I run because it makes me feel free of thought. When I run I feel like I’m meditating (not that I’ve ever done that successfully, but it’s how I’d imagine I’d feel if I made time to meditate – though with a more elevated heart rate!). Running frees my mind of thought. I only think about one thing, mostly, and that’s my breath and the way it is powering my body to move.
My eyes see in deeper colours and with greater depth when I run (it helps that my home is located in a stunning place on the south coast of Wellington, New Zealand).
Running along coastlines and along bush lined trails and rural landscapes is where my heart feels free to focus on being in the moment.
My mind is too busy navigating the next step over rocks and tree roots to ponder the deeper meanings of the universe.
Perhaps it is because running gives me such freedom in the moment that I don’t do it as much as I’d like – because, before I head out I’m torn – with responsibilities to my children and family. I feel selfish to take the time, but I’m a better person for taking the time. However this year I was so proud to see my youngest daughter run her first ‘race’ – the 6.5km Cigna Wellington Round the Bays, along with her Daddy (meanwhile I started earlier on the half marathon, making it back in time to see them both cross the finish line).
I was so proud of young Alice, who’d just turned 7 a few days before. She ran the 6.5km, along with her Daddy, in under 1 hour (stopping to enjoy a cool down from supporters on course!).
She definitely earned her finishers medal!
The event took place in mid-February, which worked as a good motivator to counter balance the festive season – of which we did enjoy a fair bit of ‘excess’! We’d enjoyed a great New Year and a holiday in Sydney, where my training took a little set back, plus a weekend of fun at the Marlborough Food and Wine Festival (and a Guns n Roses concert!).
A couple of weeks prior to the event I did a practice run, so I felt confident that I still had it in me (!) and definitely spent plenty of time on my feet, with dog walks and time with my children, including a gorgeous day trip to Matiu/Somes Island with Alice.
When race day came I was ready enough, but knew I wouldn’t be beating my personal best (1:47:25), which I’d ran the previous year, as my training really had been up and down, I was just planning on finishing under two hours and was happy to achieve that goal.
The atmosphere was superb, as always, and it was wonderful to see so many people out and running.