Zen and the Art of Running

The running has been going well. I’ve been increasing the mileage and have not had to work too hard to get myself out of the house earlier and earlier as the heat here in the desert starts to kick in. I think part of it is the excitement and newness of running and improving every time. The other part is the quiet, alone, me time.

Unless I’m doing a group run, I always bring my music with me. It somehow puts me in a better mood and the miles just fall away. That’s exactly what happened this past weekend.

It was a beautiful Saturday morning and I went out fairly early – maybe 6:30am. Left the house with the intention of making this my longest run ever. I had recently done a 14 miler but was now mentally prepared for more. Partly this need for distance comes from an acceptance that I’m starting late in the game and will probably never be fast, so might as well be long.

Left the house and headed down the hill, passing the yards of different houses. I love looking at each one, wondering what kind of plants they have, how they have them arranged, which ones I might consider some day, and thoughts like that.  Within a few miles, I pass the golf course and then the Catholic church. After that it’s up the hill and down the dump road. The dump road itself is 10 miles roundtrip with nothing but desert scenery to look at.

zenRunning long gives you lots of time to think and I’ve had lots on my mind lately. Maybe everyone does….more or less at times. I’m finding my runs to be pretty cathartic. It was at about the 13 mile mark when I lost track of about a mile. It was the strangest thing. All of the sudden I forgot that I was running. I just got in such a steady state and was busy in my own mind, that I somehow missed a whole mile. It was actually kind of cool. I guess that’s what being in a Zen state would be like.

I wrapped up miles 16 and 17 chugging back up the hill to my house. My longest yet most peaceful run yet.

 

Terri Rylander

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