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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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.

Divinity​ awaits you

 

The one moment of error is to act as if

science is the language of the soul.

As if life depended upon the logical seen with no

witness to all that stirs within unknown.

 

To feel as if life had boundaries that existed

that could be defined or observed.

Surely, even you, have felt something beyond;

the ephemeral, the stirrings, and the song of the heart,

crowding out all that is known; the illusions of a world.

 

Facts are the modes of knowing but only poets

pierce deeply into the soul.  Boundaries do not exist in a

rebels voice. A voice from the dark night of the soul offering

redemption.

 

The soul is your mentor of things to come,

possibilities unknown.

The door has always been there to frighten you and invite you,

through the doorway of divinity

that has always been open and waiting for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And your heart begins to ache

When a deep stirring inside

calls you to more

And your heart begins to ache

of soul stirrings from a long time ago

You have come to the place

that is at the heart of all belonging.

 

When you begin to see with clarity

and feel with compassion

And your heart begins to ache

in a way that you have never witnessed before

You have come to the place

that is the kingdom of the eternal.

 

When you feel your destiny stir within you

and all seems to have awakened

And your heart begins to ache

of that pilgrim soul

You have come to the place

that is the true nature of your soul.

 

Love is the nature of the Soul – John O’Donohue.

 

 

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The sunlight filtering through clouds in Achill Sound on the west coast of Ireland.  October 2014.