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Friday, September 25, 2009

"Crack Baby Crack, Show me You're Real."

I can't even begin to tell you, nor do I think I will.  Nothing personal.  Let's just say at the moment:  Tough times = all the more reason to run!

A couple of quotes come to mind.   First from the only Dickens book that I've read (Tale of Two Cities):

"IT WAS the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair . . . " "

Sure, I'm not facing the French Revolution.  But I can relate . . . yup, maybe we can all can relate.

And then from The Old Testament: Ecclesiastes
"To every thing there is a season, and time to every purpose under the heaven:A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance . . . "

And so there have you, my feelings, someone else's elegant words . . . as usual.   

So, what does this have to do with running, specifically trail running? As with life, when I run that tough hill, or long stretch, I can't look far ahead, I have to take the good with the bad.  And though that hill may be tough, enduring it is the real award.  I can't focus on the difficulty. Instead, I take in stride (column straight, kicking out from the back) acknowledging that this is one of the tough parts, plant one foot in front of the other and just keep on moving. (If only I could do that in real life!)  If I start to look too far ahead in my runs, keeping my eyes glued to the top of that hill, well, then, another quote comes to mind:

"Crack Baby Crack. Show me you're real. Smack, Baby Smack, is that all that you Feel?" (David Bowie, "Cracked Actor" from Aladdin Sane -- get it?  Sounds like A Lad Insane : )

That's precisely what happens if I don't stay in the immediate moment when I run -- Crack Baby Crack.  And that's precisely when I began to falter on my last race.  It's when I saw those front runners heading back up that long hill, and I began to fret about that hill probably two miles before I even got there.

STAY IN THE MOMENT AND ACCEPT WHAT IT IS.  That's what trail running has taught me more than the above quotes.  I don't always remember what I've learned.  But heck . . . it's a start.

So, even in the best of times, or the worst of times, and during every other season and purpose under heaven, I can stop that CRACK. I'll show you I'm real -- one foot in front of the other, I'm movin'. It's just life. And with life, at least I got in a run. Yes, I got to run, be it against those warm Santa Ana, westerly blowin', hot winds . . . I got in a fast (for me) relatively flat run. : ) And it was lovely,and it was forgetful, because I thought about nothing.  Nothing at all.

Miles logged this warm, warm morning: 6.0


  1. I am so impressed by your running. Really. I literally cannot get through a mile without walking.

    Love your blog! Following.

  2. Hi Alice! Thanks for the comment. You are so nice. It wasn't too many years ago that I couldn't get through a mile either. In fact, the first quarter mile I ever ran, I huffed and puffed and thought I was going to cumble to the ground. Just keep plugging away at it, and don't take on too much too fast, but slowly add a little more to your distance each week.

    Good luck! And tnanks again.