There are so many times that I am on a run and have an immense burst of energy. Usually this is followed by extreme gratitude. My mind pinballs back and forth from loving the trees around me or tall buildings that I had no hand in making. I become grateful that I am alive and that I have the ability to put my legs in motion and move them.
This feeling precedes my pin balling thoughts of gratitude. I hate starting runs or fitting them in my schedule. I hate thinking about running and I guess I just hate running. However, there hasn't been a time that I regretted going out for a run. When I am out on a run and begin to question why I am out there usually the following helps me.
Body scans while I am on long runs are the only thing that are able to keep me going. There are times I want to quit and times I hate running. My mind makes up reasons and injuries that make me believe I should quit. Then, I do some quick body scans piece by piece. I mentally sit with the discomfort which allows me to observe it and let it pass naturally.
I have loved sports my entire life. Whether it was playing basketball or being outside for 16 hours a day in the summer. Unfortunately, life happens. Team sports aren't fully accessible whenever I want. The ability to just put on a pair of shoes and run out the door is golden.
The ability to clear my head and work through problems to arrive at solutions has done wonders for me. Is it a miracle? Absolutely not, but it doesn't seem like real therapy is a miracle either. It is all messy and that is what makes it fun, or at least that is what I tell myself.
Pushing My Limits
The world of marathons was never on my radar but neither was living and working in South Korea. Somehow I ended up teaching English in South Korea December 2015. Then I saw a friends t-shirt during the winter which had the Portland Marathon on it. Next, I found myself at a computer planning my way to an end goal of running my first ever marathon in Changwon, South Korea.
There are infinite amount of things I would of done differently.
I went from never running more than 4 or 5 miles to a full marathon in 3 months. There was one day in my 20s when one of my friends randomly ran/walked 13 miles together after I was telling him it wasn't possible for me to do it.
I ran my first ever half marathon 2 weeks before my first ever full marathon.
I do not recommend either of these and I am unsure how I stayed healthy.
There is at least one thing that I wouldn't of changed. The inner belief that no matter what I was going to finish. I kept that mentality as I trained for my first ever ultramarathon in 2017.
Unsure if I would of ever went after an ultra-marathon without social media. There is so much bashing of it in today's world because it certainly has negative aspects. For instance, I have a very skewed view of how many people actually know about the world of ultra-running. However, following groups in Facebook
or connecting on instagram with other trail runners has been extremely interesting. The loud voices that were saying I was too tall or that there wasn't enough time left or that I should just give up have vanished most times. That is mainly due to the fact of me completely these goals but also seeing everyone on social media be so positive and encouraging with whoever anyone is on their running journey.
It doesn't matter if you find your edge at 2 miles or 26.2
Do not be in competition with anybody except for yourself.
The final and most important reason to run.