Saturday, June 30, 2012

Colorado Vacation - Dillon Day 1

Pretty sweet that you can leave ghastly hot and humid Texas at 7:30 am and be in the mountains running by noon; even with traffic getting out of Denver.

I had a 14.4 mile jaunt at Dillon reservoir today. I have to say: my body is so different from a year ago. I've been struggling with various issues and these talk to me on long runs. I'm entered in a half marathon tomorrow. It won't be much of a race; just finish.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

How to Remember

Eternal Silence lives its life in me.
Stately silent Love has set me free.

I stop and remember That Silence behind everything at various times. Remembering it, my Course in Miracles practice of looking beyond this reality goes much better. I am in God. I am part of God. There is no way for there to be anything else but this.

I am chewing over a Christian who blogs about the unclean. There is no such thing as "unclean." What I perceive in this world is a delusion. So the hoity toity don't want dirty drunks in their nice palace-like churches. Or people actually think God doesn't want "unclean" because the Bible says so.

I need to look beyond and remember That Silence. We are one with it. Cannot possibly be separate.

I had an 88 min jog/walk in the warm moist air of Houston this morning. I am one with That Silence.

I have to make a presentation before the Ops Council this afternoon. I am one with That Silence.

I am going to Colorado on Saturday to run for 5 days. I am one with That Silence.

All around the world, I keep hearing that I am in charge of such and such. I am one with That Silence.

The guys at the 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence race keep churning out their daily 60 or 70 miles on the concrete of New York City. I am one with That Silence.

I am That Silence. I am part of God.

One more mile. I am one with That Silence.

Just putting this here so I can fake web host it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Early Morning Run

Its 84F/29C and 74% humidity outside. While Missouri summers are bad, they are nothing like a Houston summer. I haven't worn a shirt for my early morning runs for several weeks. I just put the reflector vest over my sports bra.

This morning, I was just doing low impact walk/jog for 80 minutes. I was happy to make it out of bed on time and consequently have time for a long meditative session outside.

I disagree with Uptal's Perfection Journey blog today. He says, "Not coming [to the 3,100 Mile Race] means a summer safely removed from intense  physical suffering but also one in which true inner satisfaction and self fulfillment  is almost entirely eliminated as well."  (  )

I spend much time contemplating self transcendence. For me, it is over coming the daily ego sludge which tries to stop me at every turn. By ego, I mean the definition from A Course in Miracles; which is the separation belief which made this delusion of a world. True inner satisfaction comes from overlooking the ego thought system and seeing the truth beyond. Some people need to run 3,100 miles to have this. Others of us need only get out of bed and sit in a chair.

For myself, it is not only getting out of bed, but working happily in a chemical plant with colleagues from around the world.

I've been in Texas 8 months. Yesterday, I was talking on the phone and I noticed that I said fahve instead of five (5), twice. In fact, I can't say it northern anymore.

This morning, after entering my weight into tracker, I noticed I weigh exactly the same as I did in January. To keep from gaining weight is a struggle in this American food culture. It takes massive exercise and continuous dieting.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Its About Spirit

Not bling!

I'm going in a half marathon while I am in Colorado. But I'm not going to Colorado to run a race. I'm going there to spend time on my feet at 9,000 feet, 11% humidity and beautiful mountains. Time on my feet develops into a meditation. The meditation embraces that inner strength. I become one with Love.

I just bought one of these to wear when I workout:

This hachimaki headband features a rising sun and the kanji for Toukon - made up from the Japanese characters meaning ’fight’ and ’spirit’ or ’soul’. Ideal for martial artists, athletes and demonstrators.

Japanese hachimaki are thin cotton strips tied around the forehead. Originally worn at festivals to ward off evil spirits, they also serve the purpose of keeping hair and perspiration out of the wearer’s eyes.

Hachimaki also help the wearer to gather his/her spirits and show determination and resolve.

The 3,100 miles self transcendence race is 2 days down. Yesterday my own race was a little short as I went to see Dr Torture who does ART/Graston on my left heel. Today so far: I got out of bed on time, did my early spiritual study and then 74 min of ex-bike, elliptic and running outside.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Texas Self Transcendence

Today, I slept late. This means I have to account for heat and sun if I go running. This usually means Brummerhop park. I run a figure 8 route around the park; it overlaps in 2 places. Today I ran 47 laps: 17.39 miles per

Not a cloud in the sky. Temps near 90. 50% humidity. I carried my Nathan hydro-pak. My house is with a quarter of a mile of this place, but I always figure that if I go home, I'll stay there where its cool. So I don't go home. I carry the water.

I spent time thinking about my Colorado running vacation. I spent time thinking about the 3,100 mile race. I spent time thinking about my screwed up heel and newest goner toe nail. I spent time praying and meditating. Really, after 3 hours in the heat, the final hour belongs to the Holy Spirit.

I think self transcendence occurs when nothing matters any more. It means your ego has quit and you are experiencing"just" your simple consciousness. Simple consciousness is a term I just made up this instant. It means the simple self who has no agenda and just keeps going forward. It has no baggage, no attachment to the past or the future. It is at peace.

It does not mean anything that I am driven to workout 20 hours a week or run 50+. I do it. I go in races. But it doesn't mean anything. It is just something to do. In some way, it is an expression of my simple self. In other ways, it is an expression of ego.

47 laps around a park is useless but also simple. There is nothing challenging about the course (other than its hot in Texas). Nothing to brag about (I didn't even see a snake today). All it is is running. It is not really training; just running.

I live in the armpit of Houston. I run in this micro park because it is dirt and has trees and is easy to get to. BFD. Right?

Actually, no ones life matters. All ways of life are ultimately meaningless. So I might as well run as many miles as my body will let me.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Crucible

My private gym is the place of intense fire. There is a treadmill, Nordic Track and Versa Climber in the first picture. There is an elliptical and ex-bike in the second. Also shown is a step platform. Not shown is the mini-trampoline, the TRX or the free weights.

This morning, I had another miracle run: 16.9 miles of sweat in Texas. Now, several hours later, I can tell my left heel is not in serious trouble. I wore my new Badwater hat. I'm not ever going to race Badwater; but I can adopt the courage of someone who is. So the hat inspires me. While I was running this morning, I saw a fat girl out walking. The word Courage was on the back of her shirt. I teared up. I embody courage in my own way. Here are the simple things a long distance runner has: Badwater hat, Nathan hydro-pak, Garmin and shoes:

After my run, I enjoyed the feeling of a sore body. I can't explain why I like this but I do. I spent every day off work achieving it.

2 weeks to Ultra Monk's Colorado ultra training camp. Soon, I'll decide about Merrill's Mile. tomorrow the 3,100 Self Transcendence Race begins. I want to do endurance for my own reasons. Not Scott Jurek's or any other person's.

My spiritual thoughts continued to center on total willingness to be one with God. Enlightenment is expressed by a Course in Miracles as: God's Will (enlightenment) is an experience of total willingness. It is blocked by wishes for other experience. Now some people totally surrender in moments of despair or near death. Most others, like me, live lives of growing joy in the knowledge that we are light.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Salvation of My Bacon

Freedom (free from thought prison)

Looking beyond (this illusion)

Disregarding (the ego's voice)

Ideas from A Course in Miracles which save my emotional bacon. If I listen to the inner yammering of the ego and it's opinion of me, I'm totally in a mental prison of self hate and fear of others.

"The Holy Spirit leads you steadily along the path of freedom, teaching you how to disregard or look beyond everything that would hold you back." (8.II.__)

This week has been an interesting week in Seabrook with the weather. When I walk out of work at 3 pm in Baytown, the sky is mostly clear and it feels hotter than blazes. At 5:30 in Seabrook, I notice that the sky is mostly cloudy and there is a breeze. Going outside, it doesn't feel too bad. So I have had 2 evening long mileage sessions in Brummerhop park this week. Furthermore, I'm not the only one over there doing laps.

I am in the mood to do a great Friday night workout. But it should be a low impact cross training workout. I think I can. Endurance is endurance regardless of what it consists of.

I do balance exercises standing on one leg on a thick piece of foam and  moving around so that balance tries to be upset. I usually want to hurry up and get these done. But, balance cannot be done quickly. There is a conflict between hurry up and balance. How very Zen.

I still want to go to Merrill's Mile. I'm sure "click submit" will happen soon. On Sunday, the 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence Race begins for 2012. I can't wait for Uptal's blog to get started again; so inspirational. Maybe I'll start my own self transcendence retreat for the 52 days. An ultra-runner's Easter.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Colorado Training Camp

I'm holding a private ultra altitude training camp in 2 weeks. I'm pretty happy with the setup: a bike path around Dillon reservoir, 18 miles around.

I know some trail running aficionados would think this stupid, but I can't run trails. So, this beautiful bike path at 9,000+ feet is where I'll be. Works for me. All photos copied from the internet.

Besides the running, I'll also hike on the Continental Divide trail leaving out of Silverthorne.

So excited.

Paper Throwers

Throughout the several decades of my running career, I've been an early morning runner on suburban streets. You know who else is always out there? Guys delivering papers. They drive around swerving side to side and throwing papers out either side of the car.

This morning was another early morning run in swampy air and temps. But I jog pretty easy and its not a problem that early. Yesterday, it clouded up in the late afternoon so I was able to go outside for a 5 mile walk. Despite seeming set-backs with my left heel and ongoing shoe/insole experiments, I am up to 96 miles for June.

I'm getting closer to clicking submit on Merrill's Mile. I still want to figure out how to stay on my feet for 24 hours. Work commitments will keep me from doing it at Ultracentric. So Merrill's Mile is my last chance until 2013.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Eat and Run


Honestly, I usually intake 2,200 kcal/day. That is not that much below the average. I could be gaining weight just like everyone else; except I exercise 2 hours a ,and barely stay ahead of weight increases. For weight maintenance, for me, it doesn't matter if its any particular type of food. Too many calories is too many calories no matter how healthy.

I eat healthy but too much.

Being a solitary in silence at home, I notice more thoughts than people distracted with others in their household or constant media input (TV on all the time). So when I pack my lunch in the morning, trying to decide what food to bring to last for 10 hours, I feel the fear of starving. No really.

There is no chance I will starve anytime soon, but the fear of not having food ready to hand does exist in my brain. It is an amazing thing to understand.

It s not just a fear of starvation. It is a need for satisfaction. Sitting quietly in an office, I can feel its ongoing urge. But no reasonable amount of food will ever fill this need. All the reasonable amount of food is gone before I ever know it.

There is never a happy lets stop now. I may force a stopping point after eating all the food and looking for more. The feeling of full lasts briefly. As soon as there is an iota of room inside, I eat. I try a piece of sugar free gum for temporary relief.

Do you realize how strong is this programming and how powerless over it, especially if unconscious of it.

I also realize that my brain is not capable of eating less. I can shift around what I eat; but the ability to not eat is not within my current synapse logic prose.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Making Connections

A student of A Course in Miracles reads about how he is not really separate from others. There is only one mind, one Son of God; not separate bodies who don't know God and can't stand each other either.

Some of these teachings seem completely impossible. How could I ever see my brother as myself? How could I ever see that it was my own projection which made the delusion/illusion in front of my eyes?

I sort of have an inkling of the oneness. It might be too complicated to write; and the excitement of the moment is hard to capture in words.

Two fronts: a book I am reading by Scott Jurek, "Eat and Run", vs my struggles to let go of those I've been secretly jealous of.

See, I'm secretly jealous of real ultra runners who seem to accomplish what I've failed at. But also, the sisters in the monastery who claim to be more holy due to their monastic profession. Also those people who our society deems successful: the rich, the doctors, the warriors, athletes in general, successful managers, mothers, etc.

So, I'm reading Scott's book. Over and over I find myself in tears as I read his moments of triumph. I think of myself with my sore heel. I think of Scott floating through beautiful forests, running forever without physical debilitation. I'm a 53 year old professional woman ultra-runner-want-to-be living in the devastatingly hot and flat, totally urban Houston. Scott is a strong young man with access to hills.

I stop my reading and listen to that inner Voice: Scott and I are one. See, the inner force which pulls him also pulls me. Scott's story is part of my projection. I suddenly realize that not all my projections are fat diabetics or sexual predators. Some of them are Scotts and some are Sisters. These are not separate people. We are one. I don't need to be jealous.

I am able to be touched by Scott's story because the same force which is in him is in me. We are not separate. The physical body is the illusion. The inner force is the reality; and that we share. We are not separate. The illusion does not exist. The inner force does.

The 3,100 miles Self Transcendence race begins this weekend. I love to read daily reports about runners going around a 0.5 mile block in NYC for 52 days. I love thinking about my own little loops that I run. I love thinking about my Colorado running vacation in 2 weeks.

This morning, I went running at 4:30 am. It was 81F and very humid. That is as good as Texas will get for 3 months. I was grateful for that run. I keep hoping I can get out of bed this weekend and do a long run. But even so, as I worked out yesterday in my home gym, I could feel the force of endless endurance. In the limitlessness is Eternal Silence and I appreciate its presence.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Point

From A Course in Miracles ch7.VIII.7

"The whole purpose of this course is to teach you that the ego is unbelievable and will forever be unbelievable. You who made the ego by believing the unbelievable cannot make this judgement alone. By accepting the Atonement for yourself, you are deciding against the belief that you can be alone, thus dispelling the idea of separation and affirming your true identification with the whole Kingdom as literally part of you. This identification is as beyond doubt as it is beyond belief. Your wholeness has no limits because being is infinity."

The ego is just a belief, or a belief system. You can leave this belief system and this world if you want.

On tap today: hard core cross training. Burn the calories and then eat more. See how meaningless?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Secret Running Thoughts

I ran/walked 16 miles this morning knowing full well my left heel is trash. Was I so slow because of this? Or just the heat in general? When I walked the last miles, I was gasping for air even while walking. Is it hard to breath 65% humid air when it is 85F?

Dr Alice did not say stop running. She has a plan. The pain brings a mental challenge. What's it all about Alfie? Why do these miles? Do they matter for anything?

For some reason, they matter to me.

Somehow, they go together with ACIM teachings (I'm in ch 7 at the moment).
"That is all the world of the ego is. Nothing. It has no meaning. It does not exist. Do not try to understand it because, if you do, you are believing that it can be understood and is therefore capable of being appreciated and loved. That would justify its existence, which cannot be justified. You cannot make the meaningless meaningful. This can only be an insane attempt....The ego’s picture of you is deprived, unloving and vulnerable. You cannot love this. Yet you can very easily escape from this image by leaving it behind. You are not there and that is not you. ....Perceive any part of the ego’s thought system as wholly insane, wholly delusional and wholly undesirable, and you have correctly evaluated all of it. This correction enables you to perceive any part of creation as wholly real, wholly perfect and wholly desirable. Wanting this only you will have this only, and giving this only you will be only this. ".

I can not explain the 669 pages of the ACIM text (let alone the workbook). It has taken me almost 5 years of continuous reading to get even a grasp of the principles. But, I'm accepting that this world is the ego's and means nothing. So why do I run? To burn calories?

The glitz and glamour of age group awards and personal bests and the praise of others have worn off. Or, has it? Does the thought of a shiny medal still hypnotize me? Why do I still want to run 24 hours when it will only tear up my feet? Am I powerless over brain synapses?

I (my ego) has been attacking me with the running question for decades. It became worst in the monastery. You'd think praying and Benedictine community would have over ruled running. But, the fear of being unhealthy and fat drove me.

The running question is no different than the God question. Really they are the same ego thought: fear of God and the ego's quest to rule over Him.

My 2011 3,100 miles race took more than 11 months. In 2012, I'll only get about 2,400 miles.

Stop staring at the ego's picture of hate. Answer it.

I want to go here (Merrill's Mile):

Just sitting and listening. That is all life is anyway.

Another LSD

Seabrook, Texas

I can't believe I love it here!

Crimony, another Saturday Sweatfest in Meador park.

A miracle run in that I did it at all.

But my mind was on A Course in Miracles and the thoughts I got this morning from my study:
Escape from this image by leaving it behind.
Withdraw investment and the gift of life is mine.
Give only honor to the Sons of the living God.

God is love. Thoughts that Love would not have thought are my ego. Ego thoughts are also attack thoughts. Answer any ego thought with something like what is in italics above. This denies the ego any reality. Any loving thought is being vigilant for God. This changes everything.

The image I see is basically hate. The illusion looks like a bunch of people I am more or less annoyed with; but its reality is hate. Hate is what I really want to stop. If I fear other's judgement of me, then I know I have projected my own self judgment. This can be left behind. Judgment can be denied by answering the ego with an opposite thought. If you can't think of an opposite thought, then ask for one and it will show up. If you want it, you will notice it.

21 days to Ultra Monk's Colorado training camp. It is a free training camp; after you buy the plane ticket, the rental car and the hotel room.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Power of MY Thought

I have ignored this concept usually. One of the teachings of A Course in Miracles is to accept the power as supported by the Holy Spirit's thought system, put in the effort to direct my thinking and believe in its power, stop believing in the ego's dissonance.

25 years ago, I heard that thoughts create reality. I didn't grasp or live in that belief. In other words, I denied the power.

I wake up every morning with a head full of crappy thoughts about myself and the world. But I quickly sit down and do a little studying of a Course in Miracles. This always enable me to direct my thinking towards love, joy, peace, Help; essential okay-ness.

Essential okay-ness is necessary for me. Without it I'd need to kill myself, take drugs, eat myself to death or something.

Chapter 7.VI excerpts:
"Your ability to direct your thinking as you choose is part of its power. If you do not believe you can do this you have denied the power of your thought, and thus rendered it powerless in your belief....Produced by fear, the ego reproduces fear. This is its allegiance, and this allegiance makes it treacherous to love because you are love. Love is your power, which the ego must deny. It must also deny everything this power gives you because it gives you everything....The ego therefore opposes all appreciation, all recognition, all sane perception and all knowledge."

Part of my doldrums are related to my left heel pain. Actually this pain is getting better and piece by piece the issues are being solved. But since I am not pain free, I get down about it. Actually, I get down because I am not Scott Jurek or any number of other amazing ultra-runners. I get down as I've only been working out 16 hours a week instead of 20. I get down for only running 50 miles a week instead of 80. I get down because I weight 134 instead of 130, or 129. I worry about my Colorado running vacation because I might not be able to do 8 hours of walk jog every day.

So, you see a pattern here?  Where have I set my bars? Insane? So, it is A Course in Miracles that turns the doldrums around every morning. THE Answer is a spiritual remedy. My ego allies with the doldrums and supports going down. Spirit supports the essential okay-ness. I feel much better in okay-ness. I need to feel better. 

Self transcendence is choosing Spirit instead of ego; and then getting out of bed.

And then go running. Yeah!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Hermitage Weekend

This weekend in Seabrook, a replica of the NASA shuttle is being transported to NASA for display. Big deal. When I left work on Friday, my colleague mentioned it. I said my plan was to stay out of the way.

To find quiet and soul, you have to be quiet and with your soul. Make space for God as it were. To know it, you have to do it; be alone as it were.

This idea struck me as I made my afternoon tea. I have a sore throat. My left heel is not in the best of shape. The idea of being alone came to me as I wondered what I would do this weekend. Can I walk on the treadmill all night? No not really because sleep is important to me.

I have a Colorado running vacation in 30 days; but I don't have any race I am training for exactly. I want to endure, but I fail mentally, make excuses and quit. Sometimes it is blisters. But more often, I just can't come up with a reason to do the unreasonable on my own. Except some/most non-marathoners I know would say I am unreasonable to work out 18 hours a week. I like it; but more important, it is who I am.

This evening, I did 20 min of funny walking and free weights, 10 min of step/tramp and a 120 min walk jog. At 90 min, I did have to struggle with keeping going. I was rationalizing.

I'm at 967795 steps in B-Well. I could get to 1,000,000.

A nights sleep. Up at 6:30 and fussing around with insoles.


Now it is Saturday afternoon. this morning, I did a 3 hour sweat fest of 13 miles. I ran past the place shown below, only this time, the park was a parking lot for the nearby swim meet. No matter. I parked at the library. I wore my Nathan hydro-pak. It holds 70 oz. I didn't use it all, but I drank every 10 to 15 min.

In a tidal pool, I saw a large flock of white sea birds of two races. You usually only see one or two birds at one time. To see more than 20 in one small pool at one time was unusual. Also, the fishing must have been good today. A boy I saw near the pier told me he had caught a fish. I was glad to share his joy.

This evening, at 5 pm, I'll tune the radio to A Prairie Home Companion and work out for 2 hours.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Next Stop Colorado

Silverthorne, Copper Mountain, Dillon Reservoir and the Continental Divide. You name it, I could be running there. My next trip is the end of June, 4th of July week.

For starters, I'm entered in a half marathon on Copper Mountain. What was I thinking? The turn around at 10 miles is above 10,300 feet! This Texas girl won't be finishing very fast. I hope they still have the finish line open by the time I get done.

The best I can do to prepare is to run uphill on my treadmill, 15% incline. Hill-arious! Still, I can't wait to have 5 days of running and hiking in the mountains. That yellow trail of the Continental Divide doesn't look like it has any trees. Never-the-less, I picture myself hiking up it for a few hours with my hydro-pak and desert hat.

It is hard to describe how wonderful I feel about myself. There was a 4 week period at the end of April and through May where I ran 2 ultras and one pretty good half marathon. The day after the half marathon, I was hobbling as my heel was stressed. By today though, I was able to run 5 mph uphill on the treadmill. I keep forgetting that I have pushed myself pretty hard in the past month. So it is amazing that I did all those races and can still run and workout.