If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Do It
"If it was easy, everyone would do it," said the officer as I turned a corner in mile four. The runners passed him thirty minutes earlier. The joggers were long gone, too. Walkers, like myself, were making a slow and steady, step by step trod through the inaugural Tustin Hangar Half Marathon.
His words were meant as sincere encouragement to folks he presumed could use themand I received them as intended, "That's very kind of you." There was no way for him to know I was delighted, joyful and empowered by my pace.
In my first several races, my internal dialogue included constant reminders that I would finish no matter what. Eventually, my body taught me that it could go the distance and I could then focus on the quality of my recovery. After surviving stop-me-in-my-tracks leg cramps as well as post-race soreness that hung around, I learned that just a few days a week training during the weeks leading up to a race ensures a quick and easy recovery.
Something shifted in the twelfth race. I was able to stay present to move out of my head and into the physical experience of the race. I noticed when my breathing was too light, indicating I was starting to cruise my way to a longer race time. I became present to the sensations in my legs that let me know when they wanted to shift pace to a jog or when they wanted to slow it down a bit.
It was a phenomenal experience to relax into the race rather than fight the distance step-by-step as if I needed to beat miles into submission. I'm looking forward to enjoying this presence of mind in the next few races. I can only imagine what other gifts my 100 halfs quest will deliver over time.
See you on the path.