15 miles. Staying in the moment.

  • 15 miles
  • 2:40:34
  •  : )

I recently read a great blog entry by my coach, Rick Muhr, in which he talks about staying in the moment on a long run. I’ve never been able to do this, mostly because I am always thinking about how much further I have to go, when I will get to take my next walk break, etc. I am always thinking ahead.

I realized that this kind of thinking, in fact, can make you far more miserable on a run. If your brain is constantly consumed by what’s coming next, it’s a sort of anxiety that really must deplete resources. Think about how exhausted you feel after you’ve been in a panicked state. I imagine that whatever worried thinking I’ve done on a run can only do the same thing.

Since I’ve been pretty concerned about my training history over the last month (SLACKER), I decided that this week I would make an effort to stay in the moment and not worry about the future, whether it be 1 mile ahead or 1 month ahead. Coach advised me to do 15 miles this week with the following two weeks being 19 and 21 before the taper. So I left the headphones at home, I drove to the best place I could think of to have a clear head (the beach), and I ran.

The first 3 miles were torture, I have to admit. No headphones and left to my own devices, I was having a really difficult time not thinking about the future. Where do I have to turn around? How much longer until I am done?  What am I going to eat for dinner next Thursday????? Clearly, I did not get the memo on how to stay in the moment.

By the time I got to mile 3, though, my breathing became less labored and more natural. I made adjustments to my posture. My legs felt lighter. I’d gotten into my groove and all thoughts of future meal plans and how many miles until my next oil change were gone. I listened to the waves. I listened to other beach-goers. I watched others walk and felt comforted and proud to know that I CAN run. I AM running. And it is amazing to be where I am NOW in this moment. Mile after mile got clocked on my watch without my even being aware. Before I knew it, I was 10 miles in with 5 to go… feeling GREAT.

My last few miles were tough. I think in all my in-the-moment-ness, I might have been going a little too fast and my last few miles suffered as a result. Nevertheless, I PR’d. I ran 15 miles in 2:40:34, which is faster than my last half marathon.

Sub 5-hour marathon? A dream that is more and more becoming a reality

: )

In other news, I practiced being in the moment yet again by auditioning for The Voice this past weekend! I sang this song:

Unfortunately, I did not get called back, however the producer told me I came very close but I was not quite confident enough. She told me to try again in a couple months… so, I will : )

If you would like to support my efforts to raise $10,000 for kids in need, visit:
Online fundraising for Sheree Dunwell for the 2012 Mass Mentoring Boston Marathon Team

I truly appreciate anything you can spare! 60% there : )