All You Need Is a Run to Clear Out The Clutter

09/29/2017 - 17:10

By Rae Ann Darling Reed

My first week of training for the Disney Marathon coincided with the approach of Hurricane Irma. Thursday’s run went well but I skipped Friday’s run to focus on hurricane preparations. By Saturday morning I needed the distraction after all the hurricane preparations and hours of watching the coverage on television trying to determine when and where Irma would hit the southwest Florida coast and how bad it would be.

I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get in Sunday’s long run so I decided to move the long run to Saturday. It was extremely windy but other than that, pretty nice conditions for a run. It was a good move, too, since Sunday morning’s winds prevented me from running at all.

Saturday’s 75 minute run was at a comfortable pace. I really didn’t think about what I was doing and did not look at my Garmin for pace or distance. I knew the length of the loops so I just ran. With no one to talk to and barely anyone out on the route, I was alone with my thoughts. This was one of those incredibly memorable runs, not for the distance covered or pace run but for the way my mind totally wandered. I got lost in my thoughts and it felt like my body was on auto pilot. I covered the eight miles without much thought of the physical work being done. I literally worked through every project, thought, and problem that I had encountered in the past several weeks. I finished the run feeling like I just conquered my world and figured it all out.

I reflected on the amazing crew of volunteers who had just helped me put on our 25th Annual Canes Cross Country Classic on Labor Day. We received so many positive comments on how well organized our event was and how smoothly it all went. I am grateful for all the amazing family, friends, team parents, and athletes who pitched in. I started a mental checklist for next year’s race.

I also worked through the issues I had with some of the parents of our boys’ team. As a coach (and in general), I never enjoy confrontations and get frustrated when parents think their children should be the exception to the team rules but I dealt with it team wide and then just needed to work through it myself to put it behind me. I reflected on how dedicated and hardworking our girls’ team is this year. I am still amazed at the fact that they requested to practice before school two days a week to make sure they could get in quality work on their speed and tempo days before the sun comes up. It is so difficult to run quality workouts at 3 p.m. when the heat index is over 100. I thought about our upcoming trip to Greenville, SC. And really started thinking about this training program I am just beginning; 18 weeks to not just the Disney Marathon but the Dopey Challenge.

When I arrived home from the run, that clarity was then met with final hurricane preparations. Deciding what was important; what “things” would fit in the plastic bin that we would take into our safe room with us and the dog. We did lose power and have lots of debris in our yard but we feel so lucky that it was not as bad as originally forecasted.

Between the run and the hurricane preparations I have now realized that so many of the things we have accumulated over the years are really not that important. My last run helped me remove a ton of mental clutter. Now I am in full “project mode” as my husband charmingly calls it when I am focused and energized on reducing the amount of physical clutter in our home. That with a full marathon training program and cross country season ahead of me should keep me busy for a while!

(Rae Ann Darling Reed runs, coaches, and writes in Florida. She is an RRCA and USATF Level 2 certified running coach, Glukos Energy Ambassador, and has been in the Brooks Inspire Daily program since 2010. Rae Ann is a Fit Expert at Fleet Feet Sports Sarasota and coaches cross country and track at Manatee High School. Follow the RunnerGirl’s adventures on twitter @runnergirl or facebook.com/runnergirl.)

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