Running to Heal – Happy Valentines Day!

I stumbled upon the sport of Running when my heart was full, my days were happy and my mind and soul were in one with goodness and good people! The first race I ran was with my friend Priscilla, and when I finished the race, fate would have it I randomly ran into my ex boy friend from years ago. Both of us have had since moved on, and I always kept my past relationship in good regards, since I know deep down,  honestly we both tried and we weren’t strong enough to sprint through after mile 6 when our legs gave up! Running into people from the past, is a sign. Its god’s way of showing you, life exists, even if you see darkness at some moments.

What started off as a ‘quest to run and run faster’ in 2016 with that race day for me, came to a halt back in June 2017, when I had a car accident. Someone rear ended my car, this is when I was thinking of purchasing a home. I couldn’t interpret the sign, but I knew its bad. I live on a single income, and I don’t have anyone to cover my bills, and I make every dollar I spend, and I don’t have a plan B, except for my savings and few good people I have in life that I call friends. I slowed down on running, because my car accident which almost got me a $6k expense happened on my way to run at Snail’s Pace Group Run. In my mind, I thought , I shouldn’t really be doing things that would get me that kind of unexpected expenses.  Since that month, I slowed down on driving, and that meant I didn’t make it to my regular group runs. I still managed to work relentlessly to stay on budget to save and close the condo I bought in December! I had dreams and hopes and I thought I was making big decisions for years to come for better for me and the people I thought I had in my life, but little did I know how much life will turn upside down, my hopes and trust would get dropped like a glass bowl to shatter in to pieces. My goal with this blog is not to explain you how to get hurt by dishonesty but to share with you how I am finding my strength to run and heal myself back after someone hurting me!

Running on empty heart is hard. It is harder when you try to run with a heart that is still bleeding and it takes special kind of strength to keep one going. For last two years I had this fire and spirit in me that wanted to run and run relentlessly.  Each mile I ran had a purpose, and somehow was getting me closer to life and where I needed to be. My mind was in a place that kept my pace so enjoyable, and my runs with so much meaning. Every run whether its a race or group run, was a spiritual experience for me, and I wrote blogs about my week day runs, and that is how much joy it was to me! Now I realize, all of that experience was to do with my heart being full.  I tried to run since the new years weekend, with a heart that was still hurting, it is not quite the same. Each mile I tried to run filled me with so much emptiness, to the point I felt like I would stop breathing in the middle of the run. If you are running with an empty heart, know that – as you run, your emptiness in the heart multiplies – exponentially. You are going to be hurting every mile you run for a while, not like the warm up first 3 mile bad run type of hurt, but the hurt that comes from within and fills your eyes with tears where you can’t see where you are running to. It was for me, the first few weeks. For a moment I thought I would quit running, but I had to keep going. I let myself cry during my run. I would stop if I couldn’t breath, but I kept going one mile at a time. When the run ended, I said a thank you, and waited for my next run. Usually running clears your head, but when you are hurting,  your run, does not clear your head, it in fact, makes your wound so harsh and hard, you would be hurting lot more than when you started, and know that its ok to feel that! Wait out and go run the next day – that is what I did.

For a moment I thought I would go run with my running groups, but I didn’t think I had the strength, so I decided to run on my own. Each person I saw reminded me of my failed past that is not there anymore, so running on my own helped to allow myself to feel the pain and hurt more on my own.

When Carlsbad Half Marathon race weekend came up, I wasn’t sure if I was up for it. To run a race, with people. This is the race I ran last year, ran with a good PR of 1:40 or something. But with the wound in my heart, I didn’t think it would be a good idea, but I had to put myself out there to face the race, and that is what I did. I did manage to get enough miles in two weeks prior to the race, so I wasn’t completely unprepared. When I got to Carlsbad, as I parked, this cloud of sadness filled my heart where I couldn’t stop crying. For the first time at a race, I didn’t know what my goal time was, what my purpose was. My emergency contact that I filled out was invalid. When I started the race , a mile into it my stomach cramp would remind me I had forgotten to eat anything. That happens. Half way through the course, my left leg gave out. I saw my running coach friend Cindy from LetsGoRun group, and seeing her in her pure joyful spirit, made me crave to like running more. For some reason It made me tear up little more than I should. I ran the race mostly with tears in my eyes. But looking back at that race, now that its been a month – I am glad to have run it! So go do your first race, if you can do it on your own. Let yourself to suffer both physically and emotionally through the miles. Know that, when the race ends, so will end some of that pain! You will be amazed how in the next few weeks this race that emotionally might drain you would help you recover.

My real break through came when I ran the Surfcity Half Marathon with my friend Amber. We both paced each other through the race. And running with her put me back on a training wheel to focus on running and the spirit of running. I somehow for a moment, gotten past the wounds, to let myself be in the moment. That race taught me the power of friends. A small gesture of getting to run with someone I love, admire and respect , cleared the clouds in my head for a moment, and to see the miles little bit better. I hugged most everyone I saw that I knew on the course. I was genuinely happy to be there, running. My another key advice, don’t pay attention to your pace and race for a while. When you are finding your strength back into running and to find your happy place with running do it for the spirit of it, not for the race aspect. It helps a lot.

I am still not back running with my group runs, but I think I have the strength to go back and start running with them.

After all, these last few weeks of running as I was hurting inside, taught me that the joy of running had always been from within me! I thought running brought me joy in the past, and I think I just happened to run when my heart was joyful! Running multiplies your inner feelings. If you have joy in your heart, you will come out exponentially rich with joy at the end of the run, and if you run with sadness or hurt or emptiness, running will exponentially multiply these feelings!

I just know enough to know, running on its own is not enough to heal one, however, if you have it in you, the courage and strength to help yourself heal, running for sure help speed things up! Running makes us more of whatever we already have! If we are strong, we will be stronger after a run! Running gives us the miles, and the luxury of time to make more of what we bring into to the run! It helps us find our own strength to heal ourselves back!  Healing doesn’t mean you normalize the other person’s act, but its the process to clean our space and get the trash that someone threw into our space – OUT!

If you are hurting, still go out and run, but look for the sunlight, look for the leaves and trees, and seek goodness on the course! It will all come back and help you heal! Running makes us more of what we bring in to the run! Find your strength and joy, and bring to your Run even a little bit of it that you could muster up some place deep within you! Running after all, is a place to commune with God and yourself!

Running and the friends that extended their heart and time to help me through last few weeks, as I picked up my pieces to put them back together – you are all my true Valentine’s! Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

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