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)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Back to Back snow work

It snowed quite hard and now we have at least 7-8 cm of accumulation in some places and much more in low lying areas.  This has proved to make yesterday and today's runs very interesting.

One of the interesting things about Kyiv is the lack of snow clearance.  Of course once people start to walk on snow, and it isn't cleared, it starts to react to pressure like beach sand.  This is dangerous for someone like me who can occasionally show a real lack of patience.
Both today and yesterday I got in 15k but it was not very quick that is for sure.  I spent a lot of time worrying about footing and trying to figure out how to run properly through long patches of sand like snow that has been beaten down (see above).  By the end of today's run I developed a nice small step rhythm that allowed me to step firmly into the snow and not slip and slide.  Yesterday I kept having to real myself back in as I would over step from what I would call impatience and start to slide around, a sure fire way to get hurt.

I estimate that at least 50 percent of both runs required this type of foot work.  Other times it was running on hard pack.  It is really unfortunate that the rule that people with sidewalks in front of their buildings need to clear the sidewalk is completely ignored here.  I seem to have found all the places in town where people don't do it; and, since there is no penalty for ignoring the law, it won't be cleared until it all melts away.

From a positive point, staying in the moment and focusing on posture and this foot work seems to be keeping me from getting frustrated. In addition, this route has a lot of hills and that is good and will come in very handy for Connamarra in April.

I was able to think about some of the frustrating things about running in Kyiv these last two days as well.  Not just the unplowed snow, that is what it is and has to be worked with or I will never develop any abilities in longer running.  On the other hand, I've been trying to order GU or any other type of gel for about the last month.  It is not available anywhere here.  I went online to try to order it and found an online site that said they had it.  I had to order it and then they would call and deliver and then I would pay for it.  Unfortunately, they didn't have anything like that even though they said they had it and it was in stock.  First the place said they didn't have it in Kyiv and they had it in another city in Ukraine.  Then they called yesterday and said they didn't have it at all anywhere and that they would not be delivering.  They didn't even bother to offer any other products that they sell.  Just "we don't have it", no customer service, no sales, just нет.  This is frustrating, the lack of sophistication in customer service can be very disappointing and it is something you meet with on a daily basis.

I'll try and get 15k in all week as I said before.

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