I Feel Better

On day 19, which was more than 2 weeks ago, Asprihanal ran 71 miles in a single day.  Since then he has been going through, what some might call a dry spell of 17 days.  At least until yesterday, when he cracked off the kind of mileage he is best known for.

Despite heat, humidity, and everything else that can slow a fast Finn down, on Sunday he ran 71 miles again. He is now on the home stretch of his long race and looks to be kicking it in over the last 700 miles.  Today, once again, he is fresh and animated, perhaps because at this rate he can be done in just 10 days.

Others are still searching for the magic elixir, some curative concoction that will restore them to top form or maybe some remedy that will evaporate the impossible piles of miles that need to be surmounted with just 15 days left to go.

Another runner today who is full of energy and enthusiasm is Purna-Samarpan.  Yesterday he was given a recording created by Antara-Prabhat.  It is called Ich Fuhl Mich Besser (I Feel Better).  Through the magic of modern technology and its amazing portability the vocal track is actually Purna-Samarpan’s own voice with a little backup vocal by Antara-Prabhat.

The creation of the song came about serendipitously because it just happened to be an expression printed on a T shirt that Antara-Prabhat wore to the race one day.  He actually wore it on a number of occasions and each time Purna-Samarpan would help him with pronouncing it properly.  From learning to say it correctly the inspiration bird overheard, and the next thing you know, the idea came forward to create a song.

Most if not all the runners have heard the track and been energized and inspired by it.  The race is not all solemnity and introspection.  Certainly the morning tends to be the quietest time of the day for the runners as they shake off a very brief night of sleep and perhaps still linger in their even prefer morning meditations.  As the day wears on they sometimes seek inspiration in all kind of things.  From reading messages of encouragement sent in, listening to talking books, and music of all shapes and sizes.  It is hard to say what is most important of all the things they take in over the day.  From water, to food, to encouragement, to even some ice wrapped in cloth around the neck.  They never have a chance to say much but they certainly look and listen, and always hope they too can feel much better.

Ich Fühl Mich Besser

Purna-Samarpan explains song

*Thanks to all for so many fine and inspired comments.  That you too can identify with this great undertaking is also a great achievement*

Some things don’t change.  The hot weather is predicted to last easily into Friday.  For a brief moment today it rained but it was microscopic, and within moments it didn’t even look like any rain had fallen at all.  Rupantar checks the only reading he is much interested in.  To see who is signed up in the book.

Asprihanal gives a demonstration of when to throw out shoes.

Meanwhile next door on the Grand Central Parkway not too many people are searching for Utopia today.  Which is a place where everything is not just better but perfect.

Start Day 37

It is a momentous day for Purna-Samarpan.  Within a few miles he will unequivocally be able to say that he has officially transcended himself.  When he steps beyond 1884 miles he will have gone beyond the total at which he was forced to stop at in last years race.  Then he pulled out after 41 days.  Despite some earlier physical problems today he looks fresh and is running strongly.  Last year, towards the end of his race he was certainly not able to run and was walking much of the time in pain.

His problems that he had this year seemed to be relieved by the chiropractic skills of Pradhan.  “I don’t know what he did but it helped.  He aligned my knee and shin problems and now everything seems to be stable.  I can run fairly well actually.  I think I had my most consistent week of the race last week.”  He says he was averaging about 52-53 miles a day.

“I think here we really have to find our goals.”  He says that when he got to the half way mark of 26 days the reality of what he was facing struck him quite hard.  He had back problems and it became clear that once again making 3100 miles was just not going to be possible. “There was no way I was going to reach it this year.”

Far from being disappointed he simply shifted his sights to attempt to reach another goal.  One still lofty but attainable if he worked hard.   “Than I made the math and realized that I can reach 2700.  It is definitely far beyond my last years performance.  It was something that was within my capacity.  So that is what I am heading for right now. And if everything goes all right I should be able to reach it in 52 days. (825 more miles)

He says that his main problem last year was his feet.  “It was just too much for them, and it didn’t really improve during the race.  Obviously the feet are one of the most important things during this race.  I was actually lucky they carried me that far last year.  And they did improve and got much better.  This year I found the right insoles and they have got really really stronger.  This helped to improve my running and my posture.”  He says that once even one small part is out of alignment it can affect everything else because the body is trying to desperately compensate.  “Than you get problems somewhere else.”

Of his mental state he says that, “Over the first few weeks I had quite a lot of enthusiasm, and then it begins to feel kind of long.  When I reached the half way point I had to say wow.  It felt like eternity is still ahead of me.  I was quite tired at that point and my back problems started.”  It was with a little extra rest and adjustment that he felt his physical and mental strength return.  Previously when he was tired he describes his mind as, “working in the wrong direction.”

It was after a good nights rest that he said, “I feel like I really want to come here in the morning to start running again.  Not because I have to, but because I want to.  And then something really changed.”  After which everything seemed to fall back into place and running became more enjoyable and easier.

He says that when he got to the 5th week of running the time and distance ahead of him no longer felt like it was too much any more.  He says Rupantar’s comment, “enjoy the party, it will be over soon,” also inspired him to realize that the end was within reach and attainable. The time left for him is just 2 and 1/2 weeks and he says after which, “I will really miss it afterwards.”

“There are times when I really feel a deep peace.  I feel as though something is running in and through me.  It is a bit like meditation I guess.  You try very hard and sometimes you get a glimpse of peace or bliss.  Then you start thinking about it and it goes away.”  Sometimes it just seems to flow effortlessly.  “It feels like an inner journey.  It is not about miles it is about smiles.”  The important thing is to remain in the heart and not focus on the numbers.  “Just be happy.  Move forward, run.”

Purna-Samarpan Interview

Happiness seekers and

Oneness-Lovers are

very special to God

Poem of the Day by Sri Chinmoy

July 19th, 2007

Ananda-Lahari recites today’s poem and he says, “Yeah I am seeking for happiness and oneness.”  Yesterday he ran 60 miles a number he has not been able to reach for more than 2 weeks.  He says it is because his stomach problems are over.


Songs I write,

I keep singing,

sleep remains unseen.

From my songs

I receive peace sublime

and satisfaction deep.

Song composed by Sri Chinmoy

Performed by Enthusiasm Awakeners

Songs I Write


I thought it was better

To have than to be.


I feel it is better

To be than to have.


I shall keep the same feeling

As today.

Excerpt from Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, Part 61 by Sri Chinmoy

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