Recently I and 11 other women completed the Blue Ridge Relay, a 208 mile non-stop relay race from Grayson Highlands, VA to Asheville, NC . Over the course of 30+ hours, I ran three legs totaling just over 24 miles.
While I've been running for 15 years (including 2 successful marathons and 1 half-iron distance triathlon a long time ago!) and had completed one of these relays before, I was nervous! Given that my physical training had been spotty at best, I wasn't sure how my body would react to that kind mileage coupled with lack of sleep and hours in a minivan with 5 others.
Amid the flurry of life, the reality of the race didn't hit me until about a week before we were scheduled to toe the line. At that point, my training was what it was: no amount of physical work would change my endurance preparedness. Instead, I focused on getting my mind right.
Throughout my 24 miles, I relied on mantras, awareness of breath meditation, moving meditation, and purposeful pauses (like taking the time to appreciate the roadside waterfalls at the base of Grandfather Mountain). These mindfulness practices kept me focused on the present moment. Instead of worrying about pace, the miles ahead, the steep inclines still to come, or the moments of discomfort, my practices helped me not get attached to preconceived notions for any personal or team outcomes (hard stuff for Type A folks like me who are often goal driven!). I simply kept noticing "What is actually happening?", asking, "What's needed now?", and then taking the next right action. As result, I truly enjoyed every minute -- even the sore, tired, and slightly delirious ones!
Want to know more about how mindfulness helps Type A athletes of all levels meet the moment?
Read on -- and then be in touch about how my mindfulness coaching services can help!