13015407_10208223299433514_7986060443768511346_nI’ve started to focus on running again, and on going farther. I don’t have any particular goal or reason — no race I’m training for. I just remembered what it was like the last time I ran longer distances, how good it felt.

I’m not too far into it yet — just up to five miles — but with running three times a week and doing yoga in between, as I’ve been for the past three weeks, I can feel a particular hum in my bones that I remember from the last time I was in this place.

It’s like I’ve changed my own vibration. Things feel heightened, and details are clearer. I feel more plugged in to myself, and to my emotions, which can be good or bad, depending on the emotion. I’ve found a deeper access point.

The combination of running and yoga is nothing less than delicious. There’s something in pounding the pavement one day, using your breath as a conduit to keep moving forward, and then lengthening everything out and breathing into that space the next.

Yoga has taught me to be more patient with myself and to trust the process, but running does that, too. I’m not very fast (my pace is consistently 10 and a half minutes; it might go down to 10 if I run frequently and far enough), but as I add a mile each week I can feel my body start to adjust. It starts to expect what’s coming and to prep for it. The breath comes more easily, and I don’t tire as fast. My gait changes slightly; it feels like a little less of an effort to keep moving forward. I get into a rhythm.

I start to create a “base layer” of miles. When I trained for a half marathon a few years ago, my base became six miles, which I could do in about an hour. As I built up mileage, getting to that six was like reaching the starting point, and I would add on from there. Right now I’m working on feeling more easeful at five miles, maybe being able to do it in 50 minutes, as opposed to 53 or so. Four miles feels like the current base. Once I hit 50 minutes at five miles, I’ll try to go six.

There’s a buzz about all this that I enjoy. Whether or not it actually is, my body feels more toned, more able and strong.

I feel like I’m becoming more refined. I’m refining my muscles and my breath, refining my will to keep moving, and my skill at being okay with wherever I am on any given day. (The word “refining” brings “re-finding” to mind.)

The physical refinements extend to the mental and emotional ones. I’m paying closer attention. This can feel amazingly good, but it can hurt, too. Lately, it feels like both at the same time — a kind of bittersweet joy, one that threatens to spill over at any moment, and sometimes does.

It makes me feel a bit insane, to be honest. But also very alive.


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