Thursday, May 30, 2013

Endurance Obcession

I have spent the past few days really wanting to enter another 24 hour endurance run. But I'm not sure I can get into healed condition. Some of my defects seem to be "for this lifetime." Only if I enter the race would I be able to spend an entire night walking around a reservoir in Boulder, Colorado. What tugs at me is just the idea of walking forever.  I have the notion that walking forever is part of my transcendence.

In the humid heat of evening and the early morning swampy air of El Lago, I walked around and around. I thought about Boulder. I would try to make it a secret race; no accolades or atta girls. Just me walking for as long as I can. Intriguing idea.

My Course in Miracles study has brought me to chapter 9.VIII. Here are some excerpts:
  • The grandiosity of the ego is its alternative to the grandeur of God. Which will you choose?
  • Grandiosity is always a cover for despair. It is without hope because it is not real. It is an attempt to counteract your littleness, based on the belief that the littleness is real. Without this belief grandiosity is meaningless, and you could not possibly want it.
  • The essence of grandiosity is competitiveness, because it always involves attack. It is a delusional attempt to outdo, but not to undo.
  • ... your grandeur is your abundance...
  • Remember always that you cannot be anywhere except in the Mind of God. When you forget this, you will despair and you will attack

Monday, May 27, 2013


I amaze myself. I may at times have difficulty getting out of bed. Today was such a day since I knew I wasn't going to do 20 miles. But as I got up and thought about my cross training, I had positive thoughts: its not the end of the world, many runners in Texas use the summer to rejuvenate, put on the "Haki-machi."

What is the Haki-machi? It is the Japanese head band. Mine symbolizes the warrior spirit.

Anyone who is willing to put on the Warrior Spirit cannot possibly be depressed. Or, anyone willing to turn their life over to Spirit cannot possibly be depressed.

I'm totally willing. This amazes me. I seemingly have nothing to live for, except in honor of the Warrior Spirit. I guess that is enough. It is everything, the highest possible way to honor Creation.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Private Reverse Goofy #8

Well, I did it: walked/jogged 13.2 miles today to finish a Reverse Goofy, ninth of the year.

You know your life is off track when:
1. you are driving to Dallas to run 2 marathons but you know you don't want to do 2 marathons.
2. getting into hotel, set up computer. E-mail race director and ask to switch to the half marathon for day 2. That seems doable, and I get a Goofy in the process. She approves.
3. Free of running 2 marathons, I jog a bit fast for the first marathon, so heel hurts alot towards the end. But I was so fast that I realized I would be done by 11 am; with nothing to do but hang out in a nasty hotel room for the afternoon.
4.  Hummmm, I'll ask at the desk and see if it is too late to check out and get a credit. I know I don't have the patience to hang around til tomorrow just so I don't eat the race entry fee.
5.  Yes, they give me credit and I check out. My foot was on ice for most of the 4 hour drive home.
6.  Sleep alot last night and not sure what today brings.
7.  Get up, take yesterday's shoes and replace the insole with Miracle Insole. Now, that doesn't feel too bad. I can walk without pain.
8.  Head to Brummerhop park and start walking laps. I'm certain that had I tried this in Dallas, I would be trying to go faster than I am. Why do I need a medal for walking 13.1 miles?
9.  Towards the end of the walk, I think, "Why am I not happy with myself?" Yesterday, I thought my heel was a disaster. Today, I realize the horror was temporary.
10.  I lift weights.

Wouldn't most people have stayed in Dallas and got the medal? Crimony, I hate not having anything to brag about. Being nothing and nobody is killing me. Doing private marathons is downward mobility. It is what I said I wanted. Not only do I give myself a hard time by downward mobility, but I pray for others to be successful; then I fight with my own ego over its jealousy.

Yes, joining the dopamine reward society would help me feel better. Life would be easier if I would channel my energy into going along with the group.

Secretly, I prefer my private Goofies. But they don't get me anything. But I'm trying to have a spiritual basis of life; and doing miles for self transcendence can't be done in a race.

I realize that in 2006 I succumbed to the belief that running ultras would somehow make me better spiritually.  I need to let go of that. I enjoy walking in the hot sun just because I do. Attaching it to accomplishment is what kills me.

I have one more day off: sweet. I can continue the workouts.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


I ran a marathon today. True, pretty slow, but it was jogging. I had alot of time to think about what I was doing there. I contemplated not only my pain, my reality of a slow marathon, but that of the others there who were planning on 2 or 3.

First, I noticed the rituals. Never before did I really get this, that these are rituals. It was a small group. The race director started off asking how many were 50 state marathon clubs, how many had run 100 marathons, 200 marathons (etc), marathon maniacs, their first marathon, etc. Then, a prayer, a moment of silence "for Boston", the national anthem, and go.

Um, Boston had nothing to do with running. It was about terrorism in public events. They just wanted people to blow up and they happened to be in Boston.

The categorization of people: how many marathons have you run? Or, during the race, a guy asked me what number Marathon Maniac I was. He then judged me based on where I was compared to him.

Besides the people in the race, many people in the park were there on their own, just doing miles. I wondered why I was getting a medal instead of just doing miles. I jogged 3 miles with a 68 year old guy who has completed more than 1020 marathons. I walked another couple of miles with a lady who has a torn meniscus. The race course was near the end of an airport runway. 727 after 727 took off and landed. What about all those people and jets? There was a trash transfer station, a bus and train station, water treatment plant, rowing club, non-Canadian geese, non-Mallard ducks, and a white swan.

I am not on a quest for 50 states. I am not on a quest for 100 marathons. I am not on a quest for daily marathons. It seems that I am no longer trying to go bigger, longer, more outrageous. Could I please just run this race and like it for itself?

I did really well with today. But, my foot hurt enough that I decided not to do another marathon tomorrow. I decided it was not worth spending the night and doing a half marathon early in the morning. My friend tried to convince me to stay by saying she was in pain too. I had to apologize, "I'm sorry. I don't see the point."

I didn't make it as an ultra marathoner because I don't like pain. Now, if I hurt after one marathon, I stop.

I zipped back to the hotel. Got checked out and a refund on tonight's room. I zipped back to Houston and I am at home with 2 more holidays to ponder this situation.

For me I am at a cusp. I am not on a quest. One marathon is enough. I like not hurting. But it is not the human condition to stop at one. For an American, what is the meaning of life if you are not somehow getting ahead?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Another Week

This week was a good workout week: almost 19 total hours including 46 miles. Today, my alarm didn't go off so I slept an hour later than I should have. The reward was an already hot day. Well, yesterday, I did do my running in the trees of Brummerhop Park during the middle of the day. Today, I wanted to go to Meador, but there is more exposure there, and its not a bad idea to give my foot a break a week before my next double marathon. So, I jogged only 10.3 miles, got groceries, ate a sandwich and commenced an indoor cross training Century. That is: 100 minutes of bike, kettlebells with step platform, versa climber and nordic track. After that, I got the triceps done before jumping in the shower.

Yesterday, early in the morning, I went to The Academy Sporting goods. I spent a good long time trying on potential work shoes. I can't say why, but my safety shoes have become monstrously painful. I must have tried on 25 different models. I kept the employees real busy. I bought a pair of Caterpillar pseudo safety shoes. They have a composite toe, not a steel one, so they wouldn't qualify for reimbursement. But no one at work will know, and they are soooooo much lighter than the steel toes. They are so comfortable, I wore them to a meeting this evening and I wasn't cursing and ripping them off as soon as I got home. A good sign.

My company is still dragging its feet on deciding who will work where after re-organization. But, I am no longer upset about it.

I like myself when I work out. I really liked the kettelbell portion. And I like that for some of the workout, I can close my eyes and think about spirituality while my body just moves the machine back and forth.

I can't believe only 6 days til my next double marathon. So much fun.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Today's Phrases - Chapter 8.III

My life is in transition. Work is reorganizing. The only issue is waiting to find out where I work, here or there. In the meantime, my brain is attacking me.

I think I'm doing pretty well for a person whose thoughts are 90% hateful. The hope of a Course in Miracles is that it reminds me that my thoughts are my choice. And so, my morning study is totally valuable. I can't see how I'd get through the day if I didn't reset my thinking every morning.

Today, as I worked out this morning, I kept my mind on these phrases from chapter 8.III: Ask for light and learn that you are light....There is no limit on you mind.....God's Will is an experience of total willingness.

9 days till my next double marathon. I'm going to try to keep the mileage down and cross training up. And this is because I am STILL a member of the great American eating machine. I may eat different things than most people, but I still eat too much. I have no idea how to eat less. But the endorphins from exercise seem to help me alot.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

100 Minutes

It is Sunday. I work out on Sundays. But I find that my body is still recovering from the double marathon I did last weekend. It was on concrete and that seems to be a problem even though I was barely jogging. My 18 miles yesterday revealed dead legs.

So today, I was confused as to what to do. I simply loaded the hydropak and went for a walk around El Lago. I stuck to walking, no jogging and got in 9 miles.

This afternoon, the fun began. This is where the 100 minutes comes in. I worked my way around my home gym putting in 20 minutes at each station: bike, step platform with kettlebells, Versa climber, Nordic track and elliptic. I burned way more calories than I would have jogging. And better still, my heel doesn't hurt this evening.

So, I'm doing another double marathon in 3 weeks. I think I need to train with more time spent on cross training and less on miles. I'm pondering doing something crazy in mid-June. We'll see.

This evening I went to an AA meeting. I got to say out loud my new favorite phrase: I don't know what the fuck I'm doing in Texas.

I just read a beautiful blog by a Jewish hermit.

I liked this: "There are those who go down in the Chariot and there are those who are engaged in the Work of Creation. There are those who climb Sefirotic Trees and those who manipulate the Holy Letters. But there is a simple path for simpler people.

 There is one essential process to arrive there: Stand still.
 There is one essential activity to perform: Listen."

May I listen. May I let go and let God.

Miracles Mirrors Metaphysics Meditation

The first chapter of A Course in Miracles has 50 miracle principles; which are quite impossible to understand without further study of the whole course. Explanations and other miracle definitions are scattered throughout the text.

A couple of months ago, I stopped daily posting of my workouts on a social network site. One of the goals has been achieved: the site is not the mirror for my life. I no longer spend entire runs thinking about what I will write. I also don't receive the frequent atta boy pats on the head. I'm not in a race to achieve more and tell others. The same has happened at work. In the confusion of restructuring, my "in loco parentis" have lost their designation.

My ego can't stand the peace obtained when there is no mirror. Running without achieving enters a world without definition or limits; a free fall of nothingness. Working without promotion is totally frightening. What if they don't recognize me and I lose my job?

There is another reality, way of seeing things. Develop and use the metaphysics. Sit quietly in the silence of meditation. When Jesus discussed renunciation (mother/father, your life) he meant to leave what is distracting you, causing you to be sunken in a morass of fear, competition, compromise, dissipation, death.

A Course in Miracles offers: you are a thought of God, spirit, nothing more and nothing less.

I heard a long time ago in an AA meeting: take your dog out of the race. Another way to say: let go let God. Letting go always works for me.

It is Mother's Day. I do not have a mother. No one to approve of me today. This is renunciation. Can I stand to just be, not striving, not attempting to control or manipulate. Can I meditate on that greater force which I know as soon as I am quiet?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Walking Transcendence

I've been thinking alot about my just finished double marathon and other opportunities presented by

See, I got involved in ultras at all because of the 3,100 mile Self Transcendence race put on by Sri Chinmoy in New York. What it amounts to for the runners is day after day of walk jog around and around a very small course. You get shin splints and blisters and cramps and various other problems, but you keep moving forward until you get to 3,100 miles.

I can't do that race, but I get the point of self transcendence. I do miles for transcendence. I keep walking for this purpose. And, back to Iranmarathons, these races are on small courses. And they are setup so someone can do many miles but there is no time limit. So people are walking and running. At the weekend I was at, there were 5 marathons in 3 days (3 during the day and 2 at night). That is 130 miles! One man jogged all his in less than 5 hours each. Another man jog walked with times between 7 and 8 hours. That is amazing to me; but seems much more do-able than 100 miles.

Tonight, I walked around the cement streets of El Lago. I can walk pretty fast if I want and that is so much easier on my feet. I keep wanting to now sign up for a weekend in June at an Iranmarathons event.

But first, I am signed up for a double marathon in Dallas in 2 weeks. And there is the matter of changes at my place of employment.

As I walked tonight, I loved the idea of loading my hydropak with water tomorrow and going for another long walk.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Double Marathon - Post-lude

This lady is 64 and she completed 100 miles at Iranmarathons May Flowers event:

She did it in 39 hours. Much of her walking was on her own. What mental fortitude that is.

For myself, no I have no intention of doing 100 miles all in one race. This is not my quest. I did find however that doing 2 marathons in 2 days did scrape the bottom of my barrel in some sense. I drank my dregs. I was empty. Its not the same sort of dregs that a 100 miler feels.

Here is my finisher picture:

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Goofy #8 2013

First off: a BIG thank you to United Airlines. I had a credit for a cancelled a trip, but the credit was so low, it was the same as the change fee. So, why use a ticket if the penalty is the same as the price of the ticket, especially if Southwest also flies to that place for less? So, I called United and the agent waived the fee. Good job United.

So, Friday and Saturday were actual marathon races in San Antonio. Last night I got a good 10 hour beauty sleep. Today, I decided to try a long walk and see how things were. Things were fine. I finished a 13.1 mile private half marathon. And thus, I have completed another 2013 private Goofy.

(Goofy is Disney's marathon+a half in January. A private Goofy is a solo marathon+ a half for the frugal at heart).

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May Flowers Success Day 2 Complete

Today was day 2 of my double marathon. It went fantastic; mainly because my heel was feeling very good. Which totally surprised me. Driving home, when I got out of the car at the rest area, it didn't feel too good. But now, the achilles and bursitis feels good, its other things that hurt.

Spiritual phrases for today came from A Course in Miracles chapter 6 and 7: All meaning comes from God and IS God. His light is what my mind is. Be vigilant only for God and for His Kingdom.

I swear, repeating these phrases had something to do with how little pain I was in.

I am happy about my weekend.

Today's run began at 4:45, in the dark by myself. I had planned to start at 5, an hour early; but no one else was there and I knew the RD wouldn't care, so off I went as soon as I got my gear together. There are lots of deer in San Antonio. My headlight kept showing me their eyes as they were not out of their little beds yet. I walked alot the first few miles. I was over dressed, and having a shoe failure (Mizunos). At 6 miles, I stopped at the car and took off layers of clothes and switched to the Nimbus dream liners. After my feet got used to the different feel, I started to naturally speed up. It was so great to be doing a few 12 minute miles on the second day of a double marathon.

I said hi to a number of people both ones I've met before and new ones.

But the race was uneventful. I kept up a great pace. I stopped at the car every lap to drop of shirts. And then, I was done.

Today's medal:

2 marathons in 2 days makes me this kind of Marathon Maniac:

I saw many of cactus that looked like this.

Friday, May 3, 2013

May Flowers Day 1 Complete

What is it about marathons? I can't explain why, at 24 miles, by myself on a boring bike path in San Antonio, I felt tremendous joy. A Course in Miracles talks about listening to the song. Today, I heard the song.

Can't explain I think its love....

The Who sang it:

Got a feeling inside (Can't explain)
It's a certain kind (Can't explain)
I feel hot and cold (Can't explain)
Yeah, down in my soul, yeah (Can't explain)

Today began very early. I got to the race site at 5:20. Some people had started at 5 and others were planning to start at 6 so only Parvaneh the RD was there when I got there. Did I mention this was a very small race?

It was dark and very cold for Texas. Parvaneh didn't care exactly what time I started, so off I went as soon as I got my gear together. Head light on, I go out onto a concrete bike path. The course is back and forth on this bike path. I like it because I can't handle any trail type challenges with a bad knee. I like doing miles. My shoes felt fantastic.

As time and miles go by, I pass others in the race. We say hello and hi-five each other. It gets light. The day is cloudless but windy.

Miles go by. I wonder what I am doing out here. I'm not breaking any speed records. I think about the guy who has run 250+ marathons in his life and runs as many as he can drive to and still hold down a job. I am sort of a newby at this multi-day marathon game.

It is fascinating to think about why we are there. I don't think an ego can sustain this activity. I mean, its not like there is any fanfare related to this race.

Ont the short out and back I did at the end of the race, I met the girl I'd been just behind all day (as in, she'd be in the aid station as I was coming in, etc.). I cheered her, waving my hands wildly. Tomorrow when I run my second marathon, she'll be at an aid station. My heel did end up feel pretty bad as usual, but oh well.

This weekend is an interesting event. I'm running 2 day time marathons. But they are also putting on 2 night time marathons so a person could actually run 5 marathons in 3 days if they wanted to. Or, they could enter a 10k, half marathon, 50 miles, 100 miles or 48 hours. A lady I admire is running her first 100 miles. I admire her because she is also a metaphysician. I feel kin to her.

So, I've had my salad from Panera now it is time for a nap.

Tomorrow, I'll start my marathon at 5 am and then drive back to Houston.

Today's medal looked like this:

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May Flowers - Smelling The Roses

For once, I am completely at ease; smelling the roses. I slept very well for 10 hours last night. This morning, I'm hanging around my house doing my spiritual studies; smelling the roses. In a little bit I'll jump in the car and drive to San Antonio for my double marathon.

I'm not working out today. I decided what to do about work: just put my name out there for the job transfers and see which one happens. So, in a sense, abundance is my lot. Three job possibilities in one place.

Now, I get to do the simplest thing in the world: walk marathons. I came to this conclusion through the pain in my left heel; and came to enjoy it. I like doing time and miles, but I don't "need" to do them very fast.

This slow way allows for smelling the roses but still getting to the finish line. It is the way of downward mobility. It is the ego-less way. Quietly, elegantly pursuing a dream of love not competition.

I am reading the end of chapter 6 in A Course in Miracles. This Course really saves my bacon on a daily basis. I get to return to the beginning each day. Start from scratch each day and your life really transforms. You get to pursue love instead to getting.

"9 Truth is without illusions and therefore within the Kingdom. Everything outside the Kingdom is illusion. When you threw truth away you saw yourself as if you were without it. By making another kingdom that you valued, you did not keep only the Kingdom of God in your mind, and thus placed part of your mind outside it. What you made has imprisoned your will, and given you a sick mind that must be healed. Your vigilance against this sickness is the way to heal it. Once your mind is healed it radiates health, and thereby teaches healing. This establishes you as a teacher who teaches like me. Vigilance was required of me as much as of you, and those who choose to teach the same thing must be in agreement about what they believe.

10 The third step, then, is a statement of what you want to believe, and entails a willingness to relinquish everything else. The Holy Spirit will enable you to take this step, if you follow Him. Your vigilance is the sign that you want Him to guide you. Vigilance does require effort, but only until you learn that effort itself is unnecessary. You have exerted great effort to preserve what you made because it was not true. Therefore, you must now turn your effort against it. Only this can cancel out the need for effort, and call upon the being which you both have and are. This recognition is wholly without effort since it is already true and needs no protection. It is in the perfect safety of God. Therefore, inclusion is total and creation is without limit."

The way that self transcendence runners get massive miles over a 6 or 10 day period is simple to keep walking. This is how I will be for the next 2 days; smelling the roses.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Flowers - Miracle Blooming

I took this shirt out of the laundry this evening. I remembered when I got it and thought it would be perfect to wear in the car tomorrow:

I got the shirt in a half marathon last July in Copper Mountain, Colorado.  I remember being at 10,000 feet on the Vail bike path where the race turned around. My left foot was in unexpectedly horrible shape. I had seen many people passing me on the way up wearing this shirt and suddenly realized it was the one we got for the race and I owned one. As I turned around to head down, I had a great view, my foot was killing me, I couldn't breathe, I felt totally like a decrepit old lady. But an old lady who had just run 10 miles and had 3 more to go.

I started crying. Gone were the days when I would win this race. But I was there at the top of the mountain, no matter how long it took me to get there.

I would and did finish.

Today, taking that shirt out of the dryer, it felt totally right.

I've been awake since one in the morning thinking about a totally insane political battle at work which involves a fight over process safety engineers (of which I am one). But the two sides are so stubborn, it is leaving 3 of us fighting to get jobs. Um, like, the talent the bosses are fighting over is left with some sort of shaft. Unbelievable.

And my body is not totally well, but I'm going to San Antonio to run 2 marathons this weekend.

I don't care how long it takes me to finish, the miracle is that I will start; and I will finish. Hoping the pain takes my mind off my work.

And stupid boss who said he is proud of me. And other stupid boss who said I was first choice.

Well, this situation won't be resolved for weeks.