Vacation Day 10

Today I wasn\’t sure again what I wanted to do. So I went for a run outside while I decided. The purpose of the run was just to run until I needed a pit stop, then I would go home for that. Mission accomplished. Then, I grabbed the nathan and headed outside with no idea where I really wanted to go or at what speed. I wandered over to Clear Creek again and did laps by the lake.

Today, I logged 13.55 miles.

Total for my 10 day vacation: 150 miles, and a total of 39 hours spent either running or other cross training and strength.

Today was a loss mentally. See, I can\’t decide what I really like the most. But one of the choices, ultra-marathons, I fail at. I succeed at either marathons or half marathons with at least 2 weeks between races. But part of my brain wants to enter a 48 hour race in March. Another part wants to do 2 marathons in a weekend. Another part wants to do a 50 mile race in 3 weeks. Another part wants to keep working on strength and speed.

Gahhh!

I\’m almost 57 years old. How many 57 year olds do you know who are conflicted about what race they want to go in?

Holiday shopping? Ha! Running shoes and a slant board for sit-ups.

I love being an athlete.

Vacation – day 8, day 9 am

Yesterday I slept the latest yet, until 8:30. Surprise!

I hadn\’t planned on doing big miles yesterday. In fact, wasn\’t sure what I would do. But, after the spiritual reading, I had decided to go to El Lago first for a real run. But as I went out the door, I noticed my Nathan was on my back. Surprise!

Well, since I had hydration, I decided on a new thing. I went thru El Lago and out along NASA to Clear Lake park. For a long time, I\’ve noticed a bike path near the lake that just might have a small hill. So yesterday was my day to check it out.

I planned to run easy laps there for however long I felt like it. But on the first lap, I got a surprise. This:

OMG! Way too wonderful! So, I ended up combining circuit training with my laps. I would run 2 laps, 0.8 miles, then do a 9 station circuit. Repeat 7 times. Then I headed home.

So, I felt so happy about this. All excited about a new way to do strength and also to combine it with running. My happiness helped me see that perhaps I really do like shorter faster harder; more than slower longer painful. So excited about total fitness, even if I am nearly 57 years old.

Like, the pictures of me in a marathon show me smiling. The pictures of me in an ultra marathon show me dying.

Later in the evening, I rode my elliptical for 45 minutes.

Late at night, I entered a half marathon, just an hour before the price increase. It was funny. I had been upstairs, laying in bed reading. I thought I would come down stairs to check for a discount code for this race I knew about. No discount code. But the price for the half was reasonable and was going to increase that night. The medals looked swell. I know the park and the RD. I wanted to try another fast race. Before I know it: click!

This morning, I made it out of bed when the alarm went off at 6 am. After the spiritual reading, I went to Meador park for fast running. I did 8.5 miles at 10:14 min/mile pace; then slowed up and finished a 10:34 miles total. That was very good.

I\’ll probably do another indoor work out later.

Run-cation day 7

Yesterday, I ran two whole laps of the Seabrook trails. If you go around the outside of all 3 parks, Meador/ Pine Gully/ Friendship, you get 8.8 miles per lap. This is the first time I\’ve done the complete circuit twice. Usually, I run more laps of a smaller loop.

That got me up to 88 miles in 6 days.

Today, I got out of bed whenever. For spiritual study, I read both some of A Course in Miracles and some of Brunton. I had planned to just walk today and I was going to do it in Brummerhop park. But, I started off with a full hour of running in El Lago so I could take my first pit stop at home. Then, I loaded up my Nathan and went across the street to Brummerhop park. I did 40 laps of Brummerhop. So the total for the day was 19 miles. For 7 days: 107 miles and 27 hours (includes cross training).

Of course, I spend all this time thinking. Today, my mind traveled back and forth between this world and not-this-world. When I was being conscious, I directed my thoughts toward the World Idea, seeking and listening to something bigger than myself. When I was not watching, my mind was busy trying not to hate someone at work, and rationalizing / fictionalizing why I don\’t participate in holidays.

Today is a holiday in the US. I don\’t participate in it. I am ethically and morally against this day\’s activities, so I don\’t participate.

This does not mean I am ungrateful. In fact, I\’m grateful every day for a number of spiritual gifts.

My loops around Brummerhop are very small. Obviously, it is not an adventure run. It is a run designed on purpose to be nothing but time on the feet; and plenty of space to work on the mind. Today, after 38 laps (which came after a 4.8 mile run), at about mile 18.5 on the day, I finally got the answer to why I spend my vacation running, and not doing something exciting. It is because I actually am nobody, even nobody special. At that thought, I became peaceful and happy. Any resentment I have is suddenly released as I took the lower place in society.

I am always happier when, from my heart, I believe that I am nobody. Perfect.

Vacation – 5

Wow, it is so rare that I get 5 days off work. I can hardly understand that I still have 5 more days. Each day has been sort of like: in bed until about 7:30, spiritual reading and meditation for about 2 hours, errand, exercise for 3.5 hours, eat, lay on bed reading, maybe additional work around the house, meditation, lay in bed reading, lights out and sleep about 10.

Today, after 4 days of long distance running, I decided to do something different today. So, after getting up, I put on my jeans. After the spiritual reading, I made my quarterly trip to Home Depot (only over spent by $50, but I needed a new power screw driver). Then, instead of running, I did cross training in my house.

15 min ex-bike
17 min elliptical
25 min durability (put on ankle weights, rotate between step platform, mini-trampoline, trx sprinters, stairs carrying weights, shoulder press, kettlebell swings)
15 min nordic track
15 min versa climber
15 min rowing
90 min walking uphill on the treadmill

For spiritual reading, I\’ve been switching back and forth between Paul Brunton and A Course in Miracles. I decided while running yesterday that A Course in Miracles is much for helpful in actually changing my thinking and increasing my overall consciousness than Brunton.

This morning I thought about spiritual gifts I\’ve received over the past 40 years.
– The gift of wanting to know God and pursuing Him daily
– Sobriety using spiritual tools
– Meditation
– Benedictine listening
– 4 years in a radically different world ( monastery )
– Return to the world without being of it
– Incredible prosperity
– Ongoing desire to improve / heal my reactions to others
– A Course in Miracles

Cocoon

I had a lovely time outside today. After my run, I came home. No contact with other people today. Also, I\’ve mostly been reading all afternoon and evening.

Is that okay?

The word cocoon came to mind. Perhaps in retreat, I am healing and transforming. That\’s the point of my solitude. It is a spiritual cocoon. The ego part of my consciousness is reading, but truly my soul is listening to a higher Voice.

Vacation Day 3

I slept amazingly well again. A cold front came across Texas and for the Gulf Coast, it is really cold. Yesterday: AC. Today: heat.

I am putting 4 Course in Miracles lessons into my mind for the next few days:
-This day I choose to spend in perfect peace.
-God is the only goal I have today.
-Let me remember what my purpose is.
-Let me remember that my goal is God; overlooking all little senseless aims.

These are easy enough to remember and to return my thoughts to them. In these vacation days, with nothing on the schedule, I can devote my time to spiritual lessons. I can devote my mind to remembering Spirit.

The above thoughts were in my mind during my run today. As a result, my mind was not on any resentments. When I saw a dog with owner, I didn\’t hate all dog owners for leaving dog poop on the trail. I had a new thought: the hate is optional. I am also gaining perspective on work colleagues; what can and cannot happen and how we can relate to each other.

My mind was peaceful for 3.5 hours of walk/jog. I felt good today. I could have done more, but I\’m saving miles for 7 more days. So far this vacation: 46 miles.

This is part of the Seabrook trail:

I did my chores which was vacuuming part of my house and setting up the electronic cat repellent in the back yard. I looked at picture of a snow storm in Chicago. Sure I am glad I live on the Gulf Coast.

Epiphanies

Whenever I have several days off work, time to be alone with my thoughts, I hope for an inspiration, a new thought.

In my life, there have been several thoughts which have driven me to life changing action. When I was 22, I stood near the Jaffa Gate in old Jerusalem watching some Hassidic Jews. I thought, \”There might be something to this God thing.\” When I came home, I started to study the Bible and pursue religion.

Years later, and many changes, the shootings at Columbine High in Colorado occurred. Listening to a radio interview of one of the boys that lived, who was the boyfriend of one of the girls who was shot, I heard him read her diary from the night before. Jesus Christ mattered to her. I decided to \”shamelessly follow Jesus.\” That is the second important thought of my life. It was soon followed by the question, \”How do I shamelessly follow Jesus?\” And the intuitive answer was, \”Live a life of prayer.\” These thoughts led me into the monastery.

The thought \”Shamelessly follow Jesus\” also led me away from the Church several years later.

But first, I had thought number 3. Right before making my first monastic profession, I found myself in crisis for 4 days. It is a long story, but the nun leadership was deciding to kick me out. During the crisis, I had a dream in which I received, \”Love is the predominant mode of existence.\” And then when they actually told me to leave, I asked God why I had to be the one to leave. The intuitive answer, \”Because you can. You can live in the world and still practice my presence.\”

\”Love is the predominant mode of existence\” is perhaps the last important thought I have had. It stays with me and provides those moments of knowing it truth in my waking consciousness.

In the 12 years since leaving the monastery, my life has gone here and there. I came to Texas on negative vibes. It wasn\’t inspired by some intuitive message. ┬áNow I am here in Texas. My life is stable and well funded.

I fear it lacks inspiration. My epiphany of this evening was to remember how these other epiphanies drove my life into new territory; and to notice how I haven\’t had one for awhile. This is especially annoying because my dream of enlightenment through ultra-marathoning isn\’t going to work. All the methods of enlightenment which I have tried didn\’t bring what I was looking for. I\’m not going to take drugs or have a stroke.

Never mind. I realize that what my ego thinks is enlightenment is only a dopamine induced ecstasy.

Am I too old to have a powerful intuitive thought? Do I shut them off because I make too much money? Have I not done enough with the previous thoughts?

In my silence and solitude, I pray for an intuitive thought. I will begin to watch for the building of an inner power.

I need to understand: How may I best serve You?

Is this the end of the line? I am impatient God. Or Self. Or Jesus. Or whatever I want to call You. Is being a successful engineer all you really want me to do?

Vacation – 2

Yesterday I began vacation for 10 days. The whole plan is to sleep run and eat; with a few chores and pay a few bills.

Each day begins with a long period of spiritual reading and meditation. Each day ends with a repeat of spiritual reading and meditation.

Yesterday I had a wonderful sunny run on trails, 13.2 miles. But my legs were a bit tired still from last week\’s race. I also rode my elliptical for 40 mins and did 100 crunches.

Today, it was raining earlier in the morning. So I did a fast 55 min run on roads, getting drenched at the end, 4.8 miles. Then after an AA meeting, I went back out for some slow miles. It was not raining and still quite warm. I got in 10.8 miles. Faster than yesterday and my legs felt fine. I plan to do some trx work later.

Yesterday, a woman asked me what I was training for. Really, nothing. The miles are good for me mentally. I love strapping on my Nathan hydro-pak and just spending time doing miles.

The state of my life is a good topic for me during these days of vacation. Actually, since I am a solitary, I contemplate my life. I look for patterns in the spirituality. At this time, my outer world cannot ask for more. At work, I was recently promoted into the top position I would ever desire to attain: Subject Matter Expert. Money is fine. House is fine. Houston is fine.

So again, I turn inward to spirit and ask for knowledge, relationship and truth.

Today while I was running, I was able to get the feeling that everything is love. Thanks Spirit for letting me know this.

Non-race Report

This happy picture is from my awesome half marathon last week. It was a great race.

I am signed up for another race this weekend; but I just cancelled my hotel reservation. I am going to DNS. Just because I don\’t feel like doing another full marathon again this week. I don\’t feel like driving across Texas and staying in a hotel, getting up at 4am, getting to a rainy/ windy startline by 6:30 am. And then, the long drive back either.

I don\’t have the energy.

Instead, I\’ll be sleeping in the next 10 days and jogging in Seabrook; with plenty of time for spiritual reading and reflection. Not wearing myself out.

It is the right thing to do.

Yes, $100 race fee will go to the charity and I won\’t have anything to show for it.