Sunday, March 19, 2017

Seabrook Trail Challenge

Yesterday I ran a marathon and today I ran a half marathon. It is called the Seabrook Trail Challenge. I got some very interesting swag. Three medals which magnetically link together.



I put alot into this race. I always put more into a race than I do a training run. But I pushed myself hard this time. Maybe because I knew that it was going to be hot and I wanted to get done as soon as possible. Maybe I wanted to see what kind of shape I am in. On Saturday, there was a chance of winning an age group award.

But I surprised myself. For several years, I've mixed walking with running in marathons. It is to reduce impact and injuries. It is because I'm not really sure of my knees. It is also because I do alot of miles every weekend, and run many marathons per year; so tearing myself up too much in any one race makes no sense. But recently, I've only been doing one race a month, so I've been working on more running and less walking in marathons. Well, at least during the Texas winter (it is not possible to run that much during the summer). In my February marathon, I pushed the "all running" out to 14 miles before that race got too hot. Yesterday, in my marathon, I ran all the way to 20 miles before switching to 4x1s. I knew I was hot at 18 miles and was slowing down. But my average pace for 20 miles was 10:40 minutes/mile. That is amazing to me. Then today, for the half marathon, I ran the whole thing at an easy pace of 11:30 min/mile.

I did get first in my age group yesterday; but only because the faster ladies weren't there. But I was happy about it none the less.

This total performance makes me wonder what I can actually do. How good are my knees and achilles right now? Is all that cross training doing a good job? In 2018 I'm signed up for the Houston Marathon. I wonder if I should actually "train" for it. A big race should provide plenty of competitive urge; none of the loneliness I usually have in small races.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Re-imagining the Dream

My last post claimed I'm thinking about leaving my job; leaving the American dream. Then I got my bonus. Adding up all the money I actually make convinced me that continuing to work makes financial sense.

So the real problem with my life is me and my attitudes.

And I have spent 31 years working on said attitudes; but with a major distraction. If only I could be spiritual, float around and never work again. Such a dream landed me in a monastery for 4 years; which cost me about $500,000 in lost wages.

As a result of my current investigation into quitting my job, I realized a couple of things. Yes, work is hard and I'm like most people in not wanting to do it. Spiritual directors say that we should follow our dreams and not work at "jobs". But is working at an engineering job in a chemical plant really killing my soul? If I believe so then yes, it is. If I am consciously going to work with some other attitude, then no. Any emotional problems I have with the people at work are no different than the emotional problems I had with the sisters in the convent. And quitting work altogether would leave me with the same emotional problems.

So the real problem with my life is me and my attitudes.

I have access to attitude improvement. Mostly, it is practicing A Course in Miracles. Keeping in my mind, Course thinking instead of ego thinking is a challenge. Daily opening of the book puts fresh healing cooling balm into my brain.

Another result of this "quitting" investigation is that I seem to have pushed away my 2 spiritual advisers. I need to accept my own choices as the best for me no matter what these so called spiritual advisers say. I am an engineer and I must have chosen that for this life's purpose. I am not a spiritual author; and I won't suddenly become one just because I quit my job. My life is not a worthless life because I work as an engineer.

Yesterday, the bug man came so I don't have bugs in the house. Today, the AC man came to check the AC, so the house is cool. Is having the money to pay for such services so terribly un-spiritual?

Tomorrow, I'm going in a marathon. On Sunday, I'm going in a half marathon. Because of doing the 2 races in a row, I get a special medal. The swag gets hung on a wall with numerous other bits of swag. Am I guilty of a terrible shallowness because I love medals? I love races, even though I come in behind. Does this make me a spiritual loser?

The problem with my life is not my life. It is how I feel about it. And I can change my decisions about what a good life is. I need to drop the rocks.

The Dream can be a dream of inner joy. Joy just is. Joy does not have to be caused. Just think the word Joy, and I feel better instantly.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Leaving the American Dream

My company is offering a buy out. Earlier this week, I got an e-mail saying I was eligible. I felt a sudden surge of joyous energy inside my body; like, "yes, get out of jail." Along with that, I also thought of about 4 business opportunities. Dreams of meaning sprung into place.

So, this morning I began looking at a 30 year financial plan and income prospect plan. It is a doable situation. The picture would look much better if I worked until I was 65, but quitting at 60 is doable. But it is counter-cultural to decide that low on the hog is where you plan to live in order to be off the corporate America grid.

Ponder that if you are a baby boomer or a suburban dweller. The energy and aliveness of the sixties has been swallowed by corporate jobs, mini-vans, white wine, Starbucks and children's college educations. What did all of this mean?

Is the purpose of my life just to pad my retirement? Or maybe to have health insurance?Maybe not.

My point is just to think about it. Forgetting the comfy life style which is the hallmark of the American dream could be just the thing my life needs in order for me to be truly alive.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

True Freedom

Are you ever trying to make a life critical decision?  Should I do this or that, meaning something like leave this job and search for a new idea?

Or are you ever just upset with things as they are?

I am in the midst of transforming my life, perhaps. I was trying to figure out if I am running away from a situation or answering a call to a new situation. Then I read this in a book by Ekart Tolle called Stillness Speaks:

"True freedom and the end of suffering is living in such a way as if you had completely chosen whatever you feel or experience at this moment. This inner alignment with the Now is the end of suffering."

This didn't tell me what thing to choose, but it did give me the opportunity to ask myself, "What if today is exactly as I chose it?" I became at peace with this idea and walked out the door to go to work.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Jail Break Half Marathon

It is interesting to compare my racing style and physical outcome between full marathons and half marathons.


I don't train for speed at all. In fact, while I do exercise a couple of hours every day (not all running), I have no "training plan." I just do what I want. And since I run many marathons, I don't ever try to go fast. Going fast puts wear and tear on my body that I don't really need.

Last Saturday dawned clear and cold (for the Gulf coast). I felt good. When the gun went off, I took off. I found that I was easily running 9:30 minute miles. I just kept doing it. I finished a half marathon in 2:05. Dang good for me. I haven't done that in 4 years.

But I was more exhausted after that than I am after a slow 26 miles. My next race is a challenge. Marathon on day one and half marathon on day two. It probably will be hot. So last weekend is it for speed for me this year.






Saturday, February 18, 2017

Galveston Marathon

So, I haven't blogged in awhile. I guess I got tired of posting marathon race reports. On January 1, I ran the Texas marathon. On January 29, I ran the Sugar Land marathon. On February 12, I ran the Galveston marathon. That brings me to 76 lifetime marathons. Here is a picture of a over heated me at Galveston:



I bought the picture and then scanned it for here. Not a great scan. What I most like is that my arms do appear to have muscles. Yes I lift weights. I have always been fascinated with muscles. I must have been a guy in my previous life. As a woman, my muscles will never be too impressive but I keep working at it. As I remember being a teenager and fascinated with my back muscles, I remember other things about those years. It is a wonder that I survived my early life without many more bad things happening to me.

In January, I passed my 58th birthday.

Mr Trump was inaugurated. The news continues to be almost solely about his administration; and the crazy doings of a very strange man. Unfortunately we are looking at "normalization of deviation" and nothing will be integral again. There haven't been any statesmen in Washington for a very long time. Our country will be going down.

I got the new Annotated Edition of A Course in Miracles. This new edition is really fantastic. The person who wrote it got the original shorthand notes of Helen, the original scribe of A Course in Miracles, and then published this edition directly as the notes say. Much new material. A fantastic work.

Speaking of work. I continue to diligently hack away at problems with my manager. I have a fantastic coach for this effort. I have learned alot about emotions. But in general I am unhappy. I continue because I must grow. My boss wants me to be a bonsai but I am a tree and cannot put up with the pruning any longer. I am 58 years old with 35 years experience in this field. I can't just go get another job at this level in this field. However, in the not too distant future, I will quit and go do something else. Also, my boss will be retired in a couple of years anyway. I am needed to do what I do. My problem is what would be known in psychological terms as "differentiation of self" or less technically as "taking back my self." Living my equality, not begging for it.

I remind myself that I didn't come into the world to be unhappy at work every day. But A Course in Miracles continually reminds me that it is my own thoughts which are the problem. I have hope for my thought patterns and am working through the work book again. I still can't figure out why I am alive; but the spiritual work I do has been with me since the age of 22. My struggles at work are really a butterfly trying to get out of a cocoon. I need to be free and I don't need anybody's permission. White bird must fly or she will die.


Friday, December 30, 2016

The Bread of Life

The thing I want out of life, this life and all the others, is God. Like a salmon returning to spawn time after time, I came back here for another journey. 

Here is a new thought: maybe I hated my mother's womb because I knew that this life's journey was starting at spiritual rock bottom. I wasn't born into spiritual privilege; like having enlightened or philosophical parents. I wasn't born already half way up the mountain. I was born into alcoholism, co-dependence; the deepest pain and despair imaginable existed my family.

I looked at the DNA of pain and anger and hate. I felt the net of this pain full DNA settle in. I fought off the poisons of thalidomide and alcohol. Then I looked up. I saw that somehow I could climb out of this pit. Somehow I could find sunlight. I realized the energy it would take. Begrudgingly I said, "Okay God. I'll do it."

When I left the convent, I was determined to be spouse to the Lord anyway. When I left The Church, I was determined to have communion anyway. Jesus said, "I am the bread of life." He is teaching us something new. It is not to have communion but to be communion. DNA and bread of life are the same thing. Allow Life to eat you. Be consumed by Life. 

Feed every scrap of pain into the fire of your heart burning within. Let the fire of your heart burn you up. This is life. This is communion. This is to be The Way, The Truth and The Life. This is to follow Jesus and be his disciple. This is the imitation of Christ.