Thursday, August 30, 2012

Two rights make a left...

You know the saying: Two wrongs don't make a right. Today I found out that two rights make a left. I started running with no route in mind and in less than a block came up with a crazy plan - make two right turns and then a left and see where I get.

I thought I would get into some crazy endless loops since there are so many streets that go for more than a block without a break, but I didn't. Every time I thought I was going to get into one there was a street I had forgotten about. Well, except for that one. I did cheat and make two lefts to avoid an endless loop once. Later in the run, I was getting tired of running in the same general area, so I threw in a few random extra left turns here and there.

I really wanted to run a half marathon, but decided I'd better not try that on a school morning. I quit at 10 miles instead. I'm really happy with my speed on this run. Quite a change from yesterday when I couldn't even hold ten-minute pace. (garmin data)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Just ask...

Solomon was given wisdom by God that surpassed that of all men in his day. God gave discernment to David’s son because he asked for it, choosing it above wealth and fame and victory. God was pleased with his request and made Bathsheba’s son wiser than any other.

The same God who gave Solomon wisdom in his day gives wisdom today. You don’t have to be a king to get it either.

Here’s what James wrote about God’s willingness to give wisdom to those who need it: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” (James 1:5-8)

I was talking with a friend about this passage a few years back. I urged her to ask for wisdom in a particularly difficult situation she was facing. She seemed skeptical. “After I’ve prayed, how do I know what God wants me to do?” she asked.

I believe God gave me the response and I know it’s true. “You’ve asked God for wisdom,” I said. “He promises to give it when you ask. Why would the ideas you come up with after you’ve asked not be his if you’re submitted to him and seeking his guidance?”

It makes sense, doesn’t it, that God would give wisdom to her when she asked. If he wasn’t willing, why would he have inspired James to pen his promise?

To those who lack wisdom, God says ask. He promises to give it generously without finding fault. Why would you not ask today?

Avoiding bricks...

I wasn't feeling it today unless it means sluggish. I started out slow and stayed slow the entire time, never clocking a mile under ten minutes. I just plodded along on my way out to Lake Road, plodded along Lake Road, plodded around the southwest side of town, plodded along the highway and plodded back home. At least it was a nice cool 63 degree morning and I successfully avoided running on bricks. Well, there were those two steps on the brick sidewalk that the Methodists put in to trick me, but other than that. (garmin data)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cutting losses...

Today's run was interesting to say the least.

I started out to run all the brick streets since I still haven't done that. I ran down to start at Curtis, but somehow spaced out and ran right past the bricks there. When I realized it, I decided to run down the highway to Oak and start bricking it there.

Once I was on Oak I took two-block out and backs down to Fourth or Fifth Street and then spaced out again and ended up running north. Not sure what happened. It was weird. I "woke up" running the wrong way.

After that, nothing seemed right. I kept running bricks, but couldn't remember what I had done and what I hadn't. I'm sure I ran some blocks three times. When I'd covered all of Oak and the southern part of Ninnescah, I crossed over to the north side of the highway and started knocking out blocks there. I didn't get far though before the last couple of day's food started knocking at the door wanting out. I decided enough was enough, gave up and ran back home along School Street.

I thought about going back out after I'd taken care of business, but vetoed that idea and decided to call it a day. Sometimes it's better to cut your losses and bail. (garmin data)

Monday, August 27, 2012

All the way around...

Without the brief dog attack and the 90+% humidity, this would have been the perfect run. I left the house a little before 5:00 with the goal of running a complete circuit around town. I ran out to Highway 61 to begin, ran north to the cemetery road and then started making my way to the west.

A train was making a ton of noise as I ran along the cemetery road and the other outlying streets. Between blasts on its airhorns and the screeching of brakes it was quite the pleasant accompaniment to the swish, swish, swish of my footsteps on the asphalt and sand.

I crossed the tracks at Maple and Main and ran up to Cottingham, ran over a block and returned to Simpson which took me to the other side of town. As I ran along Garfield a few minutes later, I saw a flash of white out of the corner of my eye. I turned and there was a rather large and loose dog headed my way. I turned to face it and started talking as calmly as I could while my heart rate jumped. After a few anxious seconds, the dog decided I wasn't a threat to his property and he let me run away. I wanted to scream, "Tie your dogs up, people!" I resisted, opting for a less noticeable getaway.

I ran back down and crossed over the railroad tracks. A short time along the highway brought me to the far western edge of town. I turned around the hotel there and then started taking in the residential areas on the southwest edges.

After a long trek down Tenth, I ran a little south and then past Lemon Park. I decided not to run a loop through the park since that would add a mile to my journey and I wasn't sure I had the time to do that before I needed to get back home. I ran through Sixth Street Park instead and then took Sixth out past the mobile home park and Green Sports Complex before turning north on Fincham to run past Wal-Mart and Taco Bell.

Just before turning on to Highway 54, I ran wide to the opposite side of the road to avoid a large Pepsi truck pulling in. I didn't know if he'd see me coming in off the highway in the dark and I wasn't taking chances. That near death experience out of the way, I ran on along the highway back to 61 which I took north back to Maple. At that point it was a short trip of less than a mile back home along the streets I'd used to get out to the highway.

When I reached home, I stopped my Garmin and walked around the block to cool down before stepping inside. (garmin data)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Missed it by that much...

I really enjoyed running the brick streets the other day, so I decided to try it again. This time my goal was to run all of them. I walked to the corner of School and Curtis, then started running with my first step on the bricks.

I ran south down Curtis, turned around and ran back north. Turning west on School, I ran all the way to Main and then doubled back to go down Ninnescah, taking every side street as an out and back along the way.

When I got to the highway, I ran across quickly getting about 20 of my 105 not-on-brick steps. I ran a block south, ran east on Second, then north on Oak. When I got to the highway, doubled back down Oak and started doing the side streets like I had on Ninnescah earlier.

I finished off Oak and ran over to Ninnescah. I started back up north and then somehow got mixed up and completely spaced off finishing off the rest of the street. I didn't discover this until I uploaded my Garmin info. Grrrr! Now I'm going to have to go back out and do it right some other time.

I did Main Street south and ran across the concrete to 10th, adding a few more steps off of the bricks. I ran over to Jackson and did some double blocks on the way to Fifth. From Fifth I ran up to Third, did some out and backs to the east and made my way back to Fifth which I took west to take in all the bricks that way. I took the jog over to Third on Iowa and then ran back down Third to Jackson and finished up that side of Main Street before crossing the highway again.

The last part of the run was running over and back to Main from Jackson and then running down Main and over to Ninnescah. I took it back north to School and ran back to where I started. I hit stop as my foot flew over the edge of the bricks.

I walked back home to cool down, then got some breakfast, readied myself for the day and headed off to work. (garmin data)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bricks, bricks and more bricks...

I ran almost my entire run on bricks today. About a quarter mile from home, I hit the brick on School Street and for some reason it occurred to me that I had never run an entire run on brick streets. How could I have neglected this for so long?! I set to running all the brick streets I could find.

I covered every brick street north of the highway and then crossed the highway. Asphalt! Yikes! I ran fast across it to the brick on the other side. I ran on brick for another several miles until I ran out of brick to run on the west side of Main Street. I ran across Main. Concrete! Yikes! More brick on that side of Main. Then I ran out of time and had to run about a quarter mile on sidewalks along Highway 54. I caught Curtis from there and was back on brick until I returned to the final quarter mile of chip-n-seal which took me home.

With a little more time, I could have run all the brick in town. There was still a little to do. Maybe another day. (garmin data)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tour de parcs...

I took off this morning not really caring where I went. I just wanted to run. I ran up Belmont, skipped over to Glenarm, took Holly over to Hampton Park and did a lap around the walking path there. While I was circling the playground, I hatched a plan to run the sidewalks in the parks. That meant running down to Sixth Street Park and Lemon Park after Hampton. Running on sidewalks through trees in the dark isn't the best idea. It's hard to figure out where the turns are.

About halfway through Lemon Park's mile loop, I came up with another plan: run through our around all the parks in town. There are lots of them. I left Lemon and ran up to Fifth Street missed Centennial Park by an block and circled back around to get it before running up to Zerger Park. I ran along the highway for a block or two then ran back down to Second Street and took it over to Westhoff Park. I think that was the name of it. It was dark and it doesn't show up on Google maps. From there I ran a block too far once again and had to circle back to run up Mound past May Dennis Park with it's 27-hole disc golf course. It's called Rock Island Park on Google Maps, but I saw the sign that said May Dennis.

I ran back over to Main and ran down to Green which I took east to Champa Street Park. From there it was just a hop, skip and a jump back home. (garmin data)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A great start...

What a run! 59 degrees. Just a fingernail-clipping sliver of a moon. Bright, bright stars. Barely a breath of wind. Awesome!

My plan when I toed the start line this morning was to run out past the lake and up the hill south of it. I figured I'd have time to run at least a little of it before I had to turn around to meet my goal of an hour and fifteen minutes on the road. I was wrong. I hit the corner before the lake at almost 30 minutes and decided I wouldn't even make the base of the hill before having to turn back. I changed my plans and ran around the bend and up the hill toward the highway.

As I approached 54 I fully intended to turn left and take the dirt road closest to town, but when I got to the intersection I turned right and ran out to the next road, the one with the long steady hill. I had forgotten about that little detail in the months since the last time I was out that far. The hill didn't trouble me much, but the pile of sand on the edge of the road did. I stumbled into it more than once.

I turned left when I got to the next road and headed back into town. As I was running along, I all of a sudden realized I was running faster and feeling better. It was a strange sensation. I glanced at my Garmin. It confirmed the increase in pace. My average was around 8:58 when it had been at 9:01 earlier.

Since I felt good, I decided to push a little harder for the last three miles or so. I ran them in 8:36, 8:27 and 8:37. Not bad considering the earlier miles had all been around 9:00 pace. The last .12 was at 8:08. I wish I had run the whole thing at that pace. Maybe another day.

I enjoyed a nice cool down lap around the block. The light of the sun was just beginning to color the world. What a great way to start the day! (garmin data)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A little rain must fall...

The first thing I did this morning was look at the radar. Yesterday they were predicting a 50% chance of rain, so I wanted to see if it was coming. It was! Since I didn't see any lightning, I decided to go out and see if I could run a little moisture out of the sky. I mean what cloud doesn't love dumping a torrential downpour on a runner?

I started running right around 5:00 and within a block was beginning to feel raindrops. That gave me a light quick step. It's been so long since we've had much rain. I ran west and then decided to run south to the highway then run back and forth on the east-west streets. A block from Main I decided I needed to do some intervals, so I sprinted the last block and then continued this pattern for the rest of the first half of my run.

After I'd run every street east and west, I started in on the north and south. I finished those from Curtis to Main and decided to do the same "every street" grid going back to the east, Curtis to Belmont. Since there are weird street angles on that side, it took some maneuvering to get it done, but I came out just right in the end. I even threw in an extra two minutes to get myself up to 8 miles.

I walked a little cool down after I was done and then took a longed-for swig of water. Now I have to wait until after my lab work is drawn to eat. Hope my cholesterol is down this time. Grrrrr! (garmin data)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Food that does not stay put...

I am adding another kind of food to the list of foods I should NOT eat the night before I run. Joining Mexican, Chinese and Indian food, is the African food I had last night. Delicious as it was, it did not want to stay put in my gastrointestinal tract this morning. No accidents, but WOW there were some anxious moments out on the streets.

I woke up much less stiff than I was yesterday. I had just a little soreness in my calf muscles which was mostly ignorable. I only noticed it when I first started up and it wasn't a problem the rest of the time.

Because I was uncertain about the stability of things in the lower abdominal region, I chose a route that would keep me reasonably close to home. I ran up Larimer as far as it goes, turned left and ran over to Stout, took Stout south to the highway, crossed over the highway and wound my way down Haskell to Sixth where I took another left. From there I ran over to Howard, took a left and ran back home. The loop was around 2.6 miles and I took a quick pit stop after the first go round. I ran a second complete lap after that and then a shortened third lap, cutting off at Holly on the north end and Third on the south.

My goal time this morning was 1:05. I hit that just before I got home. I thought about running all the way, but the second SUPER urge came at that point too. I stopped to walk so I could control things better. I made it to the facilities before...oh, never mind. You don't want a full report. (garmin data)

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Twenty miles. When I started running just over two years ago, I never thought that I'd ever run that far in a single workout. I had no intention of running a marathon, let alone a 100-miler. I should never have bought that first pair of shoes. What was I thinking?!

I set out with the modest goal of running fifteen to twenty miles this morning. I want to get in the habit of running long distances every Saturday and today seemed like as good a day to start that habit as any.

The plan I formulated was simple enough. Run 2.5 miles out in a single direction and run back. If I did that for three directions - west, north, east - I'd get 15 miles. If I added south into the mix, I'd make it twenty.

I ran west first. I felt great. It was 61 degrees again at just after 7:00, so running shirtless felt awesome! I couldn't run straight west - or any direction for that matter - without a few turns this way or that. I just ran till I hit a T in the road and went south or north to the nearest westbound street or road and kept going. I made it clear out to West River Road before the Garmin told me to turn back. On the way back, I nearly got hit by a pickup truck on Jackson. I wasn't paying attention. Yikes! I made it back in one piece, stopped in for a pit stop and some liquid refreshment before heading out again.

I went north next. I had anticipated less traffic than there actually was on this section. Evil Dog's owners were having a sale at their house, though, so there were actually an unusually high number of vehicles passing me by as I made my way north. I ran out on Highway 61 to the paving company's asphalt production place, then turned and ran back along the same route. I must say it was nice not having to worry about Evil Dog. I knew he wouldn't be out since they wouldn't want him eating customers. I drank Gatorade and ate some Shot Bloks during my break after ten.

I ran east next. This took me out onto Highway 54. I ran along feeling the best I had the whole time. I hit half marathon distance at just under two hours. I felt pretty good about that considering I really hadn't been pushing my pace at all the whole time. I ran back to the house, took another short break, downed some Gatorade and a PowerBar gel.

I was a bit surprised by the slight hitch in my get-along when I started my final five-mile leg. My quads were getting sore and they let me know they weren't especially keen on the idea of going further. I told them to shut up and kept plugging away at the distance. Saving south to the last was a BAD idea! There are more steep hills to the south of town than any other direction. I was creeping up and down them, trying not to give up. I succeeded. Take that, hills! I hated them coming back, but I managed to keep going despite a strong compulsion to stop and walk. I ran back into town. Stopped for a break in traffic before crossing 54 again and made it back to the house just as my Garmin clicked over to 20.

I was done, so I walked for a few minutes to cool down. When my heart was a bit happier, I stretched a bit before sitting down on the front step. That was a bit of a mistake. Once I was seated, I didn't want to get up. I rang the doorbell. My middle daughter came to the door. I begged for a drink. She rolled her eyes at me, but went and got it. I gulped it down. My youngest came out. I asked her for a second glass of Gatorade. She complied in much the same way her elder sister had.

Eventually I made it inside. I drank a half gallon of Gatorade, showered and got ready for the day. It's time now to go see my daughter off to her second year of college. Two hours in the car. I hope my sore legs recover. (garmin data)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Oh, what a beautiful morning...

It was a beautifully cool 61 degrees this morning when I got up and there was just the slightest of winds. I couldn't have ordered better weather. Wow!

I started off with the goal of running an hour since that was the next time step in my "5 minutes more" program of mileage increase. I ran out to Highway 61 first to check out the progress on the road construction. It's coming along nicely. There was a long line of trucks ready to dump stuff into the paving machine today. Woohoo!

I ran north on 61, then took the dirt road east a mile and then south down to Highway 54. I actually saw a couple of pickup trucks. One passed me going south, the other dusted me up nicely going north. I was coughing and sputtering for a little bit.

When I got to 54, I turned east and ran over to the Wildlife and Parks road and ran south to their headquarters before heading west on Lake Road. It was about this time that I figured out that I was going to be running a little more than an hour. I didn't care. I was feeling good and my pace was improving. I dropped from 9:01 and my "worst" to 8:58. Yippee!

At Country Club Road, I turned north and ran back into town where I turned west onto Sixth. With less than a mile to go, I started picking up cans to give to the kids to send them to camp next summer. I ended up with four pop cans and one Bud. Not a bad haul. I ran up Commodore, circled around the hospital and ran along 54 till a break in the traffic appeared and I could run across to the Dillon's parking lot. I ran through the lot and hopped onto Howard which took me past the 8 mile mark and on home. Ahhhhh! (garmin data)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Beating the skinny kid again...

One of the first things I do every morning when I get up is look at the temperature. This morning it was 68 degrees. The second thing I do during the summer, if I think of it, is check the relative humidity. Today it was 72%. I do both so I know what to put on for my run. Today I wore compression shorts, shorts, short socks and shoes. Anything more and the humidity would kill me.

I started out planning to run 55 minutes. That meant 27 or 28 minutes out and the same coming back. My goal for that 55 minutes was at least 10K. After yesterday's slowfest, I knew I needed to pick up the pace a bit, so I started out faster than normal. I was running just over 8:00 pace for the first couple miles before settling into a slightly less demanding 8:15.

Just before I'd left the house, my wife had wondered out loud what traffic was like out toward the school. I decided to go scout it out for her. I ran on the sidewalks along Highway 54 until they ran out and then ran on the wide shoulder. The construction work hadn't started when I ran out to the school. The workers were setting up cones as I ran back into town.

I'm really pleased with my time and pace overall. I quit at 10K even though I hadn't hit 55 minutes. I wanted to save the 10K time since it is one of my best and much faster than the skinny kid I set out to beat when I first started running. (garmin data)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Staying close to home...

When I woke up this morning, the sidewalks and streets were moist. It's been so long since we got any rain that I wasn't sure what had caused this wetness. I knew I hadn't left sprinklers on. Turns out, we got a half inch of rain overnight.

I dressed and headed out the door only to discover the air was electric. Flashes of lightning off to the west made me think twice about running. I thought once. I thought twice. I thought three times and left my driveway. I figured if I ran around the blocks close to home the whole time, I wouldn't get too wet or too electrocuted.

I ran up and down the streets, through parking lots, over little streams, dodging puddles all the way. My left foot was hurting again, but not as badly as it did last week. I'm pretty sure I have a bone out of place. Perhaps a trip to the chiropractor is in order.

After a brief pit stop at the 5K mark, I decided to begin my build up for the Run for Missions 100-miler ( this fall by increasing my time out by five minutes each day. That meant I needed to run at least 50 minutes this morning. I zigged and zagged for another 22 minutes after my break and reached my time goal close to home. I walked for 10 minutes or so to cool down before going in. I was still dripping with sweat when I finished. 78% humidity. Ugh! At least it was a cool 68 degrees. (garmin data)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Love God and man...

“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.” (1 John 2:9-11)

Do you really think you can hang onto grudges, cling to bitterness, act hatefully toward someone else when you are filled with the Spirit of God? You cannot love God and hate your brother or sister or neighbor or coworker at the same time. If the God who loved the world enough to send his Son to die for it is in you, he will love the world through you. His Spirit inside you will cause you to love. You cannot contain the love of God within you. It will spill over into loving action.

Listen to what John wrote later in his letter.

“We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1 John 4:19-21)

God’s command – the one that Jesus said was the second greatest after loving God – is to love your neighbor as yourself.

Are you obeying that command? Do your actions reflect the way that you would like to be treated? How often are your words less loving than you’d like them to be?

If you are struggling to love others, I urge you to cry out to God for help. Confess your sin to him. Ask him to give you a true sense of his love for you. Allow him to love others through you.

Back at it...

I'm not sure why I took last week off or why I didn't run yesterday, but it was definitely time to get back at it this morning. I'm never going to be able to run 100 miles in a day if I don't start increasing my volume. Ugh! It's so miserable running when it's 77 degrees with high humidity. I almost drown!

I woke up at 5:20 and headed out the door about fifteen minutes later. I figured I had time for four or five miles, so I headed east on School and made my way up to Maple to run over to Highway 61. I passed a couple out walking their dogs just before the highway. I ran over to the other side of the street so I wouldn't startle them. When they saw me pass they offered a cheery hello. I returned it and ran on.

I ran south down 61, then turned onto 54 and ran east to Fincham where I turned south again to run down to Sixth. I streetlight at Sixth was out as I approached the intersection, but turned on just as I was about to step into a manhole. Perfect timing! I avoided a potential trip to the asphalt.

I ran across town to Main Street, enjoying myself as much as one can while running. I turned north on Main and ran up the sidewalks. At 54, I had to stop to wait on cross traffic before running on. The motor carrier inspector was waiting there for some poor unsuspecting trucker. He paid no attention to me darting across the road and running on.

Running up the sidewalk I kept a sharp eye out for uneven concrete and ill-parked vehicles. Some guy had parked his pickup across the sidewalk at one point, so I had to run out into the street for a short time. I rejoined the sidewalk and ran on up to Maple.

On Maple I ran east to the church, then turned south on Lawrence. I ran down Lawrence crunching my feet on the new chip-n-seal surface and ran around the weird angles of School/Cambridge/Manor/Edgeford to home where I stopped.

I've cooled down now and really need to get ready for the day quickly. I'm taking my daughter to Hutchinson to shadow a pediatrician. (garmin data)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A quarter century of bliss...

On August 1, 1987, I married the most beautiful woman on planet earth. After courting Susan for nearly three years, I was sure she was the one God had for me. Today, I’m even surer of that than I was then. Through all the ups and downs of the past two decades plus, my wife has been my greatest help, my best friend, my most loyal supporter. She tells me the truth when I’m out of line. She laughs when I’m mildly funny. She cries when I’m wounded. She rolls her eyes when I’m more than a little bit wacky. She offers suggestions when I’m at my wit’s end. She growls when I’m misunderstood by others.

God did a good thing when he brought Susan into my life a quarter century ago. I’m thankful to him for giving me a godly wife. He gives few gifts greater than that.