Traveling and Running

This week I found myself on the road. I was in New Orleans at one of the schools my denomination uses to train pastors and leaders for our churches. I got to see some old friends and get in a run in warm weather. It was also sobering to see all the homes that were still empty in ruin. My friend, Van, shared with me that it was looking better but that observation was made before we had full light. When the sun rose it was amazing to see all the homes still empty. At the same, kids were waiting for the bus and life was moving forward. That night I got to go over to Tulane and hang with a bunch of students from a collegiate ministry. It was cool to worship with them and meet some new friends. Then I had to head home, that was other another adventure all it’s own.

Needless to say, my flight was delayed four hours because of weather in ATL. I finally got back to SPI at 3:00 AM and was supposed to run. I am almost skipped my workout to go home and sleep but instead I went to the gym and ran 5.5 on the treadmill. It was tough, because I was tried, hadn’t eaten very healthy on my trip, and spent a lot of time standing. It was a recruiting trip for me and I spent a lot of time standing at a display. Again I’m learning, this whole training thing can’t take a vacation and when I am thrown out of my routine I have to bear down and be more disciplined. Lesson learned now I have to live it out. The group did their long run today so tomorrow will be a challenge, most of the route will be a solo run so we shall see how I do.

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17 miler

This week was the lead up to my first BIG long run. I had two good runs of five miles. I did each run at 10 minute pace to get ready for Saturday. 17 miles is a long way, that is actually a good bike ride for me and Saturday I ran it. I was planning on running at slower pace but no one else was running my pace so I decided to pick it up and see how long I would last at the 10 minute pace.
For miles 5-14 I did ok, but at our last stop (mile 14) I was getting hungry, I was eating gel paks but I needed something more substantial (note to self for the marathon). I am going to try chocolate milk next week. The last three miles were tough because I lost my running partner and it was a long straight stretch, but I just kept telling myself it was only a 5k and that I could do that in my sleep.
I finished and the post run recovery has begun. I am learning through this process that recovery is as important to improvement as the actual run. Right after the run I started fueling back up (my fav is a bagel with some chocolate milk). I read recently that chocolate milk is a good recovery drink (protein and carbs mixed together) plus I love to drink it. Then I tried something new, I went home and soaked in an ice bath. Wow, I have never shivered so much in all my life, but today I feel pretty good so we shall see how it goes in the days ahead. I also have my wife teaching me a bunch of yoga stretches. All of this has helped me in my recovery.
Recovery is important in the training process. It is also important in life, our lives are way too busy (mine included too many times). We need margin and we need to Sabbath. That’s the challenge for the week, to run the race well but also to rest well. I hope you will find time to rest this weekend and be reminded that the Creator loves you not for what you do but for who you are.

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Long Run Saturday

Had some great weather today and didn’t know what to do with it. Actually I did know what to do with it, I overdressed. We met at Moxo and took off for a 4 miler before joining the Halfwits for their 7 miler. The first took us over to Lincoln Park where things were going well until we saw some dogs on the loose and then heard one of them get hit. Part of the group stopped and waited until someone came to get the dog. We think he broke his leg.

You never know what’s going to come at you. A couple of us ran on ahead because we didn’t have phones and too many people around was upsetting the dog. By the time we got back to Moxo the main group was still getting ready to leave. Our little group kept going and I felt pretty good.

By mile 8 I was overheating and shedding layers. My knee also started getting really sore (IT Band Issues). I slowed my pace down and once I got back to Moxo I talked with Scott Harry about solutions. He suggested a form roller, so I headed to the Running Center and Derrick took care of me and gave me a little demonstration. Scott said it was going to be a painful experience and Derrick echoed that sentiment.

Both were right, I wanted to scream multiple times but it has helped. In fact,  I getting ready for round two with the roller tonight. I will let you know how it goes. Next Saturday we are supposed to do 17 so we shall see.

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Running at Home

I didn’t get up earlier enough to get the gym so I ran on my treadmill at home. 4.25 miles with some intervals thrown in. It was a hard but good workout. The problem with running at home is the temperature is set for sedentary people not for running. Needless to say I sweat a lot, in fact my wife is amazed at how much water comes out of me when I run at home. But I got it done and headed to the office for a day of meetings. Not as much pain in my knee today as well. Stretching and drinking more water are helping, but I have to keep that routine up.

Speaking of routines, I am working my way through the gospel of Matthew. Some good stuff in there, today I read through chapter 23 where Jesus is bringing it to the professional minister types (pharisees were their titles back then, today they would preachers and priests). I’m in that category so I took notice. They focus of the whole thing is that these guys were loading people down with a bunch of rules and missing the spirit of what God was asking them to do. They would keep the little rules but totally ignore taking care of their own parents because it would violate one of the rules. Man  I hope I don’t find myself so caught up in keeping the rules that I forget that this whole thing is about relationship. My relationship to God and my relationship to people.

It might be warm enough Saturday I get to run in shorts., that would be great.

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I Swam Today

I got my workout done, that’s all I can say. I wasn’t great but it is finished. When I came home I did see this post at HardyBreed.Com and I now I am extremely encouraged that went and swam.

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Back in the Habit

There is a let down when you complete a goal. Since early fall I have been wokring towards completing my first half marathon. I’ve lost some weight, changed eating habits and trained. I finished the race and bragged about my accomplishment to a few friends. Now what, this is the hard part. I have to keep going, I learned some things (when to eat before a race) and also discovered I could push my body harder but most importantly I’m heading down a new path of caring for myself physically. I am becoming a running disciple, I’m adding more stretching to my workouts and taking more seriously what I eat (Superbowl party aside). I have a new goal of completing my first full marathon this spring. So tuned for how that goes, I did an  easy 6 miles on the treadmill today. Tomorrow is off to spin class and the pool.

It’s tough to stay motivated but I have some new friends that keep pushing me and making sure I am going to show up for the long runs. I also have a great wife who helps hold me accountable during the week for my other workouts. This whole journey has given me another perspective on the church and walking with Jesus. It’s not about accomplishing one race but it’s about continuing on to the next, learning a little more each day and having the desire to follow Christ more closely because you see how you are being changed by him. I’m glad I don’t have to do it alone and I have a group of people at my church that I journey with as well. If you aren’t on this journey or don’t have those people to walk with, come and check out my friends if you live in the Springfield area. DeltaChurch.net

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Catching Up

I finished it, yeah rah. All I can say is that is was cold: 10 degrees actual temperature with a -11 degree windchill. I missed my time by 5 minutes, I wanted to do a 2:10 and I hit it in 2:15 but I finised and I never walked except to get my frozen water at the water station. That was interesting watching the volunteers keep the glasses moving so the water wouldn’t freeze.

I made two mistakes and learned from them in preparation for my first full. Yes I am going to tackle the Illinois Marathon now. My first mistake was eating to early by the time I hit the starting line I was hungry and that is not a good sensation to have when you are going to be running for two hours. I had two gel packs in my pocket and really wanted to just eat them (actually suck them down, gu is hard to eat). But I waited until mile 4 and mile 8. My second mistake was not training on a loop course. It was mentally challenging to go out for the second loop. When I was training I was always doing out and backs or a big loop so when I got to furthest point out my only option was to come back. With a loop course it was very tempting to just call it quits after the first time around but I didn’t. I stayed out and finished and that has been pretty cool to say the least.

I’m glad I did it and I’m looking forward to the next challenge in running. A big thanks to eveyone who cheered me on and sent me notes of encouragement. Now here is something that may sound crazy but is even more significant to me. As important as this accomplishment was for me it pales in comparison to seeing someone say yes to Jesus. If you are a friend of mine or just someone who happened across this site I want to ask you to take a challenge. Find a Bible and read the book of John. Look up in the table of contents where it is or hit the link. After reading it, ask yourself why you wouldn’t be willing to follow Jesus. In the first chapter of this book he ask some guys to follow him and he is asking you to do the same thing. I have been following Jesus for about 33 years now and it has impacted the way I live and I truly believe it is going to impact my life after I die. I do believe there is a heaven and I do believe there is hell. I do believe we are all going to end up in one of those two places. What about you?

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