The midnight training run1

I know my disciples will forgive me, but God won’t forgive me for exploiting their devoted oneness by asking them to come at such an ungodly hour — midnight — to help me in my training run in Flushing Meadow Park last January.

The day before, of all days, I decided I would run seven miles during the day, although I knew that I would try to run a training marathon at night. Who asked me to run five or six miles? I did one mile of hill work up 150th Street in the morning. Then I ran two miles. Later I did one mile of speed work and one mile at an eight-minute pace. Then how I suffered during my long training run!

Was it my mental hallucination that it was so cold? Usually I go out at five in the morning, but it is not as cold as it was that night. At times I felt as if a bullet were passing through my chest. Then I stepped in a puddle and my left foot started burning. Inwardly I was screaming because my sock and shoe were burning with the absolutely icy cold! I always wear long underwear under my trousers, but that night I wore only a nylon running suit. Right from the beginning, the muscles in my legs were so cold. I wasn’t wearing enough on my hands either, although I had on two pairs of gloves.

I said, “If I finish 20 miles, then I will be satisfied.” I had already given up the idea of doing a whole marathon.

I am so grateful to each of the disciples who was there. All those who ran with me and those who sang throughout the night, standing at different places, were so compassionate. Hundreds of songs they sang. Each one deserves my very special gratitude. When they make such sacrifices for me, I hope they feel my heart’s undying gratitude. If I have gratitude in any form, is it not for these disciples? Luckily I have them as my disciples. Had I been their disciple, I would have stayed in bed. I am speaking very sincerely. I would have said, “I am sick. I have got this to do, I have got that to do.” Next time, if I do a midnight training run again, perhaps all of my disciples will say they have fallen sick. That is why they could not come.

  1. RB 712. 1 April 1983