My mind tricked me…

After having thought about it for several years, I finally signed up for a Marathon: the San Francisco marathon on June 16th. It is still several weeks ahead but as I am no longer in my 20s… and I have never run more than 30k I need to train. Ok I am lucky because my husband Vincent and a few colleagues will run it too; therefore they train with me or besides me. Isn’t it amazing how much easier things get when you know that others are in the same boat as you?
This morning Vincent and I went for a 11miles run by the bay: from North San Antonio Road, Mountain View into trails in the bay of Palo Alto. We left at 8am. The temperature was perfect, the sun was out, the light was silver.
Based on my training plan I had to run 11 miles at an average of between 8:35 and 9:10 minutes per mile. Vincent was supposed to run well ahead of me as his plan told him to run at an average of between 7:40 and 8:10 minutes per mile.
I was proudly able to maintain a pace of 8:46 minutes per miles for half of the course and then my mind jumped in: another 5.5 miles like this? no way! Isn’t it interesting how the mind can trick you into believing that you can’t do things? It took me a few minutes to find a way to escape from my mind’s trap. I scanned my body to check if I had any pain anywhere. I could not find any. There was no good reason for my body to stop running. Why was my mind trying to make me feel tired? I decided to do like I do when meditating: I scanned my body again, observing my feelings without reacting. I spent the rest of the run scanning my body up and down trying to observe how well it was working. Earlier my mind had tricked me into believing that I would not be able to run the second half of the run as fast as I ran the first half. It was all wrong! Why does the mind do that? Why did it trick me?
It seems to be some sort of protection: tell her that it will hurt even if it does not yet… This way she will stop before it does.
Often the result is that it makes us anticipate problems that we don’t have and will never have. The example I gave with running is the same with all. Our mind can make us stop doing those things that may actually be what we need and what we should do. The good news is that we can train our mind into doing less of this policing and reactive control by learning and practicing meditation. While sitting, running, working or anything…
Beware of your mind!

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