On my regular runs, I normally listen to podcasts. They distract me from the physical work, and engage my mind. It feels like I’m expanding my horizons along with my endurance, which is a very rewarding feeling. This sense of contentment dawns over me because I learn something new, I listen to conversations among great minds all while challenging myself to go on for longer, get better. Tim Ferriss, Jonathan Fields, Kevin Rose, Dan Carlin are some of my favourite podcasters, by the way, just to give you an insight into what I normally listen to. They’re all like human guinea pigs that do crazy ass experiments to improve the quality of life, something that I seriously believe in. Becoming the best version of yourself is what they talk about, so if you’re interested, do tune in sometime!
Although podcasts are great company to be in, during my 20Km runs, I have these physically daunting laps wherein I need to switch off from the distraction because it no longer helps. The thoughts about knee or body ache, distance still left to cover, my speed, comparisons with other runners and all things about running crop up and I have to bring myself back to the present again, almost forcefully. I’ve read about mindfulness a lot, which really helps me during my runs, as I focus on my next steps rather than distance, and focus on form rather than aches. I try to breathe almost as if I were meditating, deep inhales, strong exhales (enough to attract attention, and scare people along the way), and keep moving. I’ve realized how much of a difference it really makes, to live in the present, to be in the moment- I’m not sure if I never truly knew what that felt like before. I want to extend my runs to 30Kms then ultimately marathon distance (42.195Kms).
It is mentally agonizing to run long distances especially when you’re just starting out. I always was comfortable till about 10Kms, but this 20Kms is something very new to me- and might take a few weeks before I finally get used to it. I can’t help but wonder though, what is it that the elite marathoners think about or focus on during their runs? Isn’t it fascinating that they can keep their heart and in this case legs where their mind is? Even during my long runs now, I have this great, powerful force that comes upon me, towards the last few Kms especially. I almost visualize this wonderful, almost blinding white light lining my body internally, activating all my chakras, and making me one with the universe. I have written about how I value the divinity that is within us, the tremendous powerhouse of energy that lies within- and it isn’t something that I just write about to get attention, I have felt it. I feel it. Today, as I was running, only after 2.5Kms, my right knee started hurting awfully, and I was reconsidering my training regime but then I knew if I could get my mind to it, I’d do it. And, I did it! As I write this, I have an ice pack around my knee, because after the 20K, I could hardly lift my leg off the ground but during the run, I endured, I mastered, and I felt spiritually connected and massively inflated from within. This vision sprung into my mind from somewhere- of my sitting by the beach and meditating. I knew peace, and in my head I joked to myself that that could be the island that I’ve always dream of buying (yes, larger than life vision, you may laugh). The vision saved me from myself and my thoughts today.
It is in your most challenging phases that you realize how strong you are, how much you can really endure and how limits only exist in our heads. I know that as I keep evolving and improving, I’ll become a more focused thinker and gain clarity of thoughts- but for know my pseudo spiritual sense is my drive forward. I cannot help but wonder, what really goes on in the minds of the runners around me? I can say for sure, if they’re doing long distances, they’ve got a winner’s mind- cause this takes all you got, boy!