There are plenty of difficult obstacles in your path. Don’t allow yourself to become one of them.
— Ralph Marston

I’m nearing the end of my first week of Marathon+ training and today I had a tempo run scheduled. I’m a lone runner for the most part, but I try to not run on the trails alone as they are a bit too secluded. So I went back to my old stomping grounds of Woodlawn Lake where a few years ago, I trained on my own for my first half marathon, mainly because it has people, bathrooms, and water fountains.

Upon my arrival after work, it was the usual hustle and bustle that comes along with that park. Football practices, soccer games, runners, walkers, and all types of people and pets. Which in all honesty, isn’t my favorite time of the day to go but it was either 7pm or 5am and the 5am didn’t happen and will rarely happen during the work week because sleep. So because of all the activity on the regular track, I usually opt to run on the street that goes around the park. Without getting too descriptive on the run itself, let me just say that the warm up was good, the tempo runs were hard and the cool down even harder (the longest 20 mins ever).

It was a hot one today, and the route itself does not offer much shade. There were cars and cyclists getting way too close to me. There were people blocking my path. The water in my bottle was warm. My legs started feeling 20lbs each after the first tempo set. Sweat was getting in my eye…basically I felt like everything was an obstacle.

With every obstacle that came into my path, I began judging. “That person should slow down” “I wish these people were more considerate and would move over” “Gosh this guy almost ran into me” and with all that, I would notice that my body would tense up more and more which in turn made the run even less enjoyable. I was making the run harder for myself.

A little bit of backstory: I recently started a meditation practice and seeing a counselor for anxiety and depression and have made tons of progress. One of the things I have been trying to put into practice, is noticing when I’m judging and also noticing my anxiety triggers/symptoms before they get out of control. So once I started acknowledging the tense in my body, I reminded myself that I had no extra energy to expend on that because I needed it for the run. I acknowledged the “obstacles” which really were more like inconveniences and instead of viewing them negatively, I started to see ways to simply work around them and let them go.

One of the things I enjoy most about running is that it goes along side by side with life. I will always have inconsiderate people in my life, I will always have things that don’t go perfectly as planned, I will always have challenges and obstacles…and it’s easy for me to get sucked into the negative thought spiral but all that does is make it all much more difficult to deal with. My practice continues in stopping the negative judgements of the obstacles in front of me and instead, figuring out ways to overcome them and then doing it.

In the end, I completed the run and it was still really really tough but what made it great is what it allowed me to learn about myself. Which is really what I feel running is all about.

Happy Running.

Original Post Date: Aug 26th, 2016 12:17:36am