Number 79

Yesterday I finished my 79th lifetime marathon. It was a good day at the office; but also, not so thrilling.

In March, I was thrilled about the marathon I finished. In February, I was thrilled with the marathon I finished. In April, I was super thrilled about the 50k I finished. Yesterday? I don\’t know.

The marathon was in Waxahachie, Texas. I had a pleasant drive from Houston and a nice hotel room. The hotel was only a 10 min drive from the race start. The race was starting at 7 am. So factoring in time to use the facility, time to get a good parking spot, time for spiritual practice, time to pack up the hotel room, and I was up at 4:30 am.

Now I need to tell you about a little problem. A week ago, I fell down on a crushed granite path. The granite is quite sharp and it scored my elbow pretty deep. That wound was weeping blood until Wednesday when I finally went to the drug store and bought a large size water proof bandage. On Friday night in my hotel room, I decided to take the bandage off. The deepest gouge was still open. I decided to let it dry overnight. In the morning, it still looked open, not scabbed. Instead of putting on the new bandage I had with me, because I didn\’t want it in any race pictures, I decided that the wound would dry up under the sleeves I was going to wear for the first part of the race. This turned out to be a mistake. See below.

The spiritual study did not go so well. I couldn\’t focus on it. I kept shifting my attention to the internet. I\’ve wondered about this lately. That is, maybe I do spend too much time looking at things on the internet. Maybe it is killing my brain. The book I brought for spiritual study wasn\’t pleasing me. It was supposed to be about Quaker silence; but it was too focused on Jesus is Lord.

I got to my parking spot about an hour before the race. I was listening to a radio show about what some prescription drugs are doing to people. I was thinking of my boss. He is in ill health, taking blood pressure and cholesterol medication; but also being terribly over weight. But really, this is my judging. It is secret arrogance.

About 30 minutes before the race, I walked to the park bathrooms and took care of business. I went over to the start line. I didn\’t see any of the people I was looking for; but I did see a couple I often see at races around Houston. So I introduced myself and we happily chatted for a few minutes.

The race started at 7 am. It was cool to begin with, but I knew it would be hot later. I do what I usually do; that is, run pretty fast until it gets hot, when I usually become slow into the finish. After the first lap, I decided it was warm enough to take off my sleeves. When I did that, I learned that the one sleeve had stuck to the elbow wound. When I pulled it off, I also sprung a leak. Whoops! Now my arm is bleeding and looking gross. I used the sleeve to keep wiping it up and when I got to the aid station, they gave me a big bandaid. Unfortunately, the bandaid didn\’t stick very long so I ended up with a gross looking elbow for my pictures. But it did stop bleeding at least.

I ran really good for 19 miles. Then I started 3×2 jog walk due to the heat. I finished in 5:14 which is still under 12 minute miles, and so perfectly fine. I got my medal, walked to the car and drove home.

Last night, I sat and contemplated my day. I was met with an unexpected inner silence. There was no joy in finishing. No thrilling moment to focus on. No emotional high or low. This morning, I was yet again doing spiritual study. I was thinking about my life. Work is ok but not stimulating and yes, I\’ll be working there for several more years. Everything is organized and paid for. Life is fine.

My God consciousness seems to be waning. maybe it has been waning for several years; but seems worse in the last year. I need to do something creative and energizing; even if I am not yet retired and don\’t have much time. As I sat there, I thought, \”Decide to climb a mountain.\” The idea of climbing a mountain, really a metaphor for doing something big for me, is an enlivening idea I get excited. In that context, 100 marathons is a mountain. The 79th leg was just a leg. Let it be. Not every leg is a thriller; but don\’t quit because of that. My whole life I have been climbing a spiritual mountain. At the moment, I can\’t see more than a layer of fog.

I have a really good spiritual book here at home. But I find the exercises difficult and I notice that I can\’t focus. Somehow, this is the iPad\’s fault.

Today, I went for a 7 mile walk in a forest. I was thinking about my race plans for the fall. I\’m excited I\’m signed up for a 50 mile race. I wonder what I\’ll do in December. I wasn\’t giving much thought to what is 2 weeks from now. I somehow need The Universe to help with my God consciousness. Something has to get better.