Sunday, December 21, 2014
I love how training for a 100 miler is just as much a journey as the race itself. The past several months have been filled with highs and lows all pulling toward the greater good of balance. Long manic runs, calf injuries, good books, painful stretching, searching for waves, empty trails, stormy seas. It's all beautiful. The HURT 100 is three weeks away and I can sleep easy knowing I have done everything I could to prepare and remain balanced. I'm looking forward to being on the trails all day and going within during the night searching for inspiration. I have no expectations except staying in the moment.....time does not exist.
"When I am not present to myself, then I am only aware of that half of me, that mode of my being which turns outward to created things. And then it is possible for me to lose myself among them. Then I no longer feel the deep secret pull of the gravitation of love which draws my inward self toward the mystery. My will and my intelligence lose their command of the other faculties. My senses, my imagination, my emotions, scatter to pursue their various quarries all over the face of the earth. Recollection brings them home. It brings the outward self into line with the inward spirit, and makes my whole being answer the deep pull of love that reaches down into the mystery of my being."
~Thomas Merton: No Man is an Island
(Ka'u coffee half marathon)
(So stoked to run some trails with Lance Armstrong)
"We are approaching the longest night in the northern hemisphere, when from the deepest darkness the new light is born. The last few days before Winter Solstice can be experienced as a descend, deeper and deeper into the darkness, with long nights and not much daylight, especially when the winter skies are cloudy.
But we have forgotten how to honor the darkness as a light bringing source, as a feminine quality. This is a time of the year when we can reclaim an intimate relationship with darkness, an understanding of its power.
And at the same time, in the southern hemisphere, we are expecting the longest day of the year, full of light. So the darkness is beautifully balanced on this planet, and we are always protected from getting lost in extremes."
-Working with Oneness
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
This photo had been motivating me for years. It was taken shortly after dropping out of the 2005 HURT 100, after 26 hours of being out on the course.
Usually after a hard effort, all agony is forgotten and I am left with the feeling of wanting to do the run again. It has taken me 10 years to want to attempt the HURT again. I have felt a nagging desire to go back but have always thought better of it. Over the years I have ran quite a bit on those trails. More than a few times I have emerged bloody and covered in mud from just a ten mile trek across those roots, rocks, and mud pools called trails. It's been almost a decade and I still remember staggering around ridgelines at 3am delirious. There is something dark and introspective about those trails. The bamboo whispers in the night breeze, shadows and fog play tricks on the eyes. After 23 hours of being on the course, I thought I was being stalked by a boar (Which is not known for being stealthy and sneaky). I picked up a stick and started swinging it around yelling "Come out you fucker!!" At least I had enough sense left to know that I probably shouldn't continue dangling around ridges. I went down on a cot at the next aid station and woke up with a slight sense of disappointment that has stayed with me. This is the year for redemption; I’m stoked to start training for the January 2015 edition of the HURT. Why this year? I feel like I have made friends with the trail. We have come to a mutual understanding with one another. For me the trail is like quicksand. The harder I try to go, the more struggle I create for myself. My most recent treks on the course I have been able to feel relaxed and flow with an even and steady pace. I am excited to dedicate the next several months to learning to run with more patience.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
"Then a ploughman said, "Speak to us of Work”.
And he answered, saying:
You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth. For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life's procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.
When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.
Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?
Always you have been told that work is a curse and labor a misfortune.
But I say to you that when you work you fulfill a part of earth's furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,
And in keeping yourself with labor you are in truth loving life,
And to love life through labor is to be intimate with life's inmost secret."
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Snow capped peaks and idyllic meadows with trickling streams stretched out into forever. Mt. Vihren is the highest peak in the Pirin range at 9,560ft. From the town of Bansko, it was fun to explore trails in the park. There were few people around for how easy the access was, I found the trails to be a true treasure.
Koncheto Ridge(Snow, fog, wind, smiles)
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
The sensation of walking down a cobblestone street in a foreign city can be intoxicating. Not being a city lover, the barrage of new sights can seem like nothing short of chaos sometimes. Apart from the familiar scents of diesel and flowers, Sofia was a unique experience. I had no idea what to expect going to Bulgaria. I knew very little of the culture or way of life in the far flung Eastern European country. The language is a branch of Slavic and uses the Cyrillic alphabet. That means street signs and words more resembled algebra equations than ways of communicating. Along with Sofia, we got to visit Sandansky, Melnik, Veliko Tarnovo, and Bansko. I was pleasantly surprised by the friendly and vibrant people, fresh food, sweeping countryside and quaint cobblestone streets. I hope to explore more of Bulgaria in the future!!
The food was fresh and amazingly cheap to eat at restaurants: Lots of tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, lamb, and thick yogurt!
We were lucky enough to stay in a mountain cottage built by Amy's brother in law's father. I felt like I was living in a collage of vivid greens, bright flowers, and soggy moss covered logs!