June 16, 2014

Running Long Distances

I’ve been running long distances for almost two years now and it has given me many incredible things, a healthier body and definitely a healthier mind – it’s such an excellent opportunity to think and reflect on life.

During winter I mostly run on the treadmill because it rains a lot in Vancouver, but yesterday I decided I was going to try something new and I went for a run along the seawall knowing that the chances of rain were about 50%.

Running in the rain is something I avoided because I thought it was going to distract me a lot. When you run long distances, you endure exhaustion and pain by keeping a constant pace and breathing, to do this the mental effort is just as big as the physical one.

Unpredictability is a real challenge to me because it breaks my focus and it makes me feel tired sooner – things like jumpy dogs, zig-zagging a crowded seawall, or people biking on the pedestrian lanes sometimes break my focus.

Rain is definitely one of those things that I can’t control, and embracing unpredictability is not my forte. Not in running, not in life.

My run yesterday was really interesting, I had different patterns of rain during it, which made it very challenging – drizzle, showers, windy rain, sideways rain (Vancouverites know this is real), and heavier rain.

I’m really happy that I decided to do this yesterday, it made me think a lot about my life and how I approach unpredictability in it. I used to think I was really bad at accepting change in my life, but now I realize that it’s really not change but unpredictable change the one that I have trouble with.

As long as I can be the one “controlling” the change, making all the decisions, I feel comfortable with it and I can even step outside of my confort zone, but if change comes from an external factor, I’m much more reluctant to it.

Yesterday’s run was my effort of exposing myself to things I can’t control, even while doing something I love so much as I love running. And even though I didn’t like the scenery as much as I do when it’s sunny, the gray, gloomy, rainy seawall gave me a very memorable run that helped me get a new attitude towards the upredictable: rain or no rain, I’ll still be moving forward.

-Daniela

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