Friday, March 30, 2012

5.15 miles in 44:11

i did not want to get up this morning. when my alarm went off, i got up, went to the bathroom and actually got back in bed. i was groggy and i just wanted more sleep. then my mind got hyper! when my brain starts zipping this way and that, there's no use lying around. i'm not going to drop off to slumberland. i got up and dressed to run.

i left the house and decided to run out around the cemetery again. i hadn't tried to do that since the dog incident a few weeks ago and i didn't want to let the mutt win. i faced my fears and ran quickly and lightly past his territory. a car going by at about that time probably helped mask the smell of terror that had to be wafting through the air.

i stopped at the highway to tie my shoe which had come undone and then headed south. my first plan was to turn on maple and make my way back home, but a glance at the time told me i could do more than that. i chose to continue on south on the highway and go out and around wal-mart and take in part of the south side of town.

when i neared the trailer court just past the baseball complex, i decided to take a slight detour and run through it. i followed the main drag through the 90-footers and exited onto country club then turned onto sixth. a quick right after the country club apartments took me back a bit to the east before turning north to climb the hill on parklane. i don't know why, but this little looping street is one of my favorites. it just feels like it should be run.

on third, i ran past the hospital then turned north to take in the rest of stout street. i ran to school and then on to home where i stopped at 5.15 miles for the third time in the last six days. kind of a weird mileage to repeat, i know. it wasn't planned. just happened.

after waking my wife up, i stripped off my sweat-drenched idiots running club tech t and walked about 15 minutes to cool down. at 52 degrees it wasn't hard to get back to comfortable. i just wish the humidity would've dropped a bit. at 94% i was drinking the air.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I'm thankful for...

It's Thankful Thursday. What are you thankful for? I asked this question on Facebook and here are the responses I got...
  • God's love and wonderful family and friends!
  • That Thursdays are my day off!
  • I am thankful for you.
  • Sunshine!
  • That I have a God that loves and cares for me all days,
  • That every morning can be a new beginning, not just Jan. 1st. For the Lord's grace and mercy is new every morning. So grateful.
  • Bible study
  • I'm Thankful for my family and friends and the freedom to choose to do what I want every day.
  • The fact that I could post all day long the things I am blessed with
  • I still have two teeth that hit!
  • God and His provision!
  • Ivy Marie
  • Being on a vacation with my youngest in Sacramento, CA, for a week visiting my peeps.
  • Only one more day of work before I'm on Maternity Leave! YAY!
  • Oh, I better get serious! I am so thankful for all my dear friends here in the retirement community in Newberg, Oregon that I have known since my birth in Kansas as well as God's provision for us and being near our two daughters.

Feet up...

"Fear wants to put a stick in our spokes and call it being realistic; faith sometimes puts its feet on the handlebars and just hangs on."

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Five weeks and counting...

Five weeks ago today, on February 22, 2012, I decided I was done drinking pop. I was drinking way too much and I knew it wasn't good for me, so I quit. This isn't the first time I've tried to cut out soda. I've tried numerous times and never made it this far. The difference, this time, is a group of friends on Twitter who are keeping me accountable. Every week that I tweet that I'm soda-free, they reply with encouragement. I'm excited! There are still moments when I want a Pepsi or a NOS or something with caffeine, but those moments are becoming less frequent. I look forward to the day when the temptations are months apart. Can't wait till I've mastered this habit instead of it mastering me.

A woohoo moment in cycling...

I have to admit, I've done this before! Every time I ride through Eastborough, I do my best to blow past their 20mph speed limit. I am so bad!

6.20 miles in 56:28

ugh! when will this awful, sultry weather end? it was 55 degrees out this morning with 88% relative humidity! my clothes were drenched when i got done running. my face glistened and then dripped. ugh!

i'm still in base-building mode, so i didn't really push it all that much this morning. i just ran around the neighborhood covering every street near home. after 3.5 miles, i stopped for a visit to the blockhouse before finishing off the rest of the streets.

it really is kind of hard to keep track of the streets i've run while i'm doing this and to get them all in since i don't like doubling back. try it. you'll see what i'm talking about.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

4.26 miles in 37:06

it was only 60 degrees this morning when i got up. much better than the near 80 degree run i did last night. the only problem was the humidity. last night the relative humidity was at 47%. this morning it was 82%. it was like running in a lukewarm sauna. i'm dripping all over the computer keyboard.

when i left the house this morning, i decided it'd been a long time since i'd seen the other side of main street. i almost always stay in my safe little section of town and don't venture too far afield. today i not only ran past main, i crossed over to the other side of the railroad tracks. i am soooo brave. (the sarcasm is dripping almost as much as my sweat!)

i was going to run down to fifth street and head back toward home, but when i got near the high school i figured i had more than enough time to head south and run past lemon park. i did that and then ran a bit of a zigzag pattern back to the house, arriving at my front steps at precisely 6:30. time to wake my wife up to get ready for the day.

Jesus is lucky to have us...

I suppose I shouldn't laugh too hard at this cartoon since I'm part of the "bracket" Saji is making fun of, but this is pretty funny!

Monday, March 26, 2012

3.10 miles in 25:51

i didn't get a run in this morning, so i thought i'd go out for a little jaunt after work. bad idea! it was 77 degrees with almost 50% humidity. it felt awful and my digestive tract decided it would make things worse. i had to stop for a visit to the blockhouse after each mile. yuck!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

5.15 miles in 45:33

when i was ready to go running this morning, there was a bunch of onions between the front door and screen door. strangest thing that's ever happened before a run. guess I didn't need to worry about vampires last night after all...or is that garlic? either way. it worked. no fang marks on my neck.

after i put the onions away, i took off to run around the neighborhood while i waited for the newspapers to show up so i could deliver them. i ran up and down the streets near home, covering every block on the paper route and then some.

when i swung back past the house, the bundles of news were on the front walk. i grabbed them and went inside where i rolled and rubberbanded all of them. then i ran the route again, flinging papers this way and that till the route was done.

i finished out my workout by taking in a few extra blocks before walking a quarter mile or so to cool down. now to shower and shave before taking the recyclables in and dropping off a movie at the library.

Friday, March 23, 2012

a beautiful ride on a beautiful day!

it was absolutely beautiful out this afternoon. 64 degrees with a light breeze. i had to go for a ride. i called up dan while i was getting ready and talked him into going with me. not that i had to talk all that hard. he's usually up for a ride. of course, he'd ridden 55 miles earlier, so he had to whine a bit about being sore. i ignored him and drug him along.

we had a really enjoyable time, just riding along talking and taking in the sights and sounds of spring. about halfway out to iuka, we stopped and talked with brandon and kathy who were headed back to town on their mountain bikes. they're training for the ride across north dakota later this year. we rode on after we left them and took a little jaunt through iuka and rode out east to the evergreen rest stop before turning around.

riding back was a lot of fun. the tailwind was just enough to make riding fast a temptation. i did sprint for just a little to hit 30mph. i backed off the juice just as dan flew past me. he just kept riding. i knew he'd slow up soon enough and i'd catch him. i did.

we crossed the railroad tracks just before a train came through, so we didn't have any trouble getting home. we're going to clean up and then go to the knights of columbus fish fry before watching "race across the sky" later on tonight.

5.15 miles in 43:48

my fingers are still a little stiff from the cold, but i think i can type this. i guess i should've worn gloves at 41 degrees. who knew?

i woke up early this morning, but took forever to get out of bed and hit the streets. i was just in slow motion. not sure why.

i kicked that draggy feeling when i stepped out the door and ran as well as i expected to this morning. i headed south out of town to do something i'd never done on foot before. i wanted to take on the sharp ups and downs of country club road just beyond lake road where i usually turn and head west. wow! those hills are steeper than i thought! they actually made my lungs heave and my heart pound. woohoo!

i went ahead and ran out to 20th before turning around and repeating the hills going the opposite direction. not sure which was worse. they were steep both ways, but it seemed like the steep downhills were longer on the way back. that, of course, is not scientific fact, just my manly intuition.

i ran back into town and up the hill on howard to home. i had a moment or two when i thought i was going to puke, but it never really developed into anything serious. i finished with just over five miles. i love running!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

2.50 miles in 21:48

it was dry when i woke up. a rare occurrence this week! it's been raining almost all the time since monday afternoon. so i slipped out the door for a hill repeat workout. i ran down the hill just off of terrace and over to maple where i ran up the hill there. i ran down to sunrise came across to the terrace hill and sprinted up it. ugh! i turned around and ran back down, crossed over on sunrise to the hill on maple and ran up it. i repeated this until i was once again stopped by a potential code brown on the way up maple hill. i stopped to get things under control and just walked home.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

6.20 miles in 56.37

it was another humid one this morning. 88% relative humidity is pretty ugly even if it's only 50 degrees out. the air feels so heavy. other than that it was beautiful out. the sky was mostly clear and the air calm with just a breath of a breeze to stir things up.

i wasn't sure what i was going to do when i set out just before 5:30. i only knew that i wanted to take it easy after yesterday's hard run. i started out thinking i'd do the loop out by the college, but a block into that route, i turned south and decided to take in the hill out on country club and lake roads. i hadn't done that in awhile and i had plenty of time to do it.

i ran pretty well most of the time. there was a couple of minutes when it seemed my gut was trying to cramp, but it never succeeded in producing any real pain so i kept going. i spotted deer in the ditch on lake road and also heard the spooky yelping of a band of coyotes. kind of creepy!

back in town, i ran out to the west edge of the city limits and then worked my way back home. i encountered few cars. it was really nice to just hear the light whisk of my feet and nothing much else. at main street i saw another runner. she was headed south toward lemon park. i yelled good morning to her, but she didn't turn. my guess is the music in her ears drowned out my greeting.

i ran on until i had to turn north to wind my way back to the house. i ended my run at exactly 6.2 miles in just under an hour. a perfect recovery run if you ask me.

Monday, March 19, 2012

2.90 miles in 23:08

i had a little time after work for a short run, so i ran my little heart out. i tried for negative splits on this one, but missed them by a few seconds each time. it didn't help that i was starting to have GI issues toward the end. in fact, the "issues" got so bad that i had to stop short and walk in for fear of losing it code brown style. ugh! i'm still happy overall with my workout. i sweat plenty. 82% relative humidity helps with that.

Pray for what?!

“Pray for patience?! Never! All sorts of bad things will happen if I pray that!”

I’ve heard those words come out of the mouths of friends and family members. You have too, right? Maybe you’ve even said such things.

I think most of the time they’re spoken in jest, but sometimes they’re not. When they’re said seriously, they bother me a lot. Such words dishonor our loving God. They suggest that God is mean-spirited or that he doesn’t do all things for our good. They imply that one of God’s good and perfect gifts is somehow flawed and undesirable.

Patience is a gift from God, you know? Listen to these words that Paul wrote to the Galatians.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

Doesn’t this list of qualities include many things you regularly ask for? You ask for joy in the midst of difficult circumstances. You plead for peace when everything around you is falling apart. And haven’t you asked for self-control more than once or twice?

You know you need these good things, so you pray for them. So why would you not, then, pray also for patience? Do you not want God to display his power and glory in your life in this way?

The fruit of the Spirit is the evidence of God’s presence in you. They are traits that God himself possesses. He gives them to each and every one of children, so that those who love him and follow him can show the world what he’s like. So ask God to give you all of them…patience included.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

9.30 miles in 1:25:27

i had to get up early this morning to send my wife and middle daughter off to mexico for a week of missions work. since i was already up, i decided to run. i wanted to run a shamrock shape (not shamrock shake! that's later today!) so i set off running south to start things off. i ran a big loop running south down howard, turning west on sixth street, heading north on main and finishing the loop heading east on highway 54. i continued on east on 54 to highway 61 and went north to maple where i turned west. i ran to larimer and ran south back home where i made a brief stop at the blockhouse.

back out on the streets, i headed south on howard again and took highway 54 west to main. i ran north on main to maple, turned east and ran to larimer which took me south back to the house again. i stopped in to wake my daughter up to deliver papers and then left again.

my last loop took me south down howard to sixth street where i turned east. i ran out to the green sports complex where i stopped briefly to talk with a few friends who were running in this morning's 5K. from there i continued on sixth street until i hit fincham and headed north. when i got to 54, i turned west and headed back to howard.

i hit howard at about 9 miles, so i ran north until i hit 15K, then quit. i walked around the block to cool down, then grabbed my camera and drove down to get a few race shots of my friends. i think they turned out pretty well. hope they enjoy them when they get on facebook after the race.

Friday, March 16, 2012

2.46 miles in 27:56

i came home for lunch and my wife was dressed to run. i asked if she'd already run. when she said she hadn't, i offered to run with her. i changed quickly and we were off. we walked to the highway then started running.

it was a bit warmer than what we were used to...and humid! ugh! we ran almost a mile, walked for a bit, ran some more, walked a bit throughout the run.

when we got back to school street, i decided i'd better go on or i'd be late getting back to work. i sprinted up the hill and ran on to the house where i showered quickly, grabbed some portable food and headed back to my office.

3.10 miles in 24:29

"man, those things are bright!" says the man backing out of his driveway of my knuckle lights.

"that's the idea," says i. "i want to be seen." a great conversation for a foggy morning, don't you think?

i woke up late this morning - late for me is 7:00ish - since everyone else is off for the day and won't be bothering me about breakfast. i got dressed quickly for a run and hit the streets. my back, which has been bothering me almost all week, was a little twingey at first, but it settled down as i warmed up.

since it was dark and foggy, i decided to stay close to home and run on streets that are less heavily traveled. today that meant running the same loop three times plus a little to get in a 5K. my splits were all negative - 8:14, 7:55, 7:35 and 7:19 for the last tenth. i was running pretty hard at the end and enjoyed a little puking episode immediately after stopping my garmin. thankfully, it was just one little heave in the gutter and it was over. you wanted to know that right?

since i had plenty of time left before work, i took an especially long walk to cool down. i picked up a few cans for our church's collection along the way - we use the money from recycling them to send kids to camp every summer - and in the last block a little trash. why do people litter? grrrr!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Strange moments...

This conversation happened in our home last night. It was among the strangest moments in the history of our home. Where did my daughter come up with that question? (Comic made on Pixton.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mascot madness...

Every camera was focused on the players of Western KentuckyUniversity as they erased a 16-point deficit in the final five minutes of their “First Four” game against Mississippi Valley State. The commentators yelled their excitement in the final seconds, trying to be heard above the screaming of the Hilltopper’s fans! March madness at its best!

Off air, another kind of athlete was revving things up, egging the delirious fans on. Big Red, WKU’s big, round, likeable mascot was strutting its stuff. “I consider myself a world-class dancer,” Red boasted in a post-game interview with dailymile. “You have to be athletic to do the stuff I do!”

During the regular season Big Red puts on quite a show at WKU’s home games. Its dancing prowess is complemented with crowd-surfing skills, high-flying dunks and repeated runs up and down the steps of Diddle Arena. “I have to get to those Hilltopper fans,” Big Red reported. “And if you don’t think you have to be athletic to crowd surf, try it yourself.”

Asked about its training plan, the mascot shrugged its shoulders. “I don’t really have a training program. You either have it or you don’t.” Big Red has it for sure, claiming to be more athletic than JeremyEvans, former Hilltopper, who now plays for the NBA’s Utah Jazz. “I can throw down food as well as Jeremy Evans throws down dunks!” Red brags.

Truth be told, however, the Hilltoppers mascot’s supposed athletic dominance is occasionally called into question. Big Red went up for a slam dunk at a home basketball game and its feet flew out from under it. The furry creature crashed to the court on its back. At first, the fans thought it was a joke and laughed. They quieted when it took their beloved mascot awhile to get back up.

The toughest part of being a mascot, according to Red, is having to turn down appearances due to other obligations. Not that it’s a problem most of the time. The red thing has super powers. “I’m like Santa Claus,” it said. “I can be several places in a short time frame.” Like St. Nick, Big Red has to deal with being mobbed by kids. “When I visit local schools, I sometimes ‘borrow’ items to put in my mouth, and forget they're in there. That gets me in trouble every time.”

No one knows now whether the 16th-seed Hilltoppers will put up another “W” against the 1st-seed University of Kentucky Wildcats in the first round of the big dance. One thing that’s sure, though, Big Red will be there cycling or rollerblading or stair-climbing or dancing to rile up the WKU fans! And those Hilltoppers will show their appreciation their favorite off-camera athlete with raucous cheering!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

1.38 miles in 14:52

my wife wanted to run this evening, so we went out for an interval workout. she'd read about them and wanted to give them a try. we warmed up by walking for a bit and then running a few blocks at an easy pace. we did six one block sprints with two blocks of walking or easy running between, finishing at home. we walked to cool down.

Monday, March 12, 2012

4.25 miles in 37:39

it feels good to be running again...really good. i didn't do anything fancy this morning. i just ran at an easy pace through the fog. the knuckle lights came in handy. i'm sure i avoided close calls with a couple of cars when they saw the bouncing lights.

for the next week or two or three, i'm only going to run three or maybe four days. i don't want to do too much too soon and end up injured again. once the base is back and my achilles is closer to 100%, i'll pick up the pace and add miles...lots of them!

i'm thankful i still have eight months to prepare for the run for missions 100-miler.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Show them Jesus...

James makes a bold statement in the middle of his letter to the church: “…faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (2:17)

These words come right after a series of probing questions a true-to-life example of faithlessness everyone in the church could relate to.

“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” (2:14-16)

That last question’s easy enough to answer. It’s no good at all! If someone’s naked and hungry, you dress him and feed him. Even a kid knows that. Duh!

Faith without action is lifeless! No deeds. No faith.

As I read Henry Blackaby’s words in Experiencing God while I was studying for a recent small group time, I was struck by this truth: The things you do show what you really believe.

Let me share some of his quote what I read from the Experiencing God workbook.

“What you believe about God will determine what you do. When God tells you what He wants to do through you, you will face a crisis of belief. What you do next reveals what you believe.” (p. 135)

“What you do reveals what you believe about God, regardless of what you say.” (p. 146)

“When God invites you to join Him and you face a crisis of belief, what you do next reveals what you believe about God.” (p. 149)

“When you face a crisis of belief, what you do demonstrates what you believe.” (p. 150)

I couldn’t escape God’s message. Faith without action is dead! So, my friends, show your faith by what you do! What you do shows what you believe! Show Jesus’ love and patience and care for the world today! Right now!

Criticism okayed...

Here are a few suggestions of when to criticize:
  • When the offense is continual…
  • When it impacts more people than you…
  • When your conscience won’t let you move past it…
  • When you’re assigned a role to suggest improvement (mentor, supervisor, teacher)
  • When it’s against the law…
  • When it violates God’s written Word…

Saturday, March 10, 2012

SocialBro helps me Tweet better...

I discovered a new social media tool yesterday. SocialBro is a diagnostic app that helps me analyze my Twitter account. I can see who's new to Twitter among my followers and friends. I can see who follows me back and who doesn't. SocialBro also tells me if there are inactive tweeps in my community that I can keep following or unfollow. Another great piece of data that the app gives me is the "Best Time to Tweet" feature. It shows when during any given day most of my followers are online making it easy for me to reach them with whatever message I'm dying for them to latch on to.

Friday, March 9, 2012

I want to ride to work...

Pratt, Kan. — A typical weekday morning in February finds many Pratt residents starting the day something like this: trudge out to the car, start the engine, turn on the front blower and rear window defroster, and let the car idle for 5 to 10 minutes.

By the time most back out of their driveways, at least three local residents are well on their way to work. 

Nelson Garcia, Kristen Castleberry, and Mike Neifert buck the norm by commuting on their bicycles. 

Garcia said his mile or so commute normally takes 6-7 minutes if the weather is good but closer to 10 to 15 minutes when it’s windy.

He has never owned an automobile and depends on his bicycle to get him where he needs to go.

“If you ride your bike, you save gas,” he said. “And you can just about get free water everywhere,” which he considers to be like fuel for cyclists.

While riding, Garcia totes a backpack for his belongings and purchases, such as groceries or the 40 pound barbells he once carried back to Wal Mart. He sometimes sports a larger backpack, which he said is “equivalent to the size of washer,” for trips to the Laundromat.

The mountain bike he rides these days was given to him about a month ago by a local couple who are regular customers at McDonalds, where he works.

In the month prior to this he pedaled a children’s bike, borrowed from one of his step grandchildren, after the rims cratered on his 26 inch wheels.

Garcia rides his gray mountain bike rain or shine, though he sometimes opts to either walk or use general public transportation services when it is snowing.

Kristen Castleberry confesses that she is mostly a fair weather commuter, primarily commuting from March or April through November. However, she said she rides to work at least one day out of every month of the year.

Her one way commute to Taylor Printing typically takes 10 minutes, and she averages 8 miles a day, returning home for lunch at noon.

“I started this whole ambition two years ago,” she said, “because one of my co-workers biked to work.” 

Castleberry’s riding is primarily limited to commuting, a leisure ride with her husband, or, in her words, “a random trip to the grocery store for a small item.”

One thing she has observed is that while cycling “a lot more people recognize you” than when driving a car. 

Friends Pastor Mike Neifert also regularly commutes to his work at the church and at Skyline School. He wears a bright orange jacket for visibility.

Neifert began commuting to work when he moved to town seven months ago, because, he said, “everything is close in Pratt.”

He averages 20-40 miles per week commuting but also runs daily and often takes longer bicycle rides into the countryside.

All three commuters consider Pratt a reasonably good town for cycling.

“People are fairly courteous,” said Neifert, adding, “Usually when I get honked at, it’s someone I know.”

“I almost got ran over twice so far,” said Garcia of his five years commuting in Pratt. He added, however, that the majority of people are friendly and that many “drive by and wave.”

Castleberry recalled one positive experience with a motorist.

“One time I was at a light,” she said, “and this lady rolled down her window and said, ‘Hey, it’s good to see you wearing that,’” indicating Castleberry’s helmet.

In closing, Neifert offered this friendly advice to local motorists: “Be alert and watch for us. We’re trying to ride smart, so please drive carefully.”

Brandon Case, The Pratt Tribune, March 3, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I don't forget it...

I have ADHD. Seriously! I went to a neuropsychologist, went through a battery of IQ, educational and psychological tests to find out. I’m on medication now, but there are still moments when I am thoughtless or way too impulsive. The little white and red capsules haven’t taken away my ability to forget stuff either. I forget the trivial and not-so-trivial.

I am an obsessive cyclist and runner. Comes with the territory, I guess. I do stuff that keeps me on the edge. I’m mostly safe, but occasionally, I do dumb stuff. Never had any really close calls. Not really.

A few years ago, I bought one of the popular emergency ID bands so that if my inattention to the world around me got me into a serious medical emergency, the ambulance crew would at least know who to call for info.

I wore that thing on every ride for a month or two, but then I started forgetting to put it on. It just slipped out of my pre-ride or pre-run ritual. I remembered once or twice a week, but much of the time I was ID-less.

Earlier this year, I was introduced to the 1BandID, a newcomer to the market. I ordered a bright orange one with my contact info on it. Less than a week later, it arrived in the mail and I put it on my GPS band. The installation was quick and easy. Wrap the band around the band and the Velcro does its job. I tried it on the short side first. Didn’t work for me. Tried it on the other side. Perfect!

I have not gone for a ride or a run without ID since my 1BandID arrived. (I’m kind of compulsive about my data, you know. Hyperfocus. Gotta love it!) I simply won’t ever leave this one behind.

I still occasionally put on my other band if I’m going on an exceptionally long run or ride because it has the online medical records option in addition to my contact info. Of course, I still have my 1BandID on. The GPS is on my wrist!

GIVEAWAY: Jon was the winner of the drawing for a @1BandID held on Wednesday, March 14 at 5:00am. A big thank you goes to Joe at 1BandID for making this contest possible and making a great product.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Mooooving in...

This was in my office this morning. Strange things are afoot! Wonder what new surprises this day will bring.