Neither of us had a qualm
On my morning run
Neither of us had a qualm
On my morning run
Slow three miles complete
Someone waits for me
Saturdays are for meditation.
Here are a few facts on the history of meditation: Meditation is believed to have been practiced in India and China over 5000 years ago. Meditation is a part of many religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism. The etymology of meditation comes from the Latin word meditatum, which means “to ponder.”
Here are a few health benefits of practicing meditation: Meditation lowers blood pressure by increasing the compound nitric oxide that helps open blood vessels. Meditation changes gray matter in our brains that can help with learning, memory and perspective.
https://nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm Meditation helps us remain focused and improve attention spans.
Just pick up your phone: There are meditation apps galore. If you have no experience with meditation at all, but are curious about beginning a meditation practice, you could try one of these apps. They are free for the first few lessons and will give you a feel for what kind of meditation may be most comfortable for you. Mindfulness, body scan, walking and lovingkindness are types of meditation you will find on these apps. Here are 3 well-known meditation apps: Headspace, Calm and 10% Happier.
My personal experience: Just like running and writing, you need to make a commitment to find the time to meditate. Luckily, just 15-20 minutes a day will be all that is needed when beginning a meditation practice. When I began meditation, I was always seated, always had my eyes closed, always in my house and always focused on my breath. I love to be outside (even in the cold or gloom), which is part of the reason I like to run (I’m not much for a treadmill), so I tried taking my meditation outside. There is a park in my neighborhood with a walking path that my husband tells me is 2/10th of a mile long. The first loop I do a body scan. How do my feet, legs, torso, shoulders, neck feel…you get the idea. The second loop I listen to the birds. Bird songs fill me with a sense of wonder at the diversity in nature even in my little neighborhood park. The third loop I focus on my breath. I practice walking meditation about twice a week. The biggest surprise for me has been the benefit meditation has had on my running. Unfortunately it has not made me any faster! However, my concentration/focus and breathing have improved. I have been able to find a rhythm between my legs and lungs that allows me to focus on my posture/core or enjoy the scenery.
This is a “companion” piece to my weekly “Saturdays Are…” posts, because I double dipped of sorts this week, and my long run in preparation for the Indy Mini was shifted to Friday.
Fridays are…for waiting.
Friday morning marked the 72 hour mark for waiting time for acceptance of an article I had written. It was raining, so I had to put off the 8 mile run I had been dreading for almost 2 weeks even longer.
Fridays are…(well, at least this Friday) for St. Patrick’s Day. When I finally did go out for my run, I wore my old, green running shoes, because, well, they were green. Bright green. And old. And I ended up with a blister on my left foot, so no luck for me on St. Patrick’s Day.
Fridays are…for remembering the advice “if you think you can, you are right.” At 4:15 pm it was a breezy 66*F. I started running. I had water and sport beans ready. I simply ran my neighborhood’s blocks, cul-de-sacs, park and straightaways. Even with 3 driveway water stops, my pace was 11:35/mile, so I was satisfied.
Just a few more long runs left.
Saturdays are gloomy, gotta get it done, because it is going to rain days. The sign tells me it is a 5 miles at a “low degree of difficulty” day.
Saturdays are for thinking of the summer evenings when the park is full of sweaty soccer players and their cheering, over involved parents. There is an aliveness and striving in the park during soccer season. Not so this morning. At a breezy, 38*F there were just a couple runners and an earnest robin.
Saturdays are supposed to be for enjoying this run, on this morning, training to feel this pavement and breathing this air. Hmm, I have been thinking about next Saturday’s 8 miler all this week. It is 8 weeks until the Indy Mini, so it is time for an 8 mile run.
Next Saturday’s run is looming and resolute on the training plan, on the roads of the neighborhood and in my brooding mind.
Saturdays are a “low degree of difficulty” day. It is on the sign. It must be true.
There is a space, you know, between uncertainty and for sure. You can pause to be powerful when you push aside intimidation. Realize you “get to,” not just “have to,” and freedom will grow. Maybe that is what Saturdays are for, a sign pointing to certainty and freedom, because the road is just 8 miles long.
Saturdays are for double dipping.
Saturdays are for mileage. You parlay that time on your feet, 10, 12, 14 weeks of training, into a half (or full) marathon, a deep satisfaction and realization you are a changed person.
Saturdays are for understanding your legs will go, it is your mind that needs training.
Saturdays are for speaking with Jane. We only see each other at local races. Jane is 73. She has been running for 40 years.
Saturdays are for being thankful I can run. Jane can run. We can lift our faces to the Spring sun and breathe. For right now, on this March morning, we will accept the breezy, blue sky, our achy knees and miles of camaraderie.
What are your Saturdays about?
Do you know a “Jane” who inspires you?
I am training for the Indy Mini, one of the largest half marathon events in the United States.
Saturdays are wake up early, check the weather and only drink half a cup of coffee, so you don’t have to pee days.
Saturdays are don’t overdress and don’t wear the shirt you have worn so much you can’t get the stink out anymore days.
Saturdays are standing around watching the other runners, wondering why you got there so early, and is that woman in my age group, because she looks fast days.
Saturdays are here we go, the sun feels good, my legs are strong and my breathing is just right days. OR…wow, it is windy, my legs feel like lead and crap, how long can 3.1 miles really feel days.
Saturdays are a finish line where strangers tell each “good job” and clap at the awards ceremony, as runners are a supportive group, days.
Saturdays are race days, often a collective of common misery and jubilant triumph and always a fabulous way to spend a morning.
There is no replacement for hard work. dedication, commitment and determination.
Last night I googled “motivational quotes.” I am training for a half marathon and a long run was scheduled for the morning. What I really wanted from those quotes was not motivation, but an excuse to not run.
You know what I found?
There is no replacement for hard work, dedication, commitment and determination.
At 5:45 I ran.
It was dark.
At 6:55 the sun came up.
I was still running.
Honestly, I was not feeling hard, dedicated, committed or determined, but I finished my run.
Some days are just like that.
There is no replacement.