First, Second, Third Nights..

Happy New Year.  Ian and I ran the 5K at Saratoga Springs’ First Night Festival.  We were well prepared, and really ready to run after not doing so in the 2 feet high snow.  It was my first race with 1000 other people, and the crowd began to give me a sense of vertigo, as we all started off I couldn’t even feel my feet, although my eyesight was very keen.  I felt high from the energy before I had taken 3 steps, but I was also fearful, each step was scary to me.  Once that initial surge passed, it was an uphill slog.  For awhile I kept up with Ian, than I gave him my blessing so he could bolt away with a little leap of joy.  I realize that our side by side training holds him back.  So many people seemed to overtake me, that it kept me determined to keep somewhat of a pace, although it was difficult.  I began to heel strike just so something could happen, and I did speed up by doing so, but the downside was a terrible electrical pain in my shoulder, I felt every single bone, and I became enraged, it finally lifted when I was forced myself to speed up a bit.  The first mile was slow, they yelled times to us and I was at 11:53, but the second mile went quickly, as it was more flat.  I managed to get a second wind for the very last bit, even though there was one more hill right before mile 3.  The cheering crowd spurred me, and I entered alongside a couple.  I finished in 34:23, with a pace of 11:04.  I was # 800, with 1021 finishers total, but I saw numbers as high as 1081.  Ian was # 615 with 30:47 and a pace of 9:55.  Because we started towards the back, he was slowed, as we all were, so he really wondered ‘what if’ we had our own watch to tell us how we did.  I was just purely grateful.  I didn’t burst into tears, but I was suffering.  Then of course we were both wildly elated and texted pictures of ourselves with our finishers medals to all family members.  Back at our hotel, we began First Night in earnest with a fantastic gospel group, ran up to shower, and then enjoyed Asian Dancing (we both got up and did some ribbon dancing) Belly Dancing (non participatory) Irish music, dinner at an Italian restaurant and finally back in our hotel for Blues from a fantastic group, and to our bedroom where we got to watch the fireworks through our window.  My senses remained acute, and I remained bathed in gratitude.

The next day we hung around a bit in Saratoga, but the town was pretty much hung over and we mostly read at Borders.  Then on to Montclair NJ and Bhagavan Das..

I am haunted by this soul’s voice, he says his voice carries darshan of Neem Karoli Baba, and I definitely found myself going through a deep experience with the chants.  The next day at Christ Tabernacle, Ian and I were ready for worship!  The church is entering into the Daniel Fast.  We had heard some general thoughts about the fast a few weeks ago, but although we wanted to commit, we weren’t quite ready, and made some mistakes yesterday.  Finally, we set out a contract to ourselves with slight modifications (leavened bread and coffee for Ian/Green Tea for me) I will try to taper from caffeine addiction through the fast, but I fear cold turkey…

And, we ran the Williamsburgh bridge, with an additional sprint we did about 2.5, with a total running week of 5.7.  The commitment to run the bridge was just another beautiful reminder the togetherness Ian and I experience in moments.  We just decided we wanted to run a bridge, and we did it.  The vista made it worthwhile, the incline made it just a bit challenging, and the length was nice and short.

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