I have run from the dark night to still another Sunday morning dawn. The sun has not yet breached the shroud of the night's humid mists and hovers at the horizon. As the neighborhood slowly wakes, I see the first walkers of the day. Amazingly, they are dressed from neck to wrists and ankles on a 85°F heat index morning. They might as well be in burkas, I muse, as I float by, clad in running shoes, shorts, and dog tags. When the sun comes up in the summer, my training runs often become a race with the rising sun and heat. Today, fortunately, the mists are still filtering the light, but I know the sun will burn through it. I see cars go by, multi-ton metal vehicles propelled by their violent internal fires, carrying their coiffed occupants in air-conditioned cocoons to places of worship. Round faces peer out of the windows in mutual incomprehension. Saints, virgins, sons, fathers, god names of all kinds, so many gods, all believed so firmly, proves that there are none. The miles tick by; the sun climbs up the sky and finishes off the last moist mists. The sun's heat seems to suck my leg strength directly. Salvation lies in turning off the internal chatter and blending my mind with the sounds of the warm breeze and the birds around me, the smell of the earth over which I run, and accepting the heat around my body. As the stress grows, my mind and body recede in evolutionary sequence. Thoughts of clothes and vehicles and people and gods silence. I only sense and experience the world around me. Salvation lies in being as lean and strong as possible to travel as far as possible as quickly as possible. Finally, my consciousness turns off and I no longer experience the run in an overt way. Only the limbic and stem parts seem to remain to propel me forward. I achieve the salvation of no-thought. I realize later that my pace during this portion of my training run is at the fastest pace.


I continue my run in no-thought. The end comes when I realize my rubbery legs are beginning to make me unstable. Unhappily, I am 3 miles short of my goal of 15 miles. This is a training run, not a race, my newly wakened mind tells me. There will be other times to explore the limits of my mind and body in the heat.