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Re: 3100 Miles: A runner's point of view.

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  • sharani_sharani
    Dear Olga, I am sincerely touched by your thoughtful reply to my confessional message about running and marathons. Especially since you have so quickly proven
    Message 1 of 13 , Sep 5, 2006
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      Dear Olga,
      I am sincerely touched by your thoughtful reply to my confessional
      message about running and marathons. Especially since you have so
      quickly proven yourself as someone making rapid strides as a runner.

      I have to agree with your perceptive advice. While I ran regularly and
      was quite active that year leading up to the marathon with weight
      training and aerobics, I never specifically worked on improving my
      running speed. In my mind, it was miracle enough that I was faithfully
      running every day for so many days in succession. And as I mentioned
      in that earlier message, if the time it took me to run a mile is on
      the slow side then by the time you multiply that by 26.5 - well it's
      only to be expected that my finishing time would also be slow.

      Like you point out, just to even complete a marathon when one is not
      inclined or gifted in sports is a miracle in itself. This wise
      perspective reminds me of a very sweet memory in my marathon
      experiences from when I was a relatively new student of Sri Chinmoy.

      In those days in the late 1980's, it was customary to run the New York
      Marathon held traditionally on the first Sunday in November. My first
      ever attempt at that (any) marathon resulted in completion of about 17
      miles. The next year I was hoping to actually finish. Things seemed to
      be progressing well enough in that race when I suddenly felt ill on
      the Pulaski Bridge which is at about mile 13. As I stood on the middle
      of the bridge, I knew I had absolutely no choice but to drop out
      because of the dizziness and nauseousness I was feeling. I climbed
      onto one of the buses for people dropping out and then took the subway
      back to Queens. I was pretty sad about completing even less than the
      previous year. Once I got home, I soaked my sore muscles in the tub
      and tried to console myself by saying "well at least you did a
      half-marathon."

      That night we had a function after the race at our old Progress
      Promise meeting hall. People were announcing their times, etc. and at
      one point Sri Chinmoy asked who ran but did not complete the race. I
      was one of several hands that raised into the air from the audience
      and on my turn announced that I had run 13 miles. Guru answered me
      with an encouraging tone in his voice, "Oh, a half marathon!"

      Needless to say, I was thrilled by his echo of my own consoling words
      to myself from earlier that day. How many countless expressions of his
      compassion such as this we could all easily tell!

      Also, you can be sure that by the time I finally completed the New
      York Marathon for the first time ever the following year (by then my
      third try), I wept tears of joy after I crossed the finish line.

      So given my history, a personal best of 6.5 hours has its own merit. I
      should remember that more often now that some of my recent ailments
      have seen much improvement through physical therapy and chiropractic
      treatments.

      I can always derive inspiration from our ultra-running heroes as well
      as they demonstrate just how limitless human potential can be. I have
      greatly appreciated their posts here as well as the videos of the
      races and the information at the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team website:
      http://www.srichinmoyraces.org/

      Sharani







      --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, olga_nevergiveup
      <no_reply@...> wrote:
      >
      > Dear Sharani,
      >
      > I admire your determination in such a hard preparation for that
      > marathon. I know that running every day sometimes is not easy at
      > all... Last year I ran 42 days without missing a single day, in
      > spite it was winter and sometimes temperature was minus 30-35 C.
      >
      > That is wonderful that you have a so strong willpower!
      > Not everybody have good athletic capacities from birth. But when a
      > person being not inclined to sports, runs a marathon, this is really
      > VERY inspiring!
      > I remember two people whose body did not look really athletic,
      > participated in 6 day road race this year. One of them was a man
      > from States. It's not easy just to walk with such a great weight and
      > he did not stop walking for all 6 days, only taking night break.
      > Every time I passed any of these two people I get new inspiration.
      > This man was not a student of Sri Chinmoy. One day I asked him what
      > pushed him to come to this race, he answered that he just had a
      > vacation and did not know what to do, so he decided to try this
      > race... Amazing :-)))
      >
      > If you would like to improve your time in marathon, then you just
      > need some special training. I mean that to better your time you need
      > to develop speed. So, long and slow jogging may not help to improve
      > time in marathon. What you need is to practice speeding-up for
      > short distances like 100 meters as well as longer – 2 -3 miles.
      > With your will-power and determination you definitely will improve
      > your time!
      >
      > But for sure God has his own plans for everybody of us. If I never
      > could write such beautiful poems like you do, or to take so
      > wonderful pictures like you do, then perhaps I will not become a
      > great photographer and my best result in this field can be not so
      > great like yours. However, this is not a reason not to try and I
      > like taking pictures and sometimes try to write poems, to draw a
      > little bit :-) I think that is great when we try to improve some
      > new skills, but even if we do not achieve great results compared
      > with others – it does not matter… In such way we transcend ourselves.
      > So, I think it would be great if you continued your training and
      > next year who knows... Maybe you will beat your previous PR!
      >
      > It is my pleasure to share my experience in training for marathon
      > with you, if it can be in any help... for last year I improved my
      > marathon time from 4 h 41 min to 3 h 23 min.
      >
      > Thank you for all your inspiring posts!
      >
      > Olga
      >
      > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sharani_sharani
      > <no_reply@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Dear Sopan,
      > > I'm back to ask again about the meaning of your name. Now that
      > > Celebrations is over and we settle back into our various routines
      > we
      > > would love to hear it since you shared your receipt of the name
      > here
      > > not too long ago.
      > >
      > > I am interested in Olga's question as well. I was athletically
      > > inclined as a youth only in the field of dance/ballet. I usually
      > came
      > > in last in the testing of children in school for running, etc. Even
      > > though I loved the game and children played it frequently in the
      > > neighborhood, I was never good at softball/baseball either. My dad
      > > used to patiently spend lots of time with me trying to help me hit
      > the
      > > ball and catch the ball but it seemed that athletic excellence
      > wasn't
      > > my forte - except as I said above that I was pretty good at
      > ballet. I
      > > even have memories of how long it took me to learn how to do a
      > > somersault as a child - a very, very long time.
      > >
      > > As a participant in Sri Chinmoy races and marathons, a ten minute
      > mile
      > > was probably my best PR and it typically took me 7-8 hours to
      > complete
      > > a marathon. Granted, I never would have attempted a marathon and
      > > completed them about 8 times if I didn't have the example and inner
      > > encouragement of our path.
      > >
      > > About five years ago, I actually trained for the marathon and
      > leading
      > > up to it had about 10 months worth of running every day without
      > > missing a single day. On airport layovers while travelling, I would
      > > even take a jog through the concourse so as to not miss a single
      > day
      > > of running. Leading up to that year's New York Marathon, I did long
      > > training runs on the weekends and was about 40 pounds lighter than
      > I
      > > am now and was pretty physically fit.
      > >
      > > So did I have a good marathon time? Well it took me 6 1/2 hours
      > which
      > > was the same as my previous PR for a marathon time. During that
      > race,
      > > I ran all or most of every mile. I guess because I never run very
      > fast
      > > that the time of 6 1/2 hours reflects an average of 15 minute miles
      > > and has to include bathroom and water breaks. To maintain that pace
      > > for over 6 hours on some level seems a miracle to me. How people
      > run 3
      > > or 4 hour marathon times I cannot even fathom. Maybe when you're
      > that
      > > fast you don't even drink water or go to the bathroom because the
      > race
      > > is over so quickly in the first place?
      > >
      > > After that year's experience, I decided that it must not be my
      > destiny
      > > to be much of a runner. I figured that God had other plans for me
      > than
      > > being a good athlete if serious marathon training resulted in a
      > time
      > > still this slow.
      > >
      > > I am interested to know what others feel about my assumptions.
      > Sports
      > > are an important part of Sri Chinmoy's philosophy for living a
      > > well-rounded life and I'm guessing someone out there will step up
      > to
      > > the plate to tweak my attitude. Well - at least I'm honest. :-)
      > >
      > > Sharani
      > >
      > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sopan_31
      > > <no_reply@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Hi Olga,
      > > > i am sorry for the late answer, this is the first time i look at
      > the
      > > > inspiration site since beginning of celebrations.
      > > >
      > > > I am really not sure what is the reason that some runners run
      > better
      > > > than other runners.
      > > >
      > > > Definitely some runners have more capacity than others.
      > > > Maybe some runners have more light in the phisycal than others.
      > > > For example I know that I can't run more than Asprihanal my
      > phisical
      > > > body simply can't take the pressure of the same speed and same
      > high
      > > > milage.
      > > >
      > > > I think that the main goal is not to do better than somebody
      > else but
      > > > what matters is how much spiritual progress you make and if you
      > give
      > > > 100% of yourself.
      > > >
      > > > It is also maybe important in what comditions we have grown up,
      > some
      > > > people are just naturally stronger than others. For example
      > Srdjan
      > > > never stops running, normally we would walk the uphill parts of
      > the
      > > > course but Srdjan never does that he just keeps running.
      > > >
      > > > It also depends how open and receptive we are for the inner
      > light. It
      > > > is so easy sometimes to maintain a good running speed just
      > because at
      > > > that moment we are more receptive for this inner force.
      > > > Sometimes the mind creates obstacles we call them "inspiration
      > > > problems" but sometimes the mind is absolutely calm and focused
      > on the
      > > > inside and than we loose feeling of time and run so much better.
      > > >
      > > > I hope this is a good answer...
      > > > Sopan
      > > >
      > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, olga_nevergiveup
      > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > Dear Sopan, thank you so much for your message.
      > > > >
      > > > > I admire willpower, faith and determination of all runners of
      > this
      > > > > miracle race... What you are doing is amazing!
      > > > >
      > > > > What do you feel, why in spite of the fact that all runners of
      > this
      > > > > race have
      > > > > astonishing inner strength, all are great athletes and have
      > good
      > > > > physical strength, and however some runners can run much more
      > miles
      > > > > a day than others? Is it because of different inner
      > capacities or
      > > > > this is just different physical conditions?
      > > > >
      > > > > Admiring all divine heroes of this race,
      > > > > Olga
      > > > >
      > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sopan_31
      > > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I want to thank the moderator of this site for making my
      > article
      > > > > look
      > > > > > so well written.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > But I want to add a few things which I mention in the
      > original
      > > > > article
      > > > > > and they do not appear on the "official" corrected one.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I say that out there on the 3100 course we go through many
      > hard
      > > > > > experiences. Very often we are trying to just survive and go
      > > > > through
      > > > > > the day. I am sure that it's not only me but every runner
      > really
      > > > > goes
      > > > > > to the limits of his/her abilities.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I personally had quite a few times the experience of being
      > on the
      > > > > edge,
      > > > > > really pushing the limits, getting the ultimate experience
      > of
      > > > > pushing
      > > > > > and tiredness. That's how it is and that's the reason why it
      > may
      > > > > be sometimes
      > > > > > difficult to smile when people come to visit the race and
      > ask us
      > > > > to "smile, smile".
      > > > > >
      > > > > > It is in this way that this race is so transforming, it
      > makes you
      > > > > go
      > > > > > beyond your abilities or, in other words, it let the divine
      > in you
      > > > > work
      > > > > > on the phisycal and the mind.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Sopan
      > > > > >
      > > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com,
      > tsvetan_tsekov
      > > > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Hi,
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > I would like to share a few impressions from this years
      > 3100
      > > > Mile
      > > > > > > Race.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Every race is a totally different experience and this one
      > made
      > > > > > > no exception. The beginning of the race is always
      > difficult
      > > > > because
      > > > > > > the body is put under extreme conditions. As you know
      > > > > > > the 3100 mile race happens in a half mile loop. You have
      > to run
      > > > > 18
      > > > > > > hours a day around the block.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > We the runners have to do this day after day, week after
      > week
      > > > > 6a.m.
      > > > > > to
      > > > > > > 12p.m. which is such an incredible experience by itself.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > During the first three weeks I was trying to be extra
      > careful
      > > > and
      > > > > > > focused because it is so easy to get injured when the body
      > is
      > > > not
      > > > > > yet
      > > > > > > well adapted to the hard concrete and the hot weather.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > On day 4 I was really weak and at night I got quite cold. I
      > > > > > > got better during the next few days. I was glad that I was
      > able
      > > > > to
      > > > > > run
      > > > > > > for some four, five or six days very well and than have a
      > little
      > > > > > lower
      > > > > > > recharge day. Every runner would say that I am not a
      > morning
      > > > > person,
      > > > > > > walking very slowly the first laps and even after that I
      > > > wouldn't
      > > > > > have
      > > > > > > a great speed and number of laps for the whole morning.
      > Some
      > > > > > mornings
      > > > > > > I was quite tired and I had to walk for hours and run only
      > down
      > > > > > hills.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > When we run in counter clockwise direction there is three
      > very
      > > > > nice
      > > > > > > down hills so you just have to slide down very nicely.
      > This
      > > > style
      > > > > > > saves a whole minute every lap compared to walking. Of
      > course if
      > > > > you
      > > > > > > walk very fast you can still take a lap for 9 minutes. I
      > did
      > > > that
      > > > > > > quite a few times for a few hours or even a whole day
      > inspired
      > > > by
      > > > > > > Smarana.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Two times I had a very funny experience with Smarana and
      > his
      > > > > > > fast walking. Smarana would very often walk in the
      > evenings so
      > > > > once
      > > > > > I
      > > > > > > was running a good pace ( 7 laps an hour ) and couldn't
      > believe
      > > > > that
      > > > > > > he was following me for quite a few laps and he was only
      > > > > walking! He
      > > > > > > says that he is a much better walker than a runner but I
      > don't
      > > > > > agree
      > > > > > > with it.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > So many times I was amazed at the end of the
      > > > > > > day with the number of laps I did, remembering how tired I
      > was
      > > > at
      > > > > > the
      > > > > > > start of the new day and how low my morning was. There
      > > > > definitely is
      > > > > > > a divine force which just wouldn't let me finish the day
      > with a
      > > > > > > lesser number of laps. So I was able to keep under control
      > the
      > > > > > > balance between good days and a little lower days until
      > the end
      > > > > of
      > > > > > the
      > > > > > > race.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Me and all other runners had many hard days but among the
      > > > hardest
      > > > > > days
      > > > > > > were three extremely hot days with 90-97 F. I remember
      > > > > > > after these three days when I got home in the evening I
      > was
      > > > > almost
      > > > > > > crying with gratitude and on the next day I was so
      > > > > > > deeply grateful that it was over and we finally had a
      > cooler and
      > > > > > > cloudy day!
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > I am glad to say that I had no serious injuries or
      > problems
      > > > > during
      > > > > > the
      > > > > > > whole race excluding the last 10 days when I got some
      > problems
      > > > > and
      > > > > > > sharp pain under the front bones of my feet. It all
      > started
      > > > > after a
      > > > > > > few raining days. This year we got quite a lot of rain and
      > most
      > > > > of
      > > > > > the
      > > > > > > time it was just like a tropical downpour continuing for
      > half or
      > > > > one
      > > > > > > whole hour.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > One day we had five or six of these downpours! One morning
      > > > > > > it just started pouring rain like anything and blowing a
      > real
      > > > > strong
      > > > > > > wind. The camp was simply destroyed! The funniest of all
      > was
      > > > that
      > > > > > > after the rain the sky cleared completely and the sun was
      > > > shining
      > > > > > and
      > > > > > > burning stronger than ever. You would never say that only
      > 15
      > > > min.
      > > > > > ago
      > > > > > > there was pouring water from the sky.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > But no matter what this years 3100 mile race started for
      > me with
      > > > > a
      > > > > > lot
      > > > > > > of joy I was much happier than before especially during
      > the
      > > > first
      > > > > > two
      > > > > > > weeks and I was so much happier at the finish.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > It doesn't matter if you have completed the race before it
      > > > always
      > > > > > > feels so unbelievable at the end. It's like you can't
      > believe
      > > > > that
      > > > > > > that you have finished one more time.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Right after mine and Rainald's finish Sri Chinmoy offered
      > us
      > > > > > > our spiritual names: Diganta and Sopan.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > We the runners say that this race is a mind breaker. The
      > mind
      > > > can
      > > > > > > never believe or imagine so many days of running in
      > circles from
      > > > > 6a.
      > > > > > m.
      > > > > > > to 12p.m. with 5 or less hours of sleep.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > This year the race had so many great performances. First
      > of all
      > > > > > > Madhupran breaking his own record with more than a day and
      > > > > averaging
      > > > > > > 75 miles, Asprihanal having average of 71 miles and
      > becoming
      > > > the
      > > > > > only
      > > > > > > person to ever run over 70 miles for 23 straight days. The
      > top
      > > > > ten
      > > > > > > runners run personal best times. 10 runners completed the
      > race
      > > > > under
      > > > > > > 52 days and 9 runners completed for under 51 days.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Sri Chinmoy came so many times to inspire us, very often
      > four or
      > > > > > even
      > > > > > > five times a day. He would so many times ask us about
      > anything
      > > > > > showing
      > > > > > > his concern for us not only inwardly but also outwardly.
      > He
      > > > would
      > > > > > > write prayers for us every day or bring gifts for us from
      > Japan
      > > > > > where
      > > > > > > he went to visit during the race.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > We all are so deeply grateful to him for encouraging us.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Sopan
      > > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
    • sharani_sharani
      I just discovered an excellent collection of Sri Chinmoy s writings excerpted on the theme of physical fitness and running. It is located on the New Zealand
      Message 2 of 13 , Sep 7, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        I just discovered an excellent collection of Sri Chinmoy's writings
        excerpted on the theme of physical fitness and running. It is located
        on the New Zealand Sri Chinmoy Centre website. I was poking around
        there for an altogether different reason. When I started reading this
        selection of Sri Chinmoy's writings they call "Body-Mind-Spirit," I
        felt as if I was receiving another answer to my recent comments here
        about running and marathons.

        I invite you to check it out if time permits at:
        http://www.srichinmoycentre.org/nz/sri_chinmoy/body_mind_spirit

        Some of the selections I had definitely never read before and it
        certainly provided lots of food for thought. If it reaps a harvest,
        I'll be sure to let you know...

        Sharani

        --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sharani_sharani
        <no_reply@...> wrote:
        >
        > Dear Olga,
        > I am sincerely touched by your thoughtful reply to my confessional
        > message about running and marathons. Especially since you have so
        > quickly proven yourself as someone making rapid strides as a runner.
        >
        > I have to agree with your perceptive advice. While I ran regularly and
        > was quite active that year leading up to the marathon with weight
        > training and aerobics, I never specifically worked on improving my
        > running speed. In my mind, it was miracle enough that I was faithfully
        > running every day for so many days in succession. And as I mentioned
        > in that earlier message, if the time it took me to run a mile is on
        > the slow side then by the time you multiply that by 26.5 - well it's
        > only to be expected that my finishing time would also be slow.
        >
        > Like you point out, just to even complete a marathon when one is not
        > inclined or gifted in sports is a miracle in itself. This wise
        > perspective reminds me of a very sweet memory in my marathon
        > experiences from when I was a relatively new student of Sri Chinmoy.
        >
        > In those days in the late 1980's, it was customary to run the New York
        > Marathon held traditionally on the first Sunday in November. My first
        > ever attempt at that (any) marathon resulted in completion of about 17
        > miles. The next year I was hoping to actually finish. Things seemed to
        > be progressing well enough in that race when I suddenly felt ill on
        > the Pulaski Bridge which is at about mile 13. As I stood on the middle
        > of the bridge, I knew I had absolutely no choice but to drop out
        > because of the dizziness and nauseousness I was feeling. I climbed
        > onto one of the buses for people dropping out and then took the subway
        > back to Queens. I was pretty sad about completing even less than the
        > previous year. Once I got home, I soaked my sore muscles in the tub
        > and tried to console myself by saying "well at least you did a
        > half-marathon."
        >
        > That night we had a function after the race at our old Progress
        > Promise meeting hall. People were announcing their times, etc. and at
        > one point Sri Chinmoy asked who ran but did not complete the race. I
        > was one of several hands that raised into the air from the audience
        > and on my turn announced that I had run 13 miles. Guru answered me
        > with an encouraging tone in his voice, "Oh, a half marathon!"
        >
        > Needless to say, I was thrilled by his echo of my own consoling words
        > to myself from earlier that day. How many countless expressions of his
        > compassion such as this we could all easily tell!
        >
        > Also, you can be sure that by the time I finally completed the New
        > York Marathon for the first time ever the following year (by then my
        > third try), I wept tears of joy after I crossed the finish line.
        >
        > So given my history, a personal best of 6.5 hours has its own merit. I
        > should remember that more often now that some of my recent ailments
        > have seen much improvement through physical therapy and chiropractic
        > treatments.
        >
        > I can always derive inspiration from our ultra-running heroes as well
        > as they demonstrate just how limitless human potential can be. I have
        > greatly appreciated their posts here as well as the videos of the
        > races and the information at the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team website:
        > http://www.srichinmoyraces.org/
        >
        > Sharani
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, olga_nevergiveup
        > <no_reply@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Dear Sharani,
        > >
        > > I admire your determination in such a hard preparation for that
        > > marathon. I know that running every day sometimes is not easy at
        > > all... Last year I ran 42 days without missing a single day, in
        > > spite it was winter and sometimes temperature was minus 30-35 C.
        > >
        > > That is wonderful that you have a so strong willpower!
        > > Not everybody have good athletic capacities from birth. But when a
        > > person being not inclined to sports, runs a marathon, this is really
        > > VERY inspiring!
        > > I remember two people whose body did not look really athletic,
        > > participated in 6 day road race this year. One of them was a man
        > > from States. It's not easy just to walk with such a great weight and
        > > he did not stop walking for all 6 days, only taking night break.
        > > Every time I passed any of these two people I get new inspiration.
        > > This man was not a student of Sri Chinmoy. One day I asked him what
        > > pushed him to come to this race, he answered that he just had a
        > > vacation and did not know what to do, so he decided to try this
        > > race... Amazing :-)))
        > >
        > > If you would like to improve your time in marathon, then you just
        > > need some special training. I mean that to better your time you need
        > > to develop speed. So, long and slow jogging may not help to improve
        > > time in marathon. What you need is to practice speeding-up for
        > > short distances like 100 meters as well as longer – 2 -3 miles.
        > > With your will-power and determination you definitely will improve
        > > your time!
        > >
        > > But for sure God has his own plans for everybody of us. If I never
        > > could write such beautiful poems like you do, or to take so
        > > wonderful pictures like you do, then perhaps I will not become a
        > > great photographer and my best result in this field can be not so
        > > great like yours. However, this is not a reason not to try and I
        > > like taking pictures and sometimes try to write poems, to draw a
        > > little bit :-) I think that is great when we try to improve some
        > > new skills, but even if we do not achieve great results compared
        > > with others – it does not matter… In such way we transcend ourselves.
        > > So, I think it would be great if you continued your training and
        > > next year who knows... Maybe you will beat your previous PR!
        > >
        > > It is my pleasure to share my experience in training for marathon
        > > with you, if it can be in any help... for last year I improved my
        > > marathon time from 4 h 41 min to 3 h 23 min.
        > >
        > > Thank you for all your inspiring posts!
        > >
        > > Olga
        > >
        > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sharani_sharani
        > > <no_reply@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Dear Sopan,
        > > > I'm back to ask again about the meaning of your name. Now that
        > > > Celebrations is over and we settle back into our various routines
        > > we
        > > > would love to hear it since you shared your receipt of the name
        > > here
        > > > not too long ago.
        > > >
        > > > I am interested in Olga's question as well. I was athletically
        > > > inclined as a youth only in the field of dance/ballet. I usually
        > > came
        > > > in last in the testing of children in school for running, etc. Even
        > > > though I loved the game and children played it frequently in the
        > > > neighborhood, I was never good at softball/baseball either. My dad
        > > > used to patiently spend lots of time with me trying to help me hit
        > > the
        > > > ball and catch the ball but it seemed that athletic excellence
        > > wasn't
        > > > my forte - except as I said above that I was pretty good at
        > > ballet. I
        > > > even have memories of how long it took me to learn how to do a
        > > > somersault as a child - a very, very long time.
        > > >
        > > > As a participant in Sri Chinmoy races and marathons, a ten minute
        > > mile
        > > > was probably my best PR and it typically took me 7-8 hours to
        > > complete
        > > > a marathon. Granted, I never would have attempted a marathon and
        > > > completed them about 8 times if I didn't have the example and inner
        > > > encouragement of our path.
        > > >
        > > > About five years ago, I actually trained for the marathon and
        > > leading
        > > > up to it had about 10 months worth of running every day without
        > > > missing a single day. On airport layovers while travelling, I would
        > > > even take a jog through the concourse so as to not miss a single
        > > day
        > > > of running. Leading up to that year's New York Marathon, I did long
        > > > training runs on the weekends and was about 40 pounds lighter than
        > > I
        > > > am now and was pretty physically fit.
        > > >
        > > > So did I have a good marathon time? Well it took me 6 1/2 hours
        > > which
        > > > was the same as my previous PR for a marathon time. During that
        > > race,
        > > > I ran all or most of every mile. I guess because I never run very
        > > fast
        > > > that the time of 6 1/2 hours reflects an average of 15 minute miles
        > > > and has to include bathroom and water breaks. To maintain that pace
        > > > for over 6 hours on some level seems a miracle to me. How people
        > > run 3
        > > > or 4 hour marathon times I cannot even fathom. Maybe when you're
        > > that
        > > > fast you don't even drink water or go to the bathroom because the
        > > race
        > > > is over so quickly in the first place?
        > > >
        > > > After that year's experience, I decided that it must not be my
        > > destiny
        > > > to be much of a runner. I figured that God had other plans for me
        > > than
        > > > being a good athlete if serious marathon training resulted in a
        > > time
        > > > still this slow.
        > > >
        > > > I am interested to know what others feel about my assumptions.
        > > Sports
        > > > are an important part of Sri Chinmoy's philosophy for living a
        > > > well-rounded life and I'm guessing someone out there will step up
        > > to
        > > > the plate to tweak my attitude. Well - at least I'm honest. :-)
        > > >
        > > > Sharani
        > > >
        > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sopan_31
        > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > Hi Olga,
        > > > > i am sorry for the late answer, this is the first time i look at
        > > the
        > > > > inspiration site since beginning of celebrations.
        > > > >
        > > > > I am really not sure what is the reason that some runners run
        > > better
        > > > > than other runners.
        > > > >
        > > > > Definitely some runners have more capacity than others.
        > > > > Maybe some runners have more light in the phisycal than others.
        > > > > For example I know that I can't run more than Asprihanal my
        > > phisical
        > > > > body simply can't take the pressure of the same speed and same
        > > high
        > > > > milage.
        > > > >
        > > > > I think that the main goal is not to do better than somebody
        > > else but
        > > > > what matters is how much spiritual progress you make and if you
        > > give
        > > > > 100% of yourself.
        > > > >
        > > > > It is also maybe important in what comditions we have grown up,
        > > some
        > > > > people are just naturally stronger than others. For example
        > > Srdjan
        > > > > never stops running, normally we would walk the uphill parts of
        > > the
        > > > > course but Srdjan never does that he just keeps running.
        > > > >
        > > > > It also depends how open and receptive we are for the inner
        > > light. It
        > > > > is so easy sometimes to maintain a good running speed just
        > > because at
        > > > > that moment we are more receptive for this inner force.
        > > > > Sometimes the mind creates obstacles we call them "inspiration
        > > > > problems" but sometimes the mind is absolutely calm and focused
        > > on the
        > > > > inside and than we loose feeling of time and run so much better.
        > > > >
        > > > > I hope this is a good answer...
        > > > > Sopan
        > > > >
        > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, olga_nevergiveup
        > > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Dear Sopan, thank you so much for your message.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > I admire willpower, faith and determination of all runners of
        > > this
        > > > > > miracle race... What you are doing is amazing!
        > > > > >
        > > > > > What do you feel, why in spite of the fact that all runners of
        > > this
        > > > > > race have
        > > > > > astonishing inner strength, all are great athletes and have
        > > good
        > > > > > physical strength, and however some runners can run much more
        > > miles
        > > > > > a day than others? Is it because of different inner
        > > capacities or
        > > > > > this is just different physical conditions?
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Admiring all divine heroes of this race,
        > > > > > Olga
        > > > > >
        > > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sopan_31
        > > > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > I want to thank the moderator of this site for making my
        > > article
        > > > > > look
        > > > > > > so well written.
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > But I want to add a few things which I mention in the
        > > original
        > > > > > article
        > > > > > > and they do not appear on the "official" corrected one.
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > I say that out there on the 3100 course we go through many
        > > hard
        > > > > > > experiences. Very often we are trying to just survive and go
        > > > > > through
        > > > > > > the day. I am sure that it's not only me but every runner
        > > really
        > > > > > goes
        > > > > > > to the limits of his/her abilities.
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > I personally had quite a few times the experience of being
        > > on the
        > > > > > edge,
        > > > > > > really pushing the limits, getting the ultimate experience
        > > of
        > > > > > pushing
        > > > > > > and tiredness. That's how it is and that's the reason why it
        > > may
        > > > > > be sometimes
        > > > > > > difficult to smile when people come to visit the race and
        > > ask us
        > > > > > to "smile, smile".
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > It is in this way that this race is so transforming, it
        > > makes you
        > > > > > go
        > > > > > > beyond your abilities or, in other words, it let the divine
        > > in you
        > > > > > work
        > > > > > > on the phisycal and the mind.
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > Sopan
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com,
        > > tsvetan_tsekov
        > > > > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > Hi,
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > I would like to share a few impressions from this years
        > > 3100
        > > > > Mile
        > > > > > > > Race.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > Every race is a totally different experience and this one
        > > made
        > > > > > > > no exception. The beginning of the race is always
        > > difficult
        > > > > > because
        > > > > > > > the body is put under extreme conditions. As you know
        > > > > > > > the 3100 mile race happens in a half mile loop. You have
        > > to run
        > > > > > 18
        > > > > > > > hours a day around the block.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > We the runners have to do this day after day, week after
        > > week
        > > > > > 6a.m.
        > > > > > > to
        > > > > > > > 12p.m. which is such an incredible experience by itself.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > During the first three weeks I was trying to be extra
        > > careful
        > > > > and
        > > > > > > > focused because it is so easy to get injured when the body
        > > is
        > > > > not
        > > > > > > yet
        > > > > > > > well adapted to the hard concrete and the hot weather.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > On day 4 I was really weak and at night I got quite cold. I
        > > > > > > > got better during the next few days. I was glad that I was
        > > able
        > > > > > to
        > > > > > > run
        > > > > > > > for some four, five or six days very well and than have a
        > > little
        > > > > > > lower
        > > > > > > > recharge day. Every runner would say that I am not a
        > > morning
        > > > > > person,
        > > > > > > > walking very slowly the first laps and even after that I
        > > > > wouldn't
        > > > > > > have
        > > > > > > > a great speed and number of laps for the whole morning.
        > > Some
        > > > > > > mornings
        > > > > > > > I was quite tired and I had to walk for hours and run only
        > > down
        > > > > > > hills.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > When we run in counter clockwise direction there is three
        > > very
        > > > > > nice
        > > > > > > > down hills so you just have to slide down very nicely.
        > > This
        > > > > style
        > > > > > > > saves a whole minute every lap compared to walking. Of
        > > course if
        > > > > > you
        > > > > > > > walk very fast you can still take a lap for 9 minutes. I
        > > did
        > > > > that
        > > > > > > > quite a few times for a few hours or even a whole day
        > > inspired
        > > > > by
        > > > > > > > Smarana.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > Two times I had a very funny experience with Smarana and
        > > his
        > > > > > > > fast walking. Smarana would very often walk in the
        > > evenings so
        > > > > > once
        > > > > > > I
        > > > > > > > was running a good pace ( 7 laps an hour ) and couldn't
        > > believe
        > > > > > that
        > > > > > > > he was following me for quite a few laps and he was only
        > > > > > walking! He
        > > > > > > > says that he is a much better walker than a runner but I
        > > don't
        > > > > > > agree
        > > > > > > > with it.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > So many times I was amazed at the end of the
        > > > > > > > day with the number of laps I did, remembering how tired I
        > > was
        > > > > at
        > > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > start of the new day and how low my morning was. There
        > > > > > definitely is
        > > > > > > > a divine force which just wouldn't let me finish the day
        > > with a
        > > > > > > > lesser number of laps. So I was able to keep under control
        > > the
        > > > > > > > balance between good days and a little lower days until
        > > the end
        > > > > > of
        > > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > race.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > Me and all other runners had many hard days but among the
        > > > > hardest
        > > > > > > days
        > > > > > > > were three extremely hot days with 90-97 F. I remember
        > > > > > > > after these three days when I got home in the evening I
        > > was
        > > > > > almost
        > > > > > > > crying with gratitude and on the next day I was so
        > > > > > > > deeply grateful that it was over and we finally had a
        > > cooler and
        > > > > > > > cloudy day!
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > I am glad to say that I had no serious injuries or
        > > problems
        > > > > > during
        > > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > whole race excluding the last 10 days when I got some
        > > problems
        > > > > > and
        > > > > > > > sharp pain under the front bones of my feet. It all
        > > started
        > > > > > after a
        > > > > > > > few raining days. This year we got quite a lot of rain and
        > > most
        > > > > > of
        > > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > time it was just like a tropical downpour continuing for
        > > half or
        > > > > > one
        > > > > > > > whole hour.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > One day we had five or six of these downpours! One morning
        > > > > > > > it just started pouring rain like anything and blowing a
        > > real
        > > > > > strong
        > > > > > > > wind. The camp was simply destroyed! The funniest of all
        > > was
        > > > > that
        > > > > > > > after the rain the sky cleared completely and the sun was
        > > > > shining
        > > > > > > and
        > > > > > > > burning stronger than ever. You would never say that only
        > > 15
        > > > > min.
        > > > > > > ago
        > > > > > > > there was pouring water from the sky.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > But no matter what this years 3100 mile race started for
        > > me with
        > > > > > a
        > > > > > > lot
        > > > > > > > of joy I was much happier than before especially during
        > > the
        > > > > first
        > > > > > > two
        > > > > > > > weeks and I was so much happier at the finish.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > It doesn't matter if you have completed the race before it
        > > > > always
        > > > > > > > feels so unbelievable at the end. It's like you can't
        > > believe
        > > > > > that
        > > > > > > > that you have finished one more time.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > Right after mine and Rainald's finish Sri Chinmoy offered
        > > us
        > > > > > > > our spiritual names: Diganta and Sopan.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > We the runners say that this race is a mind breaker. The
        > > mind
        > > > > can
        > > > > > > > never believe or imagine so many days of running in
        > > circles from
        > > > > > 6a.
        > > > > > > m.
        > > > > > > > to 12p.m. with 5 or less hours of sleep.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > This year the race had so many great performances. First
        > > of all
        > > > > > > > Madhupran breaking his own record with more than a day and
        > > > > > averaging
        > > > > > > > 75 miles, Asprihanal having average of 71 miles and
        > > becoming
        > > > > the
        > > > > > > only
        > > > > > > > person to ever run over 70 miles for 23 straight days. The
        > > top
        > > > > > ten
        > > > > > > > runners run personal best times. 10 runners completed the
        > > race
        > > > > > under
        > > > > > > > 52 days and 9 runners completed for under 51 days.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > Sri Chinmoy came so many times to inspire us, very often
        > > four or
        > > > > > > even
        > > > > > > > five times a day. He would so many times ask us about
        > > anything
        > > > > > > showing
        > > > > > > > his concern for us not only inwardly but also outwardly.
        > > He
        > > > > would
        > > > > > > > write prayers for us every day or bring gifts for us from
        > > Japan
        > > > > > > where
        > > > > > > > he went to visit during the race.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > We all are so deeply grateful to him for encouraging us.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > Sopan
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > >
        > >
        >
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