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Lesson #3 From My Half-Marathon

April 6, 2016 1 comment

I have written this week about the lessons I learned from running my latest half-marathon.  The first post was about the effect the other runners and spectators had on me.  The second was about preparation.  I continue this series today.

I had a conversation with someone the other day about running marathons and ultra-marathons.  Such people were declared crazy by the person I was speaking with.  He couldn’t believe that anyone would want to do such a thing.  On Sunday, he ran the half-marathon I participated in.

The thing is that many people would say the same thing about us running a half-marathon.  Others would scratch their heads over someone running a 5k.  The bottom line is that someone will always think that what you are doing is crazy.

The question lies there, then, about why anyone would do these things.  Why would someone run a 5k?  A half-marathon?  A marathon?  An ultra?  Why does someone, anyone, put their body through the training and pain to do something.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but it really comes down to why someone climbs a mountain.  Because it’s there.

We don’t face the same challenges our forefathers faced.  We don’t have to push our bodies as far as they will go just in order to survive.  And guess what?

We aren’t made for an easy life.  We aren’t made to be soft and sit on the couch.  Sure, some will continue to do so, but we just weren’t created to sit around.

We were created for adventure and purpose.  We were made to face challenges and overcome obstacles.

It doesn’t matter if you run 3.1 miles or 13.1.  You have to fight and overcome to do it.  It doesn’t matter if you run 26.2 or 50 miles.  You have to overcome challenges.

That’s what these posts have been about.  About how running a race is a metaphor for life.  The Apostle Paul even describes life as having “run the race.”  He knew that life can be seen in the physical challenges we face.

If we are aware we can see lessons for life in everything we do.  Running is just one of them.  You might do something different, yet you can see the same lessons there as well.  Let’s make sure that we keep our eyes open for what we can learn in all of the things we do.

What lessons have you learned in what you do in life?

Lesson #2 From My Half-Marathon

April 5, 2016 1 comment

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I ran a half-marathon Sunday.  One of the side effects of doing a lot of running is that I get a lot of thoughts.

I mentioned that following mile 10 I cramped.  Specifically, my right foot began cramping.  I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to continue, but on the other hand, I was bound and determined to get across the finish line if I had to crawl.

That finally eased up, but I faced another obstacle.  My left quad began to tighten up and cramp.  I basically hobbled and walked the last three miles.  As I reflected, there was really one reason.

Preparation.

I was much more prepared a month or so ago than I was the last two or three weeks.  My training had taken a nosedive.  I was really living on the fumes of my training in January and February.  March?  Not so good.  But that’s not all.

I grabbed something to drink at just about every liquid stop.  I realize that wasn’t enough.  I was hydrated well enough before the race.  This was evidenced by the cramps.  Drinking along just wasn’t enough.

I don’t think I ate enough prior to the race either.  Midway through the race I was starving and I never get hungry during a run.  That being said, I didn’t do like one guy who ate a burrito and had a beer during the race.  But I do see the value in fueling up better.

I’m actually planning on running a few more half-marathons this year.  I’m going to take what I learned running this one in order to do better next time.

Do you prepare for the events you face in life?

Lesson #1 From My Half-Marathon

April 4, 2016 5 comments

I ran a half-marathon yesterday.  For most of it, it was a good experience.  Unfortunately, it ended up being a brutal test.  The first ten miles were good and went according to plan.  The last three?  They were full of cramps and I thought it would never end.  However, there were several lessons I learned this time out.  Today I will share one of them.

You have probably heard the story about geese, especially if you have spent any time in church.  Geese fly in a V formation.  Each goose takes its turn at the point, rotating  out and letting another take its place.  When you see this happening in person you will hear the geese honking to encourage each other.  When a goose becomes ill or injured, it will drop out and another goose or two will drop out with it.  They stay together until the goose has recovered and then they take off in order to catch the larger group.

I found this to be much the same with this half-marathon.

Running with a large group carried me further than I could have gone on my own.  My fitness level wasn’t where I wanted it to be for this race.  However, I found myself at mile seven feeling great.  Just past this point was the worst hill of the race.  I had planned to walk it and did.  Once I got through that, I continued.  And it was great until the previously mentioned mile 10.  The runners, spectators and bands encouraged me to go further than I really thought I could.

One girl on my work team was struggling early.  I asked her if she was ok.  She smiled and waved me on.  Later, she stopped and asked if I was ok, offering to carry me on her back.  It was great to have another “goose’ willing to help me out.

The bottom line is that we are all in this together, whether it’s a half-marathon or life in general.  We need each other.  Each of us need to be picked up and each of us need to do some picking up.  It’s not rocket science.  It’s who we are and what we need to do.

Have you been an injured or sick goose?  Have you helped another goose?

Categories: Blogging, Fitness Tags: ,

7 Ways To Jumpstart Your Day

January 6, 2016 4 comments

Each of us begin our day much the same: we wake up. From there our days probably vary greatly. However, we all probably want one thing.

A productive day.

A productive day doesn’t just happen. We have to be intentional about having one.

Here are seven way to make your day productive:

1. Drink water.

I begin each day by drinking 16 to 32 ounces each day. This helps me bring my water levels back up and gives me energy to begin the day.

2. Exercise.

Finding time to exercise is difficult. Time is always at a premium. Exercise will often get crowded out. Doing it early seems counter-intuitive. It will increase your energy throughout the day. 

3. Spend time with God.

It’s important for us to know God. Unfortunately, few of us  know God well. To know Him, we have to spend time with Him and we don’t spend enough time with Him.

Take in God’s word. Spend time talking to Him in prayer. Do it before the day gets away from you.

4. Spend time developing yourself.

You are always told to place a air mask on yourself first on a plane in the event of an emergency. You are no good to anyone else if you pass out.

No one will develop you if you aren’t spending time developing yourself first. Read a little. Listen to a podcast. Do something to make yourself better early each day.

5. Love your loved ones. 

Kiss your wife. Make sure your kids know you love them. Text or call someone and let them know how you feel about them.

6. Avoid the news.

Let’s face it. Most of our news is negative. Letting negative news influence your life will bring you down.

7. Eat breakfast.

Don’t skip this. Fuel up. Don’t run out of gas early.

You want to be successful each day. Don’t just let the day happen. Kickstart your day by developing a routine similar to what I set forth above.

What would add or subtract from this list?

What I Learned From Chasing 35,000 Steps

July 15, 2015 2 comments

This past Sunday I set a record.  I set my PR for daily steps with just over 37,000.  My goal as I began the day was 35,000, so I overachieved.  Interestingly enough, I learned a few lessons chasing my goal and, of course, thought I would share.

First, let me tell you why I sought this goal.  As some of you know, I wear a Fitbit that tracks my steps.  I have numerous friends and coworkers who are my friends through the Fitbit app.  For the past year I have been number one both on my list and almost everyone else’s list as well.

Someone at work told me that I ought to friend another coworker last Friday, so I did.  Since then my world has been turned upside down.  I have slipped to number two on my own list as well as several of those coworkers that I have led for the past year.

I didn’t really find out that I was trailing this stepping machine until Sunday morning.  I woke up to find myself 15,000 steps behind.  I went for my normal Sunday morning walk and was still 3,000 steps behind when I went to church.

Following church and lunch, I got a few steps walking to my in-laws.  After taking a short nap and visiting for a bit, I set off to catch my opponent.  I walked another 15,000 steps and hit 30,000 for the day.  At 4:30 in the afternoon.

I had never hit 35,000 steps, so I rested and then set out to finish out my steps.  Not to be satisfied with my goal, I exceeded it and then wound up with the 37,000.

And somehow I was still 2,000 behind when I went to bed.

As I thought through my achievement and my failure, I wondered what I had learned.  Here is what I came up with.

First, you can’t stay on top forever.  Someone, some business, some team is going to take you down eventually.  I had a good run at being number one in my circle for about a year.  Now, I’m having my hat handed to me.

Second, you can’t be satisfied with staying where you are.  For so long, what I was doing kept me on top.  Now, I can’t do the same thing everyday.  I have to make adjustments to try to overtake my competition.

Third, competition is good.  Without competition, you tend to stay stagnant.  This is closely tied to the previous point, but maybe just the other side of the coin.  Competition pushes you. It stretches you.  Competition takes you where you couldn’t go on your own.

Finally, it is good to be humbled.  Pride has a tendency to creep in, especially when you don’t realize it.  I had become known as the Fitbit steps guy.  I had some folks poke some good-natured fun at me today when they saw that I was not on top any longer.  It was good for me to hear and feel that.

So what’s next?  Well, let’s see where I am at the end of the week.  I’m going to chase my friend and see if I can catch him over the next few days.

Categories: Blogging, Fitness Tags: , ,