If we really want to get rid of suffering, completely and totally, then clinging has to go. The spiritual path is never one of achievement; it is always one of letting go. The more we let go, the more there is empty and open space for us to see reality. Because what we let go of is no longer there, there is the possibility of just moving without clinging to the results of the movement. As long as we cling to the results of what we do, as long as we cling to the results of what we think, we are bound, we are hemmed in. Meditating on No-Self: A Dhamma Talk (Edited for Bodhi Leaves), by Sister Khema(1994)





I run, I run for so many reasons. I have diabetes. I live abroad, have for several years now. Running in foreign countries is interesting. I run.




Monday, January 7, 2013

Let it Snow

Good runs, sort of, on Sunday and Monday.  Both days it snowed and by Monday it was working about at -12 C wind chill.  It will be colder tomorrow with -14 C being the low.  It is supposed to snow another 12 hours from when I am writing this.

both runs are slow, any twinges were not there in the calf.  Worked hard on mindful steps.  I continue to struggle with mindful thoughts and keeping wholesome thoughts.  At least I am seeing that it is arising and cutting it off with a good assessment of why. 

Right now it is just 10 km a day until.  I won't run tomorrow, and on Wednesday I will do some running in London through Sunday.  Hope to do the same 10km every day. 

In general it is a new year, same goals though, just hope to try and be mindful and see the unwholesome thoughts as they arise, renounce things that need to be renounced.  Ego, craving, delusion, grasping, etc. 

Just return without blame.

That is what the snow does.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Day two back in Kyiv

Not the most mindful of runs.  The conditions are really terrible.  Lots of ice left over from our terrible December storms and there is a mix of snow and rain in the air adding to the treachery. Making matters even more fun is my mindfulness.  It is not even there.  Started my day with a lot of work related to some things happening next Tuesday, but I am struggling with making an appropriate connection in with my director. 
Most of the issue is mine of course.  I work quickly, I like to think and move and accomplish whereas she is a more methodical person.  Other issues include we are working in English, not her first or second language and there fore I am probably doubly overbearing.  I never seem to find the right connection with this and it is disconcerting to say the least.  Need to consider is it ego, craving, or one of the many stumbling blocks out there.  this type of kilesas is always a danger, always right there to grab you and send you into delusion.
The run was eventful for the fact I ran quicker, but by no means the speed of October or early November, and I think this is not a good idea.  No pain afterward but you could feel the slightest of stretches with the speed  I was running.
It is best to maintain this 10km system for the foreseeable future,
News of the day is the purchase of Adidas Climawarm Revolutions.  Supposed to be a winter shoe, has a much higher drop and I am not using inserts either.  Right now they feel clunky, but let's see what happens.
Two days in a row in Kyiv.  I'll take it for now.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Back at Things after a very long break

I've returned!  Slowly, but I have returned.  I went to Turkey, Istanbul and Izmir for work the 9th through the 15th of December but I didn't run.  That was disappointing as I missed out on running in another country.  I didn't run from 03 December until 27 December. 

I went to Sri Lank on the 23rd of December and started running again, on a treadmill there, on the 27th.  I started with 5k, then 6, then 7, then 8 then 9 then 10 two days in a row.  I ran 7 days in a row!  The feeling was really great.  I tried to check on my foot plant, and since it was on a treadmill I got to control the speed as well.  This was all very useful.  There is no pain and no sharp pain like before.  No limping afterward, no residuals afterward.  I am also using a ayurvedic system for afterward where I rub medicinal red oil and herbal balm on my calf.  I picked it up in Sri Lanka from an herbal medicine store.  I don't know if it is helping, but there is no pain.

I didn't run on the 3rd as I was traveling back.  I ran 10km on the 1st and 2nd and 10km again today in Kyiv.  Kyiv is a mess of course.  It got above 0 and things are wet and slippery.  Also, all the ice from before is not gone and it was very pick and pick just to get through things.  As part of that I went and bought some new shoes for winter running, Adidas Climawarm Revolutions.  These do not have the 4mm drop on them and that is another thing I am trying to see about.  Is it possible the 4mm drop participated in the calf problem?  We'll see.

Running was good today.  Mindful, very mindful.  I'm still working on all of these things.  I don't know when I will try 12k, but it will be shortly.  I go to London next week for a conference so probably I will only do 10's all that week.  I hope to stick to the 6 day a week system as well.

I'm back, lets see for how long.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Now is a true test of mindfulness

Well, can't run.  Just can't run more than two days in a row without it feeling like my calf is about to come loose from my leg.  So, bite the bullet.  Two more weeks, no running at all.  Only core exercises and working on this calf strengthening exercises. 

It is even more disappointing as next week I go to Turkey to do some inspections for IHWO and I will not get to run while I am there. I've been researching everything, heel lifts, higher drop from the 4mm I've been using for the last year, it is just a plain old serious strain and it is going to take a bit of time to get it fixed. 

Upon return I will have to start nice a slow and low mileage.  It is very disappointing and it is very craving oriented and I am working on mindfulness just to keep the annoyance and craving down. 

I really want to run.  Bluntly put, I can't without ruining running later on.  So, mindfulness.

Remember the blog entry about all the arises ceases in terms of this great training that was going on?  I went back and read that to remind myself of the impermanence of it.  It didn't help.

Mindful...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Just Keep Trying?

Sunday, early morning, decided to go for 10km instead of the 12km that I had been trying to do with this return from the injury.  The run was fine, but there is still tightness and after run tightness.  There is no change in the actual running style but I can feel it constantly and it is a real problem mentally for me.  I really want to get back to just running and doing my thing, but that is merely craving. 

I hope I'll be able to run tomorrow at the moment I am icing things and just trying to stay positive about everything.  It is possible I'll run even shorter tomorrow.  I think I just have to accept that this will take some time before I can do the type of running I was doing before this happened.  Its also possible that I have to force myself to run very slowly.  This is another thing I didn't do today.  I tried several times but the pace kept creeping up everytime it did I slowed it down, but it still ended up quicker than I wanted it to be.

I'll just keep trying then.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Trying to Get Back to Mindfulness and Remembering Ownership

Today is Saturday, I didn't run Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.  Tuesday I actually was trying to show some common sense by now pushing things too far, I felt tightness that day so I just took a rest.  The rest of the week I can only provide one simple excuse, fear.

While I did work, and work, and work, at the job all week, I still had more than my fair share of opportunities to get a run in.  Each day my best excuse was, I'll give it one more day and that way it will be that much better off in terms of health when I run the next time."  This is a very good excuse and my mind had no problem rolling with this the whole time.  I even can tell you that I knew that my mind was doing it and that I was in fact mindful that it was not a real reason but a rationalization.  Yet, I still did it out of fear.

Today's run was exceptional for about 10km.  No pain, nothing, just running along, at about 10 km I got some tightness in the calf, not the pain as before, just tightness.  We'll see how that works out.  I'll ice it and elevate it and see what happens for tomorrow.  No limping post run and stretching is not painful at all.  It is possible this is just soreness, not related to the soleus (there the mind goes again, nice rationalization).  In fact, it is what it is, it has no ownership, it is impermanent, unsatisfactory and without a self.

Serious monkey mind out there also.  Some unwholesome, some wholesome but not much in the way of concentration, other than on my calf.  At some points I did manage to concentrate on foot steps. 

Still, I ran, lots of people did not today.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Hemorrhoid Coup

The day didn't start too well.  Got up to go run and went out the door and felt immediately tightness in the calf.  But, also I stepped on a rock yesterday and it is on the left metatarsal that always have problems with, I just can't seem to get a break with that part of my left foot.  It hurt so much on the run.

So I didn't run this morning.  Frustrated I returned home and threw off the clothes and went to work.  At work I had an incredibly busy day that was extremely stressful day.  I limped around the office all day with this left foot, not the calf.  As the day went on the limp got better. 

After work I was walking home and the calf felt pretty good and the limp was gone and I needed to run.  So I went and ran 12k, 1.3 to and from the flat, and the rest on the local track (Start Stadium, match of death).  In general the left foot was painful and the calf was tight some of the time, but I got the run in.

there were times when the run was quick, but actually it was the slowest 12k I've run in months, I kept slowing it down so that I wouldn't do any damage and that was probably a good thing.  It was dark out there and of course going to and from the stadium was loads of fun on our great Kyiv sidewalks and streets.  That is always extremely annoying, even knowing that I have no control over those items it is still very annoying and tonight it kind of pissed me off since I had the left foot and the calf to think about as well.

On the track I was able to stay mindful of the foot steps and work hard on keeping the calf from having too much damage.  It does feel tight now and I am icing it as I write.  I wonder what tomorrow will be like.  But right now, I am very happy to have been able to get the run in.

Funniest thing, running up to the track I saw a billboard advertisement, in Ukrainian, about hemorrhoids, absolutely hysterical, out loud I said "I don't have hemorrhoids, but I have a left foot and a right calf that are just about as painful probably. 

I'll take the mindfulness for this one.  I consider today's run to be a coup.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fear and Loathing in Kyiv

Sorry Hunter S. Thompson.  I ran today.  For most people that is either something they always do, something they have just started doing, or have started doing again.  I've been off for two weeks with this Soleus Strain.  I have been looking forward (craving, grasping) to this run for the last three days.  I also have been fearing (fear) this run for the last three days.  The myriad of what ifs available for this Sunday boggle the mind.  (not really, the mind is the one that made up all these myriads, thus causing the suffering).

Slept in a bit, ran mid morning.  It is 0 c outside, i think, tough to tell, low overcast clouds.  Decided to start with a simple 12k.  The mind said run easy, just get used to doing it again because I (the mind) will spend most of my time monitoring this leg and deciding how much fear, depression and anger to put in to you based on how the leg is doing.

I give the whole run about a 7 out of 10.  It was fantastic is some places, mellow in some places, scary in some places and it was completed.

My body reminded me several times that I have just been injured.  The leg seems to have held up well.  The first 6 kms were fairly basic and there was a bit of tightness but nothing untoward.  At about 5km I go downhill, gradually, for a bit, this seemed to speed me up which promptly brought out the stabbing pain, so I slowed it down and reminded myself about 200 times the keep it slow, approach it with the Caballo Blanco (why take two steps when you can take 3) approach. 

This approach was very useful as the stabbing came back every once in a while, but it certainly didn't cause any long term problems and as I write this I have no pains or aches and am not limping to the refrigerator for the ice bags. 

There was a great deal of fear today.  Fear led to anger, anger led to hate, hate led to suffering, the same that always happens.  However, the fear came and went, so did everything else, I was only working on the leg today, and the leg is what brought the fear.  Now my mind will work me over about how I will feel tomorrow morning.  Stupid mind, I know you are there... 

Fear and loathing

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Progress, Patience and Physio

Thursday, ice every night, with a wrap, no ibuprofen, just ice and not running.  I can now pull full weight and lift with the toes with no pain and no follow on inflammation.  Sticking to my plan of not running until Sunday however.  Real progress with the injury.

The other real progress is that I seem less attached to this injury than injuries in the past.  I don't think about it nearly as much as I have in the past and when I do I try to follow my breath and move past the moment.

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday,

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An Update

Well, the damage is so far not too bad.  With ice and rest it looks like the Sunday run is not the end of the world.  Every day it feels much better.  In fact today I am able to go down stairs normally.  I tries to put all weight on the right side on the balls of my feet and then push off also.  There is soreness, but not the sharp pain there was in the past.  Patience, ice and rest, ice and rest.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Follow Up and Impatience

The rest of Sunday has been a lot of feeling if I have pain or phantom pain.  Did some stretching, but then decided to do what I do well, research the injury.  Me and the internet were friends for a bit.  I narrowed it even further than previously by reading some medical journals on how to determine the specific area.  Given that I have trouble walking down stairs and pushing off the injury is not the gastrocemous muscle, the larger muscles in the calf. 

It is in fact, based palpation and rotation learned through the med journals, is the soleus at the high level.  This muscle is underneath the gastrocemous and is in charge of lift when going down and push off when running. 

Also, remediation was discussed and also I was on several physical therapy blogs.  It looks like I didn't take the correct amount of time off.  They say a minimum of two weeks and then slowly testing it. 

Looks like I should listen to my body and the doctors.  Won't run again this week.  See you again on Sunday.

to impatient, need to listen...

How Mindfulness Can Save you.

The plan was to go out and do 25km this morning.  That was a stupid plan.  Yesterday, on the way to the shop I put one foot after the other in rapid succession and felt that there was still a not there in the calf.  The follow on has been the related tendon that is also sore from all of this.  The shop trip made me change the plan to run 12k today.

Woke and gave it a shot.  In general there is still stiffness in that area but for the first 12 or 13 minutes it was just stiffness.  Uphill seems to put more stress on it than downhill, flat is no stress at all, just a general stiffness in the area. 

As I was crossing my first checkpoint, which happens to be a steady uphill for about 600 meters, I got a knife like stab in the calf.  I made an immediate decision to fight another day and cut off the run by heading back on a shortcut toward the house.  Of course this area was flat so there was very little discomfort.  Of course, this made me think I could do a little more if I just got to a downhills and flats, maybe I could get in 8 or 9km.  As I was making another turn to head downhill on Vanda Vaselevskoi I got another stabbing pain and decided that I just needed to get it home and see what the damage might be.  I ran home getting in a very easy 4.6km.

As I sit here plotting out the rest of the week I can say two positives.  I got up and ran; and it looks like if I keep moving forward the stiffness will work itself out.  It looks like I have a date with the Start Stadium track from the next few days/weeks.  I just don't know how long it will take.  But certainly it felt wonderful to be running again. 

I still just don't know where all this came from.  It is the right side of my body, I never have problems with the right side, it is always the left side of my body.  It is interesting to watch it develop, after the run I tested things a bit and I didn't do any damage, all systems are static from yesterday, I can't put weight on it.  But, its obvious that age is probably a factor in this as well.  I can't just rebound like I did when I was younger.

Slowly but surely I think I will get it back.  Reflection.  Mindfulness saved it today I think and may allow me to run again tomorrow.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Slow Boat to China

Still haven't gotten out the door.  Trying to rehab as intelligently as possible.  At this point I think I will run on Sunday.

In general this is a strange injury.  It is really focused in one area of the calf and is a real pinpoint pain.  Now I can put weight on it and I've done emergency running crossing streets so really need to stay mindful and follow the breath and feel the emotions that come with the not running.

In fact I am kind of lucky as I am also acting as sort of director of the school and I have had some long days that would have prevented me from running which would have probably pissed me.

As stated, it is ceasing, it arose, it has reached an apex, it is ceasing.

Sure feels like a long time.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Waiting for it to pass

So, woke up and tested things, seems that the tightness is subsiding a bit.  While walking today I began to feel like I could put weight on the calf and push off a bit.  Still there will be no running tomorrow.

At the moment I am just trying to follow my break h and learn more information about meditation, mindfulness, and no self.

The journey continues, probably no writing again until I get back on the road unless things get really delayed.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

This To Shall Pass

Ah, life...  Woke up early assuming, in my arrogance and craving, that I would be able to just go out and run 25km this morning.  Nope.  a quick trip to the bathroom proved uneventful, however, I put on my shoes, just to see if I could run without any problems and that was not good at all.  Since that time I've been researching the injury and figuring out what exactly is going on. 

Not much luck on what is going on, either a calf cramp that is going to take a few days, or a strain, not sure if it is a strain as all the medical research indicates it is not, i.e. not warm to the touch, no swelling.  However, push off from the right leg is not really possible as there si a sharp pain in one small area of the leg and the whole thing radiates upward to the mid upper leg.  I am engaged in ice mostly.

Well, I wrote of it before, some might say it is because I predicted my own demise, I prefer to think of it as all that arises does indeed cease.  There only the thought that it will cease eventually, I don't think I will run tomorrow either.  To meditate on this I've been looking out the window.  This collage reminds me of impermanence.


Each day has a time stamp.  As you can see fall is turning to winter, the leaves keep coming off the trees.  Much like my leg, this too shall pass.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Creating your own suffering

No running today.  The calf is quite sore from yesterday.  I've done a lot of massage and stretching.  When I woke up this morning it was still sore.  At least it isn't a tear but one more day at least is necessary.  Better safe then sorry I guess.

Thus, I have the chance to talk about creating your own suffering.  My attempts at getting off this medication feel like a complete failure.  I am constantly frustrated and full of anxiety about all kinds of things.  I almost through my new tablet against a wall today because I couldn't make it work.  Thus I create the aftermath of suffering with this.  Even with meditation, following the breath, being mindful I am annoyed.

Add my attachment to this calf problem and I am really causing suffering.  Of course it is temporary and impermanent but my mind certainly doesn't see it that way.  This is a really good example of how I cause my own suffering.  Maybe it is a chance for me to expand my practice further by seeing all the things that I do to myself.

For example, why should I get angry at an inanimate object?  Do I think I can control the object so well that it will do what I want it to do?  Clearly I cannot as I am pissed that it won't do what I want it to do.  Again, causing my own suffering by not see that it is impermanent, without satisfaction, and not having a self.  This is all very enlightening to me.

But, again, even though I can see it clearly, I go around and around in a circle that seems to repeat itself every day, all day.  I wonder if it will ever end.  I wonder if it is the medication that doesn't keep me in the circle.

Fascinating.  Hope to run tomorrow.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Uh oh

Mid morning 12k, moving along nicely, good mindfulness, good focus, pretty wholesome, timing out nicely, well on my way to PB for the 12k again and then, all that arises ceases....

Developed tightness in my right calf at about 6.5 km, by 7.5 km I had to stop and try to stretch, stopping was the worse thing I could have done apparently, another .5 km later and I stopped again, I was bent over and taking baby steps hobbling, felt like a cramp, felt like a torn muscle, felt like pain, and lots of it.

I managed to keep some form so as not to hurt anything else on the way home.  I must have been ripping along, because I know I was running slow the last 4k and still ran a pretty quick time for the course.  Running down hill was quite easy, running uphill was painful. 

I've been stretching all day, I even took a Ukrainian pain killer a very rare event for me.  Right now, at 4:00 p.m. it hurts but I am limping less.  Just need to see what happens, I don't think it is a tear, it is however, a serious cramp, drinking water and green tea. 

Nothing lasts forever.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Left Foot

Mid morning, windy and a bit cold.  It was about 5C, but with the wind, allegedly it was for -1C.  However, another PB on the 12k course. 

Worked with 'right now' on this run and used it as a koan.  It worked pretty well today.  I felt that I was in step with this today and I was very mindful on this and there was very little unwholesome thinking or monkey mind during the run. 

On the other hand, my left foot.  Thinking about it, I know it isn't broken, there is no effect on my stride like a broken metatarsal would be.  I've had a broken metatarsal so at least I can rule that out.  It is sometimes a lot of pain, and sometimes not much pain.  Today, even with the quick feet and leg turnover, the pain was still there and ran down the left outer edge.  Once I stop running, after about 3 or 4 minutes it goes away.  It does hurt if I walk barefooted around the flat on the floor, not on the carpet.  I've put lotion on the last two days, will do so tonight.  At this point I am truly grasping at anything and I don't think that is correct approach.  I've researched it a lot, I've tried some things.  I've tried loosening the shoes, tightening the shoes...

I continue to research and think, practice mindfulness of foot steps.  In general I know it doesn't affect my foot fall and therefore doesn't cause and injury.  Is it possible I need all that built up skin stripped away?

Since the age of 2 years old I have had the following things happen to the left side of my body:  spiral fracture of the thigh, broken left arm (3 times), stress fracture of the left tibia, five broken bones in the left foot, broken left side of collarbone, 3d degree burn on the left leg as a result of a fire, multiple sprained ankles to the left leg.

My left foot.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Right Now

Upon suggestion, I put lotion on my foot/feet.  I can't really tell you if it makes a difference as it has only been one run.  My feet felt a bit better, but maybe that is because it is later in the week, maybe the lotion helped, maybe my foot step mindfulness was better?  All I know for sure is that this is all uncertain.

Meditated, or tried to, on staying with right now during today's run.  Somewhat successful, but if you count meditation as realizing you are having a fit of monkey mind and returning to the thought of right now approximately 1, 783, 173,139 times in a 12 km run, then there was some good thought done.

12k, it rained most of the night so the temperature dropped again, worthy of a long sleeve shirt at least.  Ran faster than yesterday, so what?  Lots of wind out there today.  I don't own any of this, or do I?  I'm pretty sure there is substantial evidence to indicate a lack of ownership.

Hercladis:  A foot never steps in the same river twice.

That is about what my runs are like.  Right now, new right now, new right now, new right now.  Right now repeats to infinity.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Feet, Impermanence, Feet

My Feet Hurt!  Doesn't matter what day, for some reason the outside left foot hurts a lot.  Not affecting my running gate, not affecting the speed at which I run, in fact they hurt less with the mindfulness of steps, but they still hurt.  I've wondered if it is callouses or build up, the streets that have a strange camber to them.  I consider all of these things.

What would Ajahn Chah say?  I know what he would say, "this is uncertain" this is not permanent" "this is impermanent" this arises and it ceases.  I fully agree, it always goes away, but sometimes it carries on for hours afterwards.  If there was a self, I could control this problem, no self, no control of the problem, more proof of the doctrine of no self.  "The sensory experiences we like and dislike are equal."  I think they means they are equally impermanent.

12k this morning, cloudy and windy.  Very tired legs I think.  Mindful of the steps, but a monkey mind nonetheless.  I was actually surprised at not being overly tired during the run.  I was afterward.  I even took a 30 minute nap before I went to work.

I am perseverating on the feet.  They are...all that arises ceases.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Comfortably Tired

Good sleep, even with a nap yesterday.  25km today.  First time in a quite a while.  Not to mention 20 Saturday and 25 today.  Very tired, that is for sure.  Legs were a little dead by the end.  The last 5 kms has 3 very large hills, up the big bridge that connects Obolon with Podil, Vladymyrsky Spusk and Shevchenko Street. 

All in all it was fairly mindful with the foot plant.  There was some arising and falling stupidity but it was noticed, it arose and it ceased and there were long periods of just following the foot plant.  It was a beautiful morning but a bit windy in some places.  Since it was the first time I had run 25k on this route since March of this year (last speed run before Conemarra Ultra) it was interesting to see how the areas had changed. 

The only thing that has changed much is that the roads are in a bit worse shape.  The leaves have all but fallen all over the place, there are still some remnants, in areas with heavy tree cover there is a yuck filled path of wet leaves that have never been removed.  In general, about what Kyiv is like in November. 

Still no snow.  Good.  It will come though, it always does.

After I got home I was tired and hungry.  I could really feel the tiredness today, right up until now.  Need to stay comfortable with this and embrace in order to move through the week.  I wonder...

is there such a thing as comfortably tired?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

How about a nap?

The end of the week.  Went 20km, as planned today, not as fast as last Sunday but still quicker than last years 20's.  Ran with the water bladder and pack as I continue to practice with this method of long run rehydration and food/money/keys/phone/insulin/blood sugar testing materials storage.

Went the opposite direction which meant I went through khryshchatyk early in the run.  The way I run the route I hit Khyrshchatyk about 3.5 km into the run before I then head down Vladymyrski Spusk toward Poshtova Ploshcha and then right at the McDonalds and head down toward the back side of Podil, etc.  Today though when I turned off Shevchenko on to Khyrshchatyk there were police everywhere, I thought, what this time.

Seems there was a major "soviet type" display going on.  As I hit the part of Khyrshchatyk that is pedestrian I saw the Kyiv horse police and then I saw Soviet WWII style military equipment getting ready to go on parade, there was a photographer there and I think he took my picture.

Then I saw row upon row of military people lined up.  What there also was were Kyiv police every 5 meters.  Many of were less than pleased that I was running by, this 'parade' went on a while and just to keep it normal I jumped on to the sidewalk, but then the police didn't like that either, I got the impression that they wanted me to stand and watch, or leave, it seemed laughable that the later is exactly what I was doing, yet they insisted that I do so.  Strange.

I finally got past that and got on with the rest of my run.  Pace was quite quick for the first half.  I took water at 28 minutes, 50 minutes, 70 minutes today, as well as at the end of the run.  I also took GU at about 50 minutes.  I practice taking GU and water while going uphill today.  That is problematic, not really problematic but requires that you really slow down to make sure you concentrate on one thing at a time instead of trying to run uphill with good foot plant, be quick, eat GU, and drink water.   Mindfulness does not tolerate multi tasking.

I really got tired toward the end of the run.  Referring to yesterday's post.  Here is comes, at least realizing the impermanent nature of things means that I am not surprised or upset that 'it' has arrived.  In fact, can't control, so just run.

Will increase mileage over this week and next and then build base on that for three weeks and then up it again and build base again.  However, traveling will get in the way in December and January.

I have added the International House Kyiv logo to my blog.  I also added the ability for people to just put in their email address and receive the blog when I put in a new entry.  I don't think I have access to any of that, it is a google thing.  Perhaps someone will find it more convenient than coming to the site.

No good title today, so a normal ending, how about a nap?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Just Be

12k in the rain.  Mid morning run after a rest day and another PB for the 12k course. This is beginning to build and hopefully can be maintained in some way.  Very important to watch how much I sleep, changed to 7.5 hours only, regardless of the day, watch the knees and the ITB and watch those steps.  Making sure that I take one day off per week.

Steps were mindful today, unfortunately the mind was not.  Interesting phenomena is that the unwholesome thoughts kept coming up but the steps did not change today.  In the past if they came up the steps changed also.  This I guess is progress, but can't cling to it.

It occurs to me that all that arises ceases.  This great period of running, the quickest I've had since I started running again in 2006 after a 13 year layoff will eventually have to come to an end for the simple reason that all that arises, ceases.

I feel myself clinging to each result for most of the day, and then later in the day beginning to work on having the next run be independent of the last as that it has no permanent self to it and I don't own the run and I'm just lucky to be running.

Noticing this fear of the runs becoming worse, must be worked with, meditation on this will be the subject of tonight's sit.

A friend told me during the down period, 'just be'.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween and Impermanence

12km mid morning.  Continuing on with the Saucony SK3.  Took out the inserts and ran with the sock liner in.  Seemed to work out a bit better also.

I've been continuing to consider why the speed of the runs has increased so dramatically in the last three/four weeks.  Today, was a new PR on the 12k course and in fact the start of the run was nice and easy with the intention of continuing on from yesterday's relaxing run.  I began with some Tonglen considering all those stuck in traffic while was going to go run.  I also considered the fact that I was going to get to go run.  But,...

There was some work with non self in that since I have no control over the run, I can't define the speed and the foot plant and whether I fall or not fall, etc., therefore, the run is not mine and I can't identify the run as mine in any way.  Thus was the start of the run.

I worked very hard again on foot plant.  Pretty much about 90% of the run.  The noticing was that ever time I moved off mindfulness to some strange topic, whatever arose, I could quickly feel how my left foot began to plant differently.  Some history, I was hit by a car in 1993 that broke my foot in five places and as a result my foot plant has been a problem for years.  It has been the cause of a variety of injuries.

However, with this mindfulness, clearly the mechanics are better (yes I know I've mentioned this before!) but this results in better speed and as a result, even when going slower it seems that I'm going faster.

All of this is of course hinging on mindfulness, and when not mindful, impermanence arises and I lose the foot plant.  As a result, the foot plant is not mine, it is mind and body and mindfulness is isn't only friend.  At some point I wonder if the foot plant will be automatic?  Well, isn't that craving?  The future is not now, now is the best teacher.

Impermanence, it is everywhere, Halloween is only 24 hours long.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Return without blame

Oh it got cold in a hurry ladies and gentlemen.  Wet and windy today for 12k.  Several different fun events today.

First, I had to abandon the new Adidas shoes.  Just not a shoe that was good for me.  A rushed purchase, it is  not a removeable sock liner for one thing.  But the shoe is too narrow for me and it just didn't feel good on my feet.  So, I switched back to the Saucony Kinvara 3's and went out the door and ran.

Worked hard on mindfulness of foot plant.  I would say I was pretty successful as foot plant definitely affects the left metatarsal.  That wasn't too bad at the end.

The run in general required a separate kind of mindfulness however.  When it is wet and mid morning, Kyiv drivers apparently decide that they should drive even more dangerously.  Had to keep my head on a swivel and be mindful of steps.

Unwholesomeness did arise.  But I caught it and sent it packing quickly.  Of course the mind only works on one thing at a time, so working on the steps and being very mindful allowed for less unwholesome thoughts to arise.

This is something that the mind needs to learn from and of course it is necessary to return to this even when I get away from it.  Return without blame.

The time, even with tired legs, was still pretty good.  Do you see what I have just written?  The time.  Isn't that grasping or craving for the time.  These are the kinds of things you have to return to mindfulness and no self, without blame.  There is suffering, it is caused by grasping/craving, it can be resolved, but only through the eightfold path.

Return without blame.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Winter is coming, winter is coming

Out the door by 9:00 a.m. today.  Trying to change my sleep patterns and experimenting with 7.5 hours of sleep instead of some days where I sleep more than any human should.  Running in the Adidas something somethings that I bought here in Kyiv.  Jury remains out, jury has asked the judge a question though, the feet came back with a request for information on where I found these shoes because the metatarsals are screaming.  There was a request from the tread wear department wondering why after 24 km the outside back edge appears to be almost touching the 4mm drop.

Hmmm.  We'll see what happens.  At this time it is the work week shoe.

Again a nice run.  Quick and faster than last Saturday.  I've about decided that the sudden increase in mph is a result of mindfulness of the foot steps.  If you step correctly you are mechanically correct and therefore there is less stress in other parts of the body and as a result mechanics make things easier.  Wow!  I should tell someone about this...  I believe this issue was long resolved.  It took reading a book written by a buddhist monk, about his running expereience, to show me personally how to work on those mechanics.

Winter is coming.  This is the first day I've run in a hat and gloves.  The jacket, yes, but not the other.  Of course I will not wear the long tights until the last possible moment.  It will be colder all week, probably 2 to 5 C for every run this week.  This is accompanied by rain and wind.  I really like this stuff!!

Winter is coming...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Vote! And follow your breath....

My blog is now eligible or Google Affiliate Ads.  What exactly does that mean?  I signed up for Google ads and if I talk about teaching English, Speak up school advertises, if I talk about mindfulness, Yoga people advertise on it, I wonder who will advertise if I talk about constipation?

20k on Election Day.  Up early, out the door early in an effort to avoid my previous problems from last week on this run.  No problems this week, just my feet.  In fact, today was a new PR for this course.  Andy Jones Wilkins had a new PR on one of his courses the other day, good for him, good for me, though my run was not the pure effortless joy that he described.  Nonetheless, it was good stuff.

Ran the 20k loop the reverse way again.  Starts with more hill but the back side hill is longer, but not as steep as the Vladimyrski Spusk.  Still a fairly medium to tough course.

I'm watching this knee carefully.  I did some stretching last night and did some exercises for strengthening after today's run.  I also took a look at mindfulness instead of assuming mindfulness.  I found that there was more relaxation when I was truly mindful about the steps, instead of the assumed mindfulness I may have fallen into over the last few days.  This is probably a good wake up call.

In terms of what else is going on, I bought an ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T which is what I am typing this on.  It is a tablet that isn't Apple.  After several days of research I finally pulled the trigger.  The selling point for me was the word processing ability, and the docking keyboard.

Over the last several days I have been unable to work with anything other than the breath.  I've tried concentrating on the breath in an effort to just keep some mindfulness from day to day.  As we know last week was not the best, there was intermittent following of the breath, but there was no meditation whatsoever.  I've managed to move that back in to the frame this weekend. I've also managed to stay mindful of the object (my breath) to some extent.  Tomorrow is a new day and hope to start the day that way.

Today is election day, voting day in Ukraine.  My run was marked by militia every 100 meters throughout the section along the river.  This was about 3 km of militia just standing there at about 9:15 in the morning.  I certainly didn't see anyone out voting in that area, but maybe later.

No voting for me.  But I can still follow my breath.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

No Sugar Coating

There is not way to say it politely.  I have had a really bad 7 days.  Really bad. Have to go backward a bit to work my way to today.

Recall I had back to back 20km runs on Saturday and Sunday of last week.  Unfortunately, in my effort to stay strong and work with mindfulness, kindness, etc. and to work with getting off this medication I've been on for so long, I didn't write about the two strange events that occurred on those runs. 

On Saturday I ran and five guys spread out across the sidewalk I was running on and wouldn't let me pass and made it so I had to run around them into the traffic out on the street.  This was disconcerting enough, except for the fact that it all happened in front of a police officer, if you can call them that.  This all happened before I had run 7km that day, and is part of my angry run that I talk about before, the one where I figure out the only person listening to my angry diatribes in my head is me.

On Sunday, it was worse, the area near Poshtova Ploshscha has  street under construction and it is closed and has police at both ends, at least it did on Saturday and Sunday of last week.  Since I was running the route the normal way this is the beginning of a steep long hill that ends near Khyrshchatyk.  Well I turned right on this closed road, near the McDonald's, and started up the hill, well right behind me came two cars that went around me and then closed in a V around me and four guys got out of each car.  Each started to stay things to me and I made a decision to jump on to the hood of the car on the left and run like hell, they chased, I'm in good shape, they were not, I put 50m then 100m on them in about 30 seconds going straight up hill running like hell.  Guess what, ran right by a police officer doing absolutely nothing.

Two days in a row, both times with police watching.  Lets just say this was the beginning of a spiral that is unprecedented for me.

Monday was supposed to be the day off, but about 5 p.m. I started to get some pain in my left knee that is symptomatic of ITBS.  Uh oh.  No problem, no running consider it as not an issue, no self, impermanent, trying, trying, mindful, trying....  tuesday it hurt like hell and I began to perseverate on it terribly all day, reduced to limping down stairs, no mindfulness, this is my pain, i'm the only one with pain, struggle, struggle struggle.  No run, easy to convince myself of this. 

at the same time I was struggling with my emotions in general.  Having short quick electric shocks throughout my head, trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating due to trying to come off these meds.  Then emotional swings started to come fast and hard.  By tuesday all I could think about was my knee, the attacks on my runs and my problems at work all of which were mine, owned by me, the only person with problems and were permanent, fixed and would never change.  Uh oh, this can't end well.

Wednesday was the crest of the rising and falling away and impermanence of the feeling.  I come to work and due to several things coming on top of each other in a short period of time (I endeavor never to name my co workers or their work, it isn't fair to them, and really these are my experiences not there) I ended up literally in the corner of the teachers' room crying.  For my own sake for some reason my mind and body chose to do this when  no one was around, but it was 10 minutes of emotional frailty that was heaping sadness on me.  A pervading sadness came over me that stayed on top of me for 36 hours.  I didn't run.

Wednesday night I did not fall asleep until about 3 p.m.   I woke at 7 on Thursday, I sat on the couch from about midnight to 3 just looking at the wall engulfed in an inability to be mindful of anything, I tried several different techniques but I couldn't accomplish anything.  Thursday at work was more of the same.  I didn't work. 

On Thursday at work I began to get a bit better, I began to see some daylight out and meditated several times for about 10 minutes each time.  I spoke with people in a fairly calm manner I thought about running on Friday, but I still had this inability to want to do anything but sit there.  However I was beginning to work with the mind to see what was happening and where things were wrong or right in terms of meds, no meds, mindfulness, impermanence, no self, suffering (oh was there suffering).

I also tried Tonglen for a bit, this is where you breath it all in, negative and all and make sure you embrace the whole thing to work with all of it and not avoid it. 

Friday, was much better, a curtain was lifting in meditation, impermanence was being observed everywhere, mindfulness was occurring when I moved about, the breath was being followed.

I also bought shoes this week that I intended to use during the week.  They were bought on Wednesday before the apex of the meltdown. 

i finally ran in them today.  I went faster than I have run in almost a year in a training run today.  I went 12k with the intention of doing 20k tomorrow and trying for my mileage target from this week for next week.  The shoes are okay, but the jury is still out.  The run was not mindful, the foot steps however were.  What is mindful is this writing.

Can't sugar coat it, it was a brutal 8 days.  My thanks to all those persons who helped me, you know who you are.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Is it called verification? Justification? Uncertainty?

20km again today.  Started to feel what tried was like.  Not till the end did it feel like I was really working.  Its Sunday and I didn't really intend to work hard at all.  The start was a bit slow and slippery.  I felt like I had dead legs and fully expected that to be the case and intended for teh run to be just getting back to back 20kms in and see where the fitness level is.

Turns out I ran 4 seconds faster today than I did yesterday.  So, for an unknown reason the fitness is in a strange area.  I really have no idea and in fact I am supposed to let go of every run and just do the next one if I am eve to move onward in my development.  Anywhere,  both runs under 8 minutes per mile, trying to do the same 88 km this week on 6 days of running that I did last week.  Isn't that clinging?  :)

The run had its strange moments as usual.  Mindfulness of steps was pretty good, unwholesome thoughts that did arise quickly faded with some concentration on them and some reference to yesterdays solid thinking.  All in all it was a fairly solid mind run.  I've already mentioned the physical side.

However, the weirdest thing is the horse poop.  I've seen it two days in a row.  It is on a major street, Prospekt Permohy, and it is a massive amount of horse poop.  Yesterday's horse poop is still there and today there was new horse poop, I am pretty sure that from a health and safety standpoint this can't really be good for the population.  However, I guess one must be uncomfortable with uncertainty.

A good start to the week?  Or can it all be moment to moment?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Trade offs - Trade ons

20km in the mid afternoon.  Went to bed late last night.  Woke up mid morning, read the news, had a cup of tea, went back to sleep, woke up at 2:30 went and ran about 3.  Kyiv was very busy today.  Very busy.  So was my mind.

I ran the 20km loop backward (i didn't run backward) so was on Khryshchatyk for the first part.  The street is always closed on the weekend, but today there was special fun for everyone.  A drifting competition along with a bunch of other cars.  Lots of people leaning over the rails looking at cars wasting rubber. 

To me, the reverse route is hillier, because the hills are longer.  Nonetheless I got around faster than I ever have before, some reason I am in this period of running quite quickly.  I keep thinking the next run will be the run where I pay for it.  Tune in tomorrow and see if it is.

I am also attempting to use what I write about and read about and attempt to apply to wean myself off anxiety medication that I have been on for 7 years now.  Unfortunately, it does two very separate things.  It gives you crazy dreams, but also it can make you quickly irritable.  I certainly had that today.  I was as unwholesome as they come for much of this run.  For plant was okay, but my mind was a race track of rage back and forth back and forth, opinions and views of absolute delusional quality.

After I crested the big hill at about 14 km I had a very nice analysis.  Absolutely not one person on the planet was suffering for all the crazy shit that I was spewing out in my mind.  The only person suffering was me.

Its been a good days since then.

I really am quite interested in this sudden change in speed/pace/regardless of distance. 

Let it go.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday, a loop?

12k again, mid afternoon after a very hectic morning at school.  Every intention to just run nice and easy, even worked with loving kindness on the bus back to the house and the mindful walk back from the bus stop at Ukraina Mall about how today was meant to be a nice and easy a smooth trot around the usual course.

You can cling to control in one hand and whatever in the other and see which fills up first.  The winner, if there is such a thing, will always be uncertainty.  And again, the whole thing, all of the noble truths are proven over and over.

Set out nice and easy, good mindful watch of the steps and then nothing but unwholesome crap coming back and forth, then flying down the road, adjusting, trying to slow it down, concentrating on the steps, pain in the left foot, more pain, more adjustment, more unwholesome, flying down the road, whipping around people on the sidewalks, in and out of cars and combat speed.  Done.  About as fast as yesterday.  Uncertainty i sthe winner and prevails as usual.  Somehow i will learn the lesson, one day, but isn't that part of mindfulness.

The shoes, Saucony Kinvara 3 are a no go.  I've decided to move them out of the rotation, they really cause problems on the left foot where it was broken so many years ago.  Same kind of shoe I was wearing when the back started to act up.  All in all, out they go. 

The loop of learning, there is uncertainly, trying to control it causes suffering, there is a way to end that.  Can you get it boy?

Good run for pace though.  Will pay for though. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Clinging to Idiocy

quick, peppy 12k today in the mid afternoon.  mindfulness of steps, good mind set getting out the door, ate something before i left, fastest run in awhile.

Oh the traffic mid afternoon on the 'trails' of Kyiv.  Bodies everywhere and the roads/sidewalks/dirt/crap/trash, etc. is flying around right now due to the drop in temperature combine with the pick up in the wind.  everything is muddy and dirty.  It was a smooth 6 C this morning, and raining, by the time of my run it was up to 13 C around 2:15 p.m.

The run itself was a run for today, not yesterday, not tomorrow, today.  My only real issue is my clinging to idiocy.  I always have this strange feeling when I post something on irunfar.com.  I tend to feel like an idiot no matter what I say.  It was  fairly mundane post, but still I always feel inadequate when I put something on there.  Especially, after you let it sit and come back and see people posting after you.

Clinging to ego?

all and all, the runs have been stringing along nicely for the past few weeks.

Post script around 10:30 at night:  Went back to work, walked from the flat to the bus stop, then to the office, stood for at least 90 minutes while teaching English for Lawyers.  Before that I almost fell asleep at my desk in the teachers room.  Now I have some tightness in my back. During meditation on the way home tonight I worked with that tightness.  The runner in me is analyzing how much running a lot quicker than usual is playing in this.  Also, wondering if I am carrying too much weight.  Because I am trying not to overly focus on form (bodily) I haven't weighed myself in two weeks.  But maybe yes, maybe no.   more tomorrow i'm sure.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

stepping out the door

mindful of my thoughts from yesterday, I watched my mind think about ways of not getting out the door, I watched those thoughts go away, come back, I watched time tick by, I watched my mind try again.  I returned to my breath.  I stepped out the door.

Rain, love it (clinging?)  Nice 12k in the mist and the rain.  Very mindful of foot steps and very mindful of unwholesome thoughts which for some reason were not replaced by wholesome thoughts, but were noticed and mindfulness  of steps returned quickly.  Over and over.

Let go.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Impermanence and Unwholesomeness

Ran today.  Yesterday I didn't get it done as a result of work issues that overran my ability to get home and run.  I thought it would happen again today.  I analysed this run start anxiety repeatedly today.  It occurred to me that the anxiety is related to physical pain of the start?

Why not start slow then?  Why not start by walking?  Why not remember that nothing is permanent and that there is no self and exactly whose pain is it?  Is it the person who ran yesterday?  The person who runs today?  Whose pain?  All very interesting phenomena to consider.  Nonetheless, the anxiety is there, needs to be considered for what it is.  A thought, that will arise, and then pass.  They are impermanent. 

So out the door I go.  In general it was warmer today than it has been in the last few days.  I was very sweaty at the end, very humid.  But the pace was fine even when I tried to just run.  The foot plant mindfulness was quite good. 

However, full of unwholesome thoughts throughout which affected and create opinions and views which arose, were cut off, arose again in another form, were cut off and mindfulness returned to foot plant.  They rise, somehow they pass, they too are impermanent. 

Not running Monday creates its own anxiety, making sure I get five more runs in for the week.  What really happens if I don't run and get my 88kms for the week?  What really happens?  Overall, nothing, personal goals are lost, but isn't that grasping and not letting go of personal goals?

All very interesting.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday in Kyiv

20km today.  Light mist and fog during the mid afternoon run.  Failry good pace, nice mindfulness, very limited unwholesome thoughts.  Some ego thought.  I thought I was running faster than I was.  But, analysis would tell anyone that the last 7k is predominantly uphill on this course and as a result, that always affects over all time.  If you can't let go of time.

But,... Kyiv was rockin' today.  The first part of the run was fairly uneventful and in and out of very relaxed running.  After running up Volodymyrski Descent I turned right on to Khryshchatek which is closed at this time of day on Saturday and Sunday.  I heard noise, I will politely refer to it as music.  As I got to the closed part of the street I saw the stage, stages on Khyrshchatek are nothing new, "music" on them is also nothing new, a bit of compassion for the bad weather but weaving in and out of a sparse crowd while running was a nice trade off.  Kept on running.  Nice box football (soccer) match right down the street with a few fans, no indication as to the score.  One of the players fell to the road (pitch) I'm sure that will leave a mark.

Turned right on the Shevchenko and up that hill, but to the left was the Lenin statue and my friends from the communist part of Ukraine, they seem to be playing music from WW II, I guess it is the music that they identify with, I'm sure it was a wonderful time to remember.  There crowd was smaller than the concert crowd but not by much.  The WWII music stayed with me for another 1/2 mile until I started to run in to the police everywhere.  I looked up the hill and saw that the road was diverted from Volodmyrska St. (not descent), but in front of me were about 100 riot police.  This can't be good.  But they were in classic riot police position, two lines, relaxed, waiting to be told what to do, they were there for the 'what if' scenario' but why?

Up the hill some more to Voldomyrska and now you have the answer, the Svoboda crowd fired up and in full rock and roll mode with screaming angry white males all over the place.    To say my pace quickened is an understatement.

Ran it on home, had some nuts, salmon and salad and considered a rainy Sunday in Kyiv.

Added the next day:  I saw the results of a wonderful accident about 14km in to the run.  a car turning right turned to the far lane, a car trying to turn left on to the road of the car turning right tried to simultaneously cut the corner by about 50 m.  Of course the two of them ran head long in to each other.  It was really ridiculous looking, the cars were in the middle of the two lanes of a four lane road and managed to hit each other head on, absolutely head on, it was like they saw each other and deliberately tried to hit each other head on.  You can't make this stuff up in Kyiv.  You just can't get Kafka out of your life.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A week of letting go? Not really.

As I write it is Saturday evening around 6:40 Kyiv time.  The week ended just fine.  Thursday was the scheduled off day, Friday I went 12k and today I went 15k.  All in all a very good week of running.  Too good?  Too much attachment to this week of good running?  Who knows, only right now is the teacher and the teacher says that is clinging to ego.

Every wonder if this might be too hard, every time I turn around there is an issue of clinging to this, attachment to that, not letting go of this, delusion, grasping of that.  My how the mind likes to play tricks, could it be that is the mind feeling its importance and the ego slipping away and taking another shot at having this be just given up so it can take over making me miserable?  I see your Mr. Mind, clearly you are a trained professional.

Friday's 12k was in the dark, the first in the dark of the year.  Calls for wearing my glasses and for looking down a lot to make sure I step in places that are safe.  At the same time, being mindful of the footsteps is a good thing in this situation.  But don't you know it, I was cruising pretty good at about 8k when I looked up to see what was ahead and promptly tripped over a sidewalk monster and took one of those really nice PLF's down the sidewalk.  Good for two skinned knees and palms and some skinned legs.  Right about that time I started having low blood sugar which was kind of a surprise, took a GU and continued on, feeling a bit out of sorts and figuring out what might be hurt.  That inventory turned out positive.  Finished it off.

Today I didn't run until about 4:30 p.m.   Still daylight, but cloudy around 10 C.  Very easy, mindful of the steps run.  Nonetheless unwholesome ideas, views and opinions came trotting out for their daily attempt to run me into the ground.  I'm getting better at identifying them quicker.  Still,...

Let go, every day is different than the one before.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

the Reality of what you are doing

12k.  Mid morning.  good tempo, good mindfulness of foot plant, some unwholesome thoughts but got them turned around pretty good.

Phenomena of the day.  Views and Opinions.  So I'm running along, the traffic is terrible, I note it, just note it, nothing else.  I'm running along, and I'm seeing kids and adults and families all over the place and it is about 11:00 a.m. to around 12:00 p.m. that this is all happening.

I'm running along and I'm working with being mindful of my footsteps and I keep running around families.  At one point I wonder if it is a holiday that I don't know about.  I decide that is not the case as we would know about it at work and the calendar would have had a colored mark (to say we don't work).

With about 3 km to go I whip buy a family of three, husband, wife and about a 7 year old.  the view and opinion comes to me: "why aren't these people working, why isn't he in school (the boy), why aren't the parents working, this is just terrible, all these people should be working, all these............"

Mindfulness comes to the fore, one simple question Mr. Mind "Why aren't you working?  Your running, not working." 

renounce views, renounce opinions, do not be hemmed in by clinging to views and opinions.

good run.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Back and forth, back and forth

Tuesday this week is now the Back and Forth day.  Leave the house at 7:30 to go teach an 8:00 a.m. one to one client.  Back to the house by 10:20, change clothes and go run 12k, relax a bit, then go to an in company class in the city, then take a metro ride back the school for evening classes and then back home by about 9:30 p.m.

Right now I am relaxing... Just finished up 12k opposite way as yesterday (hey that rhymes).  The tightness I spoke of yesterday is there but not really a hindrance.  More stretching I think.

Mindful of foot plant for most of the run.  I can't admit to not having unwholesome thoughts today, but I can say I was mindful of their occurrence.  Pretty innocuous piece of running except for the enjoyment and lack of any need to be anywhere for that one hour of time.

Nice to get the run in, now let go.

Back and forth now.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Yellow is the Color of my Run

Mid morning, rain, sprinkles, rain, windy, lots of wind, colder.  About 7 C today with the wind colder.  My favorite weather to run in.  Favorite, but have to let that go, it won't be that way tomorrow.  12k today on the usual route.  Really thought I would be much sore than I was.  It was a light little trip.  However, I've developed some tightness over the course of the day in some weird places, behind the right knee and up the inner right leg.  Stretching, we'll see.  Run even easier tomorrow.

With the rain and wind and wet streets you could really feel the fall/autumn closing in on Kyiv.  Everywhere were yellow leaves having fallen from the trees.  This were very vivid colors, since I was mindful of my foot plant which makes me usually look about 6 ft ahead of me to the ground I saw lots of yellow, light green and green and yellow leaves.

One leaf went for a ride.  About half way through the run a leaf came falling down from the wind and the rain, real big, about 6-8 inches in size, bright yellow.  It attached itself to my leg and ran with me for a 200 meters.  Then the wind took it away.  Nothing is permanent.

a little 3 minute loving kindness before I went out the door.  Worked with mindfulness of steps a large portion of the way.  Later I realized I had not had one unwholesome thought the entire run.  Following the mind to find out why.  Or shouldn't I just let that go and move one?  Is this the kind of day runners cling to?  Not clinging creates space.

The leaf was fun to run with for a bit.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Return and Run

So, let it go, let it be, return without blame, whatever you want to call it.  I woke up and ran 20k today.  I'm sure I will suffer from it later in the day as it did hurt in some places.  It is a hilly 20k and I am definitely feeling in it my right thigh.  However, I did eat and try to get the protein back in to my body quickly in an effort to cut down on any stiffness.

Today I also used the CamelBak that I bought in the US back in June.  This is the first time I have ever used one and I tried to be very "as it happens" about the whole ting.  I've seen plenty of people use them but never talked to any of those people about using it.  I've read about them on a variety of websites and checked out the various ways to use them, the various good and bad "opinions" about them.  After I tested it in the house about how to get access to the water properly I decided to use it today for the 20k.

Turns out I needed it, or did I need it?  Or, did I use it because I had it?  Would I have needed it if I hadn't had it?  Isn't that a silly question?  If I hadn't had it, I wouldn't have been able to use it, therefore I would only be able to think about and isn't that just suffering?

Anyway I had it and I used it.  first time at about 33 minutes, next time at about 57 minutes and also took a GU at that time, then just before the first huge hill and then coming down the last big hill with about 3k to go.  It felt just fine drinking from the CamelBak, however, I didn't place the GU in the right place so ended up having to take it off to get to the GU to eat.  Lesson learned of course.

Felt like I was stumbling for the first 25 minutes or so, and it was just very weird to be running.  weird is an opinion, need to let that go.  I haven't run this route in about 8 months so it was interesting to try to be mindful of footsteps on a place I hadn't seen in a while and which has deteriorated again a good bit.

Mindfulness of foot steps was there, but also there was a some unwholesome thinking but at least I was mindful that it was there and moved on to other things.  I did loving kindness meditation before I ran today, so I'll need to work with those thoughts from the run later today.

I returned without blame, I ran.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Return without blame

What an interesting week it has been.  To the person writing the comment on my last entry, thank you.  Very kind.

What started out as a normal week, Sunday and Monday, turned in  to one long lesson on delusion, impermanence, returning without blame, right view, right understanding and ego related to non self.

Every where i turned this week my mind was able to just do what every it wanted.  There was no mindfulness, therefore there was nothing there to get me back to wholesome thoughts, it was an interesting phenomena in terms of experiential right view.  by Friday it was clear to me that what I have been experiencing over the last year is a good thing and what I was experiencing in four days was a microcosm of years of self imposed experiences based on mind or lack there of.

I have not run since Monday.  fine.  return without blame.
I have not been mindful, fine.  return without blame.
I have not done so many things that I have been doing over the last few months, fine.  return without blame.

Just let go and be.  Easier to say than to do as everyone is surely aware.  But at least being aware may be a mindful thought in itself?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

And then came nothing but views and opinions

I haven't run since Monday.  I'm sure my mind can list all kinds of reasons, I can list a variety of things that my mind tells me is the actual situation.  None of it is the actual situation.

I am unable to release certain attachment and clinging and as a result I continue to spiral over the last three days in and out of ego issues, personal self worth issues, creating this continuing line of suffering that seems to resonate with me and follow me like a cloud.

Only today can I put the words on paper/computer.  A full blown inability to let go of self, craving, attachment that leads to letting my mind wander off in to its own little world of silliness and despair which plagued me for so many years until I worked my way toward thinking in a more appropriate fashion using mindfulness, following the breath and the like. 

Maybe it is good that I am typing it out now.  That penultimate sentence has made me suddenly feel better than I have felt in 3 days.  Still, attachment/craving/ name it what you want.  It truly is suffering.  I've made myself suffer for three days now.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday, Views and Opinions

Went out for 15k today, about mid morning.  I really didn't think I would get out the door, my mind kept coming up with great ideas about how I didn't need to run, I could always run later, the whole gammit of ways to make myself think about not doing something.

I worked with mindfulness and loving friendliness and then contemplated how this was the mind doing something that the rest of the body actually didn't want.  I don't know whether it worked, I don't really have an opinion, but I do know that i ran.

This was the uphill for 5k version of the loop.  One thing of interest, there was a view of the St. Joseph's onion domes from one fo the streets.  I looked at it and said, 'that's beautiful' and then I said, if you renounce opinions and views you just see onion domes and that is all.  Interesting.

worked on foot plant mindfulness as well.  Taht was fine.  Every run of this distance has been within about 25 seconds of all the others for the last 6 or 7 runs, that is certainly consistent (isn't that a view or opinion?).

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday, Impermanence, and Footsteps

Mid day, 15km, woke late, read the news, had a cup of coffee, went for a run.

This cold is working me over pretty good, but I feel really good after I finish the runs, it has always been this way for me, running makes me feel better physically.

It rained pretty hard last night and it rained today in the a.m. (I was sleeping) and there were light sprinkles a couple of times during the run.  The last mile however was in hard rain and of course something to enjoy.  But also remember that it doesn't last and if you are still running when the rain stops there is a goo chance there will be some suffering.  Nothing is permanent.

Worked hard on managing the foot plant and again felt like it was pretty good.  No real view, just assessment that I was mindful of my foot plant, especially the left foot, the entirety of the run.  The other part of today's mindfulness was on impermanence.  It is fall now, the leaves are turning, the different colors remind me that 30 days ago everything was very green as a result of rain; now everything is turning colors as a result of changes in the temperature.  Nothing stays the same, thinking that it will only causes suffering.  It seems so brutal, but so truthful, some say negative, however, I'm coming to believe that it is neither negative or brutal, it just is.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Almost, but not a disaster

15k on Saturday mid day.  Nothing on Friday.  Unfortunately I developed a case of the week kneed namby pamby on Friday.  Thursday night I felt myself starting to get a stuffy nose and definitely felt not great during my 10 a.m. class on Friday.  I intended to go back to the hours, rest for a bit and then run, instead I slept 3 hours.  Not sure if it is tiredness, or illness, or being rundown.  Who knows.  No views, lets try that.

Today I went 15k.  Not bad, pleasant around the usual new course.  Focused pretty good on my foot plant but it really is noticeable how quickly you can get out of good foot work in just one step, especially if you change stride pattern to turn or go over a curb or move left or right.  This form of meditation has been quite helpful over the last few weeks.  Unfortunately, I did not stay in the now and decided to wonder how long it would be like this before it was automatic, I got my answer, not now, because I was running like a duck within two seconds of having the thought.  Always nice to be reminded of the importance of right mindfulness in the eightfold path.

Sunday tomorrow, I'm writing these two reports from China this weekend, so it will be good to run tomorrow.  Stay in the now.

Not a bad week, 15k 5 times.  Wanted 6 times but that is craving and grasping.  Can only try again next week.  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Day to Day

got in 15k today.  What a long day.  Up early to teach a one to one class at 8:00 a.m., meeting at 11, meeting at 12, finished at 1, tried to get home and run, managed to do so.  Back to the school for a 4 p.m. meeting, teaching from 7 p.m. to 9:15 pm.  Long day.

Ran mid afternoon, obviously, the weather was very nice.  Three days ago, Monday, I had to wear a long sleeve shirt to run.  The last three days has been short sleeve weather and today it was about 24 C while running. 

The modified 15k course, without the huge hill, seems to have done the trick for my back, for now.  In addition, maintaining a lot of mindfulness on foot strike and posture also helps.   I am however, beginning to feel tired, and with a long day like today, who know what tomorrow will bring.  I teach at 10 then hope to come home and run around 1 p.m. 

Regarding yesterday, just can only take it day to day, stay mindful.  Renounce ego, views, opinions.  Day to day.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Getting Used to Disappointment

Mid morning 15k again today.  Rained hard last night for most of the night.  Woke to a very foggy humid day.  It certainly was very wet out there.  The run itself was time on my feet, mileage posture, feet not bad.  everything else was a mess.

I had a horrific day at work yesterday.  As a result I had a great deal of anger and that anger never went away.  Very unwholesome thoughts all the way around.  I kept trying to bring it to the foot plant or anything wholesome, did loving kindness metta before the run.  Just a really bad mental experience.  Yesterday's experience at work was just the kind of thing where you know that you are seriously suffering inside from what you may perceive to be a very wrong thing happening to you.  Some of this was ego, some of it was feelings, so of it was perception.  I need to meditate a lot on all of this because it is only causing me suffering, at least I can identify the suffering though.  If I stay mindful...

In addition as part of that conversation I was told that the Ukrainian government was doing everything possible to make it so foreigners wouldn't work in Ukraine.  I was also told that certainly the people who have taken a certain course (DELTA) could handle most of the work that I do in my job and that of course for the third year in a row I would need to take a pay cut to stay at the school.

Topping this off I was attacked on my run today.  Ukrainians, disappointment.  At least I didn't get hurt, three guys tried to jump on me as I was running by and then they chased me for about 50 meters, but of course they were mildly moronic Svoboda types (they are the hard core nationalist that believe only Ukrainians should live in Ukraine, apparently they didn't get the memo about their being a whole big world out there).  Ukraine, disappointment, get used to it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Up early, but not to run, but then...

Up about 6:45 because I had a one to one student to teach from 8 to 9:30.  Got back to the flat about 10:30, hit the road by 10:45.  15k for the day.

Really tired on the way back from work, did a light loving kindness meditation on the marshrutka back to the house.  That seemed helpful and perked me up a bit which led to some nice mindfulness on the walk from the marshrutka stop to the flat.  Still I could feel yesterday's easy run on my legs.

However, this run was just the joy of running.  I endeavored to keep mindful of the foot plant the whole way, which I did for probably 99% of the run.  I also worked a bit on unsatisfactoriness and impermanence in the last half of the run as I noticed I sped up in some places but then eased back off just because I want to run tomorrow. 

This new 15k route requires staying in the now also.  Running it clockwise is "easier" on staying in the now than counter clockwise.  The counter clockwise route is 3.5 miles of straight road to finish so looking ahead is of no use.  That is a good phenomena to contemplate.

So fortunate to just be able to go out there and do it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Kyiv and Impermanence

Back in Kyiv up early, for me, to run.  Couldn't sleep past about 7:30 am. today.  Slept a lot on the flight back from Beijing, the whole 8 hours in fact.  Took a nap during the day sunday for 2.5 hours and then from about 11:00 to 7:30.  But I feel pretty good.

Up and out the door about 8:15 and went 15k.  Fairly pleasant, I just ran, nothing quick just getting back to running in Kyiv.  Trying to stay mindful of foot plant which seems to be easing along nicely.  But also trying to say mindful of wholesomeness.  I did not do very well with this.  I kept jumping to unwholesome thoughts, but at least I was mindful that it was happening and kept returning to concentration.

On the other hand, running in China the streets and sidewalks were great, returning to Kyiv I felt like I was running through an area that had just had a war.  The streets are really messed up compared to my last runs.  This was something I tried to stay with and remember that there was no control over that and this is the reason to be mindful of what is happening with the feet so as not to lose concentration.

Run done, off to work and then back to getting my schedule to where I can try and take care of each mileage each day, taking it day by day.  Each run is different, nor is it MY run, impermanent.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

7 days in China, or how the Censor didn't let me blog

The Reason:

My parent company, International House World Organization, asked me to inspect two schools in China, IH Xi'an and IH Hangzhou.  They paid, I went.

The Travel:

Back again, its 23.09.12.  I've been in China.  I left on the 15th after a very nice 15k run in the morning.  I flew from Kyiv to Beijing, arriving Sunday, 16.09.12 at 4:45 a.m. (there is a 5 hour time difference).  I then flew at 8:00 a.m. to Xi'an, China where I spent Sunday through late Wednesday 19.09.12.  Late that evening I flew to Hangzhou, China and arrived after midnight on 20.09.12 and left Saturday at 8:50 p.m., arriving in Beijing at midnight, and spending 5:30  hours in the airport in Beijing waiting for the return flight to Kyiv, arriving in Kyiv at 10:15 a.m. Kyiv time on Sunday 23.09.12.

The running:

Really bizarre unfortunately.  I didn't run Sunday due to the jetlag that I thought I would have, I was right not, to as I wasn't taken to my hotel until almost 7 hours after I arrived.  After arriving in Xi'an I was taken to see the terra cotta warriors which was amazing.  But there was certainly no running.  I intended to run every day of the week about 15k.  Didn't happen.

The first run was probably the most fascinating, though in each way all the runs were interesting and enlightening in so many different areas.  I had used my Google Earth, which you can use, mostly, in China to map out from my hotel to the "city" which is guarded by the oldest intact wall in China.  This wall is about 16km in total circumference and makes a perfect square.  While Xi'an is a city of 8 million people this inner area is considered the city.

Woke up at 6:00 a.m., had a cup of coffee, and started running at 6:30 a.m.   It was daylight and about 19 C outside.  There wasn't much traffic but there was some, the first 6 minutes was uneventful but then I turned onto a street that was full of people cooking food outside, various people cooking various foods all of it cultural of course.  I then went down another street and this one was almost empty except for the people setting up their sections to provide the fresh food for the day for people.  These people, when I ran back would spent most of the morning selling various regional food, that had yet to be cooked (interestingly, no raw meat, which is different from Kyiv street sellers, because certainly they eat a lot meat in this city) and then I turned on to a major road which was tree lined.

Both Xi'an and Hangzhou have two sets of streets plus a sidewalk.  The sidewalks were wide and accomodating and certainly much better than the ones I run on in Kyiv in terms of how they were constructed and how they felt to run on.  The first street is the street for mopeds, bicycles and buses, and the the third street is the street for traffic.  I rarely ran on the third street.  I bet you can guess how man mopeds and bicycles were actually on the sidewalks.  But at this point in this run there were not a lot of people out, it was still only about 6:45.

My intention was to run 40 minutes out and 40 minutes back. At about 20 minutes I reached the city Wall.  I crossed over and headed around the outside of it which has a walking path around the entire thing.  Man was it busy.  Incredible amount of exercise going on.  The first thing I see when I turn the first corner is a line of about 30 ping pong tables and every one of them has a match going on. These weren't young people they were easily 20 years older than me, one match was so incredible that the women on my side of the table was 3 meters off the table in the path hitting back ripping forehands to her competitor.  It was loud and lots of people were watching and their were ping pong balls flying everywhere.  But that was just the beginning.

Around the next corner was a group of people doing exercises of their own creating but they all involved striking a part of the body hard with loud grunting.  Next area was fixed equipment, much chinese morning exercise must be to stimulate blood flow because almost every machine involved but movement and some sort of slapping on the body somewhere.

as I continue to run and have my head on a swivel, my mindfulness was not the best, but it was very interesting.  It got real quiet I turned the corner and there were literally 500 people lined up on each side of the path doing morning stretches and exercises, there was a fog here off the moat water as well, it looked like something off the discovery channel, i was struck by how fascinating it was and how lucky i was.  My run repeated like this for 40 minutes out and then i turned around and at about 59 minutes I headed back on to the street.

Small problem it was now about 7:30 a.m. and this road was packed, there were bodies everywhere.  These mopeds go against the traffic, same with the bikes, and horns everywhere, everywhere a horn.  Finally got off that road and up the road with the fresh food being sold.  Unfortunately it gets a bit hazy here.

For some reason I missed a turn and at 1:19:38 I stopped the watch and looked around and I had no idea where I was.  Really bizarre, so I started to to try to find building landmarks and started running again.  The problem was for me that there was no one who could speak any English and I had forgottena bout he hotel card which could have helped me.  I ran and I ran, felt like in circles, at one point I had to cross a major highway, I didn't feel so bad though since about 10 other people were doing it.

I found an Intercontinental Hotel!  I walked in there and found someone who could barely speak English and managed to get one of their maps.  Looked like I was about 1.5 kms from where I wanted to be after about 20 minutes of running lightly.  So I started on my way and stopped twice to ask people where to go by pointing to my hotel card.  This helped.  I managed to get home after running for close to two hours.

I called it 20km.  The running itself was wonderful.  The trisp around the outer wall was soooo cool.   the sheer humanity of the people was almost too much.

On Tuesday, I rose early again, did the same thing but I went 27 minutes out and back, but did not get lost this time.  I intended to do 10k because I had gone farther they day before.  This was a very nice run, but still alot of people.  The other thing was I was already beginning to feel real fatigued.

I think some of this was from the diet of Xi'an Chinese food which clearly I was not used to.  Also, the work was exhausting.  On Tuesday I spent a large part of the day on buses and out in the sun presenting plagues to communist party officials opening cultural centers in the name of IH Xi'an, while strange, it was all very tiring.  All also did not anticipate how the tremendous language barrier would exhaust me.

On Wednesday I just rolled over and went back to sleep.  I couldn't do it.  But I had the same thing with the outside and the cutlure presentations as well.  Also I had to fly to Hangzhou and did not get there until after 1:00 p.m. and did not go to bed till after 2:30 p.m.  As a result

No morning run on Thursday. I also was really tired by the end of the day.  But in the end I put the shoes on and run for about 45 minutes in the dark. I found a great little trail along one of the rivers and then ran in the city in some back alleys and streets and managed to work my way back.  Again, a lot of people  but I was running and that felt very good.  This run was really slow.

On Friday, nothing, even worse on Saturday, pure exhaustion, on Sunday I was on an airplane and hopefully I can start again on Monday.

In terms of Mindfulness:  the main action was in focusing on where I was at all times so as not to get too lost at any one place.  I also focused on the foot steps and the fact that I did this seems to be a good sign that I am staying on this area a lot.

All in all it is a fascinating place.  But tough to get runs in if you just jump off the plane, go straight to work, and still think you will get 15km a day in.

Why didn't I write all week?  The censor wouldn't let me near the blog.  Too bad, it would have been a better entry, or series of entries if it had.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

3 Hard Days

The positive:  I ran all three days, 15k Tuesday, 12k Wednesday, 15k today.  But oh the negatives.  This week I'm trying to get in 84 km for the week.  Monday was a rest day and then back at it on Tuesday.  Tuesday worked out really well, very good mindful approach to foot plant. 

Its an interesting phenomena about this mindfulness of foot plant.  It is so different from following the breath as a mindfulness approach.  You work on every step you take.  You seldom come out of the mindfulness, it has been very insightful for me.  Not the least of which is that it has shown me that since the comeback from the broken feet so long ago my left foot plant was/is really out of whack and clearly the cause of some of my previous injury problems which were solved with the inserts.  It also is an indicator of my false diagnosis of atypical neuroma metatarsalgia.  If I step right I don't have the problem. However, the down side is that my feet are having to get used to the correct steps again and that is kind of strange.  I really have to stay focused.

Unfortunately, my work on Wednesday and Thursday prevented morning runs.  Actually, I prevented the morning run on Wednesday because I completely failed to have right speech, right action, right effort and mindfulness, or let ego slide away as a result of things that happened at work on Tuesday.  The result was very little sleep on Tuesday night.  I ended up running hard on Wednesday night for 12k.  I didn't intend it to be hard, it just turned out to be a good strong run.  Luckily I was able to stay mindful on the foot plant because emotionally I was a complete wreck. 

Again this too was insightful and shows that I still have a very long way to go till I have the kind of knowledge and use of the Noble eightfold path that some people might consider appropriate.  I have opinions and I have views, neither of which is a useful way to go about things.  My Wednesday run was driven by more hurtful words that I suffered, but they are just words I hope, I continue to meditate on how ego got in the way and how my incorrect speech was the cause of much of the problem.  Live and learn right.

Today's run was 15k and it was after I gave a presentation on customer satisfaction at the school.  I came home midday and got the run in.  I wanted to run early but just couldn't do it.  I ended up have a very bad blood sugar drop about 3:30 a.m. last night and ate most of the fruit in the refrigerator, thus causing a wonderful high blood sugar when I got up. So I took some insulin and got some more sleep.   I was determined to run though.  Again, very good mindfulness with the footplant. 

I don't know how long this meditation theme will last.  What I do know is that the week has been eventful and thus many phenomena have arisen and fallen. 

I go to China on Saturday afternoon.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday stroll

Out about mid afternoon today.  Very windy.  15k today.  The leaves are falling, but the dogs don't care.  I thought today was a very mindful work out.  I worked foot plant almost the entire run, I figure 95% of the run.  About 10 k I got a twinge in my back and I was mindful of my posture and that quickly took care of the twinge in my back.  It looks like that is definitely a thing with posture.

Toward the end of the day I got a very nice meditation in also.  In addition during the run I was able to contemplate ego for a bit and work on a problem at work that has been bothering for me.  Looks like my ego is in the way on this situation and I need to show some insight in to myself and let go of what I think should be done and let others have their chance.  I'll do that on Monday.

Rest day Monday.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Babushka

Everything taken care of this week.  Mileage that I wanted to accomplish was accomplished.  Interesting aside, I've always, and most people where I come from, call it mileage, but now I track everything in kilometers, not miles.  Does that mean I should be calling it kilometerage.  (the word itself gets a squiggly read line from Bill Gates).

Since the last entry I've had some success with getting up and just going forward with the run.  I've had help though, I am currently reading "Running with the Mind of Meditation" by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.  I've been thinking that there had to be something else I could be getting from my running and meditation.  So, with this as a I guide I have stripped back expectations a bit in terms of what to meditate on for the current time.  I hope to move forward back to what I was trying in the last couple of weeks after working through this book for a bit. 

The crux is that I have focused on foot plant for the last three runs.  That is to say, every time my left foot hits the ground I am focusing on how it hits, where it hits, the position of the foot in relation to my leg, the ground, etc.  This has been very interesting.  Why?  I'm sure your just dying to know.  If I lose mindfulness on this I find that the foot seems to splay outward. 

Now for today.  I had a twinge in the back after last Sunday's 15k and wondered whether it was because I wasn't working that really big hill correctly.  I decided to change the route around and make it an amalgamation of several other routes, plus on some places I've never run before to take out that hill and now call the course a gentle rolling 15k.  Its still up for about km then down for about 6km but still. 

It was a very good run, very precise with the mindfulness of foot plant.  Rinpoche Sakyong no doubt knows what he is talking about.  But the thing about today was the Babushka.  I was about 36 minutes in and had just come off a new section of the course that I had to plot out each step where I was going next because I'd never been there, I turned headed up a hill and was turning on to a road that also is part of my 25k route when I see the intersection.  It is like a T intersection but its Kyiv so its every man woman and child for themselves to cross this road. 

And I see this Babushka (easily 85 years old) with a four legged walker that she is resting on in the middle of the intersection halfway through, I see the traffic light, she'll never make it she is only half way and there are cars whipping by this woman.  I make a decision.  Hit stop on the watch and walked to her.  She looked at me and I think she was screaming at me that the cars wouldn't stop, but I wasn't sure.  I stayed right next to her until a car finally stopped, and then the car on the other side stopped, this instantly made for a traffic jam.  She didn't want to move, so I said to her in Russian (look babushka everything is okay) it is about all the Russian I have that is grammatically correct.  So she stated.  I waited until she got past the first car and half way past the second, because the first car really wanted me out of the way, then I ran.

A good run today.  Stay mindful.