BadWater in Seabrook

Finished it. Did it. Almost failed, but somehow not.

As I write this, my friend Parvaneh is past mile 81 according to FB but not yet checked in at 4th aid station miles 90 according to Adventure Corps. BadWater is 135 miles. That is a long day at the office.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I\’ve had my own strange day. Lets go over this again. About 6 weeks ago Parvaneh said she was having a marathon along the BadWater course. I told her I couldn\’t go to Death Valley, but I would run a marathon in Seabrook that day. She said fine. I paid an entry fee. She gave me a medal and a t-shirt the last time I was in San Antonio.

Last night, I was anxious. I didn\’t feel good about my heel. I didn\’t feel good about the weather. I was sure no marathon was going to happen today. I didn\’t make it out of bed with the alarm. I listened to a down pour. I listened to my brain tell me what a slacker I am. Finally at 7:30, I got up.

I still didn\’t think I was going to run a marathon today. Finally, about 8:30, I decided to run for 42 min in El Lago and then do a series of 42 minute cross training intervals. ( A marathon is 42.2k. thats where the 42 came from).

Well, things went pretty well in El Lago. At 42 minutes, I hit the lap button on the Garmin and decided on another 42 minutes. That went well too. I had to go home for a pit stop because there is absolutely no place in El Lago to pee. I had no water with me so I had to go home anyway. As I got home, I could imagine walking 42 laps of Brummerhop. So I gathered up my water bottles, a couple of Vibrancy Bars, several gel packets, hit the start button on the Garmin and headed over to Brummerhop Park.

The rest is more or less history. I thought of Parvaneh the whole way. I don\’t know if My energy helped her or her determination helped me. But for sure, once I got started, it wasn\’t that hard to keep going. I was blessed with a cloudy and rainy day, or it wouldn\’t have worked.

So, thats my BadWater story. I\’ll keep tabs on Parvaneh. I know she\’ll make it.

BadWater

Here is my friend who is running BadWater. She is RD for the many Iranmarathons I run in San Antonio. She offered a BadWater marathon for Tuesday. I\’m running mine in Seabrook. I get a shirt and a medal though.
I am glad I am off the ultra-marathon circuit. I have the heart of a champion; but physical limitations. But I was doing it for self transcendence. But now I know I don\’t need to torture my body to have self transcendence. It is much better to just live one day at a time.

Friday Off Weekend – Badwater 1

This evening as I walked on my treadmill, I read this from A Course in Miracles chapter 4.II: \”The ego is the mind’s belief that it is completely on its own. The ego’s ceaseless attempts to gain the spirit’s acknowledgement and thus establish its own existence are useless. Spirit in its knowledge is unaware of the ego. It does not attack it; it merely cannot conceive of it at all. While the ego is equally unaware of spirit, it does perceive itself as being rejected by something greater than itself. This is why self-esteem in ego terms must be delusional. \”

And I also had another card which said: The Christ in you is very still.

It immediately occurred to me that spending the weekend in quiet retreat would be perfect. I will walk many minutes, but not stress out.

I switched to a 9/80 schedule at work a month or so ago. I\’m still getting used to the idea of having a 3 day weekend every other weekend.

Something odd happened today. I have a friend who is running Badwater Ultramarathon on July 16-17 (135 miles across Death Valley). She is also a race director ( Iranmarathons.com ). She decided to get a permit to run a marathon along the Badwater race course so her friends could come support her. Well, I can\’t come in body, but I could come in spirit. So I asked if I could enter her race but I\’d do mine in Seabrook. She said yes!

I\’m actually quite excited about this opportunity. It is somehow meaningful to me to participate in her final training and then be on board for the actual day. So if I talk alot about my next race as Badwater, that\’s what is up. I\’ll never actually go to Badwater, but I can get there in spirit and this is as close as I\’ll ever get.

Saturday Walking

Today, when my alarm went off at 5:30, I easily got out of bed. An hour later, I began a 10 mile walk at 4 mph pace around Seabrook. I am walking because I am resting some aches and pains.

My thought was: The Holy Spirit\’s Love is my strength.

Now, a few hours later, my foot feels good enough to proceed with an afternoon workout: free weights and elliptical and bike.

I am not upset about not running. In fact, I don\’t really care if I never run again. The swelling on my heel may be with me for this lifetime, so I don\’t sweat it. But the achilles and plantar will heal and then I can walk longer and further. In a 24 or 72 hour race, most of the people are walking so I will fit right in. But until the plantar feels better, I can\’t even walk much more than I did today.

I can do sit-ups forever.

Badwater 2012 is over and the race reports are coming out. I read a particularly gruesome one today. the person did not conclude that this was the greatest thing he ever endured. It brought back my own \”Why?\” questions.

I can\’t explain endurance. Perhaps it is the same as an alcoholic getting drunk. Endurance is just something that must be done. That is why the thought of walking 24 hours doesn\’t phase me: it is endurance and it must be done.

The sisters in the monastery hardly walk at all, but the liturgy of the hours and daily hora et labora is a horrendous feat of endurance; lasting 60 or more years.

People who get up and go to work everyday might be enduring in a magnificent way.

I prefer my endurance with endorphins. So I walk and cross train. I am also fussy about my chiseled arm muscles, so I use the TRX for arm running.

Laying on my bed and reading this afternoon, I realized how wonderful the labor of endurance is. It enacts the most magic thing about any human mind: getting off the bed. How do we ever get off the bed?

While I walked, I dreamed. What should I do over Labor Day weekend? Should I go to St Louis and walk 12 hours? Or go to Utah and walk a marathon?

How many 50 somethings do you know who face such treacherous decisions?

Will

A Course in Miracles, 11.I:

\”You must ask what God’s Will is in everything, because it is yours. You do not know what it is, but the Holy Spirit remembers it for you. Ask Him, therefore, what God’s Will is for you, and He will tell you yours. It cannot be too often repeated that you do not know it. Whenever what the Holy Spirit tells you appears to be coercive, it is only because you have not recognized your will…..The projection of the ego makes it appear as if God’s Will is outside yourself, and therefore not yours. In this interpretation it seems possible for God’s Will and yours to conflict. God, then, may seem to demand of you what you do not want to give, and thus deprive you of what you want. Would God, Who wants only your will, be capable of this? Your will is His life, which He has given to you.\”

Today I went running in my newly beloved Seabrook, Texas. I say newly beloved because I appreciate it much more since returning from Colorado. About 90 minutes into the run I could see the sweat dropping off the bill of my Badwater hat. I\’m sure that never happens in Badwater. I watched the drips one by one fall to the red gravel of the path in Seabrook. The running went well until about 9 miles. Then the lightening became too close for comfort. I ended my run at 10 miles; but that was about all my foot wanted to give anyway.

It should be noted that I wear a Badwater hat for lofty inspiration; not because I ever will run Badwater.

I came home and had my salad at 9:30 am; then a massive nap. Then I watched the fish at the Monterey Aquarium via the live web cam.

I go back to work tomorrow after a week of vacation. 92 miles covered since 6/30 when I started off running at Dillon Reservoir in Colorado.

Just now, I wanted to try and see if anything important had happened during this retreat from work. I sat down in front of A Course in Miracles and read what is quoted above. I noticed that there are two ideas: my will and God\’s Will. But it also points out that there is only one life and one will: that which I share with God. Then it points out that my ego does not want this.

Thus, I seem to throw away God, fear God and feel life long conflict.

I seem to always wish I could have a quantum leap in my thinking. But I get daily changes and glimmers of light.

Wonder why I haven\’t bought my air plane tickets for my September marathon yet? I\’m waiting for something but I don\’t know what.

Edit: I just spent 30 min riding my ex-bike and pondering \”Your will is His life….\” Really, think about it; for yourself I mean.

The Crucible

My private gym is the place of intense fire. There is a treadmill, Nordic Track and Versa Climber in the first picture. There is an elliptical and ex-bike in the second. Also shown is a step platform. Not shown is the mini-trampoline, the TRX or the free weights.

This morning, I had another miracle run: 16.9 miles of sweat in Texas. Now, several hours later, I can tell my left heel is not in serious trouble. I wore my new Badwater hat. I\’m not ever going to race Badwater; but I can adopt the courage of someone who is. So the hat inspires me. While I was running this morning, I saw a fat girl out walking. The word Courage was on the back of her shirt. I teared up. I embody courage in my own way. Here are the simple things a long distance runner has: Badwater hat, Nathan hydro-pak, Garmin and shoes:

After my run, I enjoyed the feeling of a sore body. I can\’t explain why I like this but I do. I spent every day off work achieving it.

2 weeks to Ultra Monk\’s Colorado ultra training camp. Soon, I\’ll decide about Merrill\’s Mile. tomorrow the 3,100 Self Transcendence Race begins. I want to do endurance for my own reasons. Not Scott Jurek\’s or any other person\’s.

My spiritual thoughts continued to center on total willingness to be one with God. Enlightenment is expressed by a Course in Miracles as: God\’s Will (enlightenment) is an experience of total willingness. It is blocked by wishes for other experience. Now some people totally surrender in moments of despair or near death. Most others, like me, live lives of growing joy in the knowledge that we are light.