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Posts Tagged ‘Running’

Getting Back In Shape

July 16, 2018 1 comment

I’m struggling.  A few months ago, I was running three miles in the morning and then walking one for a cool down.  Everything was cool.  My fitness level was improving.  Then I fell off the wagon.

I had a layoff for a little while.  Now I’m trying to get back at it and I’m not anywhere near that fitness level.  Maybe it’s because it’s a lot warmer at 5:30 in the morning during July compared to March, but I’m hitting a wall.  Mentally I’m wondering if I’ll ever get back.  Will I ever be able to run 5 miles or 9 or a 15k (all current goals)?

This is not unlike my blogging. This is my second post back. Would it be smart to jump back to writing a post every day? How about one a week? Then two and three. Then more if it works.

I think that it’s like that in our spiritual lives.  We go along really well for a while.  We’re reading a ton of scripture.  Our prayer life is awesome.  Then life happens and we begin to slack off.  Not excure for it, but it happens.

Then we want to get back at it.  We start reading the Bible.  Genesis and Exodus go well, but then we run into Leviticus.  Or 1 Chronicles.  Or Job.

We’re not ready for all of that.  We’re not in “shape.”  We can’t read the Bible that way or for that long or whatever parameter we want to put on it.  We can’t pray for hours or take on nearly as many things at church as we did before.

We need to do what we can.  Run a mile and walk one.  Read the Bible for 10 minues.  Pray for 5.

Do what we can.  Ask the Lord to help us do more as we’re ready.  Rinse.  Repeat.

Now back to getting in shape.

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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?

How’s Your Race Going?

February 10, 2015 8 comments

I ran today.  Actually it was yesterday as you read this.  Then again, I could have run early this morning.  I suppose I could get lost in trying to say this the right way.

I’m training to run a half-marathon that’s rapidly approaching.  I’ve run it before, but the last time I did I was still, barely, in my thirties.  Now I’m closer to fifty than I am forty.  I seem to hurt a little more than I did in 2007.

One of the neat things is that there will be people along the way cheering us on as we run.  It makes it a lot harder to quit and walk when someone is clapping, yelling and telling you that “you can do it” in their best Rob Schneider voice.

Here’s the thing, though, as I think about this.  The crowds will be largest in a couple of places.  One will be the start.  A lot of people will be there whooping and hollering as the gun sounds.

The next biggest crowds will be at the finish line in Neyland Stadium.  We will cross the fifty yard line and complete our 13.1 mile race that we have gutted out.  There will be more screaming and yelling as people sprint to the finish line.

*****

I wonder if that isn’t the way our Christian life is sometimes.

We recently had a rash of baptisms at church.  Five one Sunday.  Another the next.  More want to be baptized in the river when warm weather returns.

A crowd of us will gather, whether it’s in the church house or on the banks of the Little River, and cheer and people are gleefully dunked in the name of Jesus.

Then a lot of us will forget about it.  We will not spend any time with those who have given testimony to their saving faith in Jesus.

These new believers might spend a chunk of their race with no one noticing, no one cheering.  They might find themselves lonely, wondering where the cheers they heard early on in their walk with Jesus.

Guess what, though?  We have a fan base of sorts.

Therefore since we have so great a cloud of witnesses……let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

The saints of old are gathered around, watching us, cheering us on.  They’re yelling and screaming, telling us to not give up, to not quit.

They want us to continue.  They don’t want us to quit at mile 12 or 13.  There’s another mile, another tenth, to go.

So let’s keep going.  No need to stop.  There’s just a little ways to go.

Have you ever run a half-marathon?  How’s your race of faith going?

Categories: Christianity, Faith Tags: , , ,

10 Things Now That High School Football Is Over

November 3, 2014 8 comments

High school football is over.  Well, it is for Andrew’s team.  It was an exciting season with the team winning 300% more games than a year ago.  With just another couple of wins, our season would be heading into the state playoffs.

On the downside, it has been a grind for the past several months.  We have been leaving the house early and getting home late.  Now, for the time being, we’ve got a bit of a break.  So, how will I be spending my time?  Here are ten things I plan to be doing over the next several months.

1.  Read – I have a stack of books that have been ignored.  It’s time to dive back into them.

2.  Run – I have a half marathon that I want to run in a few months.  I can devote a little extra time to that.

3.  Bible – I have an aggressive reading plan that I want to jump into.  I want to soak up God’s word.

5.  Family – While we have spent a lot of time together through football season, I look forward to spending non-football time with them.

6.  Friends – I would like to spend some time working on our relationships with our church friends.  We haven’t been able to do that much over the last little bit.

7.  Projects – I’ve got projects galore around the house. Lately it’s just been about doing what I had to do.

8.  Prepare – Last Sunday I finished my campground ministry for the year.  That will be starting again in May.  I want to be prepared for that ahead of time.

9.  Write – I want to do some writing.  I want to finish that long rumored ebook that I have threatened to write.

10. Plan – I want to take some time to just plan our some areas in my life.  Financial.  Home improvement.  Career.  You name it.

Those are just some of the things I want to do over the next few months.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to do them.

What kind of things are you wanting to do over the next few months?

What I Learned From Walking 200,000 Steps

October 13, 2014 5 comments

Last week I was on Staycation.  In fact, I dubbed it 2014 Fall Stayaction.  It was a good week where I was able to spend a lot of time with my family and relax.  However, I had one goal for the week.

I am normally able to achieve 150,000 to 160,000 steps each week through running and walking.  I planned to hit 175,000 steps until a friend at work challenged me.  He said I should go for 200.000.  Being the driven, competitive person I am, I took the challenge.

This meant that I had to accumulate just over 28,000 steps each day.  Each day I was able to do this, with a few days having more.

I finished on Saturday, actually hitting 205,000 steps.  There were a few things I learned during my week off work.  Here are a few of them.

I couldn’t hit my goal by getting 200,000 steps at once.  I had to break it down.  Daily the total was 28,571.  I still couldn’t do that much at once.  I got up and did a chunk before Andrew woke up.  I did another bunch while he was at football practice.

Hitting goals can be taxing.  I felt pretty good through Wednesday.  I started getting a little tired Thursday.  By Saturday, I was exhausted.  And sore.

Another thing I learned is that achieving goals should be celebrated.  I took Sunday off.  Well, I still got some steps in, but since I had basically gotten two extra days worth of steps in, I only did some minimal walking to stretch my legs.  I needed a day off.

It also takes a few other things to hit a goal.  Focus.  Persistence.  Single-mindedness.  Bull doggedness.  I was pretty stubborn about getting my steps in.  Toward the end, I wanted to quit and give up.  After all, whatever steps I got would be great.  But it wouldn’t be my goal.

Those are just a few things I learned while gaining 200,000 steps.  I don’t think I could write everything I learned through listening to podcasts and just plain thinking.

What have you learned from chasing a goal?

Categories: Blogging Tags: ,

I Wanted To Drink A ……

September 9, 2014 6 comments

I woke up so tired Sunday.  I was worn out.  I had a hard time getting going.  I felt my eyelids getting heavy at church.  I took a very, very long nap Sunday afternoon.

I wanted to drink a Diet Mountain Dew so bad.

One wouldn’t hurt me, right?  I could drink just one.  One wouldn’t be bad.  That’s all.  Just one.  Just to get me through the day.  One cold Diet Mountain Dew that would give me that initial burn that feels so good.

The problem is that I’ve done that before.  Quit drinking Diet Mountain Dews, that is.  I’ve told myself a few times that I would just drink one.  The result?  Years of over-consumption.

Would it hurt anything?  Yes, I think it would.

*****

The other day a memory surfaced.  I have no idea what triggered it.  It was just there.  Just like yesterday.  I could taste it.  I could smell it.  I wanted one so bad.

I wanted to drink a beer.  Coors Light to be specific.

I haven’t had a beer in twenty-three years now.  One wouldn’t hurt me, right?  It wouldn’t be a sin.  One wouldn’t get me drunk and out of control.  Except.

Except that the last time I drunk a beer, I didn’t just drink one.  I drunk several.  I lost control.  I got drunk.

It was like that every time I drunk beer.  I couldn’t just drink one.  I had to drink a bunch.

Would it hurt anything to drink one?  Maybe not, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t stop with one.  So, yes, I think it would.

*****

I started listening to Bluegrass music again a few years ago.  I wasn’t satisfied with just listening.  I had to buy a mandolin and start taking lessons.  I had to go to festivals and concerts as often as I could.  I had a favorite band.  I traveled around following them to many places they were playing.

Just over a month ago, I began running and walking.  A lot.  I have to get 20,000 steps each day.  I can drive my family a bit crazy if I don’t.  Yesterday, between running and mowing, I got over 30,000.

*****

It seems that I can’t do much of anything in moderation.  When I start doing something, whatever it is, I jump in with both feet.  It’s probably a good thing that I was terrified of drugs.  I would have become addicted or worse.

I’ve done it many other areas before.  And here’s the point.

I need to do this with Jesus.  Not church.  Not the form of religion.  Jesus.  If I became more obsessed about him like I have some of the other things, maybe I would be further along in my relationship with Him.

Maybe I wouldn’t find myself having the anxieties I do.  I wouldn’t be afraid in some of those moments when I have the opportunity to share Him.

There are hundreds of other examples.  But He is the main one.  I want to grow stronger in my love for Him.  I want to pursue Him more than I would a Diet Mountain Dew, beer, mandolin or my steps.

I want to drink His Living Water deep every day.

What do you want to drink?