Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Take the Scenic Route

Note to self: Take the scenic route every time you have the chance. You never know the really sweet jumps you might miss if you don't. I got "like three feet of air" on the way home after eating lunch with Mr. G. Duly noted.

Breakers Are Stupid

Note to self: Always try resetting a popped circuit breaker more than once before calling someone. You will look and feel stupid when your "friend" shows up and resets it with no problem. Leave the breaker alone for a little while and then try resetting it. Duly noted.

4.91 miles in 40:01

i got up this morning and looked at hal's advanced half marathon training plan to see what i needed to do. today's workout: a 40-minute tempo run. i wondered, "tempo run? what's that?" hello, google! on the running times website, i found this definition:

"also known as an anaerobic threshold (AT) run or lactate-threshold run, the tempo run was popularized by jack daniels, ph.d., about a decade ago. here’s his definition, taken from daniels’ running formula (human kinetics): 'a tempo run is nothing more than 20 minutes of steady running at threshold pace.' (he goes on to say that 20 minutes is ideal, but may be varied to suit the needs of a particular course.) without getting too technical, threshold pace is the effort level just below which the body’s ability to clear lactate, a by-product of carbohydrate metabolism, can no longer keep up with lactate production. daniels states that this pace is, for most people, about 25 to 30 seconds per mile slower than current 5K race pace."

a little while later, the post said this of the pace: "a tempo run should be 'comfortably hard' - one that could be maintained for an hour in a race."

got it. run as hard as you comfortably can. no heaving breaths or puking. i can do that.

i strapped on my heartrate monitor strap, put my garmin on my wrist and headed out the door. i walked a short distance and then started running. i ran at what i judged to be a comfortably hard pace. i kept an eye on my heartrate, trying to keep it in the 160-170bpm range. looking back over that data, i did fairly well at that.
my kinvaras, a.k.a. the flash, performed beautifully. they protected my feet when i ran down a graveled alleyway. i'd wondered about that since my racing flats are awful on rock roads. i felt a rock or two, but no pain with the flash! sweet! i can use these on trail runs if i ever get near a trail.

i'm not sure if i did a perfect tempo run. you can look at my splits and decide that i guess. expert opinions are welcome.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pray everywhere...

A few years back, a woman from the town I was living in was admitted to the hospital. I don’t recall her medical problem or even her name at this point. I just remember she was in a room at the south end of the floor.

I went to visit her one day. I walked in to her room. We talked for a little while. I asked if she’d like me to pray with her. She said, “No!” I left her room.

Why do I tell that discouraging story? Because that, as best as I can remember, is the only time in 23 years of full-time ministry that anyone has ever turned down an offer of prayer. People who’ve come to me for assistance with food or gasoline have said yes to prayer. I’ve asked complete strangers if they’d like me to pray with them and received a positive response. I’ve never said, “I’m a pastor so let me pray with you.” I’ve just offered.

You can pray out loud with people as you go through life. You can offer prayer wherever you are. At work. At school. On the phone. In line at Wal-Mart. There isn’t any place that you can’t pray.

Where did Jesus pray for people? He prayed for people on mountainsides. He prayed for them in their homes. He prayed for them outside caves. He prayed for them on the beach. He prayed for them on the street corner. He prayed wherever there was a need. His disciples did the same.

You, if you have put your faith in Jesus, are one of his disciples. As a follower, you can pray for others wherever you are. The question is: Will you do it? I’d like to challenge you to, at least once this week, pray with someone in need right where you are, on the spot. Pray out loud so they can hear your love and recognized God’s care for them. Pray so that God’s name might be praised everywhere.

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Those Drugs Work

Note to self: Keep taking your medications even if you don't think they're doing much. I've been off my ADHD meds for a week or so now because of a health insurance snafu which renders them way too expensive. I can tell I'm slipping back into some of my more annoying habits. Duly noted.

byers road and beyond

i got up before the crack of dawn, got dressed and headed to dan's house. he wasn't up despite his "i think i'll ride at 6:00 tomorrow" last night. i smiled and went on.

since the wind was out of the northeast, i decided to ride over to 281 on 54 and then head north into the teeth of it. that gave me a little time with the bricks on main street which always make me smile despite the torture they dish out.

i rode out of town thinking maybe i'd ride up to iuka and take an eastward journey over to 61 and take 61 back home, but when i got to the northern edge of iuka i decided to keep going north and take in some new territory.

the shoulder practically disappears north of iuka, so i had to get back into my "pay attention to the cars around you" mode. you'd think i'd always be in that mode, but the wide shoulders on 54 and 281 to iuka kind of lull you into a false sense of security.

i rode north until i's gone far enough that i was concerned about getting back in time to get ready for work. turning around, i enjoyed a decent tailwind. not strong enough to boost my speed a bunch, but enough to reduce the effort required to pick up a little speed.

the shoulder on southbound 281 is worse than the northbound shoulder. there were times when i could barely balance in the inches i was given. other times i was forced to ride out on the highway. thankfully, there isn't a lot of traffic, so i was safe. i must say, though, that i was glad when i got back to iuka and the wide shoulder returned.

i cruised back into town and turned east on maple. i almost caught the draft off a car that was turning at the same time, but missed it. i raced down the hill and then climbed back up toward stout. i turned a block early and then did a little zigzagging to get myself back home.

this will be my last 6:00 ride for awhile. school starts tomorrow, so that means 5:00 rides. hope i can get myself out of bed. (21.47 miles @ 16.7mph)

Monday, August 29, 2011

2.66 miles in 21:31

i've had a pair of hi-viz orange kinvaras in my closet for weeks. they've been sitting there patiently awaiting the day when they could make their maiden voyage on the streets of pratt. they had to sit on the shelf until a product review had been completed. they were antsy, but bided their time.

today, the flash hit the streets. i must say, "wow! these things are comfortable!" i haven't run in new shoes for ages and these are tops! i kept looking down during the first mile. i was sub-7 minute pace almost every time. i thought i was going to come up with a new mile record, but just missed it.

it was hot while i was running. no doubt this was in part due to the heat generated as the earth reacted to the flash touching it's surface over and over. i ran south into sixth street park and then circled around.

i had to stop twice to walk i was so miserable from the near-90 temps. i was planning on running a 5K, but settled for a half mile short of that. 2.66 miles was enough for this maiden voyage.

Thanks Is Always in Order

Note to self: Be lavish when giving out thanks. The people around you do great things. They seldom are recognized for them. Tell those who surround you how much their kind actions mean to you. Just blogged about a friend and how he helped me adjust to a new town. Sent him a link. Wanted him to know how I felt. Duly noted.

iuka to the north

brandon and i spent almost our entire ride in the darkness today. fall is on its way!

we took terrace up to maple and then headed out to highway 61 where we turned north. not sure when google maps is going to update things so they actually know that maple goes to the highway. my map is an approximation of that small section.

the traffic on 61 was awful this morning. way too many people going to preston. we rode for about three miles on the edge of the road hoping everyone could see us before we turned west on 30th street to run up the hill past the ethanol plant.

we made it to highway 281 without any problems and turned north again. my legs were not feeling very good at this point, so i dropped back behind brandon for the trip to iuka. just before town, i actually got a little draft off my recumbant-bound friend. i had to duck really low, but it was there.

we took the bypass around iuka, circling around to head south into pratt. what should've been an easy cruise back into town wasn't. at least it wasn't for me. my legs were sore and unresponsive. i could accelerate at all.

we beat the train on the north edge of town, took maple east and then stout south before we parted at school street. brandon went west. i went east. i stopped the clock at just under and hour and packed everything up. (17.07 miles @ 17.2mph)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Overalls Make the Man

Note to self: Buy overalls when you retire. If you wear a dusty pair and a grease-stained trucking company cap, you can dispense unsolicited advice with impunity to younger people while standing in line at Wal-Mart. They'll even give you that nervous "there's an old person talking to me" smile at no extra charge. Duly noted.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


dan and i hit the mean streets together this morning and neither of us pushed it too hard. we cruised along and talked most of the way out to cullison and back. we didn't see much wildlife (or tamelife for that matter) this morning. i remember a single bunny hopping across the road. a dog barked at us on our way through cullison. one truck passed us on old 54 on the way out and another on the way back.

the only excitement this morning came at what i thought was going to be our turn around spot in cullison. dan asked, "have you ever been to the end? it's a mile, mile and half south of here." i said, "no. let's go see." so we did. as we approached the end i started preaching, "repent! the end is near!" remember, repent just means turn around. dan just shook his head and kept riding toward eternal destruction. (22.51 @ 17.3mph)

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Hill to Die On

Note to self: Never say to a cyclist stronger than you, "Hey! Let's paceline up that hill south of of the lake! My legs are feeling pretty good." The hill is longer than you remember it being and no matter how good your legs feel, your friend will thrash them. Duly noted.

lying legs

note to self: never say to dan, "hey! let's paceline up that hill south of of the lake! my legs are feeling pretty good." that hill is not very steep, but it is very long and no matter how good your legs feel, dan will thrash them. duly noted.

before the hill, things were pretty calm. we rode past lazy brandon's house. he was still in bed, all snug and warm no doubt. we were freezing! ok, maybe not quite freezing, but 63 degrees feels rather chilly after the heat we've been experiencing. just last week there was a day where it was 81 degrees at 6:00!

anyway, we left brandon to his dreams and rode north. after a mile or two, we figured out the wind was at our backs, so we turned on 30th and rode over to highway 61 to head south toward the lake. there was no traffic on 61. very unusual. i rode on the highway almost the entire way into town. not one car passed us.

we had to stop at the light at 54. grrrr! i hate stop lights.

we took 54 east to the "wildlife and parks" turn off. heading south on this road is when i spoke the fateful paceline words mentioned above. dan smiled. we rode a little harder to the base of the hill and then i slotted in behind dan.

i should've stayed where i was.

i came around dan hard to take my turn. i blew up while leading out. dan said later that he had a hard time passing me. i don't believe him. he passed me and just kept going. i was gapped by 10 meters in no time. i could barely feel the draft. then it (and it's creator) was gone.

i backed off the accelerator after dan was gone. there was nothing else to do. i had to get my heartrate back under control. i do not get paid to ride. this is not the hill worth dying on. i watched dan climb. i limped along behind until he and then i turned around and headed back down.

down. such a lovely word. downhill. ahhhh. tailwind. beautiful.

i drafted off dan on the way down the hill and around the corner by the lake. from the stop signs on we rode side by side. we climbed up and over the hill past country club rode and ended up at 281. we headed north to sixth and headed east toward home.

a bit of conversation settled us on our course. we'd turn on rochester and hit the light east of the hospital. i had the better line hitting rochester, so i hit the afterburners and raced toward the stop sign on the north side of the tennis courts. i wanted to beat dan in the sprint. it's never going to happen. he caught me a quarter of a block before the red octogon. at least i made him work a bit.

we made the light before it turned red and cruised home. what a fun (and painful) workout. brandon better wake up tomorrow! (21.28 @ 18.1mph)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

8.50 miles in 1:16:06

i don't think i've ever felt this good after running this far at this speed. i felt like i could run and never stop. it was amazing! why didn't i run farther? i had finished the distance i'd set out to run and decided to end on a high note rather than mess things up. i'm not in so much of a hurry that i can't stick with the plan. all i can say is this: if i feel this good on october 29, i'm going to be waaaaay under the two hour mark for my half marathon. waaaaaay, waaaaay under!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Never be lacking...

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11)

Do you understand the words here? Zeal is an ardent interest or pursuit of something. Fervor is intensity of feeling or expression. So what Paul is encouraging here is enthusiasm. Putting energy into your walk with God. Heart, soul, mind, strength, everything thrown into your relationship with God and your service in his kingdom. No holding back.

I have a question for you: Why in the world would you not live like this? Think about what God’s done for you. Out of his deep, deep love for you, he sent his Son to die in your place so you could have eternal life with him. So that you wouldn’t be alone and powerless in this world, he sent his Holy Spirit to help you grow, to make you more and more like Jesus. In view of his mercy and grace and help and power and everything else he’s done, I can’t imagine living for him in any other way than all out.

At the beginning of this twelfth chapter of Romans, Paul said this, “I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1)

The King James says offering yourself to God is your reasonable service. Is it not reasonable to give yourself totally, passionately to God when you consider his gracious treatment of you? You were condemned, lost, hopeless when he found you. You couldn’t save yourself. You couldn’t stop sinning. You were pitiful, poor, blind and naked. You were bound.

Now, though, since God has done his work in you, since he has taken your sin from you, since he has given you life, you are free! Free to love. Free to forgive. Free to serve.

Slaves set free aren’t ho-hum, they’re yippee! I know that’s not technically an adjective, but it’s how I feel when I remember Christ’s sacrifice for me. It’s how I choose to live for him – with energy, with fervor, with zeal.

I was talking about having a passion for Christ once, years ago, and a woman said to me, “Passion is what gets you in trouble.” She was absolutely right, you know? Passion is what gets you in trouble. It’s what makes others uncomfortable. They want you to sit down and shut up. “Quit rocking the boat! Stop suggesting that there’s more to this Jesus-following life than sitting in church for an hour on Sunday. Be normal!”

Normal, my friends, is overrated. Normal, as the world defines it, is a dull existence. Why not give your life to God and to the people he sends into your life and see what amazing things he can do in and through you in this world! Don’t worry about the grief you’ll get from others. Remember the joy you’ll get from your Master.

“Never be lacking in zeal,” Paul says. Never! Keep your spiritual fervor! When you feel dead and dull, go after God. Ask for the power you need. He will give it! You will be able to do all that God’s called you to do for his glory and the good of his church.

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go west, old men!

i was almost giddy when i saw the weatherbug's anemometer this morning. the wind was out of the southwest! that meant we'd be doing a different route. nothing against the glendale out and back, but after a few thousand times it's gotten a little old.

i rode from my house past dan's. darkness! dan's going to get soft if he keeps this sleeping in thing going for too many more days. i rode on to brandon's and nearly ran into him trying to figure out in the dark which house was his. there weren't any lights on inside and he hadn't turned on the lights on his bike yet. i just heard this voice and knew he was there.

we circled around and headed west on highway 54. we didn't bother taking the side streets since traffic isn't all that bad at 6:00 in the morning. we rode out of town and took old highway 54 to the south and west.

now, there's something you should know about old 54. it's all uphill to the west. there are very few dips. you just climb and climb and climb. granted there's not much of a grade, but it's incessant. "climb, climb up sunshine mountain. faces all aglow!" add the wind which was "blow the flags straight out" strong and you've got your work cut out for you. our average speed on the way out was barely 14mph.

we turned around at a farm house about 8.5 miles from home and headed back. all i have to say is this: there's nothing like going downhill with a stiff tailwind! woohoo! we blazed back into town.

as we were entering the outskirts of pratt, we almost got hit by a little old lady who was waiting for oncoming traffic to clear to make a lefthand turn. she didn't see us, evidently, because she started across. we locked up our brakes a split second before she did. she waited and we went on.

when we got to main street we had to stop for the light. grrrr! i didn't anticipate this very well and got stuck in the middle of the two lanes beside a pick up with a trailer. the guy's window was down, so i told him to go first. he did and i tried to get started. my cleat missed the pedal and my foot slipped forward. i was rolling between lanes. it was awful. brandon sped away and i was left limping.

after i finally got my foot situated correctly, i accelerated as hard as i could to catch brandon. i rocketed up over 30mph and maintained that for a good quarter mile, maybe more. i caught him just as we took the turn onto champa.

we said our goodbyes and i rode over to my house. my average when i unclipped was almost 17mph. missed it by that much! (16.95 @ 16.7mph)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

sans dan

dan slept in this time. he's a smart man.

it was windy! brutally so on the way out. brandon and i rode the first half of this ride at about 15mph. slooooow going for us. the hill up from the lake to the corner was awful with a stiff headwind. it was like a long death march.

heading back toward home was much more enjoyable. we caught up with a couple of guys on bikes just past the lake and said our good mornings as we passed them. they were just out for a leisurely ride. we sped back into town and parted at howard. (17.47 @ 16.5mph)

Monday, August 22, 2011

5.02 miles in 46:58

i got home from my bike ride in time to go out for a run with my wife. the only problem was she wasn't up to a run. too tired. so i went out solo. i was planning to run around the outside edges of my quarter of town, but changed my mind and went north around the cemetery instead. i ran past the graveyard and to the highway where, on a whim, i decided to run through the pratt community college campus.

from pcc, i ran across a small bit of grass and then ran on the frontage road by the hotels and then back across the highway to maple. about this time, i started having intestinal issues that i thought might cut my run short. thankfully, they passed and i was able to keep running. i zigzagged a bit to get my five miles in and then stopped.

now my wife is up and might possibly be up for a run. we'll see.

wet and windy

we got a little shower last night some time, so the roads were a little wet when dan and i headed out. we swung past brandon's. the lamp in the front room were on, but there wasn't any human activity, so after a brief wait, we went on.

we circled around the block and headed down stout. dan tripped the signal and we rode through and on down rochester to sixth street where we headed east before turning south on country club.

the climb up the hill at country club wasn't too bad nor was the eastward journey on lake road. the pain came when we turned south on 30th avenue. the wind was in our faces all the way up the long hill. my hams were not happy at all. they complained at every stroke. i ignored them. if you listen to their complaining, it'll only get worse.

we made it to the top of the hill and turned east on 30th street. avenues go north and south. streets go east and west. no you know. we rode out to glendale with only a minor struggle up the hill just past diamond's place.

we turned around at the church and headed back. the wind wasn't all that helpful until we turned north again. the speed was pretty nice all the way back to the lake then.

we went straight at the wildlife and parks intersection and rode back to country club. we took country club north to highway 54, climbed the little hill and turned again on howard and random to get us back home - a nice little ride at a leisurely pace. (17.65 @ 16.9mph)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

4.30 miles in 38:45

it was raining gently when i got up. nothing to fuss over when you've got miles to get in. i pulled on my gear and headed out to circle the town where my eldest will be spending the next few years of her life.

i ran east from the corner south of our friends' house and then headed north, zigging and zagging this way and that to get to the other side of town. i ran along the north edge of town and then dipped south. when i got to the main street along the south side of town, i turned west again to complete my circuit. when i ran past the college campus, i wondered how my daughter had slept on her first night in the dorm. i continued on and finished my loop in time to clean up before breakfast.

this run put me over 500 miles for the year.

Friday, August 19, 2011

3.03 miles in 36:15

i enjoyed a slow 3-miler with my wife this morning. we ran south through sixth street park to lemon park and took a lap around lemon's walking path. before we left, we stopped to stretch and get a drink of water from one of the fountains.

the trip back was a little more uphill, so we lost a bit on our pace, but it was still a good run considering the temperature which was at 80+ before 8:00.

in the wind

brandon and i swung back past dan's house just in case he'd gotten up and around. no such luck. the house and garage were still dark. his loss. we continued on and rode south on howard to get to sixth street and find our way out of town.

on country club, we stopped briefly to move a board out of the road and then continued on up the hill to lake road. we took lake road east to the lake and then climbed cook and gnad hills. i took the lead, giving brandon a good draft all the way up to the corner.

we rode on east to the church and turned around to head home. the wind wasn't as helpful on the way back as i would've liked it to be, but it was alright. i was pretty well spent when we hit highway 54 to head west into town. i just kept up with brandon and didn't push it much. i'd probably have died if dan had been along for the ride. he always pushes the pace.

we made it to town and through the doug reh valley and the hill following. we said our goodbyes at howard where i turned north and rode home. (17.04 @ 17.3mph)

a little warm up

i woke up before 5:00 and couldn't go back to sleep, so i got up at about ten after, got dressed and went out for a short ride before the ride. i rode up to my office to grab something and then rode around the cemetery before hitting highway 61 south to highway 54. i took 54 to the road that goes south to lake road and then turned west on lake road. as i turned on lake road, i looked at the time and became concerned that i wouldn't get back to dan's before he and brandon left, so i cranked up the speed a bit. i ended up getting to dan's dark house at 6:01. since it was dark, i rode past and continued on toward brandon's. brandon was just coming out his front door when i got there, so i reset my garmin and waited while he got everything ready. i was warmed up, ready to go. (8.04 miles @ 16.0mph)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

7.00 miles in 1:04:03

first longer run in awhile. felt pretty good most of the time. i had to stop and walk for about a block at the top of a hill to get my heartrate back under control. finished 6.55 miles (half of a half) in a few seconds less than an hour, so i know, with a little work, i can break that 2-hour barrier on my half in october.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

evil bird attacks

brandon, dan and i have a hill in pratt we call evil bird hill. dan captures the essence of the hill in this video. i'm not going to ride this street any more.

the cairo-preston loop

i don't know what happened to Dan M. and brandon this morning. there weren't any lights on at either of their houses. i hope "evil bird" didn't get them. that would be terrible.

since i knew they'd want me to ride even if they'd met their demise, i went out for a ride alone. my plan was to ride to cairo (pronounced kay-row in these parts) and back - a nice 20-miler. i rode east on highway 54's wide shoulder, enjoying the turbulence as 18-wheelers passed by at 70mph. what a beautiful way to start a morning!

when i got to the sign to cairo and preston, i turned north. my plan was to ride up into cairo, take one of the streets east and then take the road on the other side of town back south to the highway. the only problem with my plan was that it was based on ignorance. there are no paved streets in cairo. not one! i had nothing but sand if i wanted to go east and i don't do sand on my road bike. that's almost scarier to think about than dodging evil bird.

when i discovered the lack of asphalt in cairo, i thought, "i'll just ride to the next road and turn around." you can start laughing now if you know the area. there are not many cross roads north of cairo. by the time i hit one, i'd changed my plans entirely and had it in mind to ride to preston and take highway 61 south and west back to pratt.

one thing must be said of the road north out of cairo. it is uphill! for more than two miles i climbed what some would call a gentle slope. it just kept going up. my average when i passed through cairo was 18.9mph. when i reached preston, it had dropped to 17.5mph. i hate hills...unless they go down!

riding on highway 61, i had the northeast wind at my back so i was able to pick up some momentum again. i rode on the three-foot shoulder with cars and trucks whizzing by just a few feet from me. their speeds were probably normal highway speeds, but they seemed a bit insane from my vantage point.

by the time i got back to town, i'd grabbed back some of my lost average. i was up to 18.6mph when i made the curve to head west on highway 54 again. i cranked it up down the hill and climbed as fast as i could back up to my turn. i rode up howard and turned on random, then edgeford. i didn't lose any speed. take that hill! (31.16 miles @ 18.6mph)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

2.00 miles in 15:39

i was tired when i went to bed last night, so i didn't set my alarm. i thought i'd still wake up at a decent hour, but i overslept. i didn't open my eyes until 6:30! yikes! i missed my ride with dan and brandon and barely had time to get out and run before I needed to head for work. i hit the streets on my feet about the time dan was coming back from his ride. he rode up beside me and, even though it killed his average, rode around with me on my run. it was nice to have company and my friend's presence kept me going when i wanted to wimp out. there was no way i was going to stop and walk while he was there beside me. stupid machismo!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

2.18 miles in 25:00

my wife and i went out for a quick 2-miler before we left to help a friend in town move. we ran her usual route, stopping to walk twice and then pulling up at just over 2 miles. it was muggy out and i was drenched even without a shirt on. ugh!

a new friend

dan and i did our usual out and back to glendale this morning. it's amazing how much faster i ride when he's around. it's scary!

i hit 19.5 miles when i got to my house, so i decided to get up to 20 miles. for some reason - oxygen depravation most likely - i thought that meant another 1.5 miles, so i rode out toward highway 61 to make a loop. by the time i figured out that i didn't need to ride that far, i was in the mood for more, so i turned east and rode out on the highway to go to the lake.

just as i was turning onto lake road, another cyclist was approaching from the west. i slowed so i could meet this new friend. his name was brian mclaren (not sure on the spelling) and he was training for the MS 150 in winfield later this fall. we rode around the lake and back into town.

after hitting 30 miles, i left brian and rode home. he said he might just show up at dan's to ride next saturday at 6:00. hope so! (30.47 miles @ 17.6mph)

Friday, August 12, 2011

back out to glendale

enjoyed another dan-less ride with brandon this morning. not that riding with dan isn't enjoyable. i'm just saying he wasn't there today. slacker! (i'm trying to see if trash talking will get him out of bed tomorrow morning.)

we rode out to glendale and back again, taking a slightly different course back. the wind was horrible going out and my quads were complaining the whole time. i told them to shut up, but they wouldn't comply. where's jens when you need him? (17.60 miles @ 16.4mph)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

the discussion begins

dan didn't get up this morning, so brandon and i headed out to glendale and back by ourselves. we had an interesting discussion about religion along the way. it was good to finally open up the conversation both of us knew would come eventually. talking about such things made the time pass quickly. i didn't even realize we'd been out for over an hour. the only time i even thought about my effort was when i was climbing a hill and had a harder time talking without gasping. a pretty good pace considering we weren't really paying attention to our speed. (20.23 miles @ 17.7mph)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

God's church business plan...

This, my friends, is how I believe a business meeting in the church ought to turn out. Everyone comes with ideas. They express them. They pray together. They hear from God and everyone goes home satisfied.

That’s what happened in Acts 15 when there was a disagreement about what should be required of the Gentiles who had believed. A few Jewish traditionalists insisted that the newcomers needed to act Jewishly and follow the law. They were in disagreement with Paul and Barnabas, so they took it up with the church. Everyone came with their own ideas. They expressed them. They prayed together. They heard from God and as far as we know everyone went home satisfied.

Why does everyone go home satisfied when business is conducted this way? Because God’s idea, the decision that is made, is better than any of the ideas any one believer came to the meeting with.

God’s smarter than any one of us! He’s wiser than all of us together.

I love what Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” (1 Corinthians 1:25)

When we come to any business meeting we ought to hold our ideas, our agenda lightly. We likely have part of God’s plan in mind, but it’s possible we’re missing part of it too. Our brother’s or our sister’s input will probably be needed to make God’s will evident. We would do well to be patient and humble, waiting on God, bearing with one another in love.

God is in charge of your church. He is the vine. You are the branches. He is the head. You are members of the body. He is the king. You are his servants.

More churches than we’d like to admit run into problems at this point. In some of them, the pastor thinks he’s in charge and causes problems. One of my wife’s Kindergarten students a few years back saw her and told her mom, “My teacher is Mrs. Neifert. Her husband owns the church.” No! That’s not it! I am a servant of Jesus just like every pastor. Jesus owns the church which he bought with his blood.

In other churches, a person or a group of people act like they’re in charge. If they don’t get their way, pastors get fired or families are run out of the church. They say crazy stuff like, “My daddy built this church back in 1943. I’ve been in it all my life. I think I know what God wants for this church. If you don’t like it, you can go somewhere else.” If that doesn’t work, there are actually people who use their giving as a weapon. “If you don’t do what I want, I’ll withhold my tithes.” And they follow through. They rob God because he won’t lead his church the way they want him to. How dumb is that?

I hope none of you would do that. You want God’s will. You want to know his direction, so you’re going to and submit to his will and let him lead his church. Pray that God would help his church to hear his voice. He gives wisdom to those who ask. So ask! Ask in humility for yourself. Ask with confidence for your sister. Ask with power from God for your pastor. Ask in faith for all of God’s servants.

Let’s see what God can do when his people recognize his place in his church and choose to follow him.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

evergreen out and back

you couldn't ask for a better day to ride - 68 degrees and no wind. beautiful! dan tore his legs up yesterday afternoon, so he was looking for a recovery ride this morning. that was fine with me. i was a bit sore from running 7.7 miles yesterday.

we - brandone was there too - rode north toward iuka and then turned east on 60th to go to the evergreen rest area. now, you'd never find this rest area. there aren't any "rest area ahead" signs to announce it's presence. it's just a bunch of evergreens where a cyclist in need can relieve himself. no one needed the break today, so we turned around and rode back.

as we were riding along we discussed setting up a time trial course on the road. dan was going to go out and paint mile markers on the road and then get people together to race. i thought we should do drag races too. i've always thought, win or lose, that would be fun. we'll see if we actually get it done.

time to get ready for work! have a great day, my friends! (21.56 miles @ 17.6mph)

Monday, August 8, 2011

4.50 miles in 41:15

even with a thunderstorm rolling in, i felt like running more after my daughter and i got back from our 5K, so i took off and ran south into town following a similar path as we had run earlier. when i got to lemon park, i decided to skip the park and run around on lake road to climb a hill i'd seen others running up. it's pretty steep and hard on a bike, so i wanted test my running legs on it. not too bad, really. i just kept going with a steady effort and soon i was up and over it and headed downhill back into town. i turned on sixth street and then on grove to get me back home.

3.20 in 34:50

my daughter wanted to go running with me this morning, so after a short rest following my ride, we took off. we walked for a couple of blocks and then started south toward lemon park. we took several streets i'd never run or driven or ridden on, making this quite the adventure. we made it to lemon park and started around the 1-mile loop before my daughter needed a short walk break. when we started up again, she made it the rest of the way around the park and back home by a slightly different route. with the wind in our face while we ran uphill, the return trip wasn't quite as pleasant, but we made it.

ethanol and other gases

after almost a week of no towing service, it was nice to have dan back this morning. the wind was out of the northeast, so dan, brandon and i took off to the northeast on highway 61. it was dark and cool when we started, light and cooler when we got back.

there was some really great paceline work going on for much of the ride. dan pulled the bottom half of most of the hills and i took over for the second half when i could. we rode past the ethanol plant on 30th and kept going straight across highway 281 on a county road i'd never traveled before. the road dead ended a few miles west and a little north at a methane producing feed lot. nice smell.

we turned around and rode at a leisurely pace for a little while, turning south on 281 and taking 20th back across to 61. we picked it up again riding south and then did crazy stuff on cemetery road. that's not the real name of the road, but it's what we call it.

from the cemetery we rode south on stout until brandon turned off one way and dan and i turned the other to ride home. we'll rest up a bit and go at it again tomorrow. (18.16 miles @ 18.4mph)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

i love commuting

this week's commuter miles included a few longer trips. i rode out to skyline schools to pray with my friend, mike. i rode to wal-mart and back at least once and then to ace hardware because wally world didn't have .065" trimmer string. who knew? that put me at almost 40 miles for the week. pretty excited about that. (39.84 miles @ 12.2mph)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

5.59 miles in 50:47

i slept in a little this morning and then went out to do a little artwork on the streets of pratt. i ran with a pre-drawn map in my hands so i wouldn't get lost and mar my masterpiece. in the end, i made one wrong turn that ended up adding a little character to the finished work. bet you can't find the one-block mistake.

Friday, August 5, 2011

3.69 miles in 30:00

what does it feel like to run when the humidity is at 87%? it feels like running in a sauna. ugh! my bike's rear tire was flat this morning and i couldn't get it fixed. long story. we won't go there. grrrr! since i had the time, i changed and went for a run. i wanted to see how much faster i could cover 3.47 miles than the first day i ran. on august 3, 2010, i covered that distance in 37:49. today, i hit 3.47 miles at 28:01 and just kept on going to the end of my circuit! crazy how much faster i've gotten. if i'd run 37:49 today, i'd have been well over 4 miles!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

another anniversary

one year ago today, my cycling friends started complaining about my running! not really, but it wasn't long after i started.

spinning around pratt

dan and brandon missed out on the bugs this morning. don't you feel sorry for them? i rode solo around and around and around pratt in ever widening circles and every so often i'd be bombarded by tiny little bug bodies. thousands of them in wave after wave after wave! i had to keep my mouth closed to keep from getting breakfast on the fly. ugh! don't know what kind of bugs they are, but they must've been released by the wind and rain we got overnight. crazy storms! there are branches down everywhere. the city clean up crews will be busy today. the tree service trucks are already on the prowl. one guy passed me twice looking for work. no complaints, though. we've been praying for rain and we got it. so praise God and pass the bugs! (24.74 miles @ 16.9mph)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

one year runiversary

one year ago today, i took my first run! i ran 3.47 miles in 37:49. i've made a little progress since then. i'm on my third pair of shoes. i got my new saucony kinvaras in the mail on monday. (i haven't run in them yet.) they replace my nike initiators, the original shoe i bought to start running. the nikes are pretty well shot after hundreds of miles. i have my pearl izumi streaks (a.k.a. the green swarm) for running streets.

wind's day morning ride

dan was a no show this morning. he told me last night at the church's block party that he'd be there, but he must've overslept. his loss. brandon and i had a great ride.

we rode north into the blustery blast. our average was 13mph when we hit our turn around. it was crazy! we had to turn our heads sideways to hear what the other was saying. that's a problem for old guys, you know. still we had a great time despite the headwind.

when we turned around, life got easier. we rode along and could hear what the other was saying. somewhere south of iuka, i noticed that we'd covered the last mile in 2:36, so we decided to see if we could make each successive mile faster. our next splits were 2:25, 2:18 and 2:06. pretty fun! we slowed up a bit when we got into town and turned east on maple, so the next mile was 2:36. i love biking! (18.45 miles @ 15.9mph)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

2.22 miles in 24:24

my wife was just about ready to run when i got back from my ride this morning, so i quickly changed and went out with her. we walked a few blocks and then started running north. we took welton as far as welton goes north and then ran west to stout. we ran down stout to just past the church and then turned around and retraced our steps. we made it the whole way, 2.22 miles, with now walk breaks! that's a major accomplishment! woohoo! my wife is awesome!

solo again

dan was still unavailable and brandon's knee was bothering him this morning, so i rode solo for the second time since meeting dan three weeks ago. i decided to have a little fun and just ride wherever the wind blew me. i rode west on highway 54 and then, on a whim, turned and did a lap around lemon park. that completed, i rode out to lake road and took it out to the lake. i was going to do a lap around the lake then, but saw some cyclists riding south up the hill, so i chased them down. i rode past them and up to the stop sign and mike's before turning around and speeding back down the hill. at the hill's bottom, i took a lap around the lake, passing an older gentleman in a pickup who was circling the lake to honk and wave at his fishing buddies. from the lake i rode back out lake road, up and over the hills and then after a brief time on 281 did two more laps of lemon park before heading home. the best part of the ride: i had fun! (17.90 miles @ 17.7mph)

Monday, August 1, 2011

3.10 miles in 27:04

getting back from my ride a little after 7:00 left me time to run this morning. i changed quickly and headed out. i didn't have a route in mind, so i just meandered around heading for the north edge of town and then circling around till i got back home. turned out to be right at 5K when i got back to the corner of manor and howard where i started. it was hot and a bit muggy and my energy wasn't all that great, so just before the two mile mark i did something i almost never do. i stopped to walk for a block. after that i took it even easier.

monday morning

dan wasn't back from his weekend away this morning, so brandon and i got in a nice easy ride. dan doesn't know slow. we figured it out. not that we were absolutely pokey. we just didn't push it much. took the time to enjoy the sun rising over the horizon and the deer and racoons scurrying across the road. it was fun. tomorrow, dan will be back and it'll be back to hammer time. (17.85 miles @ 16.5mph)