Tag Archives: Spirituality

At the end of 2011

I started this blog over a year ago because the practice of running was such a sensory experience for me I wanted to capture what was happening and share it. At first I put down all my running sessions in a loose sort of log, and tried to write down the thoughts that opened up in me as I learned to run longer distances, live with the elements.  I found running to be spiritually nurturing. I definitely had to call upon God when I ran, and remember that it was through God that I could do anything. My blogs became more general and opened up to other experiences, particularly spiritual ones.

When I finally let go of the goal of running in the marathon in 2011, due to injury, and lack of time to train. I got up to 16 miles in a long run, but my goal of 20 miles the next long run ended after 10 painful miles with a heel spur.  I found I could no longer blog  perhaps because my blog was so wrapped in my marathon aspiration.  I did share my entry about my mentor, but it had led people this site who could learn my identity, and some of the most private things I shared about my relationship.  This scared me from blogging further, and I removed my triumphant post about Grete’s Great Gallop 1/2 marathon, because it would have definitely revealed me.

I don’t know if this is a goodby to this blog, as I write all this, or a reaffimation to continue.  I did not do a ‘post a day’ or even a week.  I am so thankful to this blog, and I am thankful that I am still running, although very short distances now.  It is a season for me of letting go, of slowing down.  I have a few days off, I hope to come back to my relationship with this blog and myself.  I thank my subscribers and wish them joy in this New Year.

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taking it back

I had my first joyful run today in many a day. I ran in Gardiner ManorPark, a place I used to go with my husband when he was my boyfriend.  We made love in November there with our coats on as teenagers because  we lived with our parents. We would walk together in that park for over 20 years.  So, in coming back to LI, I am reminded of earlier loss as well as more recent loss…

My first 20 minutes included a monologue to myself about not HAVING to do the Marine Corps Marathon Ian and I had signed up for..it would be so much harder now that I am alone.  I did run with my friend Gia on Friday, but it was more of a trot since she was speed walking beside me, and we had alot of conversation to catch up on. But then something broke through in me, supported by the intricate trails I took with bare trees just on the verge of exploding with new life, and then all the way to the Great South Bay to see the water birds all mixing together, where I ran on what I would describe as ‘mud-sand’ and broken roots which challenged and delighted me for some reason.  I ran to the dock pictured, and almost climbed out on the ledge to sit on it, in its road to nowhere and everywhere possibility… but chickened out.  Twin puppies ran beside me for awhile, their owners trying and trying to get them back, and I felt so happy to be running and I did it for about an hour and ten minutes.  Endorphins still flowing.  I feel closer to God when I find this kind of flow.  I missed church, but I marveled in His creation this Sunday.

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.

Inspiration # 2

Mumucur munayo devah

sumanamsi mudanvitah

mandam mandam jaladhara

jagarjur anusagaram

nisithe tama-udbhute

jayamane janardane

devakyam deva-rupinyam

vishnuh sarva-guha-sayah

avirasid yatha pracyam

disindur iva pushkalah

devakyam deva-rupinyam

vishnuh sarva-guha-sayah

I didn’t run last night, but went to prayer at Christ Tabernacle, then chanted Om Nama Shivaya with Krishna Das….and found Dasi and Devaki again..I have a real fluid spirituality, I guess you might say, but I see the practice of Bhakti Yoga and the worship in an Evangelical church as the same activity, only the names and languages are different..the sun looks different on different walls, to paraphrase Rumi and his translator Coleman Barks..how sad that the bliss I can attain doesn’t always stay with me..anger still courses through me when I feel overwhelmed..tonight, running and a 12 step meeting…

inspiration # 1

Sri Chinmoy’s followers run for hundreds of miles for days around the same city blocks.  It’s definitely mind and spirit over matter.  I love going to eat at their breakfast place.  They are all so peaceful.  When I was doing more yoga, I was more attuned to subtle energy than I am now, but Sri Chinmoy’s followers radiate their inner peace, and it is easy for all to see.

I had a hard night last night, I was stressed out about an interview and a fight with my life partner/running partner, Ian.  I ran alone for around a mile, the loop around my house that we usually take.  I casually timed it at 15 minutes, usually it takes me more time.  I am not yet up to the point where I use a Forerunner GPS watch or count my steps or anything.  I know I am slowly getting faster, I know running is becoming something  that feels right in my body,  these things are such good gifts to myself.  Only 15 minutes and everything was a bit better.  But I couldn’t sleep last night.  I will try to get out there again tonight.  This November has been so beautiful, all blue skies and yellow leaves and mild temperatures.  I think my senses are sharpened by my practices of prayer, running and more conscious eating.

A portion of a hymn I sing has been my mantra–IT IS ENOUGH FOR ME

This is the whole song, by Mia Fieldes:

I will not forget

You said even in the valley

You will not forsake me

And I will not forget

You’re there even in the darkness

You will not forsake me

There is a rugged cross

Its shadow falls upon

My soul that once was lost

I will not forget

There is a rugged cross

It is the proof of unshakeable love

It is enough for me.

When I can remember IT IS ENOUGH FOR ME, I am always fine. I can’t forget!