Living in the moment

San Francisco Sunset
This past week I've been reminded on multiple occasions about the importance of living in the moment. Far too often I find myself over-eager for what lies ahead and in my haste to rush forward into the future, I forget to savor the present. In running, as in life, you often need to slow down a little and enjoy the moment... 

Sometimes, you need to pause mid-run to look at the sunset or the stunning view. Likewise, it's good to take a step back from the day-to-day craziness of your busy life to simply appreciate the day, before it passes you by. 

Last Sunday I took the live in the moment mantra to heart. As I ran to the win in my first half-marathon, at the Two Cities Half Marathon in Fresno, CA, I made a conscious effort to be present and soak up each of the 13.1 miles (they go by faster than you'd think!).

Victories don't come around all that often, and when they do, you've got to savor them. In the final miles of the race, I ran joyfully through the streets of Fresno, appreciating all aspects of the day -- the cheering crowd, the shouts of "First woman - you go, girl!" from fellow female runners, the thrill of crossing the finish line in 1st. Winning is fun, and I made sure to fully enjoy the moment and have a whole lot of fun with it :)

Fresno Half-Marathon Awards Ceremony
A little chilly post-race, but not too cold for an ice cream sundae! :-)
While I was in Fresno, the home of Woodward Park and the California High School XC State Meet, I started thinking back to my days of high school running. Today, high school runners in the Sacramento area will be competing at the Sac-Joaquin Section Championships. My dad's Davis High Blue Devils will be chasing section title banners and State Meet berths (good luck DHS!!).

2004 Sac-Joaquin Section Champs!
I fondly remember winning back-to-back-to-back section titles - those sure were joyful runs! I recall those victories like they were only yesterday - yet the start of my high school days was nearly 10 years ago (holy cow, I'm getting old!).

Time FLIES - high school, college... they're over before you know it. And next thing you know, you blink and you're an adult! Four years of high school or college can at times seem like an eternity, and when you're in the middle of stressful mid-terms, you might wish that you could just fast-forward to the future. But that future will come faster than you think, and with it new challenges to face.

So instead of rushing ahead to the next thing, take a second to realize how great you have it right now. Stop and smell the roses, take in and appreciate your current surroundings, and enjoy the moment before it passes you by. To all the high school and college kids racing in championships this weekend, savor the moment now, because you'll be graduating and growing up soon enough!

In the spirit of living in the moment, let me share some Photo Friday San Francisco pictures that I've taken in the middle of some runs. I don't advise carrying your iPhone with you on every run, but every so often, bring your camera phone and pause mid-run to capture the beauty along the way. Happy weekend, everyone! 

Bay Bridge from the Embarcadero

Sunrise from the Hilltop at USF