Thursday day 7 6:30 pm-
I just spent 2h15 min on the treadmill to finish my 200 miles in 7 days. I nearly cried when I looked down at the fitbit and saw it was at 27. 08 miles and I knew I just had one mile to go.
I decided to finish off the 200 miles today because I am training my mind to get out there and finish the miles by some deadline. Of course, to get and 200 miles buckle, I have 3 more days. But it means something to me to get it in 7 days.
Today was alot of hard work. I can't believe I did it.
This virtual race was excellent for motivating me to do more than I would have without it.
Total time spent actually running: 47.9 hours. Daily average: 6.8 hours.
Thursday day 7 11 am-
I don't know if I slept at all last night. I have no idea why. But, when the alarm went off at 5:30, I easily got up. I made it to Meador park by 6:45. I had a wonderful two hours going down to Pine Gully and Wildlife parks. It was beautiful and very nice with a few clouds. I got to see the men from the city working on the new bridge. We are getting an extension to our trail which looks like it will be really nice.
Then it was hot. I really struggled the last of 4h17 min / 18 mile run. If my goal is to drink my dregs, scrape bottom, today I was there. Yet I kept playing this game with my Fitbit. I'd look at it, then decide, one more lap. It was dreadful. But it got me to 18. Only 9.5 miles to go to get to 200 miles. If I was at a real race, I'd make sure to get it done by midnight when the 7 days end. In this case, I still have 3 more days to get my buckle. I will do more today, but if I go for 9 miles, it is for my inner being.
I need to do something Saturday morning, but I am sure more miles will occur tomorrow and Sunday. I just won't be killing myself.
Wednesday day 6, 8 pm-
It turns out I have a goal: 200 miles. So, I continue to be obsessed by miles. So I went for another 85 minute walk this evening. It was quite pleasant. Low humidity, only 68%.
I think I'll set an alarm for the morning. Only 28 more miles. Sounds like a snap, but my will power is waning.
Wednesday 3 pm-
Well I am totally amazed. Is it the heat gear shirt? I don't know. I started my jog at 9:45 am. Not a cloud in the Texas sky, and none showed up during my 4h21 min / 18 mile jog.
Wait, I stayed outside in the heat and humidity jogging for 4 hours?
I can get to 200 miles for this race. That would be awesome. I've not ever trained that many miles before. My foot has been doing pretty well. The toe nails did ok today. I like the Clif electrolyte drink the best of what I've tried so far. I like its bite.
I used a tiny loop in some trees today. I got to see millions of tiny crabs in the bayou.
On the introspective side of things. I've settled a question about "true identity", my life as a renunciate, what path I choose as my ethos. None of these ideas are changes. When I say settled, I mean at peace with who I am.
Wednesday 9 am-
I slept damn good last night and did not set the alarm today. This morning, I find myself wanting to go outside and walk around and I think I will, slowly. I looked at the Mountain Challenge website. Second place is a few miles behind me. I find myself not wanting to take up a challenge to stay in first. Part of my ego wants to. I Myself don't want to. I can't let winning corrupt my purity of miles.
In the real world, I'd just be called a loser. So I say these things here, not on the Mountain Challenge website. In that world, I'm supposed to try harder. But really, I just want to do my miles in peace.
Yesterday, I went to The Academy and got another heat gear shirt and some Clif sports drink. It dissolves completely so I am happy to put it in my hydro-pak. The Succeed Clip-2 and the Heed were not dissolving. Gatorade G2 dissolves but it is not on the shelves here in Texas.
Last night, I unwrapped my big toes and let the blisters dry out. I wrapped them up again this morning. They should be ok in the special shoes.
Out into the heat I go. Don't know how long I'll last.
Tuesday July 8 8 pm-
Don't know what is wrong with me. But, I felt good this afternoon evening. I started with 70 min on the treadmill and then walked outside for another hour. I could get 200 miles in the 10 day race. Wouldn't that be something!
Tuesday July 8 11:30 am-
Ultra Monk's Little Way. Don't know why I suddenly think of that. Therese of Liseux had a little way; and she became a Doctor of the Church. I won't be becoming anyone but myself. Or perhaps I am being myself already.
I haven't had 10 days off work where I was healthy in almost 5 years. In 2009, I was laid off all summer so I got to run in the morning and walk in the afternoon every day for about 6 weeks. Now, this 10 days off work, I am doing it again. It is amazing considering my heel spur surgery last September and the ensuing 6 weeks on crutches and then months of pain as the foot got back together.
It hurts now. More like the heel gets bothered by the shoe since it is a different type of roundness as well as a bit of hardware. But, doing my slow walk/ jog, I don't stress it out too much and I can keep going.
Speaking of going, my little way is just like this: get up early and complete spiritual study and meditation. Get to the park and do miles. Come home and shower, eat, rest on the bed. Do more miles in the afternoon. Do additional spiritual study and go to bed.
I noticed today that my mind was stuck on a part of my personal litany. That is, I quit noticing how fast or how far and just jogged along thinking one spiritual phrase over and over. This is the jumping off place I seek. At this point, I'm not really in this world.
That I got up at all today is a miracle. When the alarm went off at 4:40, I would have rolled over but I needed to pee. After that, it was easier to decide, "I'll go downstairs and make tea and just do spiritual study." But after a good study period, I was suddenly moving around the kitchen, getting my drinks ready.
I made it to Meador Park by 6 am. It was very nice that early. I jogged north to Pine Gully and back. Then just went around Meador park after the sun got up.
To get to Pine Gully on the trail, we run along this boardwalk to cross the bayou. This morning, I saw lots of sea birds.
I know of course that what I am doing with this 7 or 10 day race is completely different than going to a race with a bunch of other people and completing a set distance, like 100 miles, all in one shot. And sure, I'd do lots of miles whether I was entered in a race or not. I'm watching to see what the external influence of the virtual race is doing to my internal drive. I don't think I'll ever do 100 miles straight through. But I'll continue to do multi-days. I am more interested in doing something every day rather than accomplishing one big thing and then doing nothing.
Monday July 7, 4 pm-
Having finished 103 miles yesterday, way ahead of where I thought I'd be, I slept in today. It was supposed to be a rest day. But after an extended time of spiritual study, laundry and cooking beans, I felt good so jumped on the treadmill for 90 minutes/ 6.5 miles. That went really well.
Then I decided to try a new thing. That is, I have a new "heat gear" shirt from UnderArmor. The shirt is very tight so it absorbs sweat, then the breeze cools you off. And the shirt keeps the sun off your skin, so it is like wearing shade. I decided to put it on and go over to pine Gully park. This park has half trees and half sun, but it is right on Galveston Bay so it is always windy. And the clouds might come up sooner at that location.
Well, the shirt worked great. I felt really good despite the sun being out. I was there 2h39min, 11.06 miles. Then I went to the grocery store. There is chocolate in the house. But right now I am eating for the first time today. The shirt is in the Woolite in case I want to try it again tomorrow. Today was supposed to be a short day, but I have over 18 miles.
I've learned that I love Red Bull and grapefruit juice much more that other drinks I've used in the past.
Total for the race is now at 122 miles. I feel fine except for toe nails. I might just continue with "easy" days for the next 6 days
I've been very lucky to figure out the weather here; or at least how to get along with it. I am still amazed that I am doing so well. I never do this well at a real race. I think it is because my body needs to re-group every few hours and this can't be done away from home. I always feel better after laying on the bed a couple of hours; and if i am at home, it is easy to get going again. At an "away" race, I'm likely 100 miles up the road.
Sunday July 6, 6:35 pm-
Ha. I felt good this afternoon so I went for another 7.27 mile walk. I am at 103.78 for 3 days. Legs haven't felt that tired in years.
Sunday July 6, 2:40 pm-
Perhaps I was suffering from heat sickness earlier. But after lying on the bed a couple of hours, and allowing the nerve pains to work out, I have arisen. I am wearing a special pair of shoes and considering walking.
Sunday July 6-
The alarm went off 7 minutes earlier than yesterday. And I needed that extra time to decide to get up. But I did get up and was downstairs at 4 am. I did a little Course in Miracles study. I suddenly understood "accepting Atonement for myself."
By 4:48, exactly the same time as yesterday, I went jogging in El Lago. That went well and I finished in exactly the same time as yesterday (6+ miles and 78 minutes). Then disaster, like slowly falling off a cliff.
I got to Brummerhop by 6:20. I had put on mosquito spray today, but darned if they weren't very hungry this morning. And God it was humid. Not a cloud in the sky, at least over me, the sun was out from 7:20 onward to about 10:30. There were some thunderstorms over the lake about 1/2 mile away, but the clouds didn't reach me until, maddeningly, I was ready to leave. The sun had done its damage by the time the clouds came. The clouds didn't stay either. It is still freaking sunny out there.
I was very tired and cranky today. Nothing horrible wrong, just exhausted and hot. Carrying the 2L hydropak was a chore. After I came home, I found that another toenail has bit the dust. A short day; 41 laps of Brummerhop, giving me a total of 23.9 miles this morning. Too much heat and humidity.
I found what I am made of. It takes 3 days and 90 miles to drink my dregs. My dregs are ego. I want to drink the dregs because under the ego is Essence.
Today's mantra is for ACIM students: I accept Atonement for myself. I do not support his dreams of fear. We are but the Living Thoughts of Love.
When Jesus said, "My god, my god, why have you forsaken me," that was his ego dying. When he said, "Into Your hands I commend my spirit," that was Essence knowing it was alive. Life cannot die. Running was never "for" anything. I do it for myself. It is beyond exercise. It is a tool for discovery of my soul. May I rest in peace.
This is a 7 day race. I don't know if more will happen today. I have 2 toes taped. Another hole will be cut in the shoe for toe number 2. An easy walk this eveing would get me the 100 miles in 3 days. We'll see how I feel. Miles will happen tomorrow. But I might not set the alarm clock.
I'm actually pretty freaking proud of what I've done so far. By myself I wouldn't do it; but the extra little push of a virtual race got me going. I'm surprised at how well the heel that had surgery is doing. All praise for Nimbus 16s.
Saturday July 5 pm-
It is cloudy here so the temps were very reasonable. I felt good by 4:30 so I taped up my toe, cut a hole in the brand new Nimbus and went for a 7 mile walk.
I don't know if it will happen or not, but I could get 100 miles tomorrow. A whole day early. No promises. It proves however the fact that I do try harder if it has some reason. I don't think I'd have tried for 100 miles in 3 days without the challenge.
Saturday July 5-
I did not get up in the middle of the night today. But I did make it out of bed at 4 am. About 4:50, after a short meditation, I went jogging in El Lago. I was surprised that my feet and shoes felt really good. I was doing all jogging but low impact; just under 14 min miles. After 6+ miles, I came home for a pit stop. Then gathered up the Nathan and the cooler and went over to Brummerhop park. I did really well there. It is hotter today than yesterday. When I quit, it was 103F humidex. I had full sunshine by 9:30. I stuck it out until 11:30. I ended the day with 27.87 miles. That is amazing.
Except for one toe nail, I don't have much wrong other than fatigue. Dealing with the heat is dreadful. I will say that as today wore on, I started to reach the reason for this endeavor: The Secret of Endurance. It takes many mile to get me to this point. It is the point of survival, the end of the body's resources. I struggle with this point in every race I go in. The point where I think I am going to die so I quit. I want to grapple with this state.
The game I play with this 7 day endeavor is utter nonsense. I am doing miles and pushing myself literally for no external benefit. Actually, it is an external deficit. But only after hours and miles do I get to drink my dregs. I want to drink my dregs.
Hardly anyone was in the park today. The wienie-man who doesn't cleanup after his dog didn't come; so no new dog piles.
I'm past halfway on getting 100 miles; 64.39 miles. I have given myself permission to do nothing else today. I said that yesterday too, however, and walked another 5 miles in the evening. I have one big toenail that got hammered today. I see that I'll need to carve a hole in the shoes as well as tape up the toe.
Friday pm July 4- About 6 pm, I felt spunky again so I went out to do more walking:
Friday, July 4-
My cell phone awakened me at 11:45pm on Thursday. I came immediately downstairs and put on my shoes. Then waited for 12:01. I checked my fitbit and it said zero. So, I clipped it on and walked on the treadmill for 3.8 miles / one hour. Then I went back to bed.
I was dead asleep at 3:55am when the alarm went off. I failed to get up! I snoozed for 20 minutes and then made it up. After a brief meditation, I went outside to El Lago and jogged for an hour / ending with 8.81 miles on the fitbit. Then, I had a pit stop at home, gathered up the Nathan and a small cooler. By 6:20am, I was doing laps in Brummerhop park.
My foot was very fussy at first. I had to change insoles 3 times until I got one that didn't hurt. Then I remembered that my foot already had 9 miles on it so a bit of fussiness is to be expected. It reminded me that my foot will stand a certain number of miles each day; but not as many as my brain seems to want to go.
I did 52 laps of Brummerhop. What goes on there? People walk their dogs. I know exactly who didn't clean up after their dog. I asked the one elderly man about what looks like an abscess on his dog. It is a sad story but the vet cannot fix it. Guys play basketball. Other runners breeze through. A wild looking young man pushes a stroller through. Brummerhop is very small, but it is one of the few places with dirt paths and many trees. So running can be done. Here's how the front of it looks.
It is hard to see, but the post above the doggie dumpster has two bags hanging on it. Besides the Nathan on my back, I brought a small cooler and a bag with insoles and hats. In the cooler I had ice cold Red Bull, Starbucks latte, grapefruit juice, lemonade and 2 apples. I drank all that plus 3 gels and one fruit bar. I still lost weight due to sweating.
Houston is hot all the time, but for Houston, I would have called today tolerable. I stayed outside until almost noon. I didn't have any heat problems. But there had been a completely blue sky for the last hour and it was getting hot.
Today, I was walking a little over 7 hours and got 30+ miles so far. My legs do feel that. I don't know that much more will happen today. I still have 6 more race days. I think 100 miles will be reached quite fast; but I need to keep from going into too much foot pain. Or the race is over. I actually didn't think I'd stay outside until almost noon. Usually, I get too hot before 10.
Here is a screen shot of my race statistics so far:
1/3 of the way there almost. But I will keep putting up miles for the whole race. I don't think I'll get as far tomorrow.