Now begins the practice of running.

  1. Atha dhaavanusasanam.
    Now begins the practice of running.
  2. Padam anupadam, paadai angithapadham – na kinchit api chintaneeyam
    Feet, steps, trails. Nothing else matters.
  3. Swastha shareere swastha manasa.
    Sound mind in sound body.

Running Stitches (धावसूतृ — Dhaavasutra)
Patanjali (Translated by Nirmal Balaraman)

My intent is to run a 50 mile race shortly after my 50th birthday. Mike Swan tells me it is now time to start training.

The sutras say that it is always now, always time to begin. And, indeed, I have been running all along. But now, NOW, things get more serious.

Eric Forte suggests, politely, that I might be crazy. And so I might. Neither Eric nor I have run 50 miles at a go. On the other hand, there was once a time I had never run 26.2 miles, and that seemed crazy as well. Only time will tell.

Ken Hughes, on the other hand, thinks I should have tried it long ago.

Anyone else want to join in the potential craziness and come run in July?


9 Responses to “Now begins the practice of running.”

  1. Eric Says:

    Oh no no no, you aren’t crazy. Turn fifty, grow a beard or run an ultra, it’s all good. Doing so without being prepared might be silly, as it would be for those of us barely able to handle 26.2. Now when you run the 80 miler on your 80th birthday 🙂

    There’s at least some tradition in India for a man to renounce the world and become a monk on his 50th birthday. The idea that he’s lived life and raised a family by then, and it’s time to get down to serious business… so…. we do assume that you won’t bring your begging bowl and just keep running?

  2. Jim K Says:

    Did Patanjali really write that? I remember reading all the aphorisms back in the 60’s. Still can’t run though. Me, that is, not Patanjali.

  3. georgeruns Says:

    No, Patanjali did not write those. He wrote the Yoga sutras (maybe. probably). This is a spoof, a joke, which I got Nirmal to help me with. I was amused by the fact that “sutra” means “stitch”. So “running stitches” has a double meaning. Then I played with the yoga sutras, getting further afield as I went along.

    :-> Some aspects of renouncing the world are tempting (if people would just leave me alone!), but renouncing the world to go meditate or something feels like giving up reality in hopes of dreaming up a pleasant fiction. Begging seems shameful. Why should other people have to support my selfish renunciation? I’m quite anti-religious.

    Who knows what I’ll do at 80, I suspect it will be closer to an 80k than an 80m.

  4. JK Says:

    Actually, renunciation is far more subtle, and you don’t have to go anywhere. it’s just easier if you radically simplify your environment; but renunciation isn’t about environment. Renunciation is supposed to be entirely about reality. Instead of distracted from distraction by distraction. (By the way, a little-known fact is that Patanjali also wrote Burnt Norton.)

  5. georgeruns Says:

    I’m out of touch… what is Burnt Norton?

  6. Jim K Says:

    Sorry — it’s one of the Four Quartets, my favorite TS Eliot. I’ve read the covers off my old Faber edition (bought new for 5s in London some years ago).

  7. georgeruns Says:

    >some years ago
    I was 11 when they decimalized. The only Eliot I was reading was about cats…

  8. Ken Hughes Says:

    When we all started running- a 5K was our first big goal. Then we moved up to the 10K. After many years someone talked us into going towards the half! Could we run that far? no way! Years later we set the sights on the mighty marathon and now 10Ks and halfs are just training runs! Now that you are entering into the 50 miler, a marathon is just another training run!

    After you realize that the are not that hard and go for your first 100, belive it or not but a 50 miler just becomes another training day!!!

  9. georgeruns Says:

    Actually, the first race I ran as an adult was a marathon, the next two were halves. Then a 10K. I’m working up to 5Ks, they frighten me. I don’t like running fast.

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