Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hawk Marathon - Report

On top of the world: Bunker Hill.

Post race – I am not a second hander. I was doing something that I personally enjoyed without anyone’s measurements. I wasn’t watching it on TV. I was living it myself.

Who clicked submit? Who eagerly wanted the Hawk Marathon? Was it ego or soul? I had wanted a spiritual quest in conjunction with running a marathon. I say: everything is always soul if you dis-allow the ego’s attempts to corrupt and claim. The true purpose of a day on the trails using up all physical resources may yet be evolving, blooming, integrating into spiritual growth. It is said that all experiences are spiritual learning. It is possible that the microcosm of the forest, the trail run, is an experience of being “just a life,” nothing more. Its truth is in its beingness. Its truth is in its oneness with a world apart from society and social programming. No matter who you are, your physical condition, each runner, one-by-one, negotiates the boulder field and achieves the Lands End Aid Station, salvation. When I got there, in the course of a volunteer filling my hydro-pak, in response to what I said, she said, “Nobody is “just” a marathoner.”

No, most 52 yo women don’t spend the day trashing their bodies on a trail in Kansas.

Why? The click submit happens spontaneously, without much thought. The training shifts a little to include more trails. After the trial half marathon, I viewed the upcoming full with dread. I viewed it as a monumental effort and one at which I might fail, quit before the end. In the meantime, I had the hurdle of Vancouver marathon; which ultimately proved to be an annoying pain. I viewed the Hawk Marathon as my A race.

But as the Hawk got started, the question of why crept into my early running. It’s a bit cold. It’s terribly windy. I’m alone in a forest, working out my destiny. Oh look, the bloodied carcass of a bird. It is “only” a marathon. No cool schwag. Nobody cares what I do. My day’s lesson, “My mind is part of God’s. I am very holy.” This thought is what I return to anytime I see my mind drifting into useless thoughts. It’s possible for me to look in a philosophy book and find the meaning of life and why running a race is helping all of mankind. But in my heart of hearts, deep down below this world, is there an intuition or is it a surface desire for glory?

Despite the limited circumstances, I was not alone. Previous to the race, I had e-mailed my fears of quitting to the race director, and he had informed all the aid station captains. The race director, Gary, and a couple of others there read my blog and know I am Ultra Monk. The guys at the 12 mile aid station knew I was a friend of Bill W. After the finish, in the bbq area, I listened to 2 guys having the usual meat-eater vs vegetarian slug fest. The meat-eater won when the vegetarian finally blamed his wife. The ego world is endless. The pain of it still breaks my heart.

The only solution is to continue with the training: both spiritual and physical. Today’s spiritual lesson is, “My holiness envelopes everything I see.” I go back in my mind and envelope both the meat-eater and the vegetarian and everyone else in holiness. By holiness, I mean my mind is part of God’s; hence whatever I see with my soul’s vision is only the love with which God sees everything. My soul’s vision sees beyond 2 guys arguing and sees instead the peace of love and holiness in their souls. For today, that is the result of my spiritual quest, realizing I do have my soul’s vision and I can use it.

Some other highlights of the day:

I was 7th of 12. 7 hours and 5 min.

The first couple of hours of the race, the muscle/tendon which picks up my right leg is sore. I wonder how I will finish if that gets any worse. But eventually, it disappeared. The last 3 miles was incredibly slow because a) my left heal (plantar plus achilles) is very painful, b) right knee is painful, c) everything is tired and I don’t trust myself on the rocks at all. The idea of quitting, not finishing the last small loop, never entered my mind.

At the finish, a guy with a cowbell ran behind me across a grassy field yelling and cheering the whole way. At the actual finish line, everybody was yelling my name. I was happy.

My shoes were much less grabby than 3 weeks ago. They were the same model, Mizuno Cakraban, but I had on a new pair which were ½ size larger and hence the holes for my toes were smaller. I tripped far less because the toes were catching far less. I was about 20 minutes faster to the half than 3 weeks ago, but part of that was the boulder field was in the second half of the marathon. When I was in one of the aid stations, the volunteers were discussing the dread of turning 40. I turned around and said I was 52 (for christ’s sake). Young 39 yo says 40 is harder than 50.

After several hours, finishing the first big loop, I know that a trail marathon is the extent of my physical capability. To do the 50 miles here, I’d need extensive training on trails (haha, maybe next year).

Standing on top of Bunker Hill, around 12 miles, I could see for hundreds of miles. My consciousness expanded and I was literally on top of the world filled with love.

No comments: