running philosophy

Give me Running, Give me Sunshine

29 April, 2020

me smiling after completing my virtual (but very real) ultra-marathon

There are two things that I need in life to make me happy and, no, I am not going to get all soppy. I am not going to say my children and my long-suffering Old Goat.

This morning I did a chilled run on the treadmill and then sat in the sun to eat my breakfast. It struck me then - I am right now, in this minute, completely happy. The two things I need in my life are running and sunshine.

Yes I do love my children and I can’t wait for provincial and international borders to open up so that I’m free to visit them, but I’m sure they’ll be pleased to know that I have no need to cling to them for my happiness. So no need to push me off a cliff kids - just pop me in a home that has space to run up and down the driveway and sit in the sun!

I will however cling to the Old Goat because he knows how to open a bottle of wine and kill a snake. He is also my partner in crime for those long haul crazy runs that we do.

We did our 48km ultra this last Sunday - out and in 4 times on a 12km stretch of dirt road, no water tables and no spectators, save the odd cow and a fish eagle. It took a good dollop of mental strength, and as I normally do when running those super long runs, I learnt stuff.

I already know that many kilometres at a super slow pace are excellent for strengthening the chassis and I am now trying to teach myself to focus on my breath when things get tough, to acknowledge the pain but “let it go” as the meditation gurus like to say.

And I have discovered that about two thirds into a long run, whatever the distance, you will reach a pain point that you feel is really and truly kak, and possibly the end of the world. If you can just breathe through that for a while and “let it go” it seems to ease off for the rest of the run. Yes, it’s still sore, but it never seems to surpass that one kak point.

And each time you manage this, you are teaching your brain that, no, you are not going to die, and, yes, you can carry on, something that can be applied to almost anything in life, even dodging your children on the path along the cliff face.

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