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…