Monday, June 11, 2012

Emerging Vs. Submerging…and Ultrarunning

As I look out across the cornfield across from my house to the railroad embankment, I just can see the depression where a branch of Muddy Run emerges from a limestone spring.  The farmer there tells me that just on the other side of the tracks is also another spring, one that hoboes and tramps used, as well as Confederates soldiers back in 1863 on their march to and from Gettysburg.

The two springs merge and flow south through pasture land for a quarter mile, where their little stream is joined by another that small stream that emerges from another spring.  While the first two springs will go dry in a drought, the third one has never ceased flowing in recorded memory.  The property on which this latter spring sits is one of the original William Penn land grants (I am told).  A home was built over the spring some 20 years ago; prior to that time, I would frequently stop there for some ice cold water during a run.

But back to the watercourse.  The yield of the three springs crosses the Clay Hill Road and continues south, but only about another quarter mile.  Here there is a crevice in the limestone bedrock of the streambed, and in times of relatively low water the entire flow of the stream simply disappears into the ground.  It submerges into a limestone cave, one whose passages are too small or without a human-sized opening to access and explore.

Oh, and the nexus to Ultrarunning?

In Ultrarunning, I have periods when I am in emergence mode and times of submergence mode.  Sometimes I am busting out, full of energy and full of the possible.  It is a time of race applications, of long, involved training runs, of complex schemes.

Other times I find myself more contemplative, more inward, more in simple maintenance mode.  I’ve submerged and will bide my time until the light of day beckons again.


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