Next Running Adventure

I am the owner of airplane tickets to go to St Louis this weekend. I planned to go in a 12 hour race. It looks like the remnants of TS Isaac will be drenching the St Louis area on Saturday into Sunday. So it looks like my race will be in the rain. I am a wimp in some ways. If this race did not involve airplane tickets, I\’d probably stay home.

As it is, I might as well go. I\’m taking my huge plastic covered duffle bag and my good rain suit and even the poncho. I\’ll have 2 changes of shoes and clothes.

But I know it will be a mental challenge for me. Overcoming my own brain will be tough. I wonder how long I will last; or what sort of rants my habitual consciousness will produce.

Going through the mental challenge is mainly what ultra runners do. Failure to breach the mental barrier is my own shortcoming. So, if I last 12 hours at Flatlander\’s, no matter how far I go, that is good success for the future. I really want to succeed at Ultracentric in November; but to do that, I need to be able to keep walking no matter what my habitual consciouness says.

Not Going Along

I first worshipped \”not-going-along\” after I left the monastery and read Heidegger. Today, I didn\’t turn on NPR in my car at the top of the hour to catch news/weather/traffic for 10 minutes on my way to work. I don\’t want to hear about any conventions or hear speeches from the people who routinely steal my money and give it to themselves. I\’m not going along with America on the election journey.

I seem depressed more frequently than many people because I also restrict my participation in the massive dopamine reward cycle which we call society. Almost everything that causes good feelings is due to a dopamine reward. To be neutral is not good enough for most of us. We continually seek thrills. I look at the reward campaigns at work and see it. I look at how I feel about various relationships I have at work each day. I can clearly see physical chemical changes in my body during dopamine experiences. I think dopamine is why humans are alive at all; and perhaps we owe our very existence to this addiction. Inner peace does not produce thrills. We can\’t stand it.

Not-going-along produces the opposite of the dopamine reward. Not only does my brain react with fear, but other people behave in ways which cause my brain to produce guilt. Like, admitting you don\’t vote causes most people to lecture me about the freedom of our nation and all the people who died for me.

I had a good day at work yesterday. It started off with a dopamine reward experice from my boss. And, I was able to find errors in my colleagues work. My brain loved that. And, I got this big strong man to fix something on my golf cart. It occurs to me that I sometimes go to online communities just to get people to positively respond to me so I can get the dopamine without having the actual person around.

Being Somebody. Having a Life. Dopamine.

Solitude. Anonymity. Nothing.

Character

I was discouraged this morning. The scales just won\’t cooperate, despite 20 hours of exercise a week. I don\’t seem able to cut back on eating. My body seems to be able to exist on very few calories. But it is also always true that my mood is dismal early in the morning. I am usually down on myself. And at the moment, the Course in Miracles text is detailing my ego\’s need for specialness.

But, after some spiritual study, I approached the ex-bike. I grasped the haki-machi I wear as a head band. This morning, I remembered what it means: warrior spirit. As I put it on my head, I gained that little bit of extra energy. I felt the gates of resolve and light open to an \”enlightened\” attitude. I will walk forward a bit at a time, daily. I don\’t care what sort of depression I may be wading through.

On Saturday I fly to St Louis. On Sunday I run a 12 hour race. My heel is in almost no pain.

Right now, I am at work stupid early in order to participate in a global conference call.

The cold Coke Zero is wonderful. All life is good. I will persist in the difficult emotional work which is my contribution to human evolution.

To persevere despite how I feel is what I call character.

Swell Sunday

I couldn\’t find my off button today!

I guess my latest innovation in heel comfort really worked good. Beside the usual tape job I\’ve been using for a few weeks, I put a piece of Dr Scholl\’s lambs wool inside my sock on top of the place that always hurts like hell. But, it didn\’t hurt today. Despite the heat (32C/ 37C heat index) during the last 2 hours, I ran pickups (yup real running) along a couple of spots in the shade (26 of them to be exact). All in all, 19 miles and 4h46 (hit the 4 mph average which is much faster than I have been doing).

Today\’s run caps a 45 mile / 3 day jogging binge (plus a couple of hours of cross training). 13 hours in 3 days. So…..I think I\’ll be able to stay on my feet for 12 hours next Sunday at Flatlander\’s 12 hour race in St Louis. 50k gets me a silver medal. If I am the only little old lady, I win the Seniors age group ( haha). Only problem is that the remnants of Isaac might be drenching the St Louis area (hope not). Well, first priority is that Isaac does not come to Texas.

After my St Louis adventure, I have the rest of next week off. My real A race this year is Ultracentric (near Dallas in November).

We Really Never Stop

Yesterday was the last day of the 2012  3,100 mile Self Transcendence race. I was looking at the results. One guy finished the 3,100 on the last day. Another 4 guys kept going although didn\’t get to 3,100. They accompanied the final finisher, and I don\’t think he could have done it without them.

But what touches me? One guy, a 60 year old, had a goal to get to 2,700 miles. He did that on day 51. He came back day 52 and did another 41 miles. See, he didn\’t stop at his numerical goals. He knows that life goes on. Even if we cross a line one day, we keep walking the next; seemingly as if nothing ever happened.

But on the inside, we are different. As I type this, I realize it is true for me. It is mind expanding. On any one day, I didn\’t accomplish anything monumental. But I kept coming back everyday and soon, a mountain was climbed.

Pending Anniversary Days

Tomorrow is my sobriety anniversary: 27 years since I last drank. I don\’t go to AA anymore; and my desire not to drink is more related to maintaining a spiritual connection than it is to a disease.

August 9 is the 9th anniversary of getting kicked out of the monastery. I became a monk in the world.

So, I have some new running goodies scheduled to arrive as presents. And I am having a mid-year performance check-up with my new boss on the 9th. That is sort of cool since being a fabulous engineer is important to my life in the world.

Well, I wrote that sentence early this morning. About the noon hour: Surprise! I was given a monetary Special Recognition Award. Wow! I have not ever received something like that before.

This morning, I made it out of bed in time for a 70 minute workout, of which 30 min was speed walking outside. I can\’t get my mind off the long distance races I have coming up. Mostly, I hope for a good time at Ultracentric.com in Texas. I have signed up for the 48 hour, knowing full well I won\’t be able to get to Dallas until at best 8 hours after the start of the race. It will be my first experience of camping on the course instead of going to a hotel. I am excited about it because it seems like my foot is healing up and I\’ll be able to do this event.

Of course, Ultracentric is after my company sponsored German work vacation and a half marathon run in Germany.

Crimony! A Course in Miracles is good. Go study it.

ACIM Breakthru Moments

I\’ve had a fabulous training weekend. 56 miles over 4 days. Today, I finished up with 33 laps of the short loop in Meador Park. I was there because it has many trees for shade.

Each day, I study the Course in Miracles text. I usually make myself a short paragraph to memorize and take with me throughout the day. Each paragraph of A Course in Miracles presents the same idea over and over; but with different words so that maybe you\’ll get the idea.

Yesterday, I had a major breakthrough in understanding when in Chapter 13 it said, \”The only miracle that ever was is God’s most holy Son...\” (We are God\’s Son). That floored me since it takes much learning for an average American to understand that miracles are not related to winning money or being cured of cancer. Seeing God\’s Son in everyone is all that\’s needed to see everyone healed and living in peace.

Today, continuing reading in Chapter 13, I had another breakthrough: I decide what the world means. See, I\’ve spent much time in prayer asking God what is the meaning of my life. \”The world can give you only what you gave it, for being nothing but your own projection, it has no meaning apart from what you found in it…Guilt is always in your mind, which has condemned itself. Project it not…\”

Right here is where I took power from my ego (defined by ACIM not Freud). There are other parts of Chapter 13 I incorporated into today. And so, my phrases for today became my declaration of freedom:

I have decided that the world means love.
And guilt is always totally insane.
I look within and see the light of love.
I accept Atonement for myself.

I did my jogging to this. Over and over.

So Admirable

To me, it is the most awesome thing. It is runners 7 through 11 listed below.

They are running the 52 day, 3,100 mile, Self Transcendence race. They won\’t make it to 3,100 miles in 52 days; but yet they continue to participate. It is hot, monotonous, painful; yet they keep going.

The reward is an inner reward. The world doesn\’t honor just doing something. It honors meeting criteria. So, if you run less than 3,100 miles, the world thinks you failed. But in metaphysical and spiritual terms, in terms of personal integrity, you won.

Chapter 13 – Present, Light, Joy

From A Course in Miracles text 13.VI.6 and 11:

Look lovingly on the present
for it holds the only things
that are forever true.
God\’s guiltless Son is only light. (6)
Light is unlimited, and
spreads across this world in quiet joy. (11)

So beautiful. I memorized this while I worked out this morning and repeated it to myself as I drove to work. I found my mind continuing the saying even as I was distracted with other things. And I actually remembered it now that I am at work.

I can easily remember quiet joy as being present everywhere at all times. I can ask the physicist and find it is true that this world is made of light (photons) as well as smaller particles of energy.