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Mindful : August 2014
I love morning runs. I look up at the sky, watching the light crest as the sun comes up. I enjoy how quiet it is at that time of day. Just listening to the sound of my feet on the ground. I like the calm. Raleigh is wonderful for running. There’s barely a day in the year when you can’t run, unless you get caught in a thunderstorm. Even then, it just makes you run faster. The first step I started running in earnest about six years ago when my family moved to North Carolina for my husband’s work. I’ve always been active, but when we moved here and I was staying at home with the kids, I realized that this was my opportunity. I needed some time for myself. So I just started running, first doing one mile at a time, then two, then three. It took three years of training before I could run my first half-marathon. Towards the end of that half-ma ra- thon, as I started to hurt, I remember thinking, “I ca n’t see why anyone would run a whole marathon—I don’t think I will ever do that.” And yet, almost a year to the day later, I ran my first marathon. Body talk I find the training regimen good for me. It keeps me disciplined. Training also teaches you to pay attention to what your body is saying. It’s different for everyone, and the only way you learn is to practice. For me, something will start to hurt, and I’ll wonder why, a nd that ’ll be my body saying, oh, I’m dehydrated—I need water; or my blood sugar is low—I need an energy gel. You have to listen to your body and it will tell you what kind of fuel it needs, and when. Running a marathon is an adjust- ment, because I am used to running by myself and not with such a la rge group of people. But I enjoy having moments when I’m running with a stranger beside me and we strike up a conversation: “How are you? Where are you from? Isn’t this exciting?” You meet some amazing people. The most wonderful thing is the support runners give each other by cheering, making light of how we’re feeling, or just connecting by small talk to help pass the time. On the road I grew up in the country, and as a child I loved exploring in the woods. Being able to go for a run in the woods now has reconnected me with that. I enjoy that, watching the leaves change or seeing wildlife. I was on an early morning run in the neighborhood when I saw something ontheroadatthetopofahill.AtfirstI thought it was a dog, but as I got closer I saw it was a huge owl standing in the road, at least a foot tall. I stopped, and we just sta red at each other. Then he jumped, opened his wings, which spanned about two feet, and flew away. ● August 2014 mindful 23