I went to get a post race massage tonight, and had a great conversation with my massage therapist about the mental side of running. I told her about how I got emotional during my marathon this past Sunday, and how everything seems clearer to me during those very emotional moments of a race.
Caroline, my massage therapist, is a former triathlete, social worker- turned massage therapist and is just a great person to talk to. She immediately understood what I was trying to describe, and simply said, you experienced "flow". She described the mental psychology of reaching a euphoria and just a deeper understanding of yourself as an athlete, and your purpose on this planet.
I drove home thinking about this, and decided to find out more. In fact, its kinda of been nagging me since Sunday. I feel a little unsettled and I'm not sure why.
What is flow? I hate to source Wikipedia (but its so darn convenient), but here is what I found out:
Flow is the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.
Runner's flow, I guess in short may conjure up a number of images, but I guess it means being "in the zone" or "runner's high". I find it hard to describe it other than that it was an incredibly beautiful and full filling experience not only as an athlete, but as a human being.
So as a runner, have you experienced flow? If so, what was it like for you? I am positive we call all find some inspiration in sharing our experiences!
In the meantime, thanks for reading!