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2 mile Tuesday

Check out my running activity on Garmin Connect. #beatyesterday

Forgot to wear my knee brace for the first time in about 3 months. On top of that I’m still recovering from Boston.

So I cut my 4.5 mile run to 2 miles just to be careful I’ve come to far for a setback now.

It was great to see all of our walk to run crew out doing their thing. And getting to talk to everyone. We have a good group this season.

My buddy Mike asked me if I wanted to run the New Jersey marathon in October. That sounds like a great idea! A great way to stay motivated all summer.

Run well my Friends,


Road to Boston 2023 1st Taper Run

In the last few weeks before the Boston Marathon, Taper Time begins!

Now that the longest runs are over, this week we ran the 1st Road to Boston 2023 taper run.

Twenty-two miles for week thirteen was a challenging run. Even though I was not happy with my 10:43 pace, it was faster than the previous three long runs including my solo twenty-miler on March 3rd which I ran at 11:10.

Now that it is taper time, I have run out of time to increase my fitness. Nothing I do now will significantly contribute to my speed or endurance. Taper time is all about maintenance and dialing in your gear and nutrition.

This taper run was the week 14 SLR, a 14.8 mile run that is one of my favorites.

Some of these course maps have been pretty big, so this week I decided to use two maps to provide a bit more detail. For those of you not familiar with the area, this should make it easier for you to follow my narrative also.

Road to Boston SLR 14, Boston Marathon 2023 training, taper time running

We started from our usual spot in Melrose where the green arrow is.

From there we ran across Main Street, up East Foster Street and took a right after the Melrose Commons. A lot of people took off, but for me the 104 feet of elevation going up East Foster held me back. There was no need to push up a hill on a taper run.

From the turn through mile two we were running mostly downhill and my knee began to shake out and feel normal. I began to catch up with the gang but didn’t really catch them until our first water stop at the Citizens Bank on Main Street in Melrose.

One of the people I caught up to was Renee who is also running The Boston Marathon. We took off together and headed towards the Oak Grove T station and then up Greenwood Street towards The Fellsway East.

As soon as we turned right onto The Fellsway, the climb began. Mile five had 131 feet of ascent and slowed us to a 11:47 pace. I think I kept talking the entire time!

Mile six was mostly down hill and mile seven had some rolling hills that dropped us at the next water stop across from Melrose High.

Road to Boston 2023 SLR 14, Boston Marathon Training

From the high school we headed east on The Fellsway towards Main Street in Saugus.

We didn’t have to deal with traffic as we were turning left onto Main Street and headed for Wakefield High School for our next water stop.

While the hills up Main Street are gentle and rolling, they go on for over a mile and a half! The road is so long it turns into Farm Street in Wakefield. You are ready for a water stop by the time you hit the High School.

I hit mile eleven at the High School and was thrilled that I had less than four miles to go! I didn’t stay long as I was trying to keep training as close to the race as possible.

So I headed across Main Street to Nahant and ran those rolling hills to Main Street in Wakefield and took a left on the way home.

Finishing the Road to Boston 2023 1st Taper Run

Right after the turn onto Main Street the first hill begins and goes on for about a mile. It’s not the worse hill I’ve ever run, but this bit of road is always on the way home.

My legs were tired but felt much better than they did on similar distance runs when we began the 2023 Sunday Long Runs.

My knee held up quite well and only bothered me the first mile or so. This seems to be my new pattern. My back continues to bother me.

One thing that was new on this run and that I have not experienced much of lately was hip pain.

I say pain but it was more like discomfort. It was level one or two pain but it was pain.

Anytime you start to notice a body part during a long run, it’s usually a bad sign.

But I knew exactly what I needed to do. Many years ago I had severe hip flexor pain late in my marathons. Like hammers in my hip sockets.

But someone showed me a few yoga hip stretches and they really helped. Now other parts of my body act up before the hips. I’ll take it!

I resolved to do more hip stretches over the next two weeks. Do my hamstring and back rolling and try to take it easy.

I ran the last few miles by my self back to the parking lot and my car.

It definitely felt like a run. But it definitely felt like I was ready for Boston!

Run well my Friends


Road to Boston 2023 – SLR 13

The training is getting real with our longest run of the season, a 22 mile run through Malden, Saugus, Wakefield and Melrose.

Week 13 of The Road to Boston 2023 was our 22 mile SLR 13 run. This is our longest run of the program and one that we both look forward to and loathe.

Usually we literally run the Road to Boston from Hopkinton to Boston College for the SLR 13. There’s no better test run than on the actual course.

But since COVID, the BAA has told or asked clubs and other organizations not to have large group runs on the course. Three weeks before the marathon it can be like a mini marathon out there.

The towns along the way provide police officers to manage traffic, and occasionally medical assistance. It’s become too much of a strain on their resources.

Many people still train on the course and I’m sure that some organizations still have their group long run on the weekend three weeks before the marathon. But I think a lot of the energy and excitement has dissipated as the crowds have decreased. It was fun while it lasted.

The course that Bobby Taylor put together for us was great. We ran down Main Street in Melrose to Malden Center and picked up the Northern Strand Community Trail just after mile 2.

While we crossed a lot of streets, people were very good about stopping for us and the trail is very flat.

Road to Boston SLR 13 March 26 2013, marathon training, long run training

At mile 8 we reached Lincoln Ave in Saugus. If we had crossed the street, we would have been in Lynn.

We had a water stop here and the half distance runners went their way and I went mine.

At this point in the run the few long distance runners were either way ahead of me or just behind me.

I’ve run every foot of this course at one time or another and it was nice to not worry about getting lost. Twenty-two miles is long enough without taking a long detour!

The run up Hamilton Street in Saugus gave us 72 feet of elevation and my pace was 10:39. Not too bad considering it’s pretty much in the middle of a 22-miler. My heart rate reached 157 which was the highest so far.

Mile 10 started in front of Saugus Town Hall and just before the rotary in Saugus Center. I think most people in Saugus had never seen a pedestrian at this rotary and fewer yet had seen a runner. It was just short of a cluster F.

It was funny running out Main Street in Saugus. I used to drive that street often when I lived in Saugus, but I never ran that street.

I think in all my years with the club we’ve only run this part of Saugus several times at most.

Chugging along it was fun to get a close up look at homes and buildings I’ve seen for years at a distance. It was also interesting to see which businesses had closed and to see some new ones in their place.

As I approached the Route 1 over pass I remembered the lines of cars backed up to get onto Rt 1 and how sometimes people didn’t seem to be very considerate.

Approaching the on ramp, a black BMW was coming over the bridge. They didn’t have a blinker on so I couldn’t be sure what they were doing. They noticed me, slowed down and put on their blinker. Then waited patiently as I hobbled across the road. Humanity was redeemed!

As I passed the shopping plaza my watch chimed mile 10 at 10:39.

Road to Boston 2023 SLR 13 Heading Home

Psychologically, 10 miles is kind of the half way point in a twenty-two mile run. We had run as far East as we were going to and were generally headed in the direction home.

Heacha Donnelly was running the mile 10 water stop and it was great to see her. I didn’t stay long as I didn’t want to tighten up or get cold.

Road to Boston 2023 SLR 13, 20 mile long run, MRC Group photo

My next challenge was crossing the Lynn Fells Parkway intersection with Main Street. There’s always a ton of traffic here and just like getting onto Rt. 1, people have places to go and things to do.

I timed it right and was able to cross without pissing anyone off and I didn’t have to use the cross light. People probably don’t appreciate that, but if I had pressed the button they would have waited an extra minute to get to Dunkies.

Now that I was across The Fellsway, I had the long uphill slog to Wakefield High School. Shortly after making the crossing mile twelve began.

This is a great road for running as the pavement is still intact and there are wide breakdown lanes on both sides. It’s not unusual to see other runners and cyclists on this stretch of road.

But it is a long slow hill with 79 feet of elevation gain. The most for any mile on this run. It’s also a wide open area that can be windy and cold.

At about 12.75 miles I reached Wakefield High and another water stop. I didn’t stay long as I didn’t need much and at this point in the run I really needed to be careful about taking a chill and my muscles tightening up.

Now we truly were on the way back home with less than 10 miles to run.

Road to Boston 2023 SLR 13 Round The Lake

While we, or I, was on the back end of a twenty-two miler I still had to run through Wakefield Center and around Lake Quannapowitt.

After I left Wakefield High I took a left onto Rt. 129 and ran the rolling hills to Wakefield Center for 67 feet of elevation gain and a mile pace of 11:21. My slowest pace so far.

But to be fair, I did use a porta-potty on a construction site. I stopped my watch, but I had to slow down to make the stop and then had to get back up to speed. Probably adding 20-30 seconds to that mile. It was worth it!

At the end of mile 14 I was running down Main Street in Wakefield navigating traffic and pedestrians. In general, everyone was great.

Shortly after mile 15 began, I was on the eastern side of Lake Quannapowitt and getting blasted by a cold 20mph “breeze” off of the lake.

I only had a nylon running t-shirt and an Under Armor tanker on. Remarkably, I wasn’t cold. My body heat was enough to counter the cold lake wind.

Even my exposed arms and legs were okay. If I had stopped for a minute it would have been all over!

I made my way around the north end of the lake to the parking lot where Bobby Taylor was manning what turned out to be my last water stop.

The parking lot wasn’t windy and actually felt comfortable. As I talked to Bobby I bent over and stretched my hamstrings and glutes. At just short of mile 16, things were beginning to tighten up. The cold along the lake probably didn’t help.

As we spoke I mentioned how I always get hungry late in a marathon. My stomach actually growls and aches a bit. Those gels and Gatorade just don’t stick to your ribs.

Bobby mentioned that he had some muffins and asked if I wanted one. Turns out that they were from the Gingerbread Construction Company – some of the best muffins you will ever have.

He broke off a piece of a chocolate chip muffin and handed it to me. It totally hit the spot! I knew right then that I had found what I wanted to eat at the MRC Mile 21 stop.

While a twenty-two mile run is a win on the road to Boston 2023, finding something to eat that would meet all of my needs was probably the biggest win.

I left with a happy belly and started mile seventeen.

The west side of the lake was much more comfortable even with the long slow incline. I finished mile eighteen just after the Main St./Rt. 129 intersection in Wakefield and started the last long slog back to my car. Mile pace was 10:59.

After I crossed Nahant Street in Wakefield, again without using a walk light, I came to the next Dunkin Donuts. I wasn’t paying attention to traffic until I heard the crunch of coliding plastic.

I looked up to see that two drivers could not decide who was going first into the Dunkin Donuts parking lot. It wasn’t a bad accident but I’m sure both cars had hundreds of dollars in damage. Is a cup of coffee that important I thought to my self.

While they had the entrance blocked, I easily made my way past the coffee shop and started up my next hill.

The thought of walking crossed my mind. I mean, really? WTF?

I had already stopped more than I would plan to do during the marathon. Even at the MRC tent I only hang out for a minute or two.

But, I was exhausted. 18 miles is the third longest distance I’d run for this series and I had four more miles to go.

I told my self that this was a training run, I’d already spent more time standing around than I would during the race, so you have to keep running.

This is what training is all about. How much can you push your self and endure? If you can’t hack the training, what the hell is going to happen during the race?

I had missed Bobby at Nick’s Pizza for the last water stop. And I really needed the refueling. Usually missing a water stop is a bit of a let down, especially late in the run. Sometimes you hang your resolve on a bit to eat and a spot to drink.

But I was loaded for bear and had something in my water bottles and a piece of Snickers bar in my belt. Hoo-a! Damn the torpedoes, I was doing this!

Mile 19 was tough at 11:32 pace and only 50 feet of incline. But I managed to eat some candy bar between desperate breathes and avoided inhaling a peanut!

Bobby drove by somewhere during mile 20 and asked if I needed anything. I said I was okay. My legs felt like they were going to explode, but hey, I was okay.

Mile twenty came in at 11:03 and mile twenty-one came in at 11:01. So I was getting my mojo back.

As I approached the finish area I realized that I wasn’t going to get twenty-two miles if I stopped at my car.

So I had to loop around the block and parking lot. For good measure I made it 20.02 miles and mile twenty-two came in at 11:59. Yikes! But there were lots of turns that my tired legs found challenging.

My longest run since the 2019 Boston Marathon was now complete.

My total time was 3:56 at a pace of 10:43. Not great.

This could easily translate into a five-hour marathon. This is not my goal.

I still had two more taper time long runs and at least four more shorter runs.

There is no way that this time could stand.

Run well my Friends


Road to Boston 2023 – Mixing it Up

Much like life, marathon training doesn’t always go as planned.
Sometimes you just have to do the best you can.

Sunday Long Run 12 was supposed to be a 17.8 mile run around Swains Pond and through Breakheart Reservation. I had to catch a flight Sunday afternoon so I ended up mixing it up with two short runs on the Road to Boston for 2023.

My knee was acting up this week so I skipped the Tuesday night club run. Thursday night I went out for my usual run with hopes of making up for the missed miles. But very early in the run my knee started to hurt and I had to return home with only 1.1 miles at a dismal pace.

But, you gotta do what you gotta do. No one else is going to run those miles for you.

I really hated to run just over a mile after the previous two weekends of great running. But to make it to the starting line, you have to know when to push just a bit more and when it’s just not your day, or night.

Road to Boston 2023 – Mixing it up Saturday

This week I had to catch a flight to Orlando for work. A 17.8 mile run can take three to four hours, so I decided to split my run over two days. Running full on Sunday may have worked, but if my run went poorly or took more time than planned the situation would have been stressful.

After my ill-fated Thursday night run I was a little apprehensive about doing a 17+ mile run on Saturday. It took me most of the morning and lots of coffee to build up a head of steam and lace up my shoes.

It was a bit chilly as one would expect in the GBA in March. I made sure I was layered appropriately should this actually turn into a real run.

I did a little stretching, tucked my key into my pocket and headed out.

So I went out for what could have been a 13 or even 17.8 mile run with nothing but a car key in my pocket. No water, no food and no cash.

With all of the distractions, the run was the last thing on my mind. It was just one of many tasks I needed to complete.

Running the Saturday Long Run?

To start my run I wound around the local cul-du-sacs to warm up and see if my leg was going to fall off. But after about 3/4 of a mile I had to leave the hood or keep running in circles.

I managed to cross Spring Street without getting hit and headed down Magoun Ave. Just after mile one I had to stop and stretch my leg. Here we go, I thought.

I grabbed ahold of a sign post and stretched my left leg with the mondo brace on it. The brace is pretty bulky which makes it hard to do a good quad/knee stretch. But I managed.

Shock Doctor Knee Brace, Level 3

And after the stretch I could feel the difference. I didn’t break into a sprint, but I felt pretty confident that I would be able to run just about as much as I wanted to.

The only problem was that I had no water and no food. I had hydrated before I left the house but that would only take me so far.

Generally, for any run over 10K I take something with me. And if I had actually planned to run 10 to 17 miles I would have brought something with me. But I didn’t plan.

Road to Boston 2023, SLR 12, Saturday Long Run, Medford Run

I used all of the usual side streets in an effort to build up some miles. My legs felt pretty good and my energy level was pretty good also.

But I knew that without supplies, it made little sense to run out three or four more miles and come back. I’d get dehydrated and possibly injured.

I felt like I had missed an opportunity to get in the real SLR run of 17.8 miles and be done with it.

My Saturday Long Run wasn’t so long at only 5.24 miles. But I was able to over come the pain in my knee with some brief stretching, and that’s a lesson I can take to Boston.

Road to Boston 2023 – Mixing it Up Sunday

Sunday morning I got up, did my morning yoga and stretching and started a busy day.

Before I could go for a run, I had to make sure I had everything packed for my trip. It was only a three day trip and I was just taking a carry on, so I had to pack carefully.

By the time I finished packing and got changed up it was after 9:30am. Time to get moving.

I did the same loops in the neighborhood as I did on Saturday and covered many of the same streets. I think my neighbors from a few blocks over are beginning to recognize me!

Even with all the turns in my neighborhood, the first mile was 9:45. A bit faster than I needed, but the rest of my miles were all between 10:11 and 10:40. All good for a training run.

At this stage in the game it’s all about time on my feet and building up my cardio. There are no junk miles.

So I looped-e-loo around the neighborhood and ran 7.37 miles at a 10:22 pace.

I was happy with that. If I didn’t have a plane to catch I could have run 12 miles and hit my weekend goal. On this run everything clicked: my knee didn’t bother me and I had plenty of energy.

Instead of 17.8 hilly miles, I ran 12.61 mostly flat miles over two days.

I’m happy that I was able to do that many miles in spite of all of my distractions. It can be challenging to get in all of the long runs while training for a marathon.

It’s easy to get distracted, bored or complacent. It’s easy to say that this run doesn’t matter, won’t make a difference on race day.

The truth is that most of us will get to a point in the race where we wish we had done more. More of anything. More running, more strength training, more stretching, more sleeping, had more sense.

The vicious conversation that goes on in a runners head when the shit hits the fan would make a sailor blush. Even Tony Robbins would be flummoxed spinning the vortex of shit going on in your head into a happy landing.

It makes me laugh to think about it now. But so many times I’ve wondered why? WTF am I doing running another marathon? How f-ing stupid can I be?

I’ve trained for marathons many times and each time I miss a run or two. Life gets in the way and sometimes an injury screws up the schedule.

Week 12 could not be a pass weekend. I didn’t get all of the miles in but I learned a valuable lesson. One that I was not sure was true. And this is, when my knee hurts, a little walking or stretching can fix it.

Run well my Friends


Road to Boston FLR 10

When training for a marathon, sometimes you have to do some crazy stuff. Like run 20 miles by your self!

This week was week 10 and the plan called for a 20 mile long run. Yup. Pretty serious stuff. Particularly in light of the challenges I’ve been facing. But since I was going away on vacation, I had to turn my Sunday Long Run into the Road to Boston FLR 10; a solo Friday 20-mile Long Run.

For some reason I thought we were leaving for vacation Friday afternoon. But we had booked our flight for Saturday. Either way, I was not going to get in a 20-miler over the weekend. So I spent three hours and forty-three minutes running 20 miles by my self on Friday. I had the day off.

Sunday Long Run 10, Friday Long Run, Boston Marathon Training

Running 20 miles is a challenge under any circumstances. Running twenty miles by yourself is a test of will power and endurance. I’ve run long distances like this by myself before, but not with an injury and a mondo knee brace.

I managed to loose track of time and didn’t head out until almost 11:00. There was plenty of time since I had the day off, but I had started the day planning to start my run around 9 or so.

Starting the Road to Boston FLR 10

When I headed out I wasn’t sure how the knee was going to hold up. I had my new brace on, but I wasn’t certain how that would go. Even with it, my knee has tweaked a few times on shorter runs.

My running belt was bulging with supplies for a long run and two 9-oz bottles of sports drink. I was loaded for bear and would have felt pretty foolish running back down my street after 10 minutes.

I did my warm up jogging the streets in my neighborhood, checking to make sure all systems were a go. And they were.

I headed down Spring Street and managed to cross The Fellsway, Highland Ave and Commercial Street without using a walk light. Traffic was a bit lighter around Noon that it often is on a weekend day at the same time.

I picked up The Northern Strand Community Trail in Malden just after crossing the Malden River. My watch chimed mile 2 shortly thereafter.

From previous runs I knew that the end of the trail would be mile 10. The only way to get home would be to run those same miles all the way home.

I made my way through Malden center and once again managed to avoid using a walk light. Down the street from Malden High The Northern Strand turns back into a pedestrian path. Wide and well paved.

While the Trail crosses many streets, each crossing is well marked and has signs with flashing lights that are activated when you enter the area. And drivers stopped for me at each crossing. Really awesome.

All the way out to the turn around I had a great run. My knee and back didn’t really bother me beyond what you would expect from a run.

For fuel I had two Snicker’s bars and took my first chew around mile 3 and my second around mile 6. These are great for energy as they are packed with sugar and as the ads used to say, “packed with peanuts”.

I’ve been using these candy bars for fuel because I know they wont upset my stomach and they tend to stick with me. Gels are just syrup and there’s nothing there to fill up your belly.

When ever I run Boston, by the time I get to Wellesley I’m starving. And all the way through Wellesley I can smell all the grills cooking burgers and dogs. My poor stomach just growls!

The end of The Trail

The first few times I ran The Strand it was still gravel in Saugus and until the past few years, it ended at Central Street in Saugus.

Now The Strand goes all the way to Lynn where an old rail road bridge spans Bennett Street. I didn’t spend a lot of time checking it out, but if a bridge is growing weeds and shrubs, it may not be structurally sound.

There is a path through the weeds, but I’m training for Boston. I can’t take a chance and fall through a bridge into traffic. Or even worse, twist an ankle.

I turned around with a smile and knew I was committed to 20 miles now.

At this point in the run I was beginning to feel a little tired. But nothing hurt and I had fueled and hydrated properly. Everything went to plan and I was having a well executed run.

My miles were all between 10:37 and 11:27. Nothing crazy, but I was on a 20 mile run by myself. And the longest run I’ve been on in quite a while.

As the miles clicked off I kept getting closer to home and still felt pretty good.

The rest of my miles were pretty close to eleven minutes until my last mile.

As I made the last turns to home I realized that I was going to be short of 20 miles if I just went home. After all of this, there was no way I was going to miss the mark!

I ended up running the two side streets in my neighborhood and circled around the cul-du-sac at the end of my street to get to 20.02 miles. Between the fatigue and all of the turns, that last mile was twelve minutes even.

I spent the last 0.02 miles walking and finding the button on my watch to end my run.

Completing a twenty mile run on my own without incident was a real boost in confidence. Twenty isn’t 26.2, but I’m pretty sure I can finish this thing now.

Run well my Friends


Achieving Clarity Through Pain

Achieving clarity in our daily lives is often difficult. I don’t mean perfect understanding of something. I mean clearing your mind completely.

When was the last time you were totally focused? When was the last time your mind was focused on just one thing, or nothing, without your mind ping-ponging from one thought to the next?

Achieving Clarity Through Pain

When I refer to pain I mean that level of discomfort that gets and holds your attention. It’s not debilitating pain that some people deal with on a daily basis.

It’s not the type of pain that requires medication, but that could be described as a medication.

Merriam-Webster defines medicine as: a substance (as a drug or potion) used to treat something other than disease.

Achieving clarity through pain allows us to step away from the worries and useless thoughts that pre-occupy our minds most of the day. The things that often cause us to experience stress.

As a method to achieve clarity, pain could be described as a medicine. Focusing the mind on pain or discomfort blocks out all other thoughts.

The avoidance of pain is a basic survival instinct of all living things that can feel pain. When our bodies feel pain the mind immediately clears all extraneous thoughts and becomes focused.

When the mind is focused on a single thing, such as an ache or pain, clarity can be achieved.

Some people use meditation to clear their minds and achieve peace and clarity.

So any activity or practice which clears the mind and relieves stress could be considered a medication.

Achieving Clarity through Exercise

Recently while practicing Yoga I achieved clarity. While practicing Yoga I try to clear my mind and not think about everything I have to do. It is my oasis of calm in a hectic life.

When you are actively practicing you cannot day dream, space-out or drift off. You have to focus on what you are doing. Your mind is focused on maintaining your balance, posture or form.

In a class environment you don’t even have to think about how long to hold a pose or which pose to transition to. Your mind can be totally focused on what you are doing at that very moment. There are no cars outside and you’re not thinking about the person next to you and if you are “doing it right.”

You are totally in that moment and there is nothing else. That is clarity, a clear mind.

Clarity Through Pain

Often while practicing yoga I experience pain. It is the pain that comes from stretching tight muscles or moving in a way that my body is not used to.

I know how to hold a stretch and let my muscles relax. But while I am focused on the pain and working to relax my muscles, that is all that I’m thinking about.

For a brief moment the world has ceased to exist. I am one and alone with my pain. Sometimes I work through the pain and sometimes the pain lasts until the next pose.

During poses that do not cause pain I have to actively restrain my mind from wandering. While holding a comfortable pose it is easy to think about anything and everything.

Sometimes I think about clarity and peace of mind in a comfortable pose. Sometimes I think about my in-box.

Achieving clarity while practicing alone can be challenging. You have to think about how long to hold a pose, which pose do you want to transition to and did you pick up your dry cleaning!

Achieving clarity on the run

Sometimes while running alone I can achieve clarity. I have come back from a run and realized that for the past hour my mind has been clear. It may be the endorphin’s or just the magic of the run.

While running, sometimes I am solely focused on my feet hitting the pavement. Sometimes I am completely consumed thinking about my breathing, posture or speed.

I can feel my body moving and I am thinking about each motion. Sometimes I am thinking about one muscle and how it feels. My mind may not be perfectly clear, but I am relaxed and focused on the moment. There is nothing else and all stress leaves my mind and body.

You cannot experience Clarity

Achieving clarity is not the absence of thought but clarity cannot be enjoyed in the moment. If you know you are experiencing clarity, you no longer have clarity.

It’s like waking up and realizing that you were asleep. While you are asleep you cannot know you are asleep or you would be conscious. The moment you know you are experiencing clarity you no longer have clarity.

Sometimes while practicing yoga I will experience great joy when I realize I just had a moment of clarity. It may have been 10 seconds, but for a brief moment there was nothing else.

There is joy in the moment and joy in the realization of that moment.

How to experience clarity through pain

Achieving a clear and focused mind is challenging. Very few activities allow you to even attempt clarity. Being engaged in a task and loosing track of time is not the same thing. A task may have you thinking of a hundred things and your mind is very active.

With clarity your mind is clear or completely focused on one thing. You cannot be thinking about how clarity makes you feel or how long clarity is lasting. The moment you are conscious of clarity it is gone.

For me I have been trying to relax and clear my mind as much as possible before yoga. I know I can and will achieve moments of clarity, but I am trying to make it last longer.

Clarity is peace and the release of stress. Something we all need more of in our lives.

It is difficult to leave the world at the door, but it helps if you can. Just trying to relax and put things out of your mind help.

I have found that focusing on my pain allows me to achieve clarity.

While my quads are screaming at me in Chair Pose all I can think about is pushing my hands higher and keeping my balance. I don’t see anyone around me. While I’m in downward dog all I can think about is the stretch in my back and legs and how far I can go.

Only after the pose do I think about my trembling legs or gasping for breathe.

Sometimes I am too aware of my surroundings. The air conditioning or the sound of passing cars. With so many distractions, achieving clarity is a challenge even with the benefit of pain.

Pain can deliver peace and clarity, but you have to be open to the experience. You have to be able to relax into the pain in order to push out all distractions.

Be well my Friends,