“10 miles of Freaking Cute!”

Pack Monadnock – it was neither a win nor a loss.  It was the same exact performance as last year.  Not sure how I feel about that.  I suppose OK.

Same profile for that matter!  Unfortunately, the mountain didn’t shrink from last year.  Wishful thinking on my part.


The one thing that was different was my perspective.  A friend emailed me and said to run “for the celebration of who I am in the presence of that which is holy.”  The email arrived just as I was about to embark on my odyssey. Perfect timing.

It was holy ground.  The lushness of the New Hampshire landscape provided a setting for reflection. One could meditate being in tune with one’s inner landscape.  Footfalls provide a soft metronome of which to lose oneself.  Running alone, separated from the others, provided a rare glimpse to all that is of God’s great creation.  Off in the distance, I caught sight of Monadnock like the majesty of a mountain rising to greet its long-lost lover.

I reflected on those words over and over.

This reflection was broken as the main pack whizzed by interrupting my aloneness and making me feel as if I needed to “speed it up.”

For a brief moment, running became like a communion with all that is holy.  A marvel of all that is created and unfolds so naturally.

For a brief moment, I felt as if a race was just a race, and running was about much more.

As I saw the enormous grade of the mountain ahead of me, I put my head down in silent prayer and took one step at a time. One step at a time. And, I was given the persistence and courage to continue, and ultimately make it.

Giving up always seems like the best option.  But, it is the last option, always.

I joked and said that was “10 miles of Freaking Cute!”  And, my motto has always been if I am not going to come close to placing, I might as well look flamboyant trying.  I probably would win the best-dressed award with all my running skirts and dresses (yes, dresses), but I suppose when you are celebrating you, wear your best clothes and make it all count.

Someone commented to me that I looked 20 years old in the photo below.  And, I think that may be true.

When I run, I am free.  I am so present to all that is around and inside of me, that I am free.  Free from remembering the past.  Free from wondering about the future.  Just free, in the moment, free.  There are very few places that time is transcended.  When I run, time matters none.  Problems matter none.  Past hurts and ills fade away.  I am free. You just place one foot in front of the other and you move into your freedom.  It is a holy place.  Running brings me to that place.

Next weekend:  31 miles of freedom from Hull to Provincetown, MA.  I am not sure how I feel about this one.  A little anxious, I suppose.  Well, maybe not a little, a lot.

Here is what “10 Miles of Freaking Cute” looks like sitting at the Red Arrow Diner! Not bad after 10 miles! And, yes, I do look about 20.  Running does that…




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