2015 Holiday Musings

2015 is not over. Already, I\’ve run more than 3,000 miles this year. That is more than the Race
Across the US (from Santa Monica to the Empire State Building).

Its not my biggest mileage year ever; but one of the best in several years. This goes with 11 full marathons and 4 half marathons finished. I had really good fun at the Miracle Match Marathon in Waco, The Woodlands Marathon, The Irving Marathon, The Fort Worth Marathon and the Houston Running Festival marathon. I wasn\’t thrilled with The Galveston Marathon, the Seabrook Lucky Trails marathon or The Maryville Marathon.

This year I got to spend 2 nights at the convent where I used to be an inmate.

This year, I was promoted to Subject Matter Expert at work. It was sort of like being named franchise player. Somehow, our work group and 2 very new people and 2 sort of new people and 2 who are experts. Our company was spun off from its parent this year. We have a new completely new name.

This year I: started making all my own bread, all my own peanut butter, grinding my own coffee, making my own beans. So I don\’t participate in the commercialization of these products. I\’m looking for more ways to remove myself from aspects of the grid.

Like, I didn\’t and won\’t see Star Wars. I haven\’t seen a movie in more than 15 years. I don\’t own a TV. There are many other ways I don\’t participate in society. I keep hoping this will free my mind to think outside the bell curve of American thinking, and reduce my overall stress since I am not aware of propaganda the media broadcasts. As if broadcasting was a net that didn\’t catch me.

This year, I celebrated 30 years of sobriety. I am incredibly thankful to have lived a sober life. I think of the decades of misery I\’ve been spared and gratitude fills me.

I realized the truth of why I am single. I think I knew it; but it was too easy to blame men for thinking I\’m not very attractive. But this year, 2 guys wanted to get to know me better. The second one was a nice guy I know well and would get along with. But when he asked me out, I was not at all thrilled. I experienced terror. Terror of having someone in my life. I am so not a care taker. I don\’t relate to being a wife or even a feminine person at all. The result of any relationship is that I decide I can\’t have that person around and in my way; so I push them out, and that hurts. So I don\’t get involved at all.

As I explored this terror, I realized that I am married to 2 ideas which leave very little room for another person. One is the idea of metaphysics, which takes a large amount of alone time to study and meditate. The other is the idea of athlete. Not only do I run but I cross train and lift weights and eat only certain things. I really don\’t want to be continuously adjusting my life and my space for another person.

I look back on 2014 as a horrible emotional year. Menopause was continuing to kick my butt. I look back on 2015 as a successful and fun year. I did well.

Well,  am almost 57. My biggest challenge appears to be training new engineers at work. I plan to continue to pursue ultra-marathoning later in the year. In the mean time, between now and April, I\’m signed up for 8 races.

Houston Running Festival

It is totally worth mentioning: I ran a marathon today.

Not just finishing, but RACING.

See, during the past month or so, as I ran 2 half marathons, I discovered that I can 100% run a half marathon at around 10 minute miles without having problems with one of my knees. Early in November, before the 2 half marathons, I ran the Fort Worth marathon by running the first 8.5 miles and then switching to 7x1s (7 minutes run and one minute walk). I did well finishing in 5h04min. That was the best I\’ve done since 2011.

Today, the weather was cold (to me) at 39F to start. Since I live near Galveston Bay, I almost never experience temps less than 55F. But it was clear skies without much wind. I thought my time would be a little slow as I knew I\’d have to stop to shed clothing layers. The race course is a 2 mile paved bike path, where I could easily drop a jacket at the car.

I was cold to start so I ran very fast to warm up. I felt comfortable and got about 6 miles done the first hour. I decided to keep running that pace for the first 13 miles, then start the 7x1s. I held a good pace and finished the half in 2h15. Then I started the walk breaks. The walking did help so when I was running, I continued to run fast. I finished in 4h44min.

OMG! I since my surgery in 2013, I never thought I\’d ever again break 5 hours in a marathon. Something magical was happening today. I had the energy and my right ACL did no let out one peep. I don\’t think I was in a zone. I was just running comfortable for me. Nothing was bothering me and the legs had the energy so I let them go.

So fantastic.

Here is how I looked after finishing.

I guess all the cross training; and shorter faster training runs is working. Also, it is winter.

I love being an athlete.

Happiness – 2

I can\’t believe how happy I am today. I\’m still happy about yesterday and my speedy half marathon. But I am also happy about today.

I started off with an 82 min run outside in the rain. Then, after some lunch, I did 140 minutes of additional workout on my machines, 1363 calories. (machines = ex-bike, elliptical, Nordic Track, Versa Climber and rowing). And I did some core exercises in between each machine.

In between running and machine changes, I baked a loaf of bread, finished off making beans in the crock pot, bought stuff online.

Now, I\’m finally eating some of the beans.

I love how I feel right now.

Running Happiness

I went in a half marathon yesterday. It was on wide dirt trails in a park. I didn\’t go there planning to race, but every race causes me to run faster than I normally would.

At first, I was following a lady who I\’ve seen at other races. I think she is my age. I know she is faster than me. After awhile I had to let her go. I knew I couldn\’t sustain her pace for 13 miles. Not that much later, I passed her when she was walking.

For about the first 7 miles, the footing was good and I kept to a nearly 6 mph pace. Then, we entered an area where there was some mud, the footing was uneven and leaves were hiding trip hazards. I had to slow down some and pray not to trip. But I still found that I really wanted to run fast. But, my knee was having some glitches due to the uneven footing. It was a balancing act.

I did what I could and finally made it out of the treachery onto better trails. I crossed the finish line in 2:18, which was 10:25 pace according to my Garmin. I told the RD I was over the age of 50. He immediately said, \”You are the first Master\’s woman,\” and handed me an award. I was so thrilled. Here is my picture with the award.

Then, I started walking to my car. I was talking to a nice looking man who was also walking. He said he was 58. I mentioned I was the Masters winner. We discussed why it was that we were still doing this even though we are \”old\”. It is funny to think of \”mature\” people still competing and being happy about age group awards.

I really loved the experience of \”hell bent for leather\” I had in the treacherous part of the course. My concentration was fully on the trail in front of me and how fast could I go.

In a month, I\’ll be 57. I love that I\’m still doing races at age 57.

This morning, I had time to sleep in and then ponder. I love fast races. In contrast, I still want to do a ultra endurance event. I asked myself the question again: which one? Today the answer came. Some days I run fast and short, and glory in the speed. Other days, I go slow and long and wander down dark corridors of pain and failure. I need to do both some of the time.

Today is a very rainy day. Since it is also chilly, I think I will put on a rain suit and go slow outside for a little bit.

Next Saturday is a full marathon. I can\’t wait to see how that works out.

Because It Is the Truth

The Inner Shift, A Course in Miracles Text 21.VIII

I first read the Course in Miracles Text in 2007. I\’m now on my 9th reading. I\’ve done the workbook more than once. Frequently, I suddenly understand something I didn\’t \”get\” on previous readings. The Text is like a gold mine, with nuggets of golden inspiration available for the digging every time.

This morning I \”got\” one.

Yesterday, I had a happy day at work. I was happy because no one got on my nerves. I thanked Higher Power for that. This morning, reading the ACIM text, it occurred to me: I  want to be happy to feel better, not because it is the Truth.

Ahhhhh! That is what the Text is saying. Desire happiness, joy, Relationship with Higher Power, because it is the truth; not to feel better. Cuz, if you desire it for Truth, no matter what happens you are happy with HP\’s Will for you. You\’re not in it for your small self.

Yesterday I worked out per my usual twice a day. No I didn\’t rest from my 10 day vacation. I just reverted to my usual work day routine. Exercise is a way of life. Daily workouts are a way of life. I just do them.

Now, I need to get over to the elliptical and do one now.