Monday, September 13, 2010

Paradigm Shift - Mulling Over Endurance

The normal way of doing things is to decide on some achievement for a goal. Train for the goal and then go in an event to prove you did it. Tell every body and have them congratulate you on your accomplishment. Most people then shift their exercise routine depending on what the next goal is.

It feels so revolutionary for me to say, "I'm going to do an endurance event because I want to without proving it to anybody." It goes against the grain of society to be an ultra-runner but never enter an ultra. "Who cares?," is the reply.

For me, the interesting point is that the shift in purpose, which produces a lack of worldly result, is an emotional challenge to live with. How many of us are able to sit quietly with huge accomplishments and get no credit for them? A thing becomes not-of-this-world if it has no publication. Yet, the thought that produced the hidden thing and brought it into secret existence is real and affects everything.

What kind of world would it be if we took credit for nothing and expected no reward or recognition? There are people who live like this. I hypothesize that their impact on creation is dramatic, if unknown.

It takes superhuman strength of character and intention to be an achiever who no one knows about. You have to not care about the money or the recognition. Yet we are trained to use recognition and money as our motivations.

I want to plan an endurance event. Since it is my event, I have to decide "what for?" and decide the parameters. It is something I will practice on Saturdays and Sundays; while wondering if I can pull off many more days during Thanksgiving.

I do not want an extreme of intensity such that I have to rest for more than a day. I know that if I run more than about 6 hours of 9x1s at 12.1 min/mile, I'll have to rest my legs the next day. So if I want my endurance event to be more than 6 hours and more than one day, I'll have to lower the speeds and/or include cross training. Since I do my own grocery shopping and food prep, there is a limitation on how much I can do.

If I did an IronMan, I'd be a slow one; guessing 20 hours. 50 miles takes me 12 hours on an easy course. Here are some more endurance examples. The 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence race female averaged 50 miles a day, but about 3 miles per hour for 2,760 miles and 52 days. Some people run several 100 mile races a year. Japanese monks (very few) complete 1,000 days of walking meditation, a marathon a day plus prayers and chores.

I'm mainly involved in a mental game here. I should say that there is not a hope of divine revelation thrown into this event. It is an exercise in endurance without exterior motivation. In fact, I suppose it is purely a way to exert myself for no reward. Why? Just to answer an interior call to contemplation. If I have not the perseverance and determination to complete endurance without a goad or a reward, then I cannot expect to persevere at prayer either. I guess that is the bottom line of my endurance demonstration.

I'm not sure where I am going with this so I am sure more commentary will follow.

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