October 24, 2014

Renewing My Run, Feeling Good

Recently, I restarted what was once a daily routine, running. When I lived in Philadelphia running was an integral component of my lifestyle. Every morning I would wake up to run the Benjamin Franklin Bridge from Philadelphia to Camden, NJ and back, a total of three miles, 1.5 miles going and 1.5 miles returning. As I started out, my intent always was to conquer the bridge. For me, the bridge represented the obstacles I faced within my personal life. If I could run the Ben Franklin Bridge steadily without stopping than my navigation through life’s challenges would become easier. This bridge helped to build and mold the strength of my character and the endurance of my body. 

Each muscle within my body would work hard as I ran the incline. Within the climb, I used my breathe to relax my gait, my mind and to lessen the tension within my body. As I arrived at the top of the bridge without stopping, an enormous feeling of accomplishment would overcome me, flooded with an emotional victory. The euphoria was unbelievable; a sense of accomplishment overwhelmed me as I descended with relaxed poise down the bridge. “Thank God, I did it,” my inner voice cheering me on. At this moment, my heartbeat and breath begin to relax. When I arrived at the foot of the bridge, I would turn around and begin the climb again, this was my routine.

Afterwards, my boyfriend, now husband would say to me, “You are crazy for running the bridge every day.” I thought that was odd coming from the person who coached me to run. John was a multi marathon runner, and he encouraged me to pick up the passion for running. Although I was never as passionate as he, I still enjoyed the run. I identified the run with life, as is life, sometimes the run is easy and sometimes it is a challenge.

Today, my running experience is different. What is the difference? My breathing is more controlled and relaxed. I have realized the importance of breath and relaxation during the run. My mind is no longer focused on running harder and faster instead I focus on clearing my mind and breathing into my muscles. Through proper diet, the food I feed my body gives my cells energy, boost my immune system, oxygenate my blood and provide hydration. Hydration alleviates the cramping. Another benefit to my run is a diet that consists of more raw vegetables and fruit.

I feel a huge difference when I run. Perhaps, this is the restart of my running. I would love to run a half marathon again. Yesterday, I joined the Ft. Lauderdale Road Runners Club and I hope to put lot’s of mileage on my running shoes.