The thing I want out of life, this life and all the others, is God. Like a salmon returning to spawn time after time, I came back here for another journey.
It is Christmas Day 2016. I am getting ready for a long walk jog. But first, I did as I always do: read an inspirational book, journal, listen for intuitive thoughts. Many times, the listening part is listening to massive amounts of emotion; but eventually, an intuitive thought comes. Then I work out (exercise). Then I go to my job. Today, I got the following clear thoughts about my life.
My response to the world is consistency. I\’ve been doing the above for decades.
In my life, but especially in 2016, I received the gift of marathons. This gift needs to be unpacked and contemplated. In my life I\’ve run 73 official marathon or ultra-marathon races, plus numerous private 26+ mile quests. In 2016, I completed 22 official races plus 4 private 26+ mile quests. In 2016, I received a dream: a marathon vacation. I went to the Black Hills area and did 4 marathons in 4 states in 4 days. Super.
In 2016, I received the gift of emotion. That is, I finally learned what emotion is so that I could then feel it and let the energy go through.
In my life, I have received 2 Sentences. I see these as purpose, but they are not as simple as they look.
– Shamelessly follow Jesus and live a life of prayer. This thought came to me after the Columbine shootings (1999); as I was driving down a mid-western freeway in a pickup truck. It resulted in my trip into the monastery. This is difficult because Jesus is not who or what mainstream people think.
– Love is the predominant mode of existence. This came to me in a dream as I learned I was leaving the monastery and re-entering the world (2003). This is difficult because love and being loving is not what mainstream people think.
The gift of Not-Going-Along. I got this in 2003 when I left the monastery. No, I won\’t eat your food. No, I won\’t join your society. No, I won\’t share your emotional energy. Keep it away from me.
In 2016, I had to figure out what I am. The words finally arrived: Gender Nonconforming. This has nothing to do with sexuality or trans-gender. It means that I don\’t conform to the standard or typical female. I have not lived my life as a woman; no marriage, no motherhood, a male dominated career….
To Trump or Not-to-Trump. My opinions need to transcend the war going on in our nation and the world. I think this will be an ongoing contemplation in 2017.
The Blockage. I have an emotional blockage. A flaw in my DNA. A dam in my energy pattern. A deep psychic wound. This situation has come more to my consciousness this year. Exploring and healing will be an ongoing contemplation for 2017. Yes, you can heal your DNA.
That\’s all folks. It is now time for running.
Marathons. God I want to run another right now. I don\’t want to wait 10 days, until 1/1/2017, for my next race.
Here is a story of how I can get completely lost in my mind. Here is an example of an addictive thought process. While I am addicted to marathons, you can easily substitute alcohol or cocaine and get a similar slippery thought slope.
Yesterday I was out running. I was feeling real good and I wanted to run another marathon. But there are none right this minute; except for Iranmarathons.com in San Antonio. Here is the beginning of the slippery slope.
I am well aware that the race director P fudges the results. That is, people who didn\’t run the race, including herself, are shown with results. People who ran virtually are shown in the results. P has claimed to run 1001 marathons, when I watched her cheat at the 2015 Irving marathon.
So I could drive to San Antonio and run a marathon. For me personally it would be legal right? I showed up at the course and ran it. Do I want to support a race director who cheats? But, God, I want to run a marathon right now. But I know perfectly well, that I could be the only one who shows up. So that is not really a race. Why drive to San Antonio, pay $100 to a scoundrel, and run by myself. Why not pay $35 to the scoundrel and run in Seabrook, but have my result appear with the rest of the results. I could run the course for the Seabrook Lucky Trail marathon so I was sure it was a measured marathon and not a Garmin marathon. I could do this and then be able to count one more marathon in my collection.
After this run where I came to this extraordinary conclusion, I got on the internet. I decided to check out results for L. I like L and I have seen L at races all over the country. L has been recognized for the most marathons ever. He includes Iranmarathons results in his list. But strangely, whenever I have gone to San Antonio, I haven\’t seen L on course. I asked another friend, C, about this. He said that L might start at 10 pm. But, my mind whispered, then that is really running virtually. So, to continue my rationalization, I thought, \”If Iranmarathons virtual results are good enough for L, then why not me?\”
Then I happened to google L. I landed on a page marathoninvestigation.com. They had a long expose about L and the impossibility of some of his results. They also had a long expose about the Iranmarathons race director P.
A sour taste went into my mouth. Thank God for that. I was saved. I dismissed all ideas of claiming a virtual marathon result or going to San Antonio. Instead, I found myself sending an e-mail to Marathon Investigations about what I saw with P at the 2015 Irving marathon.
Today I went for a 3.5 hour walk. Just walking. I know I\’ll survive 10 days until my next marathon.
Saturday, I ran a marathon. It was my 22 marathon this year and my 73 marathon this lifetime. I am 57 years old, 58 in January. I say all that because of the time of year. Another year of marathoning wrapped up. In fact, I far out did myself as far as number of marathons done in a year goes. 11 is the second highest count.
Spirit unleashed, that is my yearning for 2017. Not that I\’ll run more marathons or train more but that I\’ll let my soul be free. Free of my character defects and unleashed in joy and athletic power; that my ethos dream for 2017.
In this marathon, I went out wanting to give my fastest. At the same time, as the day got warm, up to 80F with a strong wind, my speed slowed.
As I think of this marathon, I think of the drops of sweat dripping from the brim of my ball cap. For about 2 of the 5 hours, there was a steady drip drip drip. I remember passing Kim several times. Kim cannot run any more. She walks; and due to nerve damage has to sit down every 6 miles. Yet she would walk 50 miles. I admire Kim. I admire anyone who keeps going despite difficulties.Various other people I passed or was passed. We chat a bit. People say, didn\’t I see you at such and such a race? Or, how far are you going today? Or will you be at the Texas marathon? Or, go girl, you\’re looking good!
On this day, there was a girls soccer tournament on the ball fields inside the park. Six or so games going at any one time. On one lap, I saw a guy from work who was cheering one of his kids. I didn\’t say anything. On the next lap he was still there. This time, I yelled hello and got his attention. He waved.
This marathon was 13 laps of 2 miles each plus a loop around a parking lot at the start of the race. As usual, as I approach 20 miles, my feet and legs are tired and hurt a bit. Thankfully no blisters or any other injury. I am grateful for the last lap. As I run it, some guy who is faster than me passes. When I say it is my last lap, he says \”I hate you.\” This because he is doing a longer distance but wants to stop now.
I get my awesome medal and am shortly driving home. I use google maps, even though I know the way, because I don\’t know which highway has traffic. Houston is like that. Even on Sunday, some highways will be full.
On January 1, 2017, the journey continues. I plan to be Spirit Unleashed. This race report is about the race, but also how I feel about life at the moment. I\’m thinking that I\’m tired of fighting at work; fighting for what is right and good, or for advancement. I wish I could pull my dog out of the race.
I love how I feel when working out. I love the afterglow of marathons. The marathon journey does not have to end any time soon. I go in races where there are many people much older than me finishing the 26 miles. I can be there for a long time.
One of the things I like about this medal is the big words Houston. I have to admit to myself that I like it here. And ask myself, \”Why would you ever leave?\”
Today, the Monday after this race, I ran 15 miles in laps around a park. I thought about my current situation. I need to learn to take my dog out of the work race. I need to learn to let go. After my run, I purchased a new hydration belt online and then I entered a marathon in February in Galveston.
I still need to figure out my future. I want to learn to write an essay. I use the word essay in its technical sense. In the writing word, the philosophical world, an essay is a specific thing. I have a dream of writing 100 essays about 100 marathons; and so hope to use my brain creatively and engage independent thinking.