One week out…

Well, here we are one week away from the big day.

The “taper” has begun, and I am easing into recovery.  Thus, the reason why I am writing this entry in the middle of the day.  It is nice to have a day off but feels odd.

I have put in many long hard hours over the last several months.

The journey almost brings me to tears reflecting on it.

I have lost faith and gained faith in my coach and in myself over and over, but I never strayed from the training plan as much as I wanted to out of fatigue.

Yesterday was a huge race for me.

I came in third for my age category at the Pittsfield, MA Berkshire Ultra Running Club’s 13.1-mile race.  If I had only known how close I was, I would have never lolly gagged taking photos and eating my Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches at the aid station.  I had no idea.  I was just running for the sheer fun of it, finally.

I came in first before last years top age category finisher’s time.

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The course was terrific.  No better than that, it was absolutely stunning.  Challenging ascents but not overly and nice descents that I took advantage of.  Many were complaining about the course being hard, but after some of the recent ones that I have been on, i.e., Jay Peak and my other mountain races, it was a piece of cake for me.  Actually, this was a paltry 2,500 in elevation gain – a piece of cake!  Actually, I was running up some ascents when others were walking.  That felt damn good.

This photo was taken atop of Berry Mountain located at an elevation of 2,201 part of the Tacomic Mountains of Western, MA and New York State.  Stunning…

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All in all, a great effort that restored my confidence for next week.  And, it proved that all of this hard work is starting to pull out my potential as an endurance athlete. It has ground me down to the point of exhaustion, but now I see why.  Perseverance and persistence are my greatest attributes and yesterday shows it is paying off.

Phew, did I sweat that one out?

I even am resurrecting my goal of going to Moab, UT to run 31 miles in the desert in the red rocks in February.

But, let’s keep it within the day.

Or at last next weekend.  I have my “drop bag” prepared with snacks, Tylenol, rain gear, Immodium, wet wipes, and all the usual “drop bag” kinds of stuff.  A “drop bag” is basically your supplies that you can pick up at points along the course as a 31-mile race is not as “supported” as say a road race would be.  So, you must be a bit self-sufficient.

I am having a “take it easy” kind of a running week so that I will be well rested for our big endeavor.  Think of me next Sunday, nearly all day…as I anticipate it will take anywhere between 7 – 9 hours depending on how fatigue sets in and how I handle it.  I have a run, walk, run strategy lined up, and I will work it as best I can.  But, fatigue is the enemy here.  And, thus, all of my back to back runs over the last several months – running on tired legs.

And, I finally hit 1,000 miles running this year.  1,022 to be exact.

Next weekend.

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I click like

I click like.

I scroll by your life

silently observing

the faux

creation of what you want me to see.

 

I click like.

I accept your request

another photo

to add to my

1,000 or more I have

already collected.

 

I click like.

I click like.

I click like.

 

You can’t hurt me.

You can’t abandon me.

I don’t give you my authenticity

and allow you to see me

the real me.

 

I don’t bare my soul

to you.

You can’t reject me.

Faux intimacy.

 

I stay in a shallow swamp

of instant gratification.

Never allowing connection

to my

deep, dark soul.

 

You can’t hurt me when,

you can’t let me down.

I click like.

The deep blue sky

Stillness and then everything ceases.

The clouds break and above appears

blue, crystalline sky.

 

I toss all that is swirling into the clouds

as they slowly escape

taking my hopes and dreams

taking my thoughts and feelings

taking you with them.

 

You struggle to stop it and I see a cloud

rise above.

I push, I push, I push

it away

into the deep blue sky above.

 

Down floats a feather from the blue,

blue sky.

All that remains of what I let go of.

What I let be taken away.

 

It floats and floats gently down

until it

settles near my feet,

softly landing  into stillness,

reminding me of divinity and union lost.

Reminding me of you.

 

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Lake Winnisquam – touching the three lovely NH towns of Belmont, Sanbornton, and Tilton.  A new, beautiful place that I am coming to love each week more and more.

 

 

 

 

 

Sat Nam.

Sat Nam.

Inside of me.

 

Sat Nam.

Shining through the illusion of self.

 

Sat Nam.

The true identity.

 

Sat Nam.

The only existence that matters.

 

Sat Nam.

The divinity that lies within.

 

Truth is my identity.

The essence of all that is

like a mirror shining on the cosmos.

 

Divinity rests inside

to be discovered like

a seed as it grows.

 

Sat Nam.

Awaken my soul.

 

You, yes, you.

You, yes, you.

You stopped me in my tracks tonight, yes, you.

I walked outside, and you were ever so near

yet hidden in the dark underbrush.

 

I was in a foreign land, far from home.

You startled me with your chorus.

 

I stared off into the blackness, you caught my attention.

Who were you all?

Singing as if you were a grand symphony

all in unison and somehow not, but it all seemed right.

 

I, busy with work, preoccupied with all I had to get done.

You caused me to pause for one brief, fleeting moment

in admiration of your brilliance.

 

Yes, you.

You stopped me in my tracks.

Perhaps hundreds of you.  Maybe even thousands.

Who knows?

 

Tree frogs and insects and other magnificent creatures

I could not name.

For one minute, I ceased all my thinking

as you serenaded me in delight.

 

Whom am I?

I thought.

I am nothing compared to the mysterious livings

of a world outside my grasp.

Magnificent, living creatures

far more than I

 

You, yes, you.

I can still hear you from my window.

You who know more about existing than I.

Shush, let me listen.

 

 

 

 

Take off the mask

Illusions of grandeur.

Momentary lapses of self-importance?

Egocentric desires run rampant.

 

Take off the mask.

 

One word breaks the crackled skin.

Not worshipped enough?

How dare they.

 

Take off the mask.

 

Anxiety, fear, defensiveness pervades like fog over the ocean.

Have your fragile assumptions been checked?

Defend that ego.

 

Take off the mask.

 

Stop the struggle.

Release yourself into the God

who created you.

Let go of your illusions of self.

 

Take off the mask.

 

Let go of the need for control.

Release yourself into the God

who birthed you.

Let go of your illusions of egocentric desires.

 

Live.

 

“The ego is the false self-born out of fear and defensiveness.” — John O’Donohue

 

 

Down, down, down…

Down, down, down.

Deeper I go.

The ascent up was meaningless.

 

A job making six figures.

Traveling all over the country.

Money to use lavishly.

Look at me and my title.

 

Never enough.

 

Down, down, down.

Deeper I go.

The ascent down is full of meaning.

 

Freefalling.

In deep confusion

at times in desperate despair.

 

Clinging to an illusionary existence.

 

What am I really here for?

What am I suppose to be doing?

 

I shed myself of false pretenses

trying to live into an authenticity that is all mine.

Only trying to do good

while getting things done.

 

Down, down, down.

Deeper I go.

I am finding myself in the freefall.

In the descent down.

 

Until I finally hit bottom.

And, I have arrived.

 

As a human, I’m just a tiny moment of consciousness, a tiny part of creation, a particle that reflects only a fragment of God’s love and beauty. And yet that’s enough. And then we return to where we started—in the heart of God. Everything in between is a school of love.  – Richard Rohr