I slept late today, 7:30. Then I had coffee and spiritual study until 9:30. When I headed to the park, it was still only 64F! I ran 8.1 miles at a steady 10 m/m pace, even though my quads felt tired. My achilles was not in pain from yesterday. Then, I switched to the Sanctuary trail and ran another 1h50. I did 3 laps today (about 7 miles) before the legs were totally tired.
All during my running, I was realizing how I must be in transition. Most of the summer, I was driven to get up early and complete 5 and 6 hour training days on the weekends. Looking back, I think my race plans (hot July ultras) were driving the endurance effort. But as I’ve switched to some trail running, the emphasis on strengthening my quads is taking over. I feel fatigue like I’ve not felt before, but no injuries. However, the question of why was in my mind. I'm not particularly interested in racing at the moment, so why do I train?
This afternoon, after my deep tissue massage (I hate massages), the answer hit me. I am an athlete. That’s why I train. I don’t care if I never go in another competition. I am an athlete. I am a spiritual athlete and long distance runner. These go hand in hand. My spiritual sport requires just as much time and effort as running. I must grow in both and that means work. But, I've never wanted to stop either; not spirituality after I failed at the monastery, and not running after I became so unimpressed with races. I am an athlete so I carry out my life like one, no matter that it does no good in this world.
I am an athlete in the depth of my soul. I have purified the motives of my sports. I don't train to race and I don't study spirituality for this world.
Now, time for free weights. My LMT verified that my traps are much stronger than they used to be.