Snowdrop T-10.5 hours

On March 26th, 2014, I signed up for a 55 Hour Race. Back up a little. On November 4, 2014, I regained the use of my left foot after surgery. In March, while I was doing well with rehabilitation, I was still fiddling with insoles every time I put on shoes. What made me think I could walk 100 miles?

Even with good feet, 100 miles is difficult.

Now, my feet feel good. Tomorrow I toe the line. Some of my stuff is already at the race site. More of it goes in the car in the morning. An hour drive to the race.

In 2 weeks, I\’ll be 56. I finished menopause this year; and it left me with a different body. 10 days ago, I came down with bronchitis. But that is gone now. I feel good.

It will be cold and wet. But 50+ other people will be trudging around the course with me.

I\’ve not yet succeeded with 100 miles in one race.

I better go upstairs and finish packing.

Snowdrop T- 1.5 and counting

Tomorrow is packet pickup. Tuesday 7 am is the start.

Today I did a 6.6 mile jog walk in El Lago. It was a good chance to practice wearing a rain suit. I realized that I\’ll have to save the impermeable rain suits for the real downpours on New Years Day. For cold and wind, I\’ll use Gortex and my Texas wind proof jacket. Layers and fleece underneath. Head swathed in hat and buff. I\’ll have the down parkas for really cold times. I have adequate gloves.

But you know, it is illogical and nonsensical to spend 30 hours over 3 days walking around a dirt path just for a belt buckle; or to say I ran 100 miles. So why do this?

It is a mental exercise. It requires me to hone my patience and perseverance. How do I keep going when my brain is insisting I stop. And my brain is right. Keeping going doesn\’t matter. Except in a non-physical sense.

Very few get the point of this. I\’m not sure I do, except I keep doing it. Most friends I know say this doesn\’t make sense. They are right, it doesn\’t. The results are only in my mind.

Snowdrop T minus 2 days and counting

It is Saturday eve. Tuesday morning I plan to toe the line at a 55 hour endurance event. In my house, piles of clothes and food have begun appearing. A couple of things are already in the car. I got my hair cut today. Monday, I pick up my packet, get my toes taped and put my gear in the bunk house.

I don\’t think I have felt so good in my legs for a long time. Thanks to bronchitis this week, I\’ve been resting. But even when sick, I went for some long walks. The fresh air of a walk seemed to help me feel better. The drugs the PA gave me for my cough seem to have prevented the weeks of coughing I see many others have.

But still, walking/jogging 100 miles is alot. I don\’t really know if I can. Things can just go wrong. My brain is my worst enemy. This time, I got a hotel near the race so I can go regroup; but not quit all together. This race is on a cold windy course. I have all my winter clothes from when I used to live in Missouri ready to pack. Including a down parka.

Patience. Patience. Patience. Just quietly keep walking.

btw: like the ship channel skyline? I just put that picture on top of this blog today. Needless to say, I love chemicals and making them is my profession.

December 25

I got a nice jog this morning. Beautiful Texas. Here is a web cam shot of Galveston Bay, from near where I live, at this moment:

I am a single person without a family. I don\’t participate in Christmas. On an ethical and philosophical basis, I disagree with Christmas in America. But Christmas is all around me so it is also in my mind. Since directly thinking about Christmas produces negativity, I must revert to spiritual practice, spiritual mind treatment.

At this point, I am quite able to kneel at the alter of lights within and become silent. My discursive thinking ceases as I gaze at the light.

Christmas Eve 2014

On Monday my mission to attain antibiotics was successful. Now, Wednesday, wow, I feel soooooo much better. Even the coughing seems way better.

So I took myself off for a \”Runny Nose Run.\” Yuppers! Load a fanny pack with tissues, pick a beautiful trail well stocked with garbage cans and off I go. I picked the trail from the gazebo to Pine Gully and back. I ran it twice for 5.5 miles/ 6 tissues. Good thing to get my head and lungs shaken up and instilled with fresh air. Now, 3 hours later, the coughing still seems better.

Since I have been sick and staying away from people, I\’ve been reading my spiritual books. One by Emmet Fox and one by Maggie Ross. I am astounded how spiritual truths are true and can be found in legitimate spiritual writings. Maggie Ross\’s book in particular has helped me to a new understanding of what is variously called: deep mind, the master (Gilchrist), right hemisphere, Self, and many more. I call mine soul; regardless of various other definitions for that word.

I stand and say \”Thank You\” to this higher power and this intuitive mind which seems so active for me. That is, I have enough silence in my life and my prayers for intuitive thoughts are answered and heard.

My gift to anyone is my Course in Miracles workbook lesson for today:

LESSON 273
The stillness of the peace of God is mine.
1 Perhaps we are now ready for a day of undisturbed tranquility. If this is not yet feasible, we are content and even more than satisfied to learn how such a day can be achieved. If we give way to a disturbance, let us learn how to dismiss it and return to peace. We need but tell our minds, with certainty, “The stillness of the peace of God is mine,” and nothing can intrude upon the peace that God Himself has given to His Son.

2 Father, Your peace is mine. What need have I to fear that anything can rob me of what You would have me keep? I cannot lose Your gifts to me. And so the peace You gave Your Son is with me still, in quietness and in my own eternal love for You.

Cough Gag

Next Tuesday at 7 am, I will be toeing the start line of a 55 hour endurance event.

What was I doing yesterday? Sitting in the Minute Clinic talking the PA out of antibiotics for bronchitis. Score! I also got a note to stay off work.

Only an ultra runner would think they could have bronchitis one week and walk 100 miles the next. But yes, I think I can.

The sore throat did go away overnight so I know I did the right thing. Being sick for longer wouldn\’t have helped in any aspect of my life. And the other people at work didn\’t want me there contaminating them anyway.

US health care is tragic. Dufus doctors charging high prices for 30 seconds of time. How on earth would I even find a doctor I liked and trusted? You can\’t get a bio on someone when you look through the insurance company web site. Speaking of which: insurance companies are parasitic money sucking killers.

So I find the Minute Clinic a refreshing alternative. For some little problem, a PA is perfectly fine to write me a proscription. The prices are reasonable. The locations are easy. The red tape is minimal. Until yesterday, I didn\’t even know the Minute Clinic could do these easy things. I\’m sold.

Out of Egypt

Anyone who knows me or reads this blog, knows I used to live in a Benedictine monastery. I was there for almost 4 years, then suddenly pushed out the day before I was supposed to make my vows. This part of my past is continually on my mind. Why did this happen? Why did I go there in the first place? What was I wanting at a deep level?

I wanted contemplation. Check. Mission accomplished. I learned alot about silence, solitude, spiritual reading, listening.

I wanted to validate my life with religious profession. Nope. Not accomplished. And my ego has been bitter about this ever since. Daily I compare myself to the nuns and try to make me look better.

Recently, I was reading my journal from 2003, the year I got kicked out. I got kicked out in August, so there is a good deal of before and after writing. Clearly I was hugely depressed before getting kicked out. Lets call this mental torment \”Egypt.\” For the years since leaving the convent, my mental state has had periods of difficulty; but overall, my spiritual curve is trending positive. Furthermore, for you calculus fans, there is more and more area under the curve. That is, I am continually integrating and expanding.

This morning, reading Emmett Fox\’s \”Sermon on the Mount\” he said something about how regretting the past is to dis God\’s activity of salvation, and bringing Israel out of Egypt is just such an example of God\’s activity of salvation. Sudden bingo for me. If the convent was Egypt, then God, in a sudden turmoil of spiritual activity, brought me out of it. There was a few days of turmoil and then long years across a desert. This is a new thought for me. A new connection and a new synapse that signal a mental change.

I don\’t know if I am across a desert yet. It seems like it as I ponder my 2015 life story. This life I see is tremendously successful. At work, my Starship idea has been adopted for the plant and I am heavily involved with Creative Thinking teams. In my running life, I am first celebrating the end of my 55th year with a 55 hour run. Then in June, I am going on my first ever running expedition in the Utah desert. And in between January and June are several happy races on trails for which I intend to sign up.

But I wonder about my spiritual life; at least until today when I realize where I am at in graphical terms. I did leave the nuns in Egypt. Should I stop looking back? I need to stop looking back with an ego mindset. I could look back with a miracle mindset.

Reading Fox\’s book, I realize my ego measures itself against the explanations to determine if it is good. To know my thoughts are doing this is a great thing. It allows a bit of distancing from the activity. And in turn, an extreme gratitude for the presence of Spirit which taught me. From there, just keep walking, and be in awe of that power greater than myself.

God is in charge of the journey.

Good Karma

Or was it, your thoughts create your reality. Or was it ACIM looking beyond.

Anyway, this morning I had an elaborate e-mail prepared to send to my soon-to-be ex-boss. I wondered if I should send it. Am I off base in what I think? I asked a colleague; who agreed with my point of view. In the end, I clicked SAVE AS DRAFT.

Suddenly, the customer service rep from Hilton called and apologized for the problem Hilton has created me, and offered me a free night. Then, I found out I received a recognition award. Then, a guy offered to drive me to my car from inside the plant, since it was pouring rain.

Score!

This morning, in my morning spiritual study, I read a bit of Emmett Fox\’s Sermon on the Mount, and a bit of Maggie Ross\’s Silence A User\’s Guide. Both talked a bit about thoughts and reality. I work on my thoughts every day. My brain is clear so I was able to let go of my instinct to let go of an injustice my ex-boss has done.

So, was my score due to metaphysics? Or did my one kindness give good karma so I received other kindnesses? Or is karma really the same as metaphysics?

You get to decide how your universe works. As for me, I will believe in Spirit. I will believe in connectedness. I will continue my spiritual studies. My real point is that I have been having a happy day. This despite the pouring rain, the scratchy throat, the FedEx issue…. etc.

My ex-boss is a real person even if he is German. He deserves the gift of Christ Within, which I can give him if I want.

Anything else doesn\’t matter.

Christmas in the World

I sit here in my quiet abode. At 8:30 am, I hear a fire engine. I realize I\’ll be hearing that siren for several hours. Annually, the city sends round the fire truck with Santa. This takes all morning.

I woke up pondering  quandary. I don\’t participate in Christmas because I am in ethical disagreement with the activities. This year, the last department meeting is combined with a Christmas party. Do I incur disapproval by not going? Do I go and be a good girl.

I close my eyes. Shakespeare crosses my mind,\”To thine own self be true.\” Sanskrit crosses my mind, \”Namaste.\” In the prayerful darkness beyond my eye balls, I bow before the Son of God and His magnificence. Not Jesus, but Life Itself extended from God and residing in us. This Life is our true self and true identity.

I don\’t know whether I\’ll go to the party. I will bow down. It is the only way for me to do life.

Now, to Brummerhop park for laps.

Here is  a bonus treat for today, a quote from Merton:

\”The world of men has forgotten the joys of silence, the peace of solitude which is necessary, to some extent, for the fullness of human living. Not all men are called to be hermits, but all men need enough silence and solitude in their lives to enable the deep inner voice of their own true self to be heard at least occasionally. When that inner voice is not heard, when man cannot attain to the spiritual peace that comes from being perfectly at one with his own true self, his life is always miserable and exhausting. For he cannot go on happily for long unless he is in contact with the springs of spiritual life which are hidden in the depths of his own soul. If man is constantly exiled from his own home, locked out of his own spiritual solitude, he ceases to be a true person. He no longer lives as a man. He becomes a kind of automaton, living without joy because he has lost his spontaneity. He is no longer moved from within, but only from outside himself.\”

Jesus was Gay

Wicked me. The first instant I saw this picture, I didn\’t think of Jesus but of gay guys.

I found it on the page of a religious order and it is supposed to be about Advent. As a heterosexual, I like it because John looks hot to me.

In other news, I am tapering for my 55 hour race in 3 weeks. Nothing I do now other than heal up will help with that endeavor. So I only have 45 miles and 13+ hours this week. I have done some procurement: a sleeping bag, a hot food thermos, shoes. I entered a race in February, 50k on a trail.

Yesterday, I did some fast running. In the evening I had a great hour of durability, or work hardening. Using 2 floors of my house, I carry 10 lb olympic plates up and down stairs. On the top landing, I do 5 shoulder presses and 5 calf raises. On the bottom floor I do 2 kettle bell side to sides, 3 pushups with jump up, one arm kettle bell row, 3 side to side on step platform, 2 sets of 5 exercises on trx, 5 tricep pull downs, 3 more step platform side to side, repeat. I get about 20 laps done in an hour. I\’m happy to say, I am able to run up and down stairs at this time. I think durability workouts are very good for me.

I\’ve been going through my journal for the past year. I was noting the number of times I have something positive to say about my spirituality. It is much more than I remember. Often, I wake up with a bad attitude, but by the end of my spiritual study, I feel happy. My Course in Miracles lesson today is: \”God is the only goal I have today.\”

And I went to the park with a full Nathan plus 20 oz. I didn\’t really need all that but I wanted to carry the weight. I did 14 laps/ 10.5 miles. Yup, doing laps prepares my mind for doing hundreds of laps.