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My buddy accompanied me on today’s run for the first time in a few weeks. The differences between running alone and with a buddy aren’t surprising, but they can be a bit jarring at first. We finished and all I could think was wait, I didn’t have that moment yet – that breath-of-fresh-air moment where everything else falls away and it’s just you in your body springing from the ground again and again. It’s my own fault. I usually get more out of quiet runs, but if someone’s with me I talk out of habit. Talking helps me quiet the evil voice in my head that insists I can’t possibly do another mile, but it’s usually not talking that helps me tap into my inner one-more-mile mule.

Winter in Prospect Park

Winter in Prospect Park

It’s a work in progress.

I’m trying to apply some of the teachings in Sakyong Mipham’s Running with the Mind of Meditation. The thing is clearing your mind at will takes discipline and I’m guessing a lot of practice. My running focus this year is on building more endurance and getting more out of each run. This last part isn’t quantifiable the way miles are, but it seems like the two will go hand in hand.

So far this year I’ve ran 139 miles towards my goal of 1400 miles, putting me slightly ahead of pace. Go me! I used to celebrate end of month mile markers with a treat – a margarita on quiz night at our favorite bar – today I treated myself to an hour of poetry surfing smack in the middle of the day. I know you’re thinking, “Slow down, wild child.” But there are few things I love more than stumbling across a poem that pulls you in like quick sand.

My favorite finding is a poem in the winter issue of The Threepenny Review. Read it online. Go on. Everybody’s doing it.

John Brown, First Proprietor of the Winchester Mystery House, 1926 by Alexandra Teague