Sunday, July 4, 2010

Personal Multi-day - 4 Emptiness

Today I got out of bed ok. I thought I better start out running early because of t-storm prediction and what was on the radar. I got to the park about 5:20 and it was still mostly dark. My first lap felt extremely slow. After 2 laps, I had to go to the shorter lap because of the fireworks barricade. Then, I quickly lost count and just ran for time.

Was it stupid to run for 5h56min? I don’t know. I don’t know what I accomplished. There was nothing romantic, euphoric or seemingly wonderful. Except whenever I got myself into the moment, I felt infinity. It was hot. I peed a lot. I worried about drinks. I worried about weather. I watched the clock in order to make sure I walked the 2 minutes. My legs hurt after a long time. I think my slow speed makes me look bad.

Well, not that bad: some teenage boys that I passed after 5.5 hours asked me if I was training for Ironman.

Sitting here now, I wish I had an answer. I am staring myself in the face. I ran 5h56min today and I have no answer as to why. I’m feeling depressed, empty. Fear lurks: What if I wake up in the morning and my legs feel ok and I do it again? Emptied, not hungry at all, I sit here.

There is a war going on outside. Some people call it our country’s birthday. How fitting that the people of this land think that large numbers of explosions celebrate a nation under God. Oh yeah…and getting drunk.

I read the blog of a man named Anton. He ran the Western States 100 mile race in 15+ hours and came in second. The 3,100 mile race goes on and on with 11 runners running 55 to 72 miles each day. I am a 51 year old lady contemplative who thinks running is a conversation with God.

What I did today is never done by the masses of people. Those who do run that long usually do it for t-shirts and medals and “official” times. A small few do it in the name of “training” for some future race. A tiny one or two or three do it just to do it.

The spirituality of running is not in the suffering or the record book. It is in the endless time for contemplation, just being, just running. I only know the point after I ask God; and then sit in silence. I asked today and the reply was, “Enjoy being empty.”

Hands off. Let it go. I have no purpose or point. I have a pair of shoes, a bottle of water, a bag of Gu and a little park with a dirt path where I can go around and around. The endlessness of it is tremendous, sacred, holy to the bone.

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