A moving meditation

So, as I might have mentioned, once or twice, I’m training for a marathon. Today my training schedule told me I needed to run a half marathon. You know. Just a casual half marathon.

I can’t say I was overly looking forward to it. Back home what gets me through the long training runs is not peppy disco tunes. No. I like podcasts. But here, going out in Nairobi with your headphones plugged into an iPod wouldn’t be the brightest idea you’ve ever had. Yeah, you might be unfortunate and stumble into the path of a thief. But I’d be more worried about not being able to hear the motorbike which is roaring up the pavement behind you.

Anyway, without my podcasts I find these long runs mentally a LOT tougher having only my own thoughts to distract me from the underlying mantra of “this hurts, I can’t go any further, this hurts!”.

So I’m gradually trying to learn some distraction tactics and as a result am finding a whole new set of benefits to running way beyond endorphins, a sense of achievement and not feeling horrendously unfit when I walk up the stairs to my flat!

In short, I find that there seems to be virtually no problem that can’t be solved or – at the least – put into a deep sense of perspective by a run. It never ceases to amaze me. Maybe I have sat at my desk an entire day unable to work out how to present an issue to my colleagues. Thirty minutes of running and I’m struck by a whole host of potential solutions. Feeling homesick… 13miles later I feel able to handle whatever Nairobi throws at me!

So while I do sometimes I do wonder what the point of running a tedious number of miles every week is (for an excellent intro to this musing: Bored Humans Running to the Point of Exhaustion), I can honestly say there’s nothing else I’ve found that gives that occasionally much needed hit of perspective so reliably.

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