A physical ailment would have an easier fix though, because what is likely more true is that my mantra of strong mind, strong heart, strong body is really less of a mantra and more like a desperate plea. I haven't felt like my runner-self, or any kind of myself for 7 months, and I was reminded of it again today, just like last weekend's Go! St. Louis half marathon and really September's Nashville Women's half marathon if I'm being honest, when for the first time my stomach let me know something was off with my body. I haven't been able to control that queasiness yet.
Maybe control is my real issue. Between giving up my career to stay home with my kids and venturing into the unknown of part-time consulting and freelance writing, I don't really have any control anymore. Either I need a little somewhere or just need to learn to let go completely. My body might display the symptoms, but my Go! St. Louis mile 12.5 hyperventilation (see the graphic) is evidence that a lot of my problems are in my mind.
I feel the need for change, so take an unknown single track in the woods just to see where it goes. I pause to listen to the waves made in the wake of a fishing boat lapping on the river shores, I turn off my music, I run through an empty construction site, I marvel at all the different birds chirping loudly to each other in the trees, I take a new road up a hill, I read a plaque about resorts and gangsters in the 1920's, I watch the shadow of my running skirt blow in the breeze like a super hero cape, I breath in the striking scent of cedar (how did I miss that on my way out), and think the river has miraculously changed from a dull muddy brown to a sun-glistening blue. I run in between all these moments and hope that running can again be as beautiful as those "stretch breaks".
For the second half of my morning running was simple again. I didn’t push the pace or the miles, but I did feel peaceful and on-the-way-to-strong. I’m pretty sure it will take some work to make this the norm, but I’m almost ready. I'm in a transition, maybe from escape runner to zen runner. Maybe just from broken to healthy. But hopefully at least from lost to found. Whatever the outcome, I'm sure the course is going to be epic.
Check out Erin's profile and links to her other posts on our Contributors page.
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