On SaturdayMEC Road Race Poster, January 21st, 2017  I ran my first road race of the new year.

It was a rather spur of the moment decision to sign up for the race.

Since I am asthmatic I don’t run outside very often in the winter.  The weather needs to be warmer than -6º C for me to consider running.  So I really didn’t consider running in any race till April.  But as fate would inter-seed, a beautiful Chinook blew into Calgary and warmed the cold -20º C something weather to a balmy +10º C for over a week.

The warm weather had me wishfully dreaming of running 10 km on the weekend of the 21st.  Something in the very back recesses of my mind triggered to the fact that MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) started the first of their road series in January.

Fate smiled upon my schedule and blessed me with a free schedule and warm weather.  So of course I signed up.  I signed up on Tuesday, the 17th and the temp was a beautiful +6ºC and the weather for Saturday was predicted to be +4ºC.  Great weather to be running in!

I think the universe was testing to see how dedicated I was to this run as it appeared that the very nano-second I completed and submitted my registration form the weather man changed his forecast (grumble, !@#$%^&*).

It was – 6ºC when I started the race at 10:10 in the shade.  When I was done an hour later, It was a sunny and bamly +1ºC..

For me personally the first 2 km is always the time where my monkey mind gets involved asking, “What are you doing Neil?  You could be still in bed? ”  Then usually just past the 2 km mark my body goes, “Hey Neil, this is actually a good idea.  I’m liking this.”  My mind slows down and then goes quiet.  This is the stage where running for me is meditative.

My body begins to gently tell me when it needs water or nutrition.  When I listen to it at this stage, the rest of the run stays quiet! No monkey mind.

If I miss the subtle signs, my body has no qualms about sending me hunger pains and leg cramps.  Which by then are almost to late to reverse there effects while running, as it takes a while for the hydration and fuel to kick in.

One of the powerful lessons running has taught me is to listen to my body and look after it before it starts sending me signals.  When I trust my intuition and inner guidance. Like my race on Saturday my mind is quiet right till the end, the race is truly a peaceful and tranquil meditation.

Neil ThTired Happy Racer - Neilrussell

01:00:40 Official Finish Time / Chip Time
BIB #: 18745
EVENT: 10k
CATEGORY: Ages 50-59

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