Thursday, March 4, 2010

Marathon (week 8)

Every Friday until November 7, 2010 you will find entries from a series written by Iris about her training to run the New York marathon in 2010. It is something she never aspired to do; she has never run a distance of more than two kilometers in her life. In this series she describes her adventures and how she works on her beliefs to transform her challenges and successes into one great experience.

Seven thirty in the morning. It's thirty-two degrees, the fields are while, the roads are clear. My hubby is dropping me off in town, and my goal is to run back home. I am prepared for the colder weather here. I am dressed with a hat, gloves, running clothes and running shoes. I even wear an extra layer of long nylons for warmth. It's my third run in my own neighborhood this week.

I start running and the quietness embraces me immediately. The nature is amazingly fabulous. Frozen water, snow as far as your eyes can see, and only once in a while cars come by to disturb the stillness. The locals wave at me from their cars and geese are singing me a song.

While running I am thinking about the changes I made over the last two months. I am still amazed that I am doing this; that I am a runner now. I am even more amazed that I really want to do this and I am utterly amazed about how good I feel about the whole experience of training for a marathon. I had never thought much about the experience that is attached to running. Or let me correct that, I only thought about all the negative experiences I had with running!

Mark said to me the other day after one of my excited rantings about my running, that I probably soon will experience a "runners high". A rush of endorphins will create a feeling of pure bliss and happiness. I am don't think I would describe my experiences that way (yet)! But I can tell you that I do enjoy peacefulness with the world around me, a connectedness I have not felt since I was a little kid.

I want you to know that every run still starts with a battle. After fifteen to twenty seconds I start to feel this sensation of being out of breath, and my body says stop.... Stop.... STop.... STOp.... STOP.... But by now I know that I can ignore these signals. I know the urge to stop will go away and my body will relax and start enjoying the journey. In the beginning it would take me up to 12 minutes of struggle (if it would go away at all!), but now I think it is only up to four or five minutes. When my breathing finds a comfortable rhythm with the movement of my legs, my body quiets down and I enter the world of quietness....

I talk to myself while running. I tell myself things like: ah, now I am here, that means I ran so far… or I make comments about unknown little rivers creeping through the fields, and count the cars coming by. This morning I was telling myself: it is quite sneaky how this road is slowly climbing. You cannot really see it, but after two miles, you for sure feel it! Then I had to laugh. What a negative attitude towards the road! What an interesting picture I was painting in my head: the road going up slowly with an intention of sneakiness! I changed this image to being grateful for the road, because it helps me to train for sustainability and strengthening of my muscles. Which is needed for the last part of my route!

I live on a hill. And it doesn't really mater what route I take, I have to over that hill and then climb up the hill to get home! So, I decided to make the hill a standard challenge in my route. Mu thought is that by the time I can run over that run without having to walk one step, I am in awesome condition.

So, this hill is now my friend. It's a friend who authentically tells me how I am doing in my training. It is the friend who is always there for me. As a rock he stands and smiles at me when I tickle him with my running footsteps. As a father he cheers me on when I start walking. And he gives me all what is needed to develop myself further and further. And independent of what I do or don't do he is there for me....

I never thought I would create a friendship with a mountain. What will be next on my journey towards the New York marathon? I will keep your posted. In meanwhile, feel free to share with me your journeys and experiences!

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