2010 in Workouts

I posted this at Running Mania, but found it too precious not to post here too.

Not a bad haul: Olathe Marathon, Aslinger 24 hour run (20 hours and 80 miles), Corporate Challenge 5k, NCM Marathon, Psycho Psummer volunteer, Lunar Trek 50k, Fallsburg trail marathon, Rock Bridge Revenge 25k trail, Blue Springs 50/50 (44 miles, 9.5 hours), Gobbler Grind half marathon, Run for the Ranch marathon.

Several ag awards. One PB + BQ. No DNS.

I was employed at the same place, lived in the same place and drove the same car.

AND, I ran or worked out on ex-machines 842 hours (equivalent of 105 eight hour days, nearly 1/3 of a year). Does not count time spent on strength.

Mind Training

Here I am at work after 5 days off, and before taking 5 more days off.

This morning, as I did my spiritual study and meditation, I noticed a dramatic difference in the type of thoughts I was having. My thoughts were related to work: how terrified I was that something bad would happen and how much I hate a particular person. (As I write this blog at noontime, I realize that both these types of thoughts are related to ego deflation).

But, OMG, my head is usually full of these fearful and hateful thoughts before every work day. And I got to tell ya, rationally speaking, it is not the job. Its me and my attitudes.

So, I recognized these thoughts. Then I reached out to Jesus for help. I immediately heard an answer: the litany is a series of doorways out of the ego world and into the Real World, the Kingdom. Pick a doorway and go through it.

Wow! So powerful. These fear/hate thoughts are not true because I am spirit. These thoughts are my ego thoughts being projected and making a terrible day. I must have made a decision to have a bad day. I need to choose again.

This worked to help me shift my perspective. I really don\’t want to spend my days with a hateful mind. The Course in Miracles teaches that we have control of our thoughts. And we can choose to think something else. Shifting my thoughts instead of letting them drone on and on unchecked is what I am learning. If I let the ego negative fear/hate thoughts go unchecked, I will soon be projecting them and believing them. If I put a stop to it early in the morning and choose a spiritual doorway from the litany, I\’m going to have a happy day and project joy (which is what I am). The litany is listed below.

Supporting Miracle Principles:
36 Miracles are examples of right thinking, aligning your perceptions with truth as God created it.
37 A miracle is a correction introduced into false thinking by me. It acts as a catalyst, breaking up erroneous perception and reorganising it properly. This places you under the Atonement principle, where perception is healed. Until this has occurred, knowledge of the Divine Order is impossible.

And here is some of what I read in the text (6.V.C and 7.III):
What you made (the ego and its world) 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… Be Vigilant Only for God and His Kingdom …By teaching the power of the Kingdom of God Himself, He (the Holy Spirit) teaches you that all power is yours. Its application does not matter. It is always maximal. Your vigilance does not establish it as yours, but it does enable you to use it always and in all ways…Because God\’s equal Sons have everything, they cannot compete. Yet if they perceive any of their brothers as anything other than their perfect equals, the idea of competition has entered their minds. Do not underestimate your need to be vigilant against this idea, because all your conflicts come from it. It is the belief that conflicting interests are possible, and therefore you have accepted the impossible as true…God has lit your mind Himself, and keeps your mind lit by His Light because His Light is what your mind is.

My Litany:

Father in Jesus name remind me of,
Your love for me and of my love for you.

If I am afraid I am deceived.
I am spirit. Know this can’t hurt me.
Fear is lack of love Atonement heals.
Expanding Love is my reality.

Giving and receiving are the same.
True appreciation is my gift.
The innocent see perfection truly.
Christ Vision is their one and only sight.

I am not alone, Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.
The Holy Spirit is my choice for God.
I hear Him speak quietly in my mind.

God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.
Into Your Hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens to Your peace.

Joy is my commitment and the truth.
Love is my intention as of now.
Love based thinking is my one desire.
Inner peace is what I really want. (Amen)

 Here is another picture of me at Run for the Ranch (3:51 marathon, Boston Qualifier):

Litany Tweaked Again

Today I went for a 24 mile run. I noticed how effective the litany, even one line of it, is in avoiding the ego\’s thoughts of fear, anger or hate. Whenever I stop deciding what to think, the ego takes over with thought attacks against various people, places and situations. I choose not to live with a conscious which is completely unaware of joy. A big piece of learning from the Course in Miracles is that I am in charge of my thoughts and I can decide what to think (or at least decide what not to think and ask for help). I decide what I want (as often as necessary, even several times and hour). I ask for help. I proceed with what I heard from the Holy Spirit.

I tweaked my litany a bit. Here it is as I was reciting it this morning:
Father in Jesus name remind me of,
Your love for me and of my love for you.

If I am afraid I am deceived.
I am spirit. Know this can’t hurt me.
Fear is lack of love Atonement heals.
Expanding Love is my reality.

Giving and receiving are the same.
True appreciation is my gift.
The innocent see perfection truly.
Christ Vision is their one and only sight.

I am not alone, Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.
The Holy Spirit is my choice for God.
I hear Him speak quietly in my mind.

God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.
Into Your Hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens to Your peace.

Joy is my commitment and the truth.
Love is my intention as of now.
Love based thinking is my one desire.
Inner peace is what I really want. (Amen)

Joy is Not Happiness….

…or any other sort of new age namby pamby.

It is the essential life force which I feel within, which gets me out of bed and which fuels all my actions, if I let it. It is incomparably more powerful than the desire for worldly gifts which the ego consciousness wants.

Joy is not a feeling of happiness or bliss. Joy is a state of mind or being which is not ego. Joy is an alliance of consciousness with the inner power; instead of with the ego world.

The inner power is what I call Sheer Joy. Allied with is, I feel stronger. Joy is constantly strong, but easily forgotten in favor of ego because the ego is louder.

Joy does not promise any fame, fortune, position or cures for cancer. Joy is merely an inner strength which can become the primary consciousness with which I experience the dream. Allied with the inner strength, my perception significantly shifts from anger/fear/hate to benevolence. This perception shift is a miracle. It changes my life because I see everything differently.

Joy is not something possessed by the lucky of the talented. Joy is something I can uncover and tap into by a diligent practice of denying ego and all its negative thoughts; plus looking within for that constant strength and being aware of it. When I gave it a name, Sheer Joy, it became real and it became mine. I discontinue the constant stream of negativity from the ego and then listen and hang onto that which is my true foundation.

Being is Joy

Yesterday was a momentous day in my spiritual life. I said yesterday that I was feeling happy. Later in the day, I worked out a terribly important coupling equation.

I mentioned the inner being, the inner force of something which gets me out of bed; the inner power or spirit. Yesterday, I realized that this inner power is \”Sheer Joy.\” Yup, that\’s right: Joy resides in me but I never recognized it for what it was.

As a matter of fact, I have spent most of my life hating \”joy.\” This is because I\’d read spiritual books and read about others joy and think that I had not one scrap of joy. Really. I\’d hate the authors of these books and hate the joy too; because I had no idea what it is. I had only experienced the temporary sort of happiness which comes from the ego getting what it wants; never knowing anything about the true divine Joy which comes from Heaven.

Let me repeat: that thing that gets out of bed, which insists on daily spiritual study, pondering and prayer, which is the awesome athlete, which is the driving force behind my life, that something else which is not ego (the tiny mad idea): That is Sheer Joy. I am really Joy. I can now live from my true starting point and beginning: I am Joy.

Solution to the coupling equation: My life force = Sheer Joy from inside.

The truth about me (and you or anyone) is that we are Joy. God made joyful thoughts and that is what we are, nothing else. We are not bodies and we are not here is this dreadful world. We are all Sheer Joy.

How did we come to not know we are Sheer Joy and instead think we are these limited weak physicalities which get old and feeble and die? We decided to be special and so threw away the Kingdom of God. Jesus in A Course in Miracles says thin, \”Everything outside the Kingdom is illusion (the ego world). When you threw truth away, you saw yourself as if you were without it. By making another kingdom (the ego world) 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\” (ACIM text 6.V.C.9).

My way of being vigilant, because I want the Kingdom not the kingdom, is to take thought inventory. Any thought which is against the Sheer Joy reality needs to be brought to Jesus\’ light for healing. Remembering I am Joy makes me invulnerable to the ego world. I cannot be hurt because no one can hurt Joy; and I am not invested in the tiny reality which is without Joy. I am invested in the Kingdom which is only Joy, with which I am truly one.

The reality and acceptance of my inner Joy allowed me to make another extension. It relates to what I have perceived as a problem with a work colleague. He continually does things behind my back and I was perceiving this as a threat to me. So I feared and hated him. But if I realize I am Sheer Joy and can\’t be hurt, I don\’t need to fear this man. Further more, as Joy, I live under God\’s laws not worldly laws. So what happens here is known as a delusion and not true. This is way of perceiving is a true miracle.

Here are some supporting Miracle Principles:
33 Miracles rearrange perception and place all levels in true perspective. This is healing because sickness comes from confusing the levels.
33 Miracles honour you because you are lovable. They dispel illusions about yourself and perceive the light in you. They thus atone for your errors by freeing you from your nightmares. By releasing your mind from the imprisonment of your illusions, they restore your sanity.
36 Miracles are examples of right thinking, aligning your perceptions with truth as God created it.
37 A miracle is a correction introduced into false thinking by me. It acts as a catalyst, breaking up erroneous perception and reorganising it properly. This places you under the Atonement principle, where perception is healed. Until this has occurred, knowledge of the Divine Order is impossible.
41 Wholeness is the perceptual content of miracles. They thus correct, or atone for, the faulty perception of lack.

I still think I am here in this dream called the world. But, I am coming to have a consciousness which is love and peace and joy. I\’d rather have Joy than hate and fear. I choose to have a mind which is one with God and so I want Joy and do what ever I need to uncover my fears and annoyances and bring them to the light. I will continue to study A Course in Miracles, continue to follow Spirit. My way of remembering the Course and its teachings is to ponder my litany, which is really a short form of Course principles. Yet, I have revised it again:

Father in Jesus name remind me of,
Your love for me and of my love for you.

If I am afraid I am deceived.
I am spirit. Know this can’t hurt me.
Fear is lack of love Atonement heals.
Expanding Love is my reality.

I am not alone, Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.
The Holy Spirit is my choice for God.
I hear Him speak quietly in my mind.

Giving and receiving are the same.
True appreciation is my gift.
The innocent see perfection truly.
Christ Vision is their one and only sight.

God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.
Into Your Hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens to Your peace.

This is my commitment: I am joy.
Love is my intention as of now.
Love based thinking is my one desire.
Inner peace is what I really want. (Amen)

Now its time for another 5 hour workout. First a couple of hours of ex-machines and then running on trails. It is cold outside today, but not that windy. I\’ll still have to bundle up.

Just Be the Being You Are

I am very joyful today.

I went to bed feeling at odds with the world because I refuse to participate in Christmas.

I woke up with a re-minding that I am spirit. I could feel my inner being, the driving force of my life. To my inner being, Christmas is entirely irrelevant and there is no conflict at all in this because my inner being sees only the magnificent inner being in others. Seeing only spirit, what happens is this world is not of concern. What is of concern is celebrating the joy of being a child of God. God\’s children are holy. God\’s children are led by the Holy Spirit. Whenever I am afraid, I turn to the Holy Spirit, trust that I will be led, and leave all the details there.

I am a magnificent inner being. Remembering the being is not automatic; re-minding myself is a conscious activity.

This magnificence is what produce personal bests in races, not the training. This magnificence is what gets my up to do core exercises, not some grandiose goal. This magnificence enable me to help others, give of myself and be vigilant against my ego\’s judgments and ensuing annoyances.

This year, re-mind yourself. This year, be the being you are.

Miracle principles:

  • 29 Miracles praise God through you. They praise Him by honouring His creations, affirming their perfection. They heal because they deny body-identification and affirm spirit-identification.
  • 30 By recognizing spirit, miracles adjust the levels of perception and show them in proper alignment. This places spirit at the center, where it can communicate directly.
  • 31 Miracles should inspire gratitude, not awe. You should thank God for what you really are. The children of God are holy and the miracle honours their holiness, which can be hidden but never lost.

 Now, I will do some work on my ex-machines and then go for a long run. It is chilly outside with a north wind. I will be a fairly unimpressive sight in my layers of fleece and gortex, slowly jogging along. But I will be entirely spirit in my mind and I will see you as spirit too. That is the gift I have to give. I might even go to the gas station and see the spirit of the lady who always works there on Saturdays.

Prayer Litany – Revised Again

Most people think Christmas is real. I do not. I see it as a human construction that really means nothing in the world of spirit. Genuine love does not increase during this season of gift giving.

But, Christmas occupies many people\’s time and so the park was very empty today. I got to run for almost 4 hours; about two hours were in a heavy snowfall. The snow makes it seem more quiet. And strangely enough, a man I have know for decades caught up to me on my last two laps and decided to slow to my pace and chat.

While I was alone, I pondered what I read in the Course in Miracles text this morning (6.V.B): \”What you must recognize is that when you do not share a thought system, you are weakening it. Those who believe in it therefore perceive this as an attack on them. \”

To not participate in Christmas is a threat to many people and they respond to me with an attack. The attack often takes the form of calling me a Scrooge, so maybe I will feel guilty and get with the Christmas game. I realize that the attack is a result of my threatening their ego\’s thought system. The response I learned from A Course in Miracles is to realize the attack is a call for love.

This morning, as I thought about Christmas thought attacks, I realized that stuff like Christmas is invented to distract us from our pain. Most humans live in a very deep pain and don\’t want to look at it. The pain is related to the presumed separation from God which is lived out in the ego\’s thought system. The ego\’s thought system is very painful. So to give love in response to the call for love, I remember the Holy Spirit\’s thought system; and remember that we are one in God. The painful ego world does not really exist.

This line of thinking caused me to go very deeply into my litany (see below); especially the part about giving and receiving are the same. In the park, there is an old guy who can\’t really stand up straight, but runs very well. I waved at him and got a \”hey\” in response. That was my connection to the Christ in him. We both gave and received equally. The fact that Steve spent an hour running with me was an awesome expression of love. Then I went to the store and an assistant manager insisted on giving me a dollar off an item because they were out of the smaller size package. That was also giving and receiving for both of us. The money didn\’t matter; it was the connection. We both got love.

Christmas gift giving is more often an attack than love. And I believe what Jesus says in Miracle Principle number 5: \”Miracles are habits, and should be involuntary. They should not be under conscious control. Consciously selected miracles can be misguided.\” And number 32: \”I (Jesus) inspire all miracles, which are really intercessions. They intercede for your holiness and make your perceptions holy. By placing you beyond the physical laws they raise you into the sphere of celestial order. In this order you are perfect.\”

Its not that Christmas does not involve miracles because each of us is a miracle and all expressions of love are miracles. Real miracles are natural and under the guidance of Jesus. They happen all the time, not just at Christmas. What happens at Christmas is ego satisfaction. And my point is that I have withdrawn my support of the ego\’s thought system, hence threaten other people\’s egos, hence get accused of being a Scrooge, hence see pain, hence overlook the pain and see perfect innocence and Christ instead. Thus, we both have inner peace.

Which brings us to Miracle Principle 25: \”Miracles are part of an interlocking chain of forgiveness (overlooking) which, when completed, is the Atonement (undoing). \” My way of undoing the ego and returning to God is the above process.

My litany:

Father in Jesus name remind me of,
Your love for me and of my love for you.

If I am afraid I am deceived.
I am spirit. Know this need not be.
Fear is lack of love Atonement heals.
Expanding Love is my reality.

I am not alone, Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.
The Holy Spirit is my choice for God.
I hear Him speak quietly in my mind.

Giving and receiving are the same.
True appreciation is my gift.
The innocent see perfection truly.
Christ Vision is their one and only sight.

God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.
Into Your Hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens to Your peace.

This is my commitment and the truth.
Love is my intention as of now.
Love based thinking is my one desire.
Inner peace is what I really want. (Amen)

Throw Your Heart Over the Bar at Run for the Ranch

Yes: I did plan to put whatever I had into this race. Throw my heart over the bar.

I cannot explain this: 26.2 miles in 3:51:xx (LIFETIME PERSONAL BEST, and Boston Qualifier)

Here we have a picture of the schwag: shirt, medal, plaque for the BQ, and trophy for AG 1st place.

I signed up for a half marathon thinking the weather would be cold or something and I wouldn\’t want to run a full. That was a stroke of genious because it put the race on my calendar but I had no plans and hence didn\’t over do anything. Well, I had a tiny idea of practicing doing hm\’s and eventually whittling my time down to NYC (1:50). Since I was planning on doing a half, I worked out for an hour on Saturday and ran for 3 hours.

But, on race day, the weather was awesome. I left Kansas City about 15 min early thinking that I could switch races if I got to Springfield in time. It turns out the drive was only 2.5 hrs, not 3 (yup 70 mph all the way). I surely didn\’t want to wait around that dinky town for 3 hours so switched my race to the full marathon which started at 1 pm. (oh yeah, I brought extra gel thinking I\’d need it). For breakfast I had a power bar and a myoplex lite bar. I ate a peanut butter sandwich in the car and ate another power bar about 30 min before the start. Drank a pot of green tea. Excellent bowel movement before leaving KC sealed the decision that today was MY DAY.

My plan was to run a fast half to see how well I could do that, and then slow down for the second half. The course is billed as flat, but it had places with 1% grades, too much cement, too many turns, several place along busy streets where the sidewalks got crowded. But it did have one loop around a stadium track where they were playing music which was a good place to pick up the pace. I was dressed too warm (3 shirts and a track jacket).

Along the way: finishing the second lap, a male spectator didn\’t look before crossing the course (near the start finish where there were lots of people) and stepped right in front of me so I whacked him in the back (well at least I didn\’t push him down). The feel of his leather jacket under my hand was quite satisfying! Lap 3, I decided to take a pee break because about 200 more runners would be on the course by the next lap (5k, 10k and half races) and I didn\’t want to have to wait. This involved going into a building and running down a hall, so it took 2 minutes. Finished the half in 1h54 by Garmin, but 1h56 by clock. I kept pushing my pace. On the 1% downhill, I got up to 8 min/mile. On the 1% up I tried to stay at 9 min/mile. Where the ability to run that fast came from I don\’t know.

I carried 2 8 oz bottles of my own Gatorade and used 8 gels. It worked good to have my mobile aid station as I could time everything exactly. This was my first race with a Garmin and I liked looking at the instantaneous pace just to make sure it was under 10. But I kept being amazed to see it below 9.

On lap 5, I thought of slowing down but had tons of energy so kept it up. When my brain tried to say this couldn\’t be, I answered with why not? I am spirit, unlimited. God created me to be a part of Him. That is what I am and where I am. So, spirits can do whatever they want because they have defeated ego (and egos cause failure and limits). If I think I can, I can. The last lap was powerful. I was a machine! (I did not slap the runner who suddenly stopped right in front of me but did touch his back as I slipped around). I was sprinting. It was awesome to just throw it all away for 3 miles.

Nope: no carefully planned training schedule. No speed work. No taper. Just mental determination. Thoughts create reality. Early birthday present (I\’ll be 52 in 3 weeks). Imagine being able to run better at 50 than you could at 20 or 30.

I saw a totally buff woman. OMG, I want to look like that (and will, you\’ll see). I saw a man wearing shorts with huge chafing between his legs (I mean areas more than 6 in2). I passed tons of people in the last 2 laps. Lots of people walking (bonking means under trained or poor planning of fuel).

After the race, I had to go in a building and wait in line for my medal and plaque. Then I sat at a table with a man who had obviously been badly burned. He told me about his 300 mile run across S. Dakota last summer. Then they finally brought the results in. I talked the RD out of my trophy so I could leave.

Easy drive home. This morning, my body does not feel too bad. Fatigue but no injury.

Run for the Ranch – Prelude

Today I was reading in the ACIM text in chapter 6.II:
\”…God created you as part of Him. That is both where you are and what you are.\”

That will make a great running mantra for today\’s half-marathon. I plan to run a great race, to throw my heart over the bar. I\’m not shooting for a record but for the dregs of my body, mind and spirit. To give everything I have. Giving is my definition of living.

Once again, here is my litany prayer derived from the Course in Miracles. I made it up myself but it consists of Course ideas.:

Father in Jesus name remind me of,
Your love for me and of my love for you.

If I am afraid I am deceived.
I am spirit. Know this need not be.
Fear is lack of love Atonement heals.
Expanding Love is my reality.

I am not alone, Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.
The Holy Spirit is my choice for God.
I hear Him speak quietly in my mind.

The innocent are always truly seeing.
Christ Vision is their one and only sight.
God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.
Into Your Hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens to Your peace.

This is my commitment and the truth.
Love is my intention as of now.
Love based thinking is my one desire.
Inner peace is what I really want. (Amen)

The prayer is a magic carpet ride, a conveyance into the bowels of my soul. Here, in my deepest depths, I find the thing which drives me. It is a living pulsating hyper-drive of God, the Christ-Self.

Self indulgence is the anti-Christ, literally. Self-indulgence is an ego tool driving the person away from the spirit and the Voice for God. (Remember the ego is the tiny mad idea which wants to be separate from God in order to be special) Self-indulgence is a way of being special. Self-indulgence is deadening, a disabling poison which erodes the spirit; yet is unbelievably addictive.

Running also takes me to my bowels, my depths. Running long distance disables self-indulgence and leaves me with prayer, and the sound of shoes on a dirt path.

So here is my answer: I am powerless over self-indulgence because I am addicted. I need spiritual help. Prayer brings me to the spiritual help. The hyper-drive of God, the Christ-Self, is my spiritual help.

Re-minding Myself

Miracle principle: \”Miracles are thoughts. Thoughts can represent the lower or bodily level of experience, or the higher or spiritual level of experience. One makes the physical, and the other creates the spiritual.\”

Text 6.I: \”…you must think as He (God) thinks if you are to know Him again.\”

I say re-minding because I mean that if I don\’t put a spiritual thought into my awareness and put some effort into keeping it there, it won\’t be there. I could potentially forget about God completely if I put no effort into re-minding.

On the other hand, if I do put effort into re-minding, then more and more of my thinking is love based. Pretty soon, I live with a consciousness which is entirely Divine.

This morning, I ran a little over 10 miles. It was a glorious run and I maintained a good speed. I have delusions of having a personal best half-marathon and full-marathon in 2011. 2011 is to be my year of high performance. High performance spirituality comes first.

This mornings running prayer was my personal litany for re-minding myself, which I continue to shape:

Father, in Jesus name remind me of
Your love for me and of my love for You.

If I am afraid I am deceived.
I am spirit. Know this need not be.
Fear is lack of love Atonement heals.
Expanding love is my reality.

I am not alone, Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.
The Holy Spirit is my choice for God.
I hear Him speak quietly in my mind.

The innocent are always truly seeing.
Christ Vision is their one and only sight.
God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.

Into Your Hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens to Your peace.
This is my commitment and the truth.
Love is my intention as of now.
Love based thinking is my one desire.
Inner peace is what I really want. (Amen)