What I've Noticed 8 Days Into Meditating

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend! I actually ended up signing up for a *surprise* half marathon last weekend and did that on Sunday to help me get to 18.46 miles! I ran to the start and ran back to my car after the race. It was so much fun and I had a great time (plus- I PR'd my half marathon time by 10 MINUTES!- finished in 1:49:07)! I NEVER just spontaneously sign-up for races (especially ones held by our local running club), so this was a huge step for me! What made me sign-up? 1. I drove the course and it was SO beautiful (pretty hilly too...) I knew I had to run it 2. I think meditating has helped BOOST my CONFIDENCE and silence my mind from negative thoughts (more on this in a moment). What are some things that you're currently not doing that you know you COULD/ SHOULD/ WANT TO do?!?

 Post-Race selfie! No Frills meant no medals/ no AG awards (I got 2nd) / no t shirts!

Post-Race selfie! No Frills meant no medals/ no AG awards (I got 2nd) / no t shirts!

meditation-stock.jpg

ALRIGHT, so I started using the Headspace App (it's got 10 free 3 min/5 min sessions) to give me some clarity and I also really wanted to use it to help with my racing mentality. I'm not really sure why (probably something to do with having the relay behind me and my next big race not for many months), but I've been struggling with more negative thoughts lately. They swirl around in my head saying terrible things like "you're not fast anymore" or "who do you think you are dreaming that big" or "that goal will never happen to you". These thoughts I used to be able to SQUASH immediately, but the transition post-relay (running much less) has me all discombobulated). SO I decided it was time (inspired by reading Deena Kastor's book Let Your Mind Run) to take control of my mind. 

I wanted to be able to let those thoughts come into my mind, acknowledge them, and then tell them they are not welcome in this space. 

Meditating is something I've always wanted to do, but I've been pretty intimidated by it. I've always wondered how anyone can just "shut their thoughts off", but I've actually come to release it's less about "shutting your mind off" and more about acknowledging thoughts, but not letting them overtake you. 

Each headspace segment is either 3 or 5 minutes (you choose) and they guide you through your meditation. There is not much "quite time" where they aren't speaking/ guiding you, which helped keep me focused on my breathing. You can also turn notifications on your phone to have the app remind you to meditate or send thoughts/ quotes to you throughout the day (this totally sounds like a sales-pitch, but I'm just sharing my unbiased opinions here)! 

So, here are some of my major takeaways after meditating for 8 days:

  • I've become more conscious of my thoughts, but I've also felt in more control of them
  • I've felt more relaxed throughout the day
  • I've noticed I've been able to utilize my breathing to my advantage when I feel stressed/overwhelmed
  • While negative thoughts are still present (hey, we're all human), I've started to become more "in charge" of them. Letting them know that they are not welcome here
  • I look forward to my 3 or 5 minutes in the mornings (I do it right after I pour my coffee). It may make me "later" to wherever I planned to be, but 3 or 5 minutes is worth it. 

I'm thinking I will try another set of their meditation sequences (you have to pay for them after the 10-day free trail - it's $12.99 per month), but still trying to decide which one! They offer more in just the "basics" category or ones in health/ brave / happiness/ work & performance/ students categories. 

Ever tried meditating? What was your experience like?

What were three things you most enjoyed this weekend? --> Saturday morning coffee/ cuddles with the kitties/ breakfast cooked by Alex, Opportunity to race, Time spent outdoors with Alex & Stella

Thoughts on hometown races? Love 'em or hate 'em?