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)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A post script to Conemarra and Caballo Blanco

I am now one full week post the ultra.  I ran Saturday, 12km and today 15km with an eye toward what is in the last paragraph of my write up on Conemarra.  I still have some residual soreness in the left adductor but other than that everything seems very nice and I had two very nice easy runs yesterday and today.  Blood Sugar is good, feet are good, shoes are good.

If you don't know who Caballo Blanco is, adopted name of Micah True, he is a central character of a book called "Born to Run".  My sister-in-law gave me this book as a gift some two years ago.    I devoured the book, but re read the sections on Christopher McDougall's visits with True several times.  I have some favorite quotes which I have used here, such as:  "why take two steps when you can take three?"

Two days before Conemarra ultraRunningonline.com posted that True was missing after going for a run.  On the day of the race it was confirmed that he had been found dead.  At the time I was saddened by this news as I felt a connection with some of the words he has said but also that many of us probably would love to take the approach he has taken over time, however, can't/don't/won't for various reasons and that we admired greatly what he was doing.

I've had one week to reflect on Conemarra and during that time McDougall had a very nice article on BBC Online, my main source of news, which held yet another of the great True quotes.  I've had time to come to terms with my experience, what I would like to see happen from that experience, but at the same time not grasping for what I want to do as a result.  Simultaneously, my favorite quote has somehow centered me with not grasping and not over exceeding expectations.

From "Born to Run", by Christopher McDougall,

"Don't fight the trail. Take what it gives you," he began. "Lesson two - think easy, light, smooth and fast. You start with easy, because if that's all you get, that's not so bad. Then work on light. Make it effortless, like you don't [care] how high the hill is or how far you've got to go.

"When you've practised that so long that you forget you're practising, you work on making it smooooooth. You won't have to worry about the last one - you get those three, and you'll be fast."
  (Micah True, aka Caballo Blanco)

My last two runs endeavored to work on easy and light.  I think it will be some time before I get to smooth and fast.  I am really enjoying easy and light. 

Thank you Mr. True.

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