I met Harita this morning at the corner of 168th st. as she came up the service road towards me. I often run along this route during the year and am hardly aware at all that it is anything more than a slight incline. But to Harita, who has now circled this same corner 1270 times now in the past 13 days it is a hill.
When you lay on the sidewalk, as I have done taking pictures, you can see it unmistakably. It helps me to get a better understanding, that all the little details of the course get observed by the runners in ways that we can never fully grasp or understand.
For the last 2 days now Harita has been running 111 laps each day which is just about 61 miles. “I kind of realized the first few days of the race that if I want to do the necessary miles each day that I would have to stay really focused.”
“I don’t always stay really focused in my regular life. It is a really good practice for me and a really good opportunity for me. I can but I often get distracted. I love people, I love talking to people. I am interested in a lot of things.”
I saw her early speaking on the phone. “That was actually one of the first times I spoke with people on the phone. I haven’t really used my phone much. I felt, especially for the first couple of weeks that it was really important to practice focusing.”
“I feel that is more like trying to be one with God’s will. Everything is a flow, and if you can silence your mind, and connect with the higher part of yourself. For me it is more about not being distracted by other things. Keep my mind as calm as possible. Keep myself very present in the moment. To really have faith, that if I do that then everything will flow from within.”
“I guess trying to focus inwardly which is challenging outwardly as well. Trying not to get too strict, or serious, or regimented. Do what I need to do and have faith that everything will flow.”
Sometime in the past week Harita had accumulated more miles in competition than she had ever run before. “It was a big deal. It gave me a lot of joy and encouragement. Because I still felt strong.”
“I guess at the end of the last 10 day race, I was really at the end.” She ran 540 miles. At the start of day 14 she has 789 miles. After 10 days here she had 606 miles.
“Because of the fact that I still felt strong. This race is all about transcending yourself and going beyond what you conceive of as possible. When you can go beyond what you have ever done before then that gives you joy.”
I shall climb up higher and higher
On my aspiration-mountain-heights.