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[EN] Anna’s London Marathon Journey, part 4

In a couple of days, I’m going to London to collect the racing number.
It all went much faster than I expected. I feel a lot of feelings from panic to ecstatic enthusiasm. I can’t believe it anyway. I think the moment of awareness will come when I run through the starting line and then the finish line.

On Sunday, April 7th I had the last long run, equal to 28km. The best thing about the course was that I would be able to carry on, but I did not, because every extra kilometre would prolong my recovery. I didn’t see any reason to risk injury. After all, not even the holy water would have saved me less than 3 weeks before the race.

My ankle brings me the greatest joy, which, despite variously challenging workouts, did not swell again and my ankle ligament no longer hurts. From time to time I feel a little cramp in my leg, but I usually have small aches in other places, so I don’t attach any importance to it.

I have been much better off since I was forced to slow down and change my attitude to training with my stretched ligament. Compared to last year, I feel more in shape. I don’t eat any sweets since the end of February, I take great care of regeneration, and I am much more relaxed.

I practice more yoga now, meditate, and so my mind is better balanced. I slowed down in all directions. I even cancelled one day at school because it was really challenging to do two jobs, private lessons and training when you work six days a week and you only have Sunday off.

All the more I enjoy my free time like this week because kids have holidays, so I don’t have to go to school which is another great help before the race. I do not have to chase anything or anyone as I enjoy the peace of my mind and being at home, and I also feed myself a little too much, but fortunately, it is not sweet. I will run it off anyway :).

A few years ago my dad gave me a book called Sport and Meditation, which was waiting patiently in our library because I preferred other books. Coincidentally, I remembered the book after all these years and started with reading.

The book inspired me enough to try some practical tips right away. From one breathing exercise in combination with Aum, at two in the morning, my eyes were like tennis balls, and my body was so staggered that I was expecting to reveal some undiscovered superpower in any upcoming minute.

It is true that as soon as you are engaged in sports, even if you are amateur just like me, it’s practically the same thing all over again – training, diet (and Strava), stretching and if you can afford it, there’s some physio and massage. Training is forcing you to improve your performance, so you move your border. It was the injuries that helped me realise that the whole training cycle could be more interesting if I gave more space to the so-called “immaterial” parts of this cycle.

When I was resting in February, a lot of things closed up at the end of winter and I somehow gradually began to realise that if there is something I have to work on, it is just the inner part of me from which all the strength, the ability of 100% concentration and balance comes from. That is why I have introduced more yoga and meditation into my regime.

I do not focus on mechanical exercise, but I try to communicate with my body. Experience and feel every part and feel my breath. It is incredibly soothing and at the same time fascinating to perceive your own body. It’s beautiful to stop and be a few minutes (if done well).

Does Meditation have any positive impact? Certainly yes, I am at least much more optimistic and better concentrating on running. If it affects my performance? I think so; it is true that even 28km this year was one of my best performances and I did not run at full throttle. So I will let me surprise myself as to how it will go on the marathon itself. But what can I say with certainty that more regular meditation and introspection have at least brought me a sense of higher integrity, this means a lot in today’s turbulent times. Thanks for the book, dad!

This article was translated from Czech.

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