You know how sometimes life will throw you one of those curveballs that knocks the wind out of you? I'm talking the kind that leaves you in a state where you physically have to remind yourself to breathe...images of those oh so yuppy signs come to mind, "Keep Calm and Carry On." Like we have any other choice?!
I remember running a race that had me so excited and so nervous, I pretty much got my heart rate in a frenzy the first mile. As I realized what was happening and knowing that I would never survive the other 8 miles descending from Franconia Notch with my heart rate going at its' max...it occurred to me, I was forgetting to breathe. It reminded me of some of the new runners I had just advised a few weeks prior on the breathing cycle of running when they felt they didn't have control...in through the nose, out through the mouth. I would say this as we went uphill or sped up or hit a peak mileage for them.
As simple as that. Just breathe. I said this over and over again to myself until finally my heart rate settled into a normal rate for me at a 7:20 pace per mile. And there, I just kept repeating.
I'm not sure what happened to me at the start of that race. It was a new race for me and maybe the whole excitement of it...or maybe the nervousness of being on a team and having them rely on me and my time for that leg of the relay....I don't know. All I know is that it could have gotten pretty ugly out there.
Just breathe. We can't control everything that comes our way, and we certainly can't control all the things that can happen during a run...even with the best preparation. Tomorrow, I head out for what will be an easy 13 miles...and I will savor every mile....because of running, I have learned that sometimes the only thing you can control is yourself...and when life, like running, knocks the wind out of you, sometimes the only thing you can do is breathe.
- What started as a little experiment in blogging has evolved into my renewed love for writing the raw, gritty truth. Running has always had so many parallels to life's ups and downs. As a new cancer survivor/fighter, running and writing has continued to be there for me in my quest to always move forward, always try to be better than yesterday. Find me: http://www.curetoday.com/community/kate or on facebook: running, cancer, and everything in between or on twitter: runliftbreathe