Friends and nature make distance running feel easy
Last Saturday was one of those memorable running days — in more ways than one. I was scheduled to meet some friends at a local park and ride and then carpool to the place where we would start running. When I wasn’t there at the appointed time they thought I must be running late. Little did they know … I was at another park and ride! I got some distance running in just trying to find them.
We had wanted to start running early that day to maximize our time together and log some good distance running. One of our members is leaving town so we decided to celebrate by running on a section of the San Francisco Bay Area Ridge Trail that we had never run before. With only a short warm up we had to start running uphill. It is not the way I usually start out so I had to really focus on my running form. I kept my running stride short, let myself fall into the hill, swung my elbows forward and focused on my breathing and staying relaxed.
After about 10 minutes of switchbacks we emerged onto the first ridge and enjoyed the first of many spectacular views that day. It is amazing what the beauty of nature can do to your spirit. I could feel Chi all around me. And that’s not because two of the three running buddies I was with have taken ChiRunning classes! Our adventure took us from running through forests to open fire roads with a 360° view of the San Francisco Bay Area. One minute we would be walking very steep hills and the next we would be running downhill – just flowing with the pull of gravity. With the fun of exploration and deep roots of friendship we didn’t feel the miles. This was distance running at its best.
When all the conditions align for Chi to flow you can feel the laws of nature at work. The energy is contagious. Even my friend who has not learned the ChiRunning technique made this comment when we stopped running “wow, this is one of those days when you finish running with more energy than when you start running!”. He too was feeling the joy, vitality and ease that can come with distance running.