Saturday, August 7, 2010

Long Run in a Unfamiliar Place

Okay today was new route in an unfamiliar place. On the spur of the moment, we decided to go visit my wife's niece's new home in San Lorenzo. It was already late in the day and I haven't done my long run. It was my fault anyway for not getting up early this morning as I have planned. I knew I wanted to do my long run today.

So before we left I googled the area to map a route of 15 miles. I found an easy loop to follow 3.8 miles long, so I'd have to do 4 loops. First loop was getting familiar with the environment so it went interesting. Running in new places always make the run fun and interesting.

But of course, I also planned to pray. The second loop I planned to empty my mind by being aware of my breathing and footsteps, like I always do at the beginning of a running meditation. I tell you, it was rather difficult. Like the first loop, the new surroundings continue to be interesting, as well as distracting. I was able to go back to my presence awareness only for a few fleeting moments. By the third loop, it was starting to get dark. I also began to get worried for my safety. Again, it was an unfamiliar territory. But the fear actually helped me to pray. I started to pray for my safety. A few parts of the run, I got more aware of the colors of dawn in the horizon and the cool breeze touching my face. I began thanking God. By the fourth loop, it was dark. I continued to pray for my safety and my family's, and my niece's family in their new home. On the last turn and straightaway I picked up my speed and thanked God for being able to squeeze in some prayer time during this run.

It was a nice run. The unfamiliarity of the area actually helped me to run at a faster pace because I wanted to get home soon before it gets too late at night. But it also identified a prayer need of mine - which was my safety. Don't we all pray for our safety on a daily basis? Wherever we are, whatever we do.

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