Saturday, November 18, 2006

Run With Perseverance

Tomorrow, I've been asked to teach our adult Bible study class at Gayton Baptist Church. It's my favourite passage, Hebrews 12:1-29 -- OK, my favourite passage is verses 1-3:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. [Hebrews 12:1-3, NIV]

If I have internet access during the class, I plan to use this YouTube video clip:



Speaking of running, my run this morning was really nice. I finally got to run a route I've wanted to run for a month or more. I thought it was 9.3 miles but it turned out to be 9.6. At mile 6, I suddenly realized that I felt great. It was one of those in the zone times when I could have kept going. It took me 1:15:08 -- 07:47 mpm.

Run with perseverance,
Bob

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Father's Love; A Son's Joy

If you haven't heard about Dick and Rick Hoyt, their's is a great story -- click the link below to read the story and see the YouTube video:

---> Dick and Rick Hoyt <---

I first read about them a few months back in Runner's World. Even then, I had to wonder if I could or would do that for my son or daughter -- if not marathons and triathlons, I certainly hope I would do something similar.

So, this is dedicated to the world's two greatest kids, Stacey and Stephen -- I love you.

Run life well,
Dad (Bob)

Hebrews 12:1-2

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hair-Raising Experience

... or, as my wife quipped, Bugs in Your Teeth!.

Totally not running related just cool (for me). Prior to heading to Ft. Worth last week, I had our travel people reserve a compact rental car for me. When I got to Ft. Worth around midnight Central Time, I was a bit out of it and not really paying attention to the Thrifty Car Rental attendant. Finally, what she was saying broke through "... soft top ..." That perked me up -- I get to drive a convertible.

Yes, a small thing but I've never driven or ridden in a convertible. Midnight-thirty, driving from DFW to Southwestern Seminary with the top down!! Then, Wednesday and Thursday were absolutely perfect weather for a convertible -- mid-80's. Every chance I got, I had the top down. I wouldn't want a convertible as my main car, but if I were stinking wealthy and were to get a fun car, it just might be a convertible.

Over the weekend, this Pluggers cartoon got me chuckling:

Pluggers and Convertibles

Running? Oh, yeah ... I didn't run between Thursday (Flat Land post) and today. Ran 7.2 great miles today -- 55:41.98 minutes -- 07:43.23 mpm.

Run well, y'all,
Bob
Richmond

Friday, November 10, 2006

Flat Land

I just returned from a trip to Ft. Worth, Tx -- I was talking to prospective missionaries at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. It was a moderately successful trip but no banner headlines.

Of course, I took my running gear. I couldn't run Wednesday morning because I didn't get into my room until about 1:00 am and had an 8:00 appointment. So, I postponed until Wednesday morning and ran 5.7 miles in the area of the campus (click here to see my route -- there are, contrary to my preferences, some overlaps). I knew Ft. Worth and the seminary were flat, but I think over my entire run the maximum elevation change was no more than 22 feet. Now, some folks like flat land running saying that they can run faster. I find that it's harder, overall, than moderately hilly areas because you have to push yourself the whole way. So, I wasn't overly surprised when I was feeling really tired.

Ah, but it seems that those who like flat land may well be right. It turns out that I was tired because I ran faster than normal -- 07:30.59 minutes per mile. I haven't run that fast in 2-3 months. I didn't know my time until after I ran because I refuse to watch my watch while I run. So, "Wa-hooo!"

One of the really nice things about running for exercise is the relative ease of exercising no matter where I am -- pack my shoes, shorts, and shirt and I'm set to go.

Run well,
Bob

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.... (Hebrews 12:1-2a -- NIV)

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Not for Wimps

Tuesday I had a bit of knee-twinge so took Wednesday off. Thursday and Friday I tried the elliptical machines at the YMCA. I have to confess that my impression of the elliptical machine -- from the perspective of someone who had never tried one but only watched others -- was that it was easy. "They" say that confession is good for the soul, right? Well, here's my confession: The elliptical machine is not for wimps. It was hard and I am sore. I apologize to all the ellipticalites out there.

Friday, when I finished 30 +/- minutes on the elliptical, I had to stretch out those muscles so I hopped on the treadmill for a quick mile. My legs went, "Ahhhhhh! We know this motion." The nice discovery was that my knee seemed fine so I can go back to running.

The second nice discovery is that the elliptical is an excellent cross-training device as it works different muscles and can provide some balance to running.

Slept in on Saturday. That may have been smarter than I thought since the low Friday night was about 24°. I ran 6.8 miles this morning in 30° weather. The leaves are just past their peak here but were still pretty. And, what a beautiful sunrise as I finished at 6:30!

Run well,
Bob

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

What a Pain

Sunday morning I just decided not to run. It was the right decision and I really didn't miss it. But Monday, I was ready to hit the road and did a longer run.

Then, yesterday, my loose plan called for 5.3 miles. Off I went but right at 4 miles, I had this sudden sharp pain in my right knee. I slowed way down, thinking that walking the last 1.3 miles with a painful knee was not going to be fun. But, it eased off and I moved my pace back to normal and finished. The rest of the day, my knee didn't hurt but it just felt weird -- like it was going to buckle. Today became an unplanned rest day. It felt strange until about mid-day but then felt normal. I think I'll take at least one more day off and see. I might go to the "Y" and hit the elliptical machine. That will be a new experience but it's supposed to be good aerobic exercise without the pounding.

Bob

Runner's World Fast Fact: I'm among 63% of runners who run in the morning and 19% who run before dawn.

Saturday Fireworks

All week I had anticipated a long run on Saturday. I had a new route I wanted to try and it had been a couple of weeks since I had done more than my normal, so I was planning 9-10 miles. The only problem was that the weather prediction was rain. I woke up earlier than necessary but that was OK -- I like pre-dawn. It was cloudy but wasn't raining. Off I went and was feeling pretty good.

Then around 3 miles out, a few drops of rain. Not good but it's warm and I really don't mind, too much, running in the rain. Still ... rain equals wet feet and wet feet and long don't go well together. I'm already considering cutting back to about 6.6 miles.

Whoa! Lightning? Hmmmm. There it is again and, yes, it is lightning. Decision's made -- I'm heading home. Uh-oh -- I'm a long way from home -- it's at least as far back the way I came as continuing on the 6.6 miles. Nothing to do but push on and pray that the lightning stays a long way off (if every second's delay between the lightning and the thunder equals a mile, then the bad storm is still 5-7 miles away).

Just after making a turn, I realize that I can cut through a neighbourhood up ahead and shave a few more tenths of a mile off. However, now it's pouring down rain -- we're talking stinging rain, so much rain that I can't see through my glasses, dense enough of a downpour that I have to run right up to the street signs to read them. I ended up doing the last 2.5 miles with my glasses in my hand, every step feeling like I've just stepped into a water-filled pothole, and wondering what stranger's porch I'm going to stand on if the storm catches me. (Can you imagine coming out of your house to get the paper early Saturday morning and finding a dripping wet stranger on your porch? That's definitely a last resort option.)

Finally, I'm home and stretching and ... wouldn't you know it ... the rain stops. Still, it was a good run and a good time -- lightning is a great motivator!

Run well,
Bob