diary

all my life had fallen apart and i was a ghost of my former self. all i had left were a couple of friends, a will to survive and some powerful feelings i could not often control. three things would become central to my acquisition of a better life…

a renewed faith
a renewed integrity or personal code
a courage to fellowship

running

the weather broke @ a record fifteen miles -ii

The first mile to the american river had me feeling strong and not as tight as previous days, I sure was psychologically prepared, and as I summited the levee to the railway the 7am amtrak leaving downtown sacramento chugged east, blocking my path. I fell into the rhythm of the train and got a good visualization for myself as I stood there waiting and running in place. Be like a train, be like a train. Several miles later it occured to me that birds are like mantra bodies because they often sing the same song over and over all their lives! This reminded me how useful my own mantras have become, and reassured me it’s not a needless to practice these repetitions: nam-myoho-renge-kyo. I had been singing it in the shower before sunrise.

Once I snuggled up next to the river, I picked up my pace a bit to the cool delta breeze carrying across the levee. The visor of my hat kept the red rising sun out of my eyes, as I ran due east for another mile before following the river bend south at paradise beach. It must have been 60F and I am acclimated to running later in the day, towards 75F, so my weekday training gave me an edge for the early morning long runs.

There is a boat launch with a water fountain at mile six, so I was able to stop and hydrate for a minute and take a pack of energy gums with electrolytes there. Quickly I got back on the trail, and I was feeling fantastic. My breathing has gotten easier and easier the more I run, which is what happens to long distance runners. Your body is amazing and learns to make the most of the oxygen. I always hit my inhaler before any run, because otherwise my asthma makes me wheeze, but two blasts is all I ever need before any run no matter the distance.

I discovered that mile 7 is about where I begin to loosen up and hit my stride. The trail took me under a couple of highways and now the sun had climbed and lotsa people were out walking their dogs and cycling and running, too. Some of the early morning fishermen had packed in their river waders and were heading home, climbing the levee right before my eyes. The american river is full of salmon and snowmelt off the Sierras. I did my U-turn and headed back on a slight incline then stopped again at the same water fountain at mile 9, as it was the only water I would get on my run…

journal entry

Journal # 09.02.2016

Tomorrow I will be driving with a friend 2 hours north past Lake Tahoe to Reno so we can hike Mount Rose. This mountain has the highest base in the Tahoe range, somewhere around 8,000 feet. The peak is 10,000. No big deal, just a fun trip and a way for me to cross train. Honestly my body feels like hell still from last week’s 41 total miles running so I am happy to take another day off this week. I have felt progressively worse since the 13:7mile B2B. That was my first ever half marathon, so maybe it was an overexertion? It’s all a big experiment. My nutrition and sleep needs are also part of the equation. I have been drinking a lot of water and V8 juices and eating PB&J on whole wheat and oatmeal, and salmon. But I lapsed for a few days into sourdough bread with cheese and tomato, and even had a 5-egg cheese omelet yesterday for lunch with sausage. I convinced myself that I oughta clear out the remnants of my old diet from the fridge – by eating! Bad idea. I am expecting to lose 15-20 pounds by december for the CIM, so I can be at ideal race weight (I have lost about 5 this past month). I can tell my legs are much stronger, and my lungs are doing more with the oxygen because I am rarely out of breath anymore. I’ve been keeping up with yoga and running in sun and heat lately, because I cannot get off work until 830am (would prefer to hit the road around 700am). The good news is that I have been feeling fantastic when I am on the road or river trail and running. I think if I continue to stretch well, tweak the nutrition and cross train when my body tells me I should, pushing the limits on the long runs, I should be just fine and ahead of the Hal Higden schedule I am following. I kinda wish I had chosen a trail run like the AR25 instead of the road marathon for my rookie race, cause I’m finding that the trail is so much softer on the body. Wait! I did sign up for the AR Parkway inaugural 20 miler in November. Though it’s registered as a road race, I can only hope it will be hybrid, if they leave room for running on the margins of the bike trail, where there is indeed earth.

journal entry. date unknown.

And suddenly the long uneven thickening and thinning motion which we followed for days,  to some terrifying expanse of the same substance, which slipped through our hands and burrowed easily into earth, endless before us; suddenly jumped up into the air, unseen, and  immersed us, standing there. We tried to take cover, yet still could not escape it.

I shivered so long. I knew not would we survive. One of us took on a strange chill, became quiet and very hot to touch. Then ceased to be anymore. Another one then began to shake and call. Overtaken by the bitter salty substance fell out the eyes for days on end. They, too, would soon cease to be.

The rest of us finally understood. We fell down before the mighty moving creature. We prayed. Then cupped our hands around it, breaking some off from the whole (though appeared unbroken), and looked at one another one last time; then took it to the lips and raised our eyes to the sky, open pale of neck, and let the substance seep into ourselves! A most unusual feeling as it reached down into me! Further!

We waited. We then fell one at a time, to earth, and fell asleep awaiting.

Then rose I know not when or how! And smiled! And embraced one another! For we were still alive!

From this moment forward, we drank and followed the uneven line of this great, mysterious, borderless, lightness of mass. Trusting. Cupping it in our hands and hollowed tree limbs. It led us to verdant wonders never before seen, or known! We listened and the sound, once frightful, was now soothing us to sleep. The air was fresh, and colorful at times!

And in the mornings, sometimes, as light awakened life… we immersed ourselves entire, in cool and friendly waters still. Life would never be the same.