Started at 3:48 am. I completely filled my hydro-pak with ice, EAS soy protein and Heed.
Very decent 24 miles this morning in 80F (27C) going up heat. I felt better than yesterday, especially at the end. Well, I went 3 miles more yesterday, but walked more. Now, a few hours later, my legs feel better than yesterday.
Anyway, what’s this doing? Helping me believe in myself. If that’s all I get out of such a humiliating bunch of statistics and wasted time, then humongously worth it. For a woman of experience and long time self-responsibility, I sure have no confidence apart from the safety blanket of other's approval.
During the run today, I was remembering the last time I saw my mother; and feeling guilty about it. And then remembering the money conversation with Sister Pat, while I was in Sand Springs. And then remembering how I wanted to be St Francis when I was 23 and give all my money away. Part of my hope in joining a monastic order was to completely give away all my money. What that really means, in today's reflection, is giving away responsibility for my life.
And then realizing how afraid I am at work that I’ll be found out for a individual/non-team player, and asked to leave. Boy, do I depend on the approval of others for my safety.
Related to others approval, others approve of training for racing and winning. The nonsense of the ultra slow long run cannot be explained and does seem like a waste to my colleagues. In fact, I've been told: there are more important things than running. But not if running is my spiritual expression and spirituality is my number one interest. I haven't been able to explain this to my colleagues.
I was remembering my past and feelings of fear which govern my life and integrating that with the nonsense of a personal multi-day and Colorado multi-day where I win a belt buckle. And, in that context of thoughts, I realized how my life needs to be free.
Later, I thought, "I feel like an albatross flying a long slow journey to freedom." I had a vision of a large slow bird flapping its way free of the earth. Like those big old planes so aptly called flying albatross. So I googled "albatross around your neck" and got this: The word 'albatross' is sometimes used metaphorically to mean a psychological burden that feels like a curse.
My unique, experience filled, solitary life is both a curse and a possibility of freedom. I've always lived in the curse.
Long distance runs are time for reflection. And if you are careful, you can catch thoughts which are usually unnoticed, like about my mother or Sr Pat or fear. Connecting this to the albatross, I can see how I am working on freedom as I complete an amazing but seemingly useless exercise.
What Zen exercise was not seemingly useless; yet you realized later how deep and valuable it really was?
My life is not really my own. I am aware of this in some way. My life is a waste in the worldly sense and I allow this because I think all lives are useless. I can’t think of anything to do but keep studying spiritual masters, run, work, reflect.
Freedom from bondage is freedom from the fear of others, and belief in the inner spirit.
Part of what I am learning this multi-day is how it feels to put out maximum effort several days in a row. Also, even if my paces are slow, part of ultra training is time in the heat and on hills. Doing the time in a comfortable gym is physical training but not the right kind of mental training. Marathoners do long runs, probably faster. Ultra marathoners do long runs, and then do another the next day. For a multi-day, I need to be mentally prepared and physically confident that I can run mega miles 3 days in a row. Hence, conservation of energy and low impact speeds are necessary for me.
Maybe I’ll have more to say on my thoughts later. Thoughts matter and I am glad to have caught my mind in some of its secret ways.
Here already is another thought: I want to have an original thought, or a "real" thought as A Course in Miracles would call it. Maybe I do have real thoughts, but they are buried under past thoughts, or not noticed. Wow, that would be cool: to notice a real thought!
I am running for my life.