Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Running to get back on the horse

Last week was entrenched in a process that almost everyone has to go through at some point - Moving.  While the result is (usually) a blessing, the process usually feels like a curse.

For some reason, however, this time coincided with a burning desire between my boyfriend and I to finally really start getting up earlier to work out and be productive.  We've been talking about it forever and for the longest time it's just existed in the land of things that you want to do "someday," when things are calm and settled and you have the time and energy.  We really took the cake in proving that you can turn your motivation into action no matter what's going on with your life.  And you will mostly make it out not only alive but changed for the better.

I touched on this very issue in my last entry when I talked about really wanting to rekindle my relationship with writing and how I've had a hard time figuring out how to sync my motivation with the required time.

Oh, and to top it all off - I developed a burning desire last week to get back into running after being inspired by the blog of a yogi who decided to run a marathon.

Isn't it bizarre when you get bursts of motivation in the midst of one of the most stressful events of your year?

Bizarre though it may be, I'm proud of Marc and I.  Last week, every day, we got up early and either ran, did yoga, meditated, or just talked out stuff for moving over a breakfast which we ate sitting down for a change instead of our usual style of scarfing it down as we speedwalk to the subway.

I think we've both been pining for so long for our own place that a part of ourselves just completely lost patience for waiting until we're settled to have our new grown-up routines that we've been talking about and fantasizing about.  In retrospect, was it smart to alter our sleeping patterns so much during a week-plus process that added a new helping of stress to our already busy lives?  I think, despite the exhaustion, the answer is yes.  As any early-riser will tell you - particularly one who used to be a late riser - it gets easier with time.  And even in the course of a few days, we felt it get a little easier.  We're on a dedicated mission to killing the snooze button.  And in the midst of turning our fantasy of getting up early and starting the day off right instead of in a rushed stressed state, we still spun our fantasies of how it'll be even better in the new place.

This whole thing has made me think about when all of my yoga teachers (and when I tell my students) talk about listening to your body.  If something hurts, don't do it.  If it feels good or for some reason you just feel like you need to take a twist before savasana, or come down to child's pose when you're really not even that out of listen and you obey.  (Going back to running has really been making me think about this in terms of injury prevention, but that's another post)

It felt like what we were listening to was something a deeper than just the physical body.  To be sure, it was not our heavy eyes and dead-tired limbs that were getting us out of bed at 6am.  It wasn't even as simple as desire, either, because people desire things all the time that they don't do, either because those things are bad for them or because, like getting up early, they're ultimately good in the long term but not so fun in the short term.

What it felt like more than anything is that Voice of Reason we all have inside ourselves.  A teacher of mine also calls this the Witness.  Something that isn't purely mind or spirit or body, but something inside you that's all three.  Your own source of connectivity with the divine in you and the divine in the universe.  Also known as the For Your Own Good voice.

As I post this, we're preparing for our departure from New York to beautiful Virginia, my home.  We've spent the last few days in my small bedroom in my apartment (a wrinkle in the moving process) but when we come back next week we'll finally be in the new place, and that impatient, insistent presence that propelled us off our lazy sleeping bodies will still be right there with us.


  1. Annie - Would love to hear more of your thoughts on yoga and running ... yoga for runners? I'm getting serious about running and hope to use yoga to enhance it.
    I love reading your posts - keep writing! -Cristin

  2. It's so good to hear from you, Cristin! Thanks for reading :) Sorry for the delayed response - just got back from seeing Mom in beautiful Virginia.

    I think yoga and running go hand in hand beautifully! In fact when I was in Sarasota and a poor intern, I used to download free podcasts from iTunes in lieu of paying for a yoga studio and there was a quick 20 minute one called Yoga for Runners from Yogamazing - it's a guy named Chad Rough who does 20 minute yoga sessions based on email requests. It's pretty cool if you're short on time or just want to stretch before/after a run.

    Three major advantages I've noticed that yoga gives me in my running - posture, breath, and for me personally, it helps my tight calves. I have shinsplints and am prone to plantar fasciitis in my left foot, both of which are exacerbated by tightness in my calves. Yoga teaches me about a zillion and one ways to stretch them out before, during, and after a run.

    As for posture - I try to put myself in mountain pose when I run, which helps give me a good basis. And as an asthmatic, having a strong base in deep, slow breathing through the nose (or even ujayih) really helps with my endurance.

    I've rambled quite a bit but let me know your thoughts and questions! :)


Resurrection of a blog (and a hip)

One year ago today - on a much cloudier, much colder, and quite frankly very hungover morning - I went out to run.  My goal was either 4 mil...