Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Road to Maryville

The Maryville Marathon is in two weeks.

I had a great 16.2 mile run this morning. I've decided to go ahead and "race" the Maryville Marathon. All systems are go, so I will taper a little and Gu-up on race day. I could go under 4:20 ( not a PB or BQ), but I would be extremely happy with that.

Now, the rest of the story...

I got up this morning at 2:45, and actually leapt out of bed instead of shutting off the alarm and thinking, "the heck with those people, let them get along without me," and going back to sleep. I did an hour of prayer. I was again pondering the 50 miracle principles from ACIM. For the first time, I actually want to be a miracle worker. I’ve been studying ACIM for nearly two years but the consciousness of wanting to be a miracle worker didn’t really come forth as a commitment I want until today.

After the prayer, I got all my $h!t together and jumped in the car just before 4. Got to the city park just before 5. Ran 2 hours 42 minutes, marveling how well I was despite trying hard to wear out my body the past 2 weeks. After my 50k in April, I had experienced a tender achilles and had to baby it a lot, but today, I realized it was ok with me running as I want to. I made it to the 8 am fellowship meeting. Got groceries. Drove the 50 miles home. Stopped at the lawn mower place to get my mower. Came home and decided to mow the lawn before I sat down (or who knows when I would want to do it).

As I mowed the lawn I marveled at a couple of things. Despite a strenuous run, neither my knee nor my achilles hurt. More importantly, I was wearing a pair of shoes that had not had a hole cut in the left toe box (because of the third left toe nail I nailed last weekend), but the toe was ok with it. Whereas, yesterday when I tried unmodified shoes, it was still a little touchy.

Now, to be honest, I don't accredit food or medication or shoes or even genetics with my ability to be uninjured at this point. I'm sure it is that my worldly plans are aligned with my spirituality, and my thoughts and beliefs are not working against me (i.e. the metaphysics are working). I am responsible for my reality and I've persistently worked at limiting beliefs. I happen to believe that I must have worked enough on myself that I'm not causing injuries.

I relaxed a little bit, nap and read. Then went for a walk 90 minute in the stupid 90F sun. My afternoon walks in the hot sun are tremendously important for heat acclimatization. My next two races will be hot hot hot. During my walk I thought more about injuries. I thought about the word pain. I decided that outer pain, that in my body, comes from inner pain, that in my mind. So, I looked inside and tried to find pain in my mind. I find that at this point in time, there is much more fear than pain: what if....

My fear is more spiritual: what if God....

God never would ______, but I find my self standing in the shoes of most humans: learned but intangible fear of God. So, I can give the fear up. Or I can allow it to fester and eventually get outer pain or some sort.

Tomorrow will be a long jog/walk at Ultra marathon pace.

From A Step Beyond: A Definitive Guide to Ultrarunning by Don Allison:

Why? … We ask it and search desperately for an answer, in each training run and especially halfway into a race. We are left largely clueless, because the answer is not in our proximate rationality. It is far beyond that, and deeper. The fact that we may get a T-shirt or a worthless trinket for finishing a race only confuses and demeans the effort – it’s as if these nominal awards are designed to trick the rationality that the race is for something, regardless of how trivial and in a total mismatch between what we put in and what we received.

But we don’t run for baubles. We run long distances because in the deep dark recesses of our minds there still resides….(
Spirit Flower has her own thoughts).

Only those …whose mentality gave them pleasure in the chase as such, without immediate reward but with the vision of a possible payoff far ahead, would give chase, or “race” as it were. Only those with the mentality to endure would push the evolution of their physiology to match the required effort. That mentality allows us to endure, if not honor, voluntary privations.

Psychology matches physiology…We developed mind power – the ability to project far ahead to the prey that is out of sight and sound, to the finish line of a marathon or ultramarathon.

To be an ultrarunner is not to be weird. It’s to push through the tough crust of customs, to the core of what makes us human.

The fact that ultramarathons are so difficult is exactly the draw. The possibility that an individual will not be able to complete the event – or will have to reach down the very depths of their physical, emotional and spiritual reserves to do so – is just the element of challenge and competition that many athlete are seeking…

Ultrarunning is too important to be taken seriously.

Ultrarunning is a wonderful tool for learning about our selves – not only our physical abilities, but our motivations and inner psyches as well.
End quote.

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