OA Girl is very, very tired.

OA Girl is tired.

No other word to describe how I feel.

I hit 42 miles this week.  Training is getting rough.

I did a 16-mile road run yesterday with my peeps down in Newport.  Yep, and when you need to 16 miles in at 6 a.m., you do run in the pouring rain.  Thus, the small group.  Only the “die hards” who need the training mileage.  Let’s face it, on race day, it is rain or shine.  As we say, “Suck it up, Buttercup!”

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And, today, I ground out a three-hour trail run in the Blue Hills.  I chose the Skyline Trail.  Bad idea.  There were some places that I knew if I fell, I would have broken bones or if not more, get seriously hurt.  At moments, I was getting very dizzy.

Not a good idea when running alone.  But, when you picked the path, you keep on keeping on.

At least my color coordinated outfits remain a consistent staple!

I like pond selfies for some reason, and oh, look, after you just climbed that steep hill, what a beautiful view of Boston.  Moving on…

Trail running is very demanding on the body.  There is no question.  I think it shows in my face.  I don’t look so “chipper” anymore.

I really like to find ponds to sit next too.  Forced break.

This past week I was able to get in a run at a new place.  I stayed at the Motherhouse of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in Wilton, CT as I had client obligations.  Now, I have stayed at a ton of motherhouses during my career and never have I seen  a “Nun Pool!”  Pretty cool.  A bathing suit is coming with me next trip up.

 

I switched up my race plan.  The marathon that I had planned for September 9 is on the same date of a client Board retreat that I need to present at.  As the fates would allow, I found a trail running festival up at Jay Peak, VT on Labor Day weekend.  So, I signed up for a 22-mile trail race.  

God, help me.

And, of course, my 50K is almost a month away.

God, help me even more.

I may need to start going to church at this rate.

This weeks mileage will be about the same if not more.

I just cannot wait for the taper at this point.  In fact, I am praying for it.

One thing is certain, my body has slimmed down quickly.

As you can see by the length of this post.

The training is just beating it out of me.

Well, a hammock is calling and I must answer.

Off to sleep.

 

Come, come and dance

Come, come and dance.

Dance with me

in the sacred dance.

 

Come, come and dance.

Shed away all that is illusion

protecting and fielding

a human life.

 

Come, come and dance.

Strip away all the falsities of a parade

marching by with

flamboyant costumes and masquerades.

 

Come, come and dance.

Take off your garments

throw off your ideologies

and sing with me

in all your great nakedness.

 

Come, come and dance.

I breathe in all that you are

and I breathe out all that I am not.

We too are intermingled.

We are one.

 

Come, come and dance.

Dance the beautiful, stirring,

liberating,

sacred dance.

 

Come, come and dance

with me.

 

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

 

 

In the darkness

Where are you in the darkness?

I am vulnerable.

I am foolish.

I am weak.

I am despised.

 

Where are you in the darkness?

You see my wounds.

You see my hurting.

You see my agony.

You see my angst.

 

Where are you in the darkness?

I want to see the light.

I want to feel the light.

I want to be the light.

I want to spread the light.

 

Where are you in the darkness?

I wait.

Welcome and Woo Hoo Runners!

I did almost 40 miles this week. Well, 37.5  But hey who is counting!?!?

The good thing about me is that I have some staying power for the distance.  Probably why I have gotten the USATF Long-Distance Masters award.

Yesterday, I think we had 11 to start our Newport group.  Here we are at the entrance to Fort Adams before the Folk Festival sign.  An appropriate greeting, “Welcome and Woo Hoo!”

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Again, I am the supremely color-coordinated one.  Someone noted, Robin always matches and my “ego” blurted out, yep, I do!  I take great pride in my running outfits.

Well, mile after mile, we kept losing some folks so that around mile ten or so, there were just four from our original pace group.  A large contingent broke off into another pace group earlier on.

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And, Ron, at the age of 65 looks better than all of us at that point. Although his hat is off centered – he says that is to the sweat can roll off to one side.  I suppose I don’t look so bad either.  My hair is blowing in the wind like a movie star or something… or something.

At about mile twelve, it was down to 2. Yes, 2 – Ron and I to finish off our 14.  Our two remaining fellows had some technical difficulties that they had to attend to.  They made it in short order though.

Some days this happens.  One group pairs off with another, and then another two pair off, and then before you know it…you are still standing or your not.

We all got to try the new donut shop in Newport.  I admit I didn’t have a donut and the Nitro coffee was a tad overrated.  After defending my place in line, I needed to crush some shopping at Run Newport.  Why I needed another water bottle is beyond me, especially when I drink diet orange.  And, another headband?????  Who knows.

I did ok for 14 miles.  My only pain is the ache in my glutes.  Quite literally a pain in the ass.   When I run a marathon, I keep some Advil or other ibuprofen with me.  Studies have actually shown that this can decrease marathon performance so I only take it when the glutes are screaming.  But when I do, I pop the suckers in.  Once I do that, I can pretty much get the rest of the miles in.

Today, I headed to the Blue Hills for a two-hour trail run.  My Sunday runs need to start being on trails so that I can get my ankle strength up and adjusted to the terrain for my 50K.  I did roll my bad ankle again today and hopped to a rock in pain but it seems to be OK now.

As part of this workout, I did 20 x 1 minute all out up a hill with 1-minute recovery.  Boy, was I glad when that was all over.  The aim of this workout was quick leg turnover up the hill.

Needless to say, I didn’t look so pretty today as I did yesterday.  Trail running is a LOT more difficult than road running.  A lot more intensive on the demands it places on the body.  And the dirt, rocks, bugs, you name it.  Did I say more demanding on the body!?!?

I did use this an opportunity to test out my new “Scott Jurek” Ultimate Direction Ultra Vest.  For those of you who don’t know who Scott Jurek is, there is no need, just know that I have fantasies about him. Really last year he ran the Appalachian Trail beating the last standing record.  He did it in 46 days.

 

While a bit of overkill for today, I need to start using it to get accustomed to it and for the weight, it adds.  Thanks, Paul.  Nice Christmas present.  It makes me feel a little tiny teeny bit like Jurek.

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I am not so sure why I continue to make my own routes but here is one I planned out meticulously.  Always I get off course so easily.  Perhaps, I just need to break down and pay the $2.50 for the actual Blue Hills trail map that has all the trails outlined. However, you think I would know this by heart now.  It is not my first Blue Hills Rodeo.

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After a few miles in, I made it to my favorite spot, a little “kettle” pond that apparently was so low it didn’t make it in the photo.  I was aiming to get it in the background.  All you can see is the teeny tiny bank to the right of my head.  Nonetheless, it still felt like an oasis for taking a quiet reflective rest and for a lunch of gummy chews.

Well, I am looking officially trail like here. My sweatband needed to become a headband.  And, so there you have it.

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And, when I got back to the parking lot, what did I spy… A JEEP with a Vermont50 sticker.  This is the exact same race that I am training for.  I took that at a sign from the universe that “I got this…”

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A few pre-races on the docket now.

August 26 – 1/2 marathon –  Black Bear Half at Waterville Valley, New Hampshire.

September 9 – Charles River Marathon.  I am not one for inaugural races.  I like the kinks worked out of them but at least this starts near Harvard so I will be smart about it.

I would really like to do the 25K Around Cape Ann since I have done it a number of years but that is September 4 and would not allow enough time for rest before the marathon.

So the weeks are flying by and training is upping.  I think very soon I will be nearing 50 miles per week.

Who were you?

Cold sweats in the middle of the night.

Waking stuffing food in my face.

 

Who were you?

 

A violent crime unreported.

Twenty odd years ago.

You plumaged my soul.

 

Who were you?

You threatened me.

You left me to fight.

You took all of me.

 

Who were you?

I let no one in close.

I keep everyone at arm’s length.

They reach out, I recoil.

My heart is frozen.

 

Who were you?

 

On that night.

My soul closed.

It took me away with it.

I recall only odd fragments.

Only what my soul allows.

A blessing.

 

Who were you?

You thief?

The greatest robber of them all.

 

Shame, guilt, embarrassment.

Who were you?

 

You stole my innocence and my belonging to the heart.

Tears roll down my face.

I shake even now.

 

As I shove food in my mouth.

To close my soul once again.

To hide you deep inside.

A violent crime left unreported.

 

Who were you?

 

I am there.

Be still and know that I am there.

Waiting silently for you to awaken

to grow into your destiny.

 

Be still and know that I am there.

Needing nothing else in return

just a recognition of knowing.

 

Be still and know that I am there.

Discovering that all along

that illumination was just a reflection.

 

Be still and know that I am there.

Having the courage

to live in the moment of expectation.

 

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This photo was taken almost four years ago to the day.  A solitary trail run during Grad School.  Winona, Minnesota, St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.  Rivers call us to be still and reflect.  This river most likely at some point in its life empties into the Mississippi, as Winona lies on the bluffs of that mighty river.

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And, just because I am awfully sentimental.  The athletic hallway to the pool I swam in nightly after class.  Four years ago this week, I finished my final Masters Summer Residence after three years of study.