Sorry, it’s been a few weeks but a break was needed. I was feeling overwhelmed. I try to read all the posts but it seemed like every time I turned around, there were another fifty posts and I couldn’t keep up. I have to learn to prioritize and I believe I have. Only have so much time in a day.
I was also reading Dean Koontz new book The Crooked Staircase. Another great book and a page turner that I didn’t want to put down.
Good news is I started running outside. I think all my problems from before with not being able to breathe or run more than a mile without stopping all had to do with being inside. The first time I ran outside I did three miles without stopping and at a pretty decent pace. Second run outside I did two miles a little faster.
Then this weekend I ran the bike trails. I probably did more than I should have but I haven’t ran them in six years plus and it was good to be out there again. Both are six miles and a difficult terrain. Lots of ups and downs and turns so I knew I wouldn’t go fast, it was all about building endurance and distance.
Saturday I would say I ran about five and a half miles of the six. I ran over three miles without my first break and then when I did take breaks, they were short, less than thirty seconds, then back to running. My breathing was good.
Sunday was a little different. I ran the other six mile trail and my legs were tired from the day before. Plus it rained Saturday night so parts of the trail were really muddy. Six years ago when I was running fast it would have been fun. But just getting back into it I didn’t feel like slipping and falling and possibly being injured or break something. I believe I managed to run four or so of the six miles. Lots of walking.
I love these trails. It breaks up the monotony of running on paved roads. They force you to slow down and run for fun. I love the obstacles.
I was glad I was able to get out and figure out I will be okay.
Kind of like life, sometimes you need the unpaved, muddy roads with obstacles in your way to overcome them and know you made it through and you will be okay.
Here is a recap of last years training and race. The Ups and Downs of Training a 9/10 Year Old- and my spiritual life
Needless to say it was a struggle. I am proud to say I grew up. Last year it was all about pushing Kylie and Brinley, mainly Kylie. You have to get the miles in or you won’t finish. You have to do this or you have to do that and getting push back from Kylie.
This year was different. This year it was let’s get what you can in , do what you can and see what happens. Kylie was sick for a week and half and then a week after she recovered Brinley was sick for a week. Throw in the heat and humidity on top of that and there wasn’t much training going on. I really don’t think they even ran ten times in six weeks. They did do a five miler on the treadmill but the outdoor runs were always less miles than they were supposed to be because of the heat.
Was I ever surprised on race day. Even though it was hot they both set personal records. No, let me change that. They smashed their time from last year. Last year they finished in 1:17:22 (11:49 per mile pace). This year Kylie finished 1:09:48 (10:40 per mile pace). She took almost 8 minutes off last year, 1:09 minute per mile faster. Brinley finished in 1:12:18 (11:03 per mile pace). She took almost 5 minutes off last years time.
Kylie was strong the entire race. She surprised me at the water stations. I thought she would stop and walk but no, she stopped, drank, and was off. Maybe it was the music. This is the first race Kylie ran with music. Brinley started to struggle around mile four.
I ran ahead with Kylie because there was no stopping her and then I would run back and check on Brinley. Then go back up to Kylie and so forth. The last time I checked on Brinley a couple moms had taken her under her wing and said we got her, run with the other one. I love the running community.
After Kylie’s second mile she was faster each mile after that. That was even after taking a short walk break around four and half because her toenails were hurting. She even took another small walk break around five and half just to catch her breath from the heat. Those were her two fastest miles, beside mile one.
Anyway , I am so proud of both of them. Just goes to show you everyone trains differently. Some need pushed, some will just do their thing.
By the way, Kim had another strong run. She did awesome in the heat also. She finished in 1:42:04.
Then afterwards they celebrated at our church. Our church had youth small group kick off that night so they had lots of fun. Very busy day and they were wiped out when we got home. Their legs were sore the next day.
Go Big Or Go Home by American Authors –
Rock On by Tucker Beathard – one of Ky’s favorites right now
Say Something by Royce Lovett –
Play It Again by Luke Bryan – Can’t talk about Kylie without Luke
I ran today. Without pain. I don’t remember the last time I ran without pain. It was a lot easier to run, let me tell you that. I didn’t even realize I had no pain until I was finished and was like hhmm, that was fast and felt good. Then I got to thinking, did I have pain yesterday? I don’t think I did.
I had ran with pain for so long that I had gotten used to it. It was just an every day part of my life. A pain and irritating but it didn’t stop me from running. Well, it did stop me from running like I used to but I could still run.
Which brings me to my topic for today. Running with sin. How many of us are so used to sinning that we don’t even think about it anymore. It has just become a part of our lives. Lying, cheating, addiction, idol worship, spending more than we make, etc… We don’t even think it is wrong anymore, it’s just become a part of who we are.
We limp around everyday with the sin on our back. It doesn’t stop us from living. Not only sin but let’s talk about shame, guilt, fear, pride, etc.. The monkey is on our back but we just keep on going. Sometimes we add on to it until the weight becomes so much we can longer carry it. Then we break.
The smart thing for me to do when I am injured is to slow down. Take a few days off. Rest my injury so I can get back to a pain free run. However, I usually don’t heed that advice and keep going until it heals, which takes longer, or it hurts more, or I just get to the point I ignore it.
When I run with sin what should I do? Stop doing it. Pray to God to help me. I know it’s wrong but some things will take more than me knowing it for me to stop. I need to break the addiction. I need someone to hold me accountable. Maybe it’s a best friend or my pastor or someone I will trust to be honest with me. Confess my sins and know that I am forgiven. Fight another day. Let the guilt, shame, pride, fear go. Give it all up.
I don’t want to run with sin. I want to run with God and there is only one way I know how to do that. Give it all to Him. Work on it every single day. Before I know it, I will wake up one day and truly be free. I will be able to live my life without all the junk and pain I added to it.
How about you? Are you tired of running with sin? Want to be able to live free?
First, I would like to give a shout out to our National Champions.
Chris Landry won the men’s race in 1:02:52. Yeah, you read that right. 4:48 per mile pace. Holy crap. He outran second place, Scott Fauble, by 14 seconds.
Tara Welling won the women’s race in 1:10:25 . That’s a 5:23 per mile pace. She outran second place, Desiree Linden, by 41 seconds.
Another big shout out to the wife, Kim, who, only twelve days after running the Boston Marathon and two days after turning 47, finished in 1:39:10. This placed her second in her age group, 45-49. That’s also a top 6% finish for all runners.
Average Pace : 7:35
Overall Place :353 out of 6067 Gender Place :60 out of 3467 Females Age Group : 2 out of 304 Females in the F45-49
Once again I bit off more than I could chew. Last year, I knew I wasn’t ready. I hadn’t ran more than five miles before the race so I ran a 2:15. 35 minutes slower than my normal half marathons and 40 minutes off my PR. This year, I have had ups and downs in my training but was feeling decent for this race. One day would be good, three-five miles at 7:30ish pace. The next day would be crap, like not being able to run 5 miles without stopping. I ran 10.70 miles in Boston and it was the best I felt in a long time. My pace was 8:26, about a minute off my normal pace pre-injury. Then three days later I couldn’t run two miles without stopping. What the heck!!
I didn’t have much expectation. Yes, I would like to have been 1:45 and under but realistically, I knew that wouldn’t happen. Let’s go for under two hours and if that fails, let’s just beat last year since I know I am better than last year at least.
The good – I told myself I would go at least five miles before walking through a water station, I went eight. My first three miles were 7:49, 7:37, 7:56. I felt good. Through 8 miles I was on pace to finish at 1:47. That’s the end of the good.
I stopped at the water station at mile 8 coming off High Street and that’s when the crap hit the fan. The instant I stopped, my legs felt tired. My thighs felt beat up and my left hip was aching. I was light-headed and got dizzy for a second. That’s never happened before. I started to run again and only ran about half a mile before I had to stop again. I was thinking good thoughts. Less than five miles to go, you can do this, etc..
I ran and walked the next two miles and was thinking okay , only a 5k left to go. Piece of cake. It was then I couldn’t breathe right. This happened once a few weeks ago when I was running with Kim. I don’t know how to explain it other than I could tell air was leaving my lungs, but it didn’t feel like air was going into my lungs, and my body. It didn’t feel like my heart was working I guess you could say. Now I have to wonder if something is up with my heart. Maybe I am just falling apart at the ripe old age of 45.
I don’t remember much of the last three miles except I knew I was being careful and almost thought about stopping. But then I wouldn’t get the medal at the end.
Silly thought I know since I couldn’t breathe. I just kept telling myself run until you can’t then walk until you can. I was mad at myself but still had 2 hours in sight. Then pretty much a quarter mile of the last one third a mile is uphill and I just couldn’t get it going. I finished in 2:01:38, a 9:18 per mile pace. Exactly two minutes per mile off my pace of 7:18 three years ago. I beat 63% of the people running but to me it was a failure and a let down. Yes, I know for most runners I did pretty good and I should be happy but for me and what I used to run it is aggravating.
Ave Pace: 7:18per mile Overall Place : 233 out of 8120 Gender Place :203 out of 3394 Males Age Group : 27 out of 466 Males in the M40-44
or this :
Flying Feather 4 miler in 2011
Those were the good old days.
I even told my wife after the race that I am done racing. I was backing out of the Nationwide Children’s full marathon in October and everything. I am sore and in pain, like I was after my very first half marathon. I don’t know what to do. I feel really good if I stay between three and six miles. I can run in the 7’s per mile and not be tired. Maybe I should just stay in that range for awhile. Maybe I should get the surgery done. Maybe…..
When I am healthy, I like running long however I have to get it in my head I am not healthy. I still have a torn meniscus. I have to remember it took me years to get to where I could do a half marathon in 1:35. What makes me think I can do it after taking two years off? Yes, I ran last year but I didn’t do 200 miles for the entire year. I have just started in January running at least twenty miles per week so I have really only been getting back to it for four months. My mind won’t listen. It keeps thinking my body is like it was three years ago. No wonder professional athletes have such a hard time retiring.
Well, let’s see what the future holds. Will I retire from racing and just run for fun or will I return better than ever? Only time, and my body, will tell.
Thanks for reading. Have a blessed day.
I started to write this Saturday night when I was in a lot of pain. Two days later, I am much better. Only a little sore. I have found a new perspective. The best year of my running was also my worst year personally. Three years ago my marriage almost ended, my dad passed away and I tore my meniscus at the end. Maybe I just need to start over. Start from scratch and build my way up.
Which also brings me to God. How even in our worst moments, He can bring a ray of hope. How He doesn’t ask us to start over, He says come to me now, no matter what you have done, or where you have been, or how many times you have sinned, come to me as you are.
What a wonderful feeling to know that we have a God like that.
Let me just say I-80 across Pa is one long, boring drive. It seemed like I was the only car on the road for most of it. I didn’t come up with any new poems or thoughts to write about because I was so bored. I figured my mind would be going everywhere but it went to sleep while I drove.
Saturday was just check in day and Expo day. We went to the Expo to get Kim’s running bib. Of course if you go to an expo, you have to spend money. We bought a few Boston shirts. Spent less than two hours there and had to pay $40 for parking garage. Seriously, $40 for two hours. Let’s take advantage of the runners and their families. I don’t know, maybe parking is always that expensive in Boston.
We went to a place called Fire & Ice in Harvard Square to eat dinner. Interesting experience and the food was yummy. We actually ate there Saturday and Sunday night. Basically, the food is set out raw and you go pick what you want to eat, take it to the middle where the cooks are and they cook it up for you. Look here, after I was up for forty hours, with only a 30 minute nap, look who bonked out at nine, not me. I was out shortly after.
I know Boston is east and I know the sun rises in the east, I just didn’t expect it to be coming in our hotel window at five am. I was going to get up at six anyway to go for a run but wasn’t expecting to be woke up at five by sunlight. I went out on my run to conquer Heartbreak Hill, which I mapped to be five miles from our hotel. Being in the zone like I was, I went down Beacon Street to Chestnut Hill Ave Reservoir to Commonwealth, but I went right like an idiot instead of left. Just running along and not paying attention, saw a sign for Commonwealth and took it. See the pic below where I made a right,between miles 3 and 4, I should have went left around the reservoir. Interestingly enough, there was a big hill exactly at the five mile mark and it was exactly half a mile long, just like Heartbreak Hill. So I didn’t actually go to Heartbreak Hill but I did run a pretty nice hill that was the same length as Heartbreak. This was the best I felt on a run in a long time. Only stopped to take a few pics below.
I did go home and ran the Newton Hills and Heartbreak Hill on my treadmill. Wasn’t that bad, but I didn’t run the 20 miles before it either. 🙂
The rest of Sunday was just Kylie and me day. Kim stayed at the hotel to rest for the race. Kylie and I went to the Museum of Science, she loves stuff like that. We had a good time. Spent three hours there then took the subway to Boston Commons. We then decided to walk the 2.5 mile Freedom Trail. Lots of history and places to see. We didn’t actually make it the entire way. Once we crossed the bay we decided to go left back to the Museum of Science and call Kim to come pick us up. Our legs were hurting. Mine probably more than hers but she was tired also.
It was a great experience for our family. I don’t know if I could live in downtown Boston area but Cambridge, Harvard area, oh yeah. Loved where we stayed. I could run by the Charles River and over to the path by the river by The Museum Of Science or can run to Heartbreak Hill, the right direction.
Kim did qualify for next year so maybe we will see Boston again. I won’t drive next time, be cheaper to fly and avoid all the parking garage fees.
No music today, will just leave you with some pics.
Well here I am home from NYC. Be prepared for a long read. As you know I was thrilled to find out that last year running the Columbus Marathon that I qualified for NYC marathon and Boston. I do what I love to do and it is to run. I ran my long runs and ran the NYC marathon on our treadmill (we have one of the ifit google map ones where we can run anywhere in the world) over and over again. I was also battling my back issues with L3-4 injury along with bulging disc. Went on with training and starting to have hamstring issues and glute issues as well. I just kept training and icing. There were times while training my runs would consist of my left leg buckling under me on the road or on treadmill. The only way I can explain it is I felt at times that I was going to fall. I continued to fuel ( w/ Arbonne) and eat clean, like I always do. I wanted to do my best when NYC was here. I was aiming for 3:30 finish time. I did Columbus in 3:42 so why not do better. I can say that NYC is a tough course! It was truly an experience from getting up at 4 am to walking to the subway to get to Staten Island Ferry and catch the ferry at 6am to then get on a bus to take us to the start. Once off the bus you then walk to your village to stay there and wait for your wave. I was in the orange village. Once in your village you are just outside waiting for your start time ( mine was 9:50). Imagine being outside that long just to start a race! Just sitting on the ground keeping warm and stretching and talking to whomever or sleep. Your wave gets called and it is time. Time to pound the ground for 26.2 miles through the city of New York and crossing 5 bridges. What a true way to see the city. The start came and I was able to get some pictures when I took off. It was packed! As my race began I was feeling good. Did not feel as nervous as I thought I was going to be once it started. My first half ( 13 miles) I felt good. I thought I had a good pace going and was able to look around and take in the crowds and see some of the buildings. Then mile 14 I felt pain in my back and it would go down my left leg. That feeling of buckling under came and went throughout the rest of the race. I told myself I was not going to stop.
I knew at times I would have to walk but I was not going to stop. Then I saw him and Kylie and pointed to my leg. I knew I was done, I knew I was not going to finish in the time I wanted and it started to get to me. I was getting disappointed and in pain. I powered through and recall texting Rob “pain” around mile 19. Needless to say I finished in 4:17 ( by far my worse run). I crossed the finished line w/ mixed emotions of joy, accomplishment, sadness and disappointment. What will others think of me after I told them what I was aiming for? What will Rob think of me let alone my children Kylie, Kelsey, Kayhla and Kirstie?
I looked up into the heavens and knew that God was proud of me! That I do know!! Once crossing the line all I wanted was to get to my family. The long walk to get them was nuts. You get the malar wrap to keep you warm and then a bag of recovery fuel and food then the warm poncho. Still no family. To walk that walk and to see all the other runners with smiles or pain was overwhelming. So many runners getting help from the medics for whatever reason was nuts. I had some that came to me and asked if I was okay. I finally got to my family and it was the best feeling ever. Rob and Kylie were so sweet and loving to me as we walked back to the hotel. I still felt disappointment, and pain, as we walked.
Not much was said on the plane ride back to Ohio or the ride home. I just wanted to shower and go to bed. Monday came and I was sore and still heartbroken. I believe I slept most of the day until it was time for my training sessions in the evening. Yep, right back to work I went (I just didn’t do the workouts). I felt like a failure when my clients came but they did not see me that way, they saw me as an inspiration, they saw me as an encourager, a fighter. Why could I not see myself that way? Tuesday was not any better, ever little thing set me off and I cried. Was this going to stop? Was I going to be able to put this race behind me and let it go and move on? I knew deep down I was going to get to that point of letting it go. Maybe God was waiting for me to learn from this experience before I could move on.
As I look back on this today ( while stretched out on the couch with pain shooting down my glutes and legs) I am wondering what does God want me to take from this? I am a winner, regardless of my time, I accomplished something only others wish they could do. He is teaching me that running does not define me ( regardless of time). He is also reminding me that I have to take care of the temple ( body) he gave me, it is the only one I have. I need to take time and recover, slow down etc. something I am NOT good at by any means. I always want to run. I need to remember I have a family that counts on me and wants me around for years to come. My take away from this. I know I am playing the should of, would of, could of thoughts in my mind and beating myself up. I can not let this get the best of me. As my new friend (Theresa) told me don’t let it get to me, grieve over it but don’t let it eat me. Grieving I am ( maybe only a runner understands) but I know it won’t define me. I know yesterday I did not wear my medal because I was down and for that I am sorry. Like I have been hearing I am a winner, I accomplished something huge, I FINISHED!
I know I beat myself up. I know I push myself way too much. It is time to scale back and take it slow. I am going to take some time off from running and will replace it with strength training, core work, and yoga ( I have to do something). I have Boston coming up in April and I want to be healed. I want to thank all of you for your prayers and encouragement along the way. I am a winner and I know that (even though it does stink at times when I still think about it) and I know I am loved and made people proud. It truly is a tough course, I will give NYC that. I am so glad I qualified. I won’t say I will not do it again because knowing me I will be back to conquer the course. #TCSNYCmarathon .
My God let me take on the experience of a life time. This marathon, regardless of how big I thought it was, does not define me. I am a runner, regardless if I finished at 4:17, I am a marathon runner. However, even running does not define who I am. So be it I was able to qualify for awesome marathons, so be it I am able to run each and every day. That does not make who I am. What makes me is that I am a child of God and He loves me regardless of my time on a race clock or a Garmin watch. I am a mother to four beautiful girls and three grand children. I am a wife to a wonderful, devoted Christian man and they love me regardless of the time on the clock. My family needs me and I need them. They need me to be injury free so I can be there for them any hour, any minute of the day. God needs me to be His obedient servant and use my talents that He has blessed me with. The people I help overcome the fear of running a 5k (3.1 miles) for their first time in Run For God classes. My clients that I push on a daily basis for them to overcome them saying “I can’t lift this, I can’t jump that.” The elementary girls that I served as their coach in Girls On the Run. That is what God remembers, He does not remember the time on the clock, the number of laps completed. He remembers us being His children. What defines us is how we overcome our setbacks, and this was a setback for sure. I did not get my time I wanted but I finished none the less. I accomplished something huge that November morning and it will forever be etched in my brain and on my heart.
This race defined how tough and determined I am and that I can do all things when God is on my side. He is the one who got me through to the end–to finish and I thanked Him for that when I crossed. I am taking this time and allowing God to come into my soul even deeper, I know there is a reason behind His works and it is not for me (or us) to question them but to have faith and know He is here and He has walked what we have experienced. I am not a failure!! I am a winner, I am a runner and more importantly I am a child of God who loves me regardless, as so does my family. To top this all off, God works in wonderful ways, He knows my spirits were down and He knows I was getting up and dusting myself off and what arrives in my mailbox Wednesday?…..2016 Boston Marathon Confirmation of Acceptance letter. Yep, time for me to let it go, rest, heal my back and hamstring, get a doctors perspective of my injuries and what to do because I have 5 months to show that I can and will overcome and I will be that 3:30 marathoner.
Running With God – Christian Motivation –
You Can Live Your Dream – Motivation –
The Sound Of Footsteps – Motivation –
Running Through Hell – Motivation –
Running In The Rain – Motivation –
I Will Fight – Christian Motivation –
The Strength of God Resides In You – Christian Motivation –
My wife, Kim, ran the TCS New York City Marathon on November 1st. She wanted to do 3:30 and was on pace for it for 14 miles then…
I call Kim the 7:30 per mile runner. She runs on a treadmill so much that she almost always is in that area. It doesn’t matter if she runs a 5k, 10k or 13.1 miles (half marathon). Her pace per mile is always within 2-3 seconds of 7:30. I pushed her, as well as a couple friend runners, to get out of that zone and she did. During training she actually ran a 5k race under 7:00 per mile and she did a couple long runs where she was in the low 7:10 range. Even on her longer run of 17-18 miles she was doing 7:40-7:45 miles. A couple training runs her left leg would give out on her for a second but we didn’t think much of it.
For the first time ever she actually scaled back before a race. She only ran 9 miles the week of the race, and usually she would do 20-25. She did everything right for this race. She was going to hit her goal of 3:30.
Then mile 14 her leg started to give out. By the time she reached where we were at mile 16 she looked at me and said pain and pointed to her left leg. Then at mile 19 she actually stopped and texted me PAIN!!!! Maybe she should’ve stopped but I know her and if you are a runner you know you won’t stop unless you are dead. She had to walk several times and actually had some miles that were 12-13:00 minutes. She did finish in 4:17, by far her worst marathon but it was still an experience.
My wife took it hard. If you know her you know she was mad, sad, disappointed, and heart-broken. She felt physically, mentally and spiritually broken…for a minute. Then she said she won’t let this define her or who she is. This is just one race.
Which brings me to today’s topic. We all have disappointments. Times when someone or something lets you down. Times when we think God has let us down. Times when our whole being is tested. Times when we think our whole world is falling apart.
How you respond is how you will live your life. You can get right back up or you can wallow in your defeat. You can get mad at everyone around you or you can welcome them into your home so they can encourage you and help pick you up. You can turn away from God or you can get closer to God.
How will you let your disappointments, setback and failures define you? Do you forgive those that disappoint you? Do you forgive yourself for your own disappointments, mistakes, setbacks?
Do you let it define who you are in God? God only sees you as His child. He loves you and wants you to succeed. Like any parent though, sometimes He lets you do it on your own so that your character will grow.
I love how God uses the simple everyday things in my life to show me how that relates to my faith. In training Kylie and Brinley for their first 1/4 marathon, God once again has shown me how training them is also reminding how my walk with Him is going.
God’s smile ?
First off, as I posted earlier in It’s All About Me – A Child’s Version, training Kylie didn’t go like I – key word is I – thought it would go. I had a plan all set out that week one we would do three runs and do x amount of miles each time. Week two we would do three runs and increase the miles to x each time and on and on. Kylie and Brinley are both experienced at running 5k’s. Kylie is more experienced but both have done many of them. Each week Brinley would always surprise me at how she just did what was asked of her and never complained. This is Brinley’s personality. She is easy-going and just goes with the flow. Kylie was always complaining, I have to walk, my ankle hurts, my side hurts, etc. and it was very frustrating to me. I knew she could do better but for whatever reason she wasn’t in it. Kylie is also stubborn and set in her ways but she can also be determined and easy-going also. If she doesn’t want to run, she won’t. But when she does, look out.
What a beautiful day God gave us.
This reminded me of my walk with Jesus. As I am training to be a better Christian I let my stubbornness and my set ways get in the way. I know I can do better and I know I can do more than I am doing but for whatever reason I take steps back. Today I can go all day being in the light and praying and feeling like the Holy Spirit is in me and I feel overwhelmed with joy. Tomorrow I can say but God, I really don’t feel like praying today. God I really don’t feel like talking to others about You today. I know I can do better because I have done better and I love how I feel when I am filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit but yet I say I can’t, I don’t, I won’t when I should be saying yes I can, yes I do, yes I will.
I think only one week we did what was planned. I think we only had two weeks where we ran three times and we only were up to five miles the Monday before the race, and that was just because soccer practice was canceled. Race day morning I was just hoping they would be under one hour and thirty minutes and not walk half the race. As we were talking to the girls Kylie said it isn’t about our time, all that matters is that we finish. This reminded me of how many times God has said go and I said God, I am not prepared. I am not ready yet God. Give me another week or two to read more about you. Give me more time to memorize some Bible verses. God I can’t start that because I can’t finish it. I forget that God is in control. When I don’t know what to say, He will give me words to speak. Christian life isn’t about being perfect, it is about obeying God and doing the best with the abilities He has given you. He will do the rest. It isn’t about how long it takes or where you start, it’s about how you finish. The first thirty years of your life might have been terrible but don’t let it define the next thirty years. (check out Joyce Meyers story.)
During the race the girls were so awesome. One time at mile two Kylie said she needed to walk so we walked about ten seconds then we ran. We stopped at three water stations (mile 1.5, 3, 4) for less than ten seconds at each and the fourth one at 5.5 they grabbed the water but kept running. I remember Kylie asking when is the next water station. I would tell her how far we had to go. We ran with the 1:20 pace group which was an average of 12:13 per mile. I thought it would be great if we could stay there but I thought we would drop back some. Remember I thought we would be closer to 1:30.
This reminded me of all the times I have asked God how much longer God? I can’t keep going through this. I can’t take this anymore. I am so tired. God answers with just a little more. Hang in there and you will get your water. Just keep going, put one step in front of the other. But God, I want this to be over now. God says just a little longer, you are almost there, don’t quit. I am not done molding you yet. You will overcome this and be a stronger person. But God, I can’t keep up with this pace. Yes you can. I am here with you.
Also during the race the other runners were amazing and so encouraging. Way to go girls. You girls are amazing. How old are they? Wow, I couldn’t do this when I was ten. Look at those little girls, if they can do this I can. Keep going girls, you are inspiring the rest of us. There were also families on the sidelines with young kids that said look they are doing it, maybe you can do it next year.
This reminds me of all the people in my life that are encouraging me. The ones that tell me I am doing what God wants me to do. The ones that thank me for writing, that I am encouraging them in their walk. You don’t have to make miracles happen to encourage others, just do what God wants you to do with the abilities He has given you. Thank you to all that are encouraging me.
Between 4.5-5 miles the girls were laughing and telling jokes. At one point they were laughing so hard I don’t see how they kept running. I encouraged them to keep at it. Make it fun. If telling jokes gets you through these last two miles then tell away. At mile 5 I told them that at mile 6 we can leave the pace group if they are feeling strong and finish before them. They surprised me with their answer. Remember they only ran 5 miles once during their training so I thought they would be getting tired now. They said let’s go now, we feel good. So we said goodbye to the pace group and took off. The girls were still having fun and were touching all the cones in the roadway to “get that extra power.” Whatever it takes. Around 5.5 miles Kylie said she felt like she was getting blisters and was breathing harder. I asked her if she needed to walk or keep on going since we only had one mile to go. She surprised me with keep going. I honestly expected her to say walk. Around mile 6 she looked back and said we are way ahead of the pace group now and smiled. As we approached the finish line I started to run faster because I wanted to take a picture of them crossing the finish together. Well they took off with me. I went a little faster and then they went a little faster. I said oh so this is how it’s going to be then let’s go. They both started laughing and sprinted across the line. I slowed down to take a picture from behind because I knew I wasn’t going to get in front of them and have time to turn around and take a picture. Mile 13 for the half, 6.45 for us. .1 to go – look where the pace group is Dad.This is how my walk with God is. I try to be serious and make sure I have all the right words and all the right songs but that isn’t what God wants. He wants us to have fun and enjoy this life. I also have to remember that to get where I am going, I need to leave the comfort of where I am. Maybe I am hanging out with the wrong people. Maybe I have just gotten comfortable and don’t want to get outside my box. God tells me to go. Tear down these walls. You can do it. The devil gives me a setback or I do something stupid and give myself a setback but I have to keep going. I may be hurting but I know I have to keep moving forward to get to that finish line. I know when I get there and I see my loved ones that have gone before me and meet Jesus face to face, I will be smiling and laughing as I cross that finish line, just like these girls did when they finished this race. Official time 1:17:22 (11:49 pace). Awesome.
I am so proud of Kylie and Brinley. I had high expectations going into training but lowered them before the race. They did so much better than I thought they would. They had fun, they laughed, they talked, they encouraged others, they finished strong. I wore my Run for God shirt and had people look at it and ask me about it. It gave me the opportunity to share a little. The girls doing this showed others that they can do this also. You just have to go out and do it.This reminded me that God has high expectations for us. We might not have high expectations of ourselves but God has made us for a purpose. He believes in us and loves and accepts us as we are. It isn’t to dwell on our mistakes and failures and have a life the devil wants us to have. God has given you an ability, go out and use it. God will show you what to do with it, you just have to be willing to go out and do it.
Then we celebrated their achievement with our friend Deanna. Don’t forget to celebrate your achievements in your walk with God. All glory goes to Him.
Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Before I start, it gives me great joy to tell you that our youngest daughter, Kylie, who is 9 is being raised in knowing God and knowing what a true Ohio State Buckeye fan is, even though she tells me she is going to go to OU, not OSU. One of my wife’s clients invited us to go to Gull Lake, a Christian family vacation retreat, which is in the state north of Ohio. When Kylie found out we were going she said ” Seriously, we have to go to that state up north. I can’t even say that word. UGGHH! ” Yes, raise ’em the right way while they are young. Go Bucks.
Now on to the running. To me, running and my faith are both a lot alike. Both are 90% mental. Some days I feel like I can run forever. Other days I feel like I shouldn’t even be out there. Some days I hit a wall and stop. Other days I push through that wall and overcome that voice in my head. I have found out the hardest part is always the first step. If I put on my shoes, I am out the door hitting the pavement. If I open my bible, I will read it. If I procrastinate, it usually won’t happen.
One example of the mental part of running is me running with my wife. I could go and run 7:20 miles all day without her, but then run with her at 7:40 pace and not be able to keep up. I could never beat her in a race either until one race I did. Then that mental block was gone and I finished before her every race after that.
Another example is for my wife. She said she would never run a marathon. It took me years to convince her to run one. After she finally did, now she can’t stop. She has ran two and qualified for New York City and Boston, which we will be going to. Once you get over the mental part of anything, running, faith, or anything else, you never know where it may take you.
My wife is also leading her first Run For God class at our church. She doesn’t like talking in front of people but when you start to live your life for God, He will put you in places you never thought you would be. We have helped out in other Run For God classes at another church and have seen how it has helped hundreds of people that said they could never run a 5k. The amount of pride and joy you see in these runners/walkers when they cross the finish line is amazing. I encourage you to find a Run For God class in your area, strengthen your faith, strengthen yourself, connect with others. Running is a byproduct of the class and walking is allowed 🙂 but learning more about God, overcoming your own mental blocks, and connecting with strangers is what you will get from the class.
I have never been nor will I ever be the best in any race, age group or whatever. I know this but yet I try to better myself each race I run. About five or six years, not sure exactly, I was running on some trails and nothing out of the ordinary happened. When I got home my knee was swollen and I could barely walk on it. I couldn’t figure out what had happened. We have a friend who is an orthopedic surgeon and he took a look at it and said I would more than likely need surgery. Me, being stubborn like I am, said no way. I rested it and slowly started to run again. I ran with pain for over a year. For some reason I looked up Jan Heppner-McConathy, I don’t remember why for I had never wanted to get a massage before. Jan is so much more than a massage though. She told me I didn’t need surgery. Most runners that come to her that say they need surgery don’t. They just have an imbalance in how they stretch. They stretch 3 out 4 quads, 2 out of 3 hamstrings etc. It was a miracle. Within three days of stretching the correct way, I could run without pain.
When I run 1/2 marathons I have always finished in top 10% overall, usually in top 5%. My first half marathon was like a 1:45 and my fastest was a 1:35 ( I was in top 1% for that race). That race I was feeling it, everything was right ( I was also running 20 lbs lighter than normal and I was running mad at the world so those two things helped- more on that in a later blog) . That was two years ago. I ran my fastest that spring then my second fastest in August. This was emotional because it was the day of my dad’s funeral- yes I ran on the morning of my dad’s funeral (we all grieve in our own way)- on four hours sleep. I wanted it to be my fastest for him but it wasn’t meant to be. To be honest, I felt like running half marathons were getting to feel like nothing. I wouldn’t be sore or tired after them. God saw me getting full of myself.
My wife and I decided to do our first full marathon, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in October 2013. We did our long runs together but for some reason when we did 15, 16, and 17 mile runs, I started cramping bad and my hip started hurting. I never ran more than 17 miles during training but my wife went up to 20. We started the race and everything felt good. We were running with the 3:45 pace group , which would qualify my wife for Boston. Around mile 16 she had to stop to use the bathroom, which seemed like it took forever. We started to go again and within a mile I felt my knee go. I told her to go on and I would finish one way or the other. I’ve always considered myself to be mentally tough, sometimes to the point of being stupid but hey, I am what I am. I kept going, run ( or should I say hobble) until it hurt too bad to run, then walk, then repeat. It took me longer to do the last 9 miles than it did the first 17 but I did finish in 4:25.
I gave my knee some rest and tried to run again a couple weeks later and couldn’t go. From my past experience with my knee, I thought I could just stretch more and run it out little by little and it would get better. It didn’t. I had an MRI done and was told I tore my meniscus. Not only that, it was torn where it couldn’t be fixed, only taken out. Doctors advice : NEVER RUN AGAIN. I could walk fine, go up and down stairs fine, workout fine, etc. the only thing I couldn’t do is run so doctor told me as long as I could do those things, we could hold off on the surgery.
I bought a bike. An expensive last year model half off bike that still cost too much. If I couldn’t run, at least I was going to figure out how to get some workout in. I liked it more than I thought I would but it wasn’t running. I was able to see parts of my town and surrounding areas I had never seen before. I enjoyed it but I didn’t enjoy having to ride 2-3 hours to get the same benefits of running 45 minutes to an hour.
Over time I would try to run here and there and some days I could do one to two miles and other days I couldn’t do 100 yards. One thing I did do almost every day was pray to God that he would heal my knee. Stupid prayer I know considering how many people are dying every day from cancer and other illnesses but God says in Matthew 21:22 “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” I was willing to trust God, even if the answer was no. Something would come from this, even if I could never run again.
January 18, 2015. Go get on the treadmill. Huh? Go get on the treadmill. The voice in my head was telling me go. So I went. I ran 3 miles for the first time in 15 months. When it started to hurt, the voice said keep going, push through it. So I did. A couple days later, go get on the treadmill. So I did. I ran 5 miles. A couple days later, go get on the treadmill. So I did. I couldn’t run a mile. Hey God, what’s up with that? Hey Rob, read Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Ok God, I get it. I give it all to you. If you heal my knee, I will run for you, run with a God shirt on, and I will live my life for you. I will not be perfect, but I will be better than I have been.
Over the next 3 months I was able to run. No pain, unless my stride was too long on a step or two. Because of circumstances at work, I had to work three weeks straight in April leading up to the race. There goes the training I had planned. In this life, there will be troubles and setbacks. Whenever you make a commitment to the Lord, be prepared to face the enemy’s unrelenting attempt to set you back. I could’ve said I am not ready, I can’t do this race. But I made that commitment to God, heal my knee and I will run in Your name. I had one run longer than five miles in the three and a half months, and 18 months since my injury, leading to the race. I was not ready. The temperature rose fifteen degrees in 2 hours. I ran 30 minutes slower than my slowest race ever. I was grateful. I met a guy who ran with me a couple miles and we shared our faith in God together and I can tell you I have never done that, in a race or in life. I was grateful.
I am still running without pain and some thoughts come in my head to go get a MRI done again just to see if it’s healed. I won’t do that. I know what God has done for me. I have no doubts it is healed. I would gladly never run another step if a cure for cancer could be found for I know my injury and healing of it means nothing to those that fight for life everyday and I would gladly give it all up for them.
Is it a coincidence that since January, when God and I talked and I actually started to do what I said I would do for Him, not what I wanted to do for me, that my life is different. That I am now sharing my faith, my words, my music. When I kicked the doubts out about paying to have my music done, boom my heart grew. When I kicked out the doubts about sharing my life and my words, boom my heart grew wings.
Have faith. Pray daily. In God’s time, your prayers will be answered. It took over a year for me to run again. It took five years for all the pieces to fit together for my music to be shared. Trust in the Lord.
Now my playlist. I hate to put 27 songs on here but that’s always my goal. Two songs per mile, 13.1 miles, 26 plus 1, just in case, songs so here goes. Keep in mind I am a lyric guy, not a beats per minute guy. I’ve changed some over the years but I would say at least 15-16 of these have been my running partner for a long time.
Shine by Three Doors Down- this is my time, let’s go
Never Be Here Again by Hoobastank – So true, never know when your running days are behind you, is this your last race?
Our House by Burn Halo – could be greatest college football song of all time
Next Contestant by Nickelback – who am I passing next
Rise Up by Green River Ordinance – time to rise up, there may not be a second chance
Best Day of My Life by American Authors – I’m running with 15,000 of my closest friends, what could be better
I Just Wanna Run by Downtown Fiction – title says it all
Scars by Papa Roach – one of my favorite bands and this song take me somewhere
You’re Going Down by Sick Puppies – listen to the lyrics, yes I feel the heat coming off the blacktop and it makes me want it more
Just Run by Digital Summer – you think you have what it takes, let’s find out
Play It Again by Luke Bryan- love this song. gets me in a good mood
A Lifetime by Better Than Ezra – honestly I could see me doing something like this
I Lived by OneRepublic – Give it all you have and live life
Face Everything and Rise by Papa Roach – halfway done or so, time to put up or shut up
Born Again by Newsboys – time for God to get me through some miles with the next few songs
Good To Be Alive by Skillet – my fav Christian band.
Promises by DA Truth – Gods promises will always get you through
Dear X, You Don’t Own Me by Disciple – put the pain out of my head
Always Remember by Stereoside – reach down and dig deeper
In My Head by Jason Derulo –
Eye On It by Tobymac – time to start thinking of the finish
Centuries by Fallout Boy – you will remember me
The Champ by Nelly – I’ve been training for this
My Body by Young the Giant – my body says quit but my I want more
Born to Rise by Redlight King – we are the ones with the fire inside
The Champion In Me by Three Doors Down – I was born to be this way
Eye of the Tiger by Survivor – how else would I finish