Yesterday, my plan was to get up this morning, work a half day, come home, eat and pack and nap, drive 200 miles, run 40 miles, drive 200 miles, and collapse at home.
Last night, I thought about starting a 40 mile race at 11 pm in temperatures still in the high 80s; and then wondering how I would stay awake for a boring drive across Kansas. What about that plan sounds like fun? I got my mind quiet and spoke my spiritual lesson, "Into His Presence would I enter now."
And then a quiet voice said, "Why don't you drop down to the 50k?"
Immediately, I knew that running 50k (31 miles) plus a 4 hour drive was much more do-able than running 40 miles plus a 4 hour drive. Ahem.
Many people never run at all. Many people never even run one marathon. Here I'm thinking how 31 miles is easy and 40 miles is beyond my capability given all the other circumstances. I have a long term plan for fitness. 40 miles could curtail or delay the next step. 31 miles adds to the next step.
Last night, after I contacted the race director and made the switch, I again entered my meditation. This thought came to me, "My fitness is for me." I love the time I spend everyday "training." Even if I never entered a race, I'd "train." No one but me has ever seen my abs, or pinched the thin skin of my stomach. I'm the one who likes me, no one else. In the quiet thought of my fitness, I realize that I don't yet know what I am building and developing. But the purpose of my fitness is beyond the material world and its shiney finisher's medals.
The question this morning was, "Why go in a race at all?" I go in races to get to some place in body, mind and spirit which I can't do under normal circumstances. In the case of today, I will be spending the night on a dirt road in rural Kansas, mainly alone. 31 miles is not my mileage limit. 6+ hours of movement is in my enjoyment zone. Running is a contemplation, not nirvana or the holy grail. It is time to connect with Heaven, not break your way in. We are already in the Kingdom. The Kingdom is already within. Contemplative running is just a way to spend time knowing that consciously. Contemplative running is my gift to Heaven and Heaven's gift to me.
So, I hope to stand at a starting line tonight at 11 pm, and see what the evening holds.