Day 166: Smiles, mother nature & a half marathon

“You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this and you will find strength.”
– Marcus Aurelius

My friends want to participate in a half marathon this October. I thought it was a great idea – what better way to stay fit and keep busy. Plus, I love running. So far so good, right?

Not exactly… I clearly didn’t read the fine print (i.e. a half marathon = 21KM!?!) Well, I’ve run about 5-10km before so how hard could 21km really be? So, against my better judgement, I’ve decided to see this through.

I was feeling pretty sluggish this morning but decided to get off my butt and start training. I opted to run along the nature path hydro field corridor near my house. The goal was to run the path twice which is approximately 8km give or take. It was about 9:30am and the sun was beating down on me (I should have started earlier!) but luckily, there was a nice breeze. As hard as it is to run against the wind, I’m so thankful it was there because I would have melted from the sun otherwise.

There are always people biking, walking and running along this path and it’s funny how smiling at strangers and croaking a few good mornings can have you feeling more upbeat and energized.

10km seemed pretty daunting when I started out and even more so after the first 5km. It was getting hotter, I didn’t have a hat and I was getting tired of my water bottle hitting me in the back. I should also point out that I don’t run with music so I spent a very long hour with my thoughts.

I traveled a great distance today. And I don’t mean physically.

For me, running tends to be very introspective and I feel that I’ve come to terms with some of the things that have been weighing on my mind lately. I realized that just as I can’t control the sun or wind, I can’t control other people’s actions or feelings. I may never know why people do the things they do but I can control my own thoughts and actions.

Running today was a challenge and as much as I wanted to give up, I persevered. Anything really is possible if I believe in myself. I pushed myself mentally to keep going and that’s the only reason why I finished. If there’s even a tiny crack in your will power, everything can unravel within seconds.

As with running, I know I can get over any difficulties in my life as long as my will is strong. The moment I let negative thoughts or emotions in, everything goes into a downward spiral and that’s what I plan to avoid overcome. Negative experiences, thoughts, emotions will always be present and are uncomfortable to deal with but I realized I shouldn’t suppress or avoid them. In order to move on, I need to acknowledge them and then let go.


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