Welcome to part two of the mindful ultra running series. Let’s consider the idea of awareness when running this long.
First of all, you can expect self-doubt on race day. We’ve all been there. There’s been many times I wanted to quit in the middle of a race so I attempted to find a positive frame of mind.
Even so, I’ve learned not to fixate on remaining positive the entire time.
Controlling thoughts creates its own resistance.
Instead, try to let go and allow your energy to unfold naturally. That’s where the real power resides. It’s within.
The idea is to become aware that you are aware. That’s it. That’s the secret. It’s really that simple. I’ve found it to make a big difference.
Michael Singer, the author of The Untethered Soul said: There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing you are not the voice of the mind – you are the one who hears it.
The idea is something like this: You are the awareness—the one who sits behind your thoughts. From here, the mind can now be utilized as a tool.
Remember…the most powerful tool you have to run long distances is your mind, and when you master it, the boundaries of your endurance disintegrate.
But stay centered. There’s a middle path to choose here. Be careful of manifesting a spiritual ego because then you are back to running towards desire.
Don’t put the cart before the horse. The ego always wants to be in control.
Identifying with the ego and losing that control creates suffering. Letting go of that identity is the way out of it.
Remember the old Taoism saying: The flame the burns twice as bright burns half as long.
Discovering New Depths
You’ll also question your motives. Why am I doing this to myself? What’s the point? Is it worth the risk?
It won’t make sense for some, and there will be no point for others, and for most, it will seem like a ludicrous endeavor.
But for the brave ones among us. For the truth seekers and the explorers of the unknown. Even ambitious achievers…
There’s a meaningful pursuit that can be found in ultra running. At least that’s what I’ve discovered from my own experience.
Yes, the road is physically and mentally taxing, but at the same time, physically and mentally rewarding.
Running an ultramarathon with sincere thought behind it offers a chance to strengthen the physical body, sharpen the comprehensible mind, and expand the spiritual heart.
Think about it, you are traveling deep into the unknown both outwardly and inwardly. There’s a lot of growth available from such a courageous journey.
What else is there to do besides attempting to face adveristy? Staying idle is a dangerous choice. Wake up, roll up your sleeves, and go slay a dragon. It’s the most honest path there is.
Self-Discovery from Ultra Running
An ultramarathon is a road less traveled. Not because the road is indiscoverable, but because it’s long and grueling. It leads to a new understanding. An understanding of self.
You’ll leave the safety of your comfortable knowable world, the place that seems controllable, and instead discover something truly profound.
It happens suddenly. It’s an awakening. A whisper. A dream. And you wrestle with it until you realize it’s a calling inviting you into the abyss only knowing one thing for certain: it must be done.
You must run that ultramarathon that’s calling your soul.
The easy way out is to dismiss it as an obsession.
Some do. But I’d be willing to bet that the regret of not reaching your dream during your limited time on this earth is much more painful than the temporary pain from the miles.
For me, it was a 200-mile race where ultra running was no longer an athletic competition, but instead, a spiritual journey.
Running is the vehicle. The destination is the place in your heart pulling you forward. This is the effects from training and running an ultramarathon mindfully.
Thank you for reading part two of the mindful ultra running series. If you missed part one, click here to read it. It’s called Mindful Ultra Running: Make It Worth The Sacrifice Keep moving forward through those miles and I’ll catch you in part three.
By the way, if you align with this mindful approach to running an ultramarathon, then check out my book. It’s called Mindful Ultramarathon Running: Training To Run Longer, Stronger, and Faster With Less Effort. Programs included: 50k, 50-mile, 100k, 100-mile, and 200-mile distances.