, I would have taken 26:59, so to cross in 26:32, even after taking time to walk was purely an unexpected joy that I will savor for a long time.

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