Thursday, December 29, 2016

How Far We Have Come

waywiser, n.
 An instrument for measuring and indicating distance travelled, especially by foot. Now historical.

One of my private goals for 2016 was to run a race longer than a marathon. I succeeded when I made it across the line at the Run for the Toad 50k in October. Because most ultramarathons take place on trails, I ended up doing most of my training in wilder settings than I’m used to. In this way, longer distances became my regular runs, and I became a trail runner. Except for the Around the Bay 30k race last March, all my events in 2016 were trail races.
Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood.
I got to run for hours and hours through mud, Turkish bath heat, pouring rain, and misty forests. I got to wade through streams created by just-melted snow and pick my way across makeshift bridges made of mossy logs. I slipped and tripped and bounced my way over rocks and roots and hundreds of kilometres of quiet forest pathways. This time last year I felt like a novice trail runner. Now I feel as if I have acquired something from every step I took. (On some of the muddier outings, I did.)
As I live in a very large city, simply planning a two- to three-hour training run without sidewalks and stoplights adds a challenge to the process. I am lucky to live right at the entrance to a vast system of ravines, which weave their way through the city providing biking paths and trails that go on for hours.
One of my best training runs took place a few weeks before the Run for the Toad in October. I ran about 39k on paths beside Lake Ontario and through the Don River Valley. The last two hours were in rain so steady it seemed the air was liquid. When you are tired and sore and it is pouring rain, the only thing to do is to keep calm and carry on toward your goal. So I did. It was a soggy, joyful day.
I am also fortunate to be part of a family summer cottage several hours north of the city. My favourite training route up there takes me 13km along winding, hilly, tree-shaded roads into the local town, finishing with a climb to the top of a large hill. There is a scenic lookout tower at the top of the hill and a spring water source that is almost indecently sensual on a hot summer day.
A few weeks ago this was solid ice.
In past years I would usually wait until someone was driving into town anyway and ask them meet me there and ferry me home. This year I decided to simply turn around and run back, doubling the distance and exponentially improving my workout. Oddly, no one ever expressed regret over the absence of my salt-covered body and sodden clothes in their car. A win/win.
I did that Tower Hill run several times last summer; hour after hour of “the green dark forest … too silent to be real” save for the sound of my feet hitting the ground. Now that I am city-bound by winter, the peaceful solitude of that 26k route has become a refuge for my mind.
My goals for next year – the year in which I will turn 65 – are varied and exciting. And like most private dreams, they are fanciful and farfetched and therefore completely malleable. But wherever I end up, I do plan to run farther and climb higher than I have any right to be able to. I will slip and trip and fall (my plan does include getting up again). I will be hot and cold and wet and learn how to deal with being these. As I move forward, I will become stronger and yes, maybe wiser. 

To the bewilderment of those who think I should suffer somehow for the audacity of wanting to transport my body over long distances under my own power, I intend to love every step.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

A Forest Ultra

Run for the Toad 50k – October 1, 2016

The voice in my head began speaking to me as I was about 20k into my run. “Sure,” the voice said. “You’ve gone almost a half-marathon – a decent morning’s run for anyone. But you still have 30k to go. You’re not even halfway there.”

And I had “the feeling.” I have experienced it before: once long ago at 10k of a marathon I had entered at the last minute. A sinking, missing-the-last-bus, alone, hopeless feeling in the centre of my being. A feeling that I have no business being out here, that I will never finish and may in fact be forgotten out on the course as the sun sets and everybody goes home. Luckily I ignored the feeling that day and went on to run a personal best for the marathon.

So as I passed through 20k of the Run for the Toad 50k – my first try at the distance – I was expecting that feeling, as I was waiting for the voice, and this day too I was able to disconnect both and keep running. In a few minutes I felt fine again.

Note to self: remember how you did that.

A year ago I did the 25k version of this event and loved it. A helpful and optimistic volunteer suggested I might want to try the 50k this year. With no good reason other than her casual encouragement, I set this as my goal event for the season.

The race takes place in the Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area, about an hour west of Toronto,  over a very user-friendly course comprising well-groomed trails through pine forests and grassy paths across open fields. Each lap is 12.5k, so, 4 of them for the whole 50. 

It was a cool overcast day with rain threatening but never really materializing. I ran cautiously but steadily. I encountered my friend the volunteer from last year in her usual traffic-directing spot and let her know that it would be all her fault if I crashed and burned, ending up as a helpless pile of mushed muscle and snapped sinews. This is the kind of lame humour I typically offer the volunteers as I run past.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I detest it when someone labels what I do as “crazy.” I have no time for these people. With all the truly insane things going on in the world, I ask, how is it crazy to have a dream, set a goal, make plans, and then take steps to achieve your goal? Why can I not be labelled brave, or determined – or at least congenial?

As my voice had reminded me, two laps, or 25k, would have been a good morning’s workout, an honourable end to the season. But I wanted more. I have run lots of marathons – more than I can remember in fact – but this time, like Nigel Tufnel’s amplifier, I wanted to see what would happen if I turned it up to eleven.

Did I have the strides to carry me into ultramarathon territory?

As I ran I couldn’t resist looking at the time, something I rarely do in a trail run. Because all trails are different, there is no point in comparing today’s race with the one you did somewhere else a month ago. But since even finishing the distance was going to be a total learning experience for me, I glanced at my watch as I made my way around each of the first three laps. I didn’t care how long I took, but I wanted the finish line not to have been dismantled before I got across it.

Got 'er done.
My body knew what it had to do; I had been training for this race since last winter and I had put in the requisite work.  When I got to the last lap – the last 12.5k – I knew I had it and I enjoyed every step. The field of runners had thinned out (as it does when you are at the back of it) and I frequently had the dark green, misty trail all to myself. As I passed the 5k marker for the fourth time (telling me I had run a total distance of 42.5 kilometres), I stopped in the middle of the path in the silent forest, raised my arms heavenward, and let the voice in my head tell me, “You’re an ultramarathoner.”

Amazingly, I managed not to trip or stumble; this is probably due more to luck than skill – not to mention my Hoka One One Speedgoat shoes – but staying upright is always a great morale booster. As usual, I felt stronger as I approached the finish line than I had all day. When I finished, I had been running for just under seven hours. 

This was the finale of my season, which began with Around the Bay back in April. I have grandiose plans to build on what I've learned this year. The next task is to teach myself to pace better, to become more confident running up and down hills, and to remind the voice in my head that each step is one more closer to my goal, and that I am indeed getting there. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Footsteps in an Old Forest

Haliburton Forest Trail Run, September 10, 2016  
In his book, A Step Beyond: A Definitive Guide to Ultrarunning, Don Allison describes the terrain of the Haliburton Forest Trail Run as “runner friendly.” And in comparison with other events around the world, I suppose it is. There are no mountain passes or glaciers to traverse, no sand dunes or swamps to be swallowed by. Little danger from mountain lions or poisonous reptiles. But for me, a runner with minimal experience running in extreme conditions, I love the challenge and beauty you can find in this event.
The Haliburton Forest is a private nature reserve under a canopy of ancient hardwood trees about 200 kilometres northeast of Toronto. The race is 23 now years old, a testament to its popularity as well as to the longevity of its director, the venerable and unsinkable Helen Malmberg.  There are several distances offered on the menu: 100 miles, 50 miles, 50k, 26k; even a 12k for those who want only an appetizer.
I was running the 26k, what I called once again the Fun Run.
As befits a forest, there are lots of rocks and roots, steep climbs, and luge-like descents. There are bogs, whereat you have to decide whether the wet logs laid across them will provide enough support and traction so that you won’t be catapulted into the mud (I was just once; it was a nice soft landing).
Last year I participated in this race and suffered a lot. I hadn’t been expecting the way the dodgy footing and pre-Cambrian topography would slow down my pace. I hadn’t anticipated the amount of hopping, skipping and jumping (and not running) that is involved in negotiating a forest trail. It was the slowest 26k I had ever run and I felt chastened and somewhat discouraged. In my blog post after that race, I made a list of things I thought I had done wrong: inappropriate shoes and clothing, inadequate nutrition and hydration, unrealistic expectations.
This is the shoe. I had two of them.
This year I brought all the gear I felt I needed and left behind the expectations. And I had a great time. The weather forecast was iffy, calling for rain around noon. But the morning was great for a run: lightly overcast and about 18C.
Some of the route appears to follow trails that are such by virtue only of the fact that several people have passed over them at one point in history. At times the orange flags marking the course seem to have been arbitrarily set in the middle of the forest primeval. But there is indeed a path and it did take me to the cheery aid station volunteers at the 13k turnaround and home again. I went off the rails only once and it was my fault – I thought I was at a different crossroads than I really was. As soon as I realized there were no trail markers in sight, I reversed and got back on course.
The good news was that although I still wrestled with my own inner timing and pace expectations, everything else worked beautifully. My Hoka One One Speedgoat shoes were perfect for the paths and often-slippery rocks, and I made good use of my Nathan hydration system, stocked with lots of gels. I was well hydrated and nourished the whole way.
Attractive finisher's medal, no?
The other good news is that the training I have been doing this summer has left my body in relatively decent shape for a trail race. There are few things as encouraging as asking your legs for more power after you’ve been running for three straight hours – to skip like an Irish step dancer over tree roots and rocks, to scramble up a steep rock, to charge down the road to the finish – and to feel them respond. I managed to shave some minutes off my time from last year, but more importantly, I ran to the finish feeling fresh and inspired. Last year I walked the last 2 kilometres.
In the last 45 minutes of my run it started to rain, although I was protected by the thick green canopy of the forest till the home stretch, which is along a gravel road. In any case it was a mild day, and when I came out into the open the rain felt refreshing and welcome. I recognize that this might not have been the case if I had had many more hours to run.
This event was a warm-up for my goal race this year: the Run for the Toad 50k, which is in three weeks. I still don’t know if I can run 50k, so the adventure – as it always does and always should – lies in the unknown.
As I write this on Sunday morning, runners not far from here are finishing the longest distance of the Haliburton Forest Trail Run – 100 miles. They have been running since 6 a.m. yesterday. Overnight it seems as if we have passed over the divide between summer and fall. Although the sun is shining brightly, the temperature has dropped about a dozen degrees since yesterday. Part of trail running is dressing for the conditions, and I hope they all did. They are a unique breed of human, and as always, it is a special treat to be running in their footsteps.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Earth Runner's High

Dirty Girls Trail Race, Mansfield Ontario

I did the Dirty Girls, and I have the T-shirt to prove it. This tough trail race with the politically risky name (try googling it) has been part of the Ontario Ultra series for a decade now, although there was a suggestion from the announcer at the starting line that it may be coming to an end.

Dirty Girls logo. The race is tough, really.
I hope not, because a lot of loving care has gone into this race, and it shows. The event has a visual theme of cute, clever artwork that belies its gritty character. One touch I appreciated is that each section of the course is given a name – Chatty Girl Escape No.1, Earth Girl’s High, Dirty Boy’s Confusion – and this actually goes a long way to help with orientation. Hint: When you reach Beer Gut Boy’s a-Singin’! you are near the end.
The race is run around an 8k loop, which means that you get to enjoy the same hills and stumble over the same roots multiple times – familiarity can breed contempt or confidence. For all of the events except one, the distance is variable: you are measured on how many laps you can do in a given time – 6, 12, or 24 hours. My event was the only one with a fixed distance: 32k, or a modest 4 circuits. I thought of this one as the Fun Run.
Ultrarunning magazine describes the course as “hilly … with substantial … roots.” (The editor in me thinks they mean that there are a lot of roots, not that the roots are huge.) But what trail worth running does not have hills and roots? Much of the Dirty Girls takes place on forest paths, not groomed trails, so yes, hillier and rootier than some.
Hills? Runners follow a trail that goes up and down the Niagara Escarpment. To give you an idea of scale, this is the same geological rift that forms Niagara Falls. So … not inconsiderable in terms of elevation gain and loss.
Most of the climbs are comparatively gentle, though, and a serious competitor (not me) could run up them easily. Toward the end of the loop there is a long uphill called Dirty Runners’ Pain that might slow down even the most motivated.
Some of the paths double back on themselves, so that you can look through the trees and catch a glimpse of runners going in the opposite direction, to the point where you might wonder if you are going the wrong way (see Dirty Boy’s Confusion, above).
Enough said.
My third and fourth laps were much slower than my first two, telling me that I need to do more hill work before my next outing. Somehow I have still not gotten the message that a clamber up a 30-degree, uneven, scrabbly slope takes more out of you than an easy jog along the bike path behind my house. I’ve felt less tired after some marathons I’ve done than I did after this event.
As always, the volunteers were cheerful and supportive. There is one aid station at the far end of the loop, but to augment this I strongly recommend taking water, electrolytes, and nutrition along. If nothing else, having your own stuff to chow down on when you are alone in the woods can be a good morale booster.
I eventually crossed the finish line far later than I had intended, as usual just up few notches from the bottom of the field. The last lap was really very enjoyable (possibly because it was the last). In terms of toughness, variety, and pure fun, this was one of my favourite races in my novice trail career so far.It has been very hot and sunny in our area for the past few weeks. However most of the Dirty Girls course is sheltered by trees, and there was a good breeze at the top of the escarpment, so my run was warm but survivable.

When I crossed the timing mat for the last time, the worst heat of the day was still ahead, and it seemed strongest in the open field that makes up the start/finish area. As I stood recovering, feeling like a cupcake in an Easy Bake Oven, my heart went out to the runners who were gamely trotting back up the hill to continue on, some of them for nearly 20 more hours. I remain in awe of these athletes and I am always proud to have a chance to run among them.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Adventures of a Mud Puppy

My quest to find running events that allow me to be as slow as I like continued this weekend with the Seaton Soaker Trail Race. This race is part of the Ontario Ultra and Trail Race Series (Outrace), and offers 15, 25, and 50k distances. I chose the middle option. The shortest wouldn’t have satisfied me, and the longest would have killed me.
Photo: Seaton Soaker Trail Race
The course follows the Seaton Hiking Trail, a forested, mostly single-lane path with moderate hills that winds along Duffins Creek in Ajax, just east of Toronto. About 3 km from the end there is a shallow river crossing, which is useful to wash the excess mud off the lower body. This can be a revitalizing sensation, as the water temperature in spring is anything but tepid.

I ran this race last year on a warm sunny day in May. Unless you live in Honolulu though, not all days in May are warm and sunny, and this past Saturday was one of the other kind. It was on the cool side, and I would describe the precipitation as an ambitious Scotch mist. The rain wasn’t really an issue weather-wise, but the trails, already quite muddy from spring runoff, were especially challenging.
Meaning slippery. This year's event wasn’t so much a soaker as it was a slider. A lot of the time I was either schmucking my way through ankle-deep mud or clinging to a tree branch to keep from slipping down a hill. I would have felt more stable dancing the Nutcracker on a hockey rink.
The precariousness of balance reminded me of my friend Pam’s description of a gravel-road bike race called Barry-Roubaix.
As always, I appreciated the volunteers because among other things they smiled dutifully at my lame attempts at humour as I passed, even though they must have been soaked and chilled to the bone. I continue to believe that it is easier to be a runner than a volunteer, but more noble to be the latter.
Yes, that's me under there.
I managed to stay more or less upright for the first half of the day, but heading back into the forest after the turnaround at 12.5k, I finally lost it and went down. My landing was soft and sloppy, like one of those slow motion films of a duck landing on the water, legs outstretched in front, wings flapping away. Naturally, the first thing I did was to look around and see if anyone else had seen me. But this is one of the advantages of being at the back of the pack: there are few people nearby.
By the end of the morning I was covered in mud and getting weary of losing my footing every two minutes, but I still finished smiling, with lots of energy to spare. I sprinted up the final hill to the finish line, ready (if not even remotely able) to do it all again.
It is a lovely thing to be running through a forest. The surface – when it is not as slick as quicksilver – is soft and yielding to the feet. The air is still and quiet. I believe that the nearness of the trees and other features makes it seem as if I am moving a lot faster than I am. Frankly, it is more fun than counting lampposts or stoplights along a city street.
Of course, I rarely see much of the scenery moving past me; I am too busy trying not to trip over anything. My eyes are always fixed on the path underneath my feet.  A trail race course could traverse a nudist resort and I probably wouldn’t notice.
Running trails is a full-body workout, every step requires a different landing, and my arms seem to be constantly flapping about in different directions to help me keep my balance. No elliptical trainer bends and twists my aging body so effectively.
I marvel at the people who can really move over a course like this (and there were many of them). Although I don’t aspire to any finish results above the bottom page, I would like to become a bit more efficient and confident in my trail running (and maybe fall a bit less).

Saturday, April 9, 2016

OMG Spring!

Around the Bay Road Race, Hamilton Ontario. April 3, 2016
The attraction and the caution of an outdoor athletic event is that is outdoors. The guys who created the Around the Bay 30k Race back in 1894 originally held it on Boxing Day; later it was moved to the end of March. So all who participate in it know to expect anything in the way of weather. Last year I remember being frozen to the brisket from a bitter wind as I ran the final 3 kilometres. This year promised something similar, with temperatures not expected to get above freezing all day.
As I stood waiting to start the race, swathed in tights, warmup pants, layers of shirt, windproof jacket, gloves, and toque, I recalled that the last time I had run this distance was in Death Valley. That day the temperature reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit and I drank mega-quantities of liquid and put ice in my hat to keep cool and hydrated against the sun. I never stop marvelling that we possess bodies that can operate in such extremes.
Running from the start through the portlands of Hamilton down to Lake Ontario, I actually felt overdressed and overwarm as the wind was at our backs and the morning sun was in our faces. But I was philosophical.
This is nothing, I thought. I was plenty hotter than this in Death Valley.
The second 10 kilometres of the race takes runners along the shore of the lake, in the shadow of the Burlington Bay Skyway. Somehow this is never as picturesque as it sounds, and I always find this section a bit of a slog – heroic and cheery aid station volunteers notwithstanding. When the road turns away from the lake and begins to wind gently upward through the neighbourhoods of Burlington at 17k, I find a sense of relief from boredom.
It was along this section that I noticed this year a phenomenon that is certainly going to be more a part of road racing in years to come. Social media is invading the loneliness of the long distance runner.
Whereas I have always found a certain solitary peace and focus by running, the younger racers are making text messages and tweets part of the experience. I trotted past dozens of young girls shuffling along the road, eyes fixed on the tiny screens of their phones, thumbs at work like little pistons.
“OMG hills!!!! B glad u R not me LOL.”
Which way to the South Pole?
I started to stiffen up at around 25k, which I had expected. Along with the distance, the pavement was taking a toll on knees and quads after a winter of bouncy running on my treadmill. It probably didn’t help my glacial pace that I was wrapped in as much polar clothing as the Amundsen expedition.
The last stretch back into town was not as breezy as I had been expecting, and the Grim Reaper posing for selfies with the runners at 28k did not seem as grim as he had last year. The temperature indeed stayed south of freezing but the sun stayed mostly out for the duration and it was a sparkling day to be running. It was an outdoor event at the end of winter. Shorts and tank top definitely optional.
I felt that generally I ran a more evenly paced race this year. It was also more evenly slower. Even though there were a number of guys my age still out on the course as I trotted into the gloom of FirstOntario Centre and across the line, I think I could have picked it up just a bit the whole way. I was fully 25 minutes slower than I was when I  first ran the race 25 years ago. Symmetrical deterioration?
Still, it was only the first event of the year. OMG. Give urself a break.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running for 90 Minutes

I am currently trying to get myself in shape for my first running event of 2016, the venerable Around the Bay Road Race. It’s a 30k run through the streets of Hamilton Ontario, and it takes place either at the end of winter or the beginning of spring, depending on the weather that day. Last year it was a cold, sunny day with a bitter wind, so I was glad I was bundled up. Other years it has been almost balmy.
The Old Man and the Bay
Until recently our winter here was very sparse snow-wise, but I still do most of my off-season running on the treadmill. That way I can watch TV and stop and fill my water bottle when I want to. The atmosphere is more Family Guy than Chariots of Fire, but at least I get the workout done.
One of my favourite Sunday workouts at this time of year is my 90-minute run. Although the long run of the week is supposed to be long-slow-distance with no thought to speed, I do try to keep an even pace. I have found that my run divides itself into three roughly even sections; each has its own characteristics, challenges, rewards.
The first thirty minutes of my long run are always the hardest. Each system in my body protests the transition from stillness to motion and my mind is overwhelmed by how far I have to go before I am finished. When I’m outdoors I really don’t take a lot of time to notice my surroundings in this first half hour. I am too busy trying to remember how to run.
My thoughts during this first third of my run are mostly status checks of my body. Although I haven’t had as many injuries as some of my friends, I am aware that I should expect different things from my physical self at 64 than I did at 34. It is only as I approach the half-hour mark that I come to accept – as if for the first time – that I am a runner.
The second 30 minutes of my run are always the easiest. I credit myself with the distance I have travelled so far and my mind is less preoccupied with how far I have yet to go. My muscles are warm and fluid and strong and my stride lengthens. If I started my run out of breath and feeling lazy, that mood leaves me and is replaced by a calm rhythm.
It’s funny how I can never really forget that I’m running. I rarely drift off into a daydream and wake up to discover that I’ve covered another couple of kilometres while dozing. Running is likely the most present thing I do. I am always aware of my arms swinging, of my feet hitting the ground, of my breath filling my chest, of my legs pivoting forward in turns to catch me just in time to stop me from falling. I find myself surprised and grateful every time they do.
The final half hour is when I start to feel like a distance runner. Because I have suffered through my share of injuries over the past 30 years (most of them in the past 10), I am always relieved and energized when all my moving parts have worked together through thousands and thousands of repetitions to carry me this far. Nothing about me ever feels as perfect as it does at this time.
I tell myself I am picking up the pace, even though I know that I’m really just working harder to keep up the pace I started at.  By the end I usually feel the way I wanted to feel: ready for more. I am grateful to have run and finished, not because I finished, but because I ran.

Ninety minutes is less than half of what it will take me to run around Hamilton Bay in a few weeks. But it translates into a good distance for me: more than a 10k and less than a half marathon. A useful workout that doesn’t leave me too wrecked to do anything else for days. I like the synergy of the three sections; none would exist without the other, and together they dare me and test me. And then they recreate me.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Getting There

They dance best who dance with desire.
Irving Layton

I usually begin a new year not by loading myself down with plans and resolutions but by trying to find a simple word or phrase that will help with the plans and resolutions I am sure to dream up over the next 12 months.
This year my phrase is going to be “Getting There.” As with last year’s choice, “Higher,” I chose it because it has several possible meanings and senses.
It can be a reassurance – almost a mantra – we offer ourselves out at mile 80 of Ironman that we are, in spite of all indications, slightly closer to the end than to the beginning. It is a calming understatement, no giver of false hope; it can be infinitely more useful than those well-meaning-but-misguided cheers of the marathon spectators who call out “You’re almost there!” when we still have 8 miles left to run.
My phrase can also be inspired by a larger thought: that getting there is half the fun. And this is actually the way I want to try to slant this. I have always been a setter of goals, and goal setting has been responsible for most of the athletic adventures that have enriched my life and kept me sane over the past 30 years. But I believe it is also possible that in keeping my eyes on the forest, I sometimes lose sight of the trees.
When I was running in Death Valley last fall (pictured above), I had no idea whether I would be able to survive in the unforgiving desert for ten minutes or three hours. My only real goal was … well … to run in Death Valley. And run I did; I found myself cherishing every stride. I let the stark landscape and the silent distant mountains surround me, and the hot dry air infuse me, and I was truly sorry when I got to the end of my planned 18 miles.
Afterwards it occurred to me that I could do with a bit more Zen and fewer long-term goals in my outings. To run as though each step is the only one that exists. To enjoy the synergy of working muscles and joints; of watching the road pass under me; of moving myself across the earth.
 My chosen phrase this year means that I will look at a run or a ride not just as a path to a goal but as an end in itself. A training run will not just be hay in the barn for some future event; it will be a chance to remind myself of why I love what I am doing. Or for that matter, why I hate it, if that’s what I’m feeling at the time. This will be work for me, as living in the moment is not my natural style. I am a planner, a breaker of projects into phases and tasks and subtasks. I am always looking towards the goal.
I need to remind myself that finishing a race may start with a dream, but there is a whole lot of running or cycling between the dream and the finish line. If I don’t take time to notice the experience while I'm experiencing it, what on earth am I doing out there?
There are many paths. Choose one.
I haven’t set a lot of athletic goals for the coming year. Rather I am going to choose some paths and see where they lead. I am going to let my training drive my events rather than the other way around. If I feel up to running an ultra by the fall, I’ll do one. If not, I will have had a lot of good long runs in the meantime.

I will search for sensual and mindful value in the doing as well as in the achieving. I will make the journey my goal. The end of the journey will be the dividend.