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)

Monday, January 2, 2012

A 24 Dog Day

Got the longer run in today that I wanted to do yesterday.  2:21 on my feet good.

It is still holiday time here in Kyiv so it the streets were very quiet.  I started about 9:00 a.m. and my first dog of the day was my neighbors, at least it was on a leash, in fact the first three dogs I saw today were on leashes.  The final 21 were not.  Kyiv is a city that has a very large dog population, not dogs that are domestic, dogs that have no owners and just hang out all over the city.

Most of today was one foot after the other and watching for babushkas and dogs.  However, as always happens on the long day I wished I had had a camera at least twice today.  The first time I had just stopped for water and some GU and was feeling much better when I cam upon a religious ceremony around a tree.  Kyiv is Russian or Ukrainian Orthodox primarily  and there by the side of the road were about 20 people, two priests, an alter boy several icons and a podium pointed at a tree.  These situations are always dangerous for me because I end up taking my eyes of what is in front of me in order to take in all that is going on around me.  It seemed a very solemn event, there was the priest speaking  as I drew nearer, the alter boy turned his head and looked at me; as I drew even they broke in to song, I didn't know there was singing in this brand, but I guess there is.  I tried to see if there was a picture of someone who maybe had run a car in to this particular tree, but there was not. 

The second event was Santa Clause and SpongeBob Squarepants.  After going up a brutal hill at about 18-19 km I end up on the city centre on Kryshchatyk St. and run pas Maidan Nezalezhnosti.  This is the site of the Orange revolution oh those many years ago.  Kryshchatyk is usually closed on Sundays so it is a nice area to run through and as luck would have it it was closed today also, it being a holiday.  Off to my left, as I was running up I saw what looked like 500 people (of course it was more like 200) queuing.  Keep in mind, Kyivites don't really que much, they   tend to barge, not que.  As I got closer I began to make out Santa, or should I say Santas.  Basically there were literally 10 santas on Maidan offering their photographic opportunities.  The santas came in various options, young santa (thin), old santa (fatter), santa with his granddaughter (here in Ukraine santa is actually grandfather frost and his helper is his granddaughter) santa with a beard, santa without, santa sitting, santa standing; however you wanted santa, you could get it and have the picture developed in 5 minutes.

Interesting run, continuing to approach this with small steps and the "Born to Run" theory of Caballo Blanco, "why take two steps when you can take three".  I started the morning with high blood sugar and took 1/2 of the insulin I would normally take, that proved to be fine for the first 45 minutes but I felt a bonk coming on so I stopped at 52 minutes took some water and GU and moved on.  It really did make a difference.  Felt very good until the last 2 km probably.  Two major hills on this route and managed them fine.  Had to continually get myself back into posture and footwork however. 

Temp:  -2 C, no wind to speak of.  The LunarGlide 3+ continue to be a good purchase.

And yes, I did see 21 more dogs, but 8 of them were in a pack together at about mile 10, they just looked at me like I was an alien.  At least I'm a legal alien.

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