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Week starting 23 November

Tuesday 24 Nov-Yoga @ Red Earth Centre with Sandrine. Very relaxing.

Friday 27th – Challenging run. Was sort of putting it off most of the day but eventually made it out while the sun was still shining around 4 pm. The 4 layers on top and 2 on the bottom plus hat were just the right amount of dressing. I felt light on my feet.

Starting with 200 m warm-up on the inner loop, I then managed 6 or 7 laps around the big loop (x 800 m). I finished with one final lap around the small loop and then some stretching. This was something like a 5 or 6 k run in 37 minutes — not bad.

My iPod was playing a Democracy Now podcast dedicated to Spuds Terkel, a pioneering oral historian/broadcaster who had recently died. I’d never heard of this guy before, but what a character, a real trailblazer he was! I heard an excerpt from an interview with Martin Luther King, Jr, during which they discussed how segregation is equally damaging to both sides of the divide. One of King’s quotes that really touched me was: “Hate is a dangerous force, and it is an injurious force, because it injures the object of hate as well as the subject of hate. It injures the hater as well as the hated. And this is why many are saying, “Love or perish.”” Wow.

I liked it when Spuds said, “I admire artists, simple as that. I admire gifted people who are devoted to their art or their crafts. Crafts, yeah, of course, you know. And I don’t admire slovenliness, simple as that. ” So true.

Up till now in my training, I’d been running only on the inner loop primarily because it has a proper running surface, and because it’s totally flat. The outer loop is more like pavement, and is slightly elevated in parts. Not sure if these were part of it, but I was really feeling beat after 4 laps. At one point I was ready to pull the plug. Then I heard the following snippet from an interview between Studs and gospel singer Mahalia Jackson:

STUDS TERKEL: I’m thinking about this song, you, your recognition as an internationally known artist, a black woman, a singer of gospel songs, spirituals. What does this song—what meaning does this song have for you today?

MAHALIA JACKSON: Well, you’ve got to keep moving, and you’ve got to have heart, and you’ve got to just suffer, but you’ve got to keep on moving, because the world is—there’s so many people—is trying to move.

Obviously Ms. Jackson’s message was much deeper and broader and pertained to people living in poverty and behind racial divides, but when I heard those first few sentences, I was sure she was speaking directly to me!! Overwhelmed and inspired, I burst into tears right there on the track, and found the energy to keep on going. It was a much-needed gift from the universe.

Then strangely I think I found that ‘zone’ which runners refer to where you aren’t really trying so hard anymore, it’s just automatic…. breathing gets easier too. It was so unexpected, and at one point I thought I could easily continue another few laps. At least, in theory.

But it’s a good thing I stopped when I did. After stretching and cooling down, I was on my way home when the middle of my right hand started to go a bit numb, as though I had fallen sleep on it. Freaky! It persisted a bit, then finally went away after a few shakes. Later that evening I was seeing some flashing light on my right eye. It also didn’t last long but I wonder if these were somehow a result of a super-challenging workout.

This weekend I’m on on a cooking marathon getting ready for the Thanksgiving lunch tomorrow (Sunday), so am taking a little break from jogging… back on track next week! 😉

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