Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Treadmill, Day 3

Treadmill, Day 3

I run over lunch hour at Better Bodies. I ran for an hour (about 8 miles). I changed the settings every mile today. Anything from 7 mph to 10 mph. I passed the time by dreaming about a trail that was not covered in snow and ice!

After the running I lifted chest, triceps, and shoulders with John. I got measured for body fat by Jeremy. I only have two percent more to go before I get to my Boston body fat goal. I want to get that taken care of by the end of March so I have about three weeks at my racing weight before the race on April 16.

Wednesday afternoon is a great time. I pick Benjamin up from school at 2:00. Amber goes to work at 2:30. So the boys and I hang out until she gets back from work. We had a blast today, but I had to call grandma to pinch hit for me at 5:30 because I spoke at our Wednesday night worship service and then taught Confirmation class after that.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Treadmill, Day 2

Treadmill, Day 2

I ran again tonight at Better Bodies. I had a busy day, so I couldn't run until early evening. The cold, dark, and slick roads didn't seem like a very good option.

I was glad I ran inside. I lifted biceps (hammer curls and preacher curls), back (pull-ups and upright row), and abs (Captain's Chair and Bicycle Exercise) before taking off on the treadmill. I had a good talk with Rob and Cheryl between exercises. I think I convinced Rob to come back to church and got Cheryl to volunteer one weekend per month. For the sake of the church, I should come to the gym and run more often!

I ran 10 miles on the treadmill. Every half mile I changed the setting. I kept it mostly flat and ran anywhere from 7 mph to 10 mph. The temperature seemed about 10 degrees warmer at 6:30 p.m. than it is at noon. I had totally sweated through my gray dri-fit running shirt in about 15 minutes. Saw Katie after the run. Attempted in jest to give her a sweaty hug. She wanted no part of it.

I did get a hug from Benjamin after I got home and showered. Check out these big boy pajamas.

Monday, February 26, 2007

My Kid Is Way Above Average

My Kid Is Way Above Average

I ran on one of the many lovely treadmills at Better Bodies today. I didn't feel like running outside in the snow. I did 10 miles in about 75 minutes. Every quarter mile I either changed the speed or the incline or both. I ran as easy as 7 miles per hour at 1.5% incline and as fast as 10 miles per hour at 1.5% incline. All the hills were done at 7 miles per hour -- I was alternating them between 5% incline and 10% incline. It made a fairly boring workout more manageable. I also enjoy watching the weight lifters. A couple of the women were body builders. Some of the guys were really strong. A retired couple was having fun together. A few people were new and being trained by the staff. I prefer the outdoors, but not a bad run this morning, for a treadmill.

We got news from the doctor that our two month old son David is in the 95th percentile as far as his weight goes. I guess what Garrison Keillor wrote about Lake Wobegon is also true at the Finnestad household: "A place where the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and the kids are above-average."

Sunday, February 25, 2007



After worship this morning I was exhausted. I was actually exhausted when I woke up--emotionally and physically. Not a good thing. The four or five hours of sleep I have been getting has not been enough. The family and I enjoyed lunch with some friends. My planned late afternoon run turned into a late afternoon and early evening nap (four hours). I woke up for a few hours and was asleep by 9:00. I ran 60 miles and 40 flights of stairs this week.

We got a decent snow last night. As I was finishing my sermon this morning -- this is the view I was looking at. It was refreshing. So was all the sleep.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Trek to the Top

Trek to the Top

I competed this morning in the Trek to the Top. My friends Mark, Tanya, and I comprised Team Water's Edge. The climb was up the 42 story First National Bank Building in downtown Omaha.

Mark and I had fun trying to find a parking spot. You would assume that finding a parking spot on Saturday morning wouldn't be a problem, but sometimes assuming things leads to assumptions. I guess that is kind of like irony being ironic. I digress...

We made a huge tactical error. Mark and I didn't think about starting near the front until it was too late. We both had some heavy traffic during our trek. I probably passed about 40 trekkers (which really slowed me down) and finished in 5:48. Tanya did very well with an 8:24 and Mark finished with a very respectable 8:56. Despite our poor strategy, Team Water's Edge was 12th out of 53 teams. We easily won the church division and beat such powerhouses as Omaha Fire and Rescue, Creighton University, and The University of Nebraska Medical Center.

I finished 7th out of 500 entrants. If I had started near the front and out of traffic, I most likely would have broke five minutes and finished in second place (second place was 5:19). On one flight of stairs I was delayed at least twenty seconds as two walkers were going side by side and there was nothing I could do except walk (very slowly) behind them. A shorter (about ten seconds) version of this happened a few flights later. I don't think I could have shaved off a full minute and five seconds and competed with the winner. That was a very fast time!

Anyway, it was lots of fun. The event was very well run for its first year and raised money for a great cause. The only suggestion I have would be to ask the participants for a recent 5K time and seed the faster runners. Team Water's Edge is excited about returning next year.

I didn't run today. I have run 73 miles in the last six days and figured the trek was enough. I had lots of work to do getting ready for tomorrow and spent some time with the family tonight as we watched the snow fall.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Water vis a vis Wind

Water vis a vis Wind

We had a tough run today. Here were the choices: 1) We could run around the west lake which is pretty sheltered from the wind, but with lots of standing water and ice or 2) We could run around the east lake which was mostly dry but open to the wind. Its kind of like this: would you rather have a root canal or a wisdom tooth extracted? We did two loops on the icy and wet side and one loop on the day and windy side.

Maureen ran with me today. I didn't think I would be seeing her for quite sometime. I left her a voice mail message the other day pretending I was the race director for the Little Rock Marathon that she will be running next Sunday. I told her there were some problems with her hotel and flight reservations. She fell for it and didn't think it was quite as amusing as I did. I have this great southern accent.

I told her about the biblical mandate of forgiveness. Her relpy had the terms "dead meat" and "watch your back." After 11.01 miles, I guess the forgiveness thing isn't there yet.

I lifted chest, shoulders, and triceps with John today during lunch.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Two Months

Two Months

Our son David is two months old today. Amber started back working this week, so I took David to the church this afternoon. It is hard to believe that he is two months old already!

I ran with Maureen early this morning. We did the 12.4 mile hilly course. I think we ended up at about 7:50 / mile. It would have been a little faster, but she hasn't learned how to tie a double knot in her shoe yet. This may be the last run that Maureen and I have together as I played a pretty sweet practical joke on her yesterday. Stay tuned to for updates on this developing situation.

I went over to the gym between meetings and worked out this evening. I lifted biceps, back, abs, calves, and thighs. I had to miss yesterday and had an opportunity to make it up tonight -- so I did.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


This afternoon was an absolutely perfect day for a run. The temperature was about 50 degrees, no wind, and sunny. The trail around Lake Zorinsky was anything but perfect -- it was a mess. I did my second funeral in two days this morning and had to pick up Benjamin at 2:00 -- so I had between 12:15 and 1:50 to run today. Had to fly solo. I got in 11 miles before I had to quit. I was doing sub 7 minute miles so I was ready to quit. My whole body was covered in mud by the time I finished and my shoes were soaked. Check out the clothes, shoes, and legs! I got some strange looks and interesting comments when I went to pick Benjamin up looking like this.

David, Benjamin, and I went for a walk this afternoon. Then David and I watched Benjamin ride his little John Deere Gator around. This warmer weather is great!
I learned yesterday at my friend's funeral never to take anything for granted. Today was a gift from God: being able to serve God, being able to run in the mud, and being blessed by spending time with the boys.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye

Today was a sad day. Saying goodbye is difficult. I woke up early at my mom's house and put together a sermon for my good friend Craig's funeral. Childhood memories came to mind. That is when I knew Craig best. Our countless hours of professional wrestling matches. More countless hours of brutal football games on his Atari 2600. ESPN in ESPN's early days. Tearing around on our mopeds.

Other speakers confirmed what I guess I already knew -- Craig hadn't changed a whole lot. He was still the creative, fun, charismatic, and dedicated person that he always was. Rich Gannon, the former quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, described Craig as a teammate. His description of Craig as an adult was a description of Craig achieving his childhood dreams.

Here are some excerpts from my sermon:

Death is a mystery. Life is God’s gift to us. What we make of that life is our gift to God.

Living has very little to do with a heart that beats or lungs that breathe.
Living has to do with serving, smiling, crying, relating, laughing, and loving.

Craig was too young to die. All of us in this room know that. However, the real tragedy in life isn’t when person dies too young, but when a person of any age dies who has never lived. And Craig lived...

...Such was Craig’s life, extending his hand to those in need. Craig loved the thing that was most important to God – people. He simply spent time with those he loved and those God loves. When you were talking to Craig or with Craig – he always made you feel like you were the most important person to him...

...I learned one of life’s most important lessons from Craig: to dream big. Craig was dreamer. Craig knew that the size of our life is determined by the size of our dreams. If Craig could speak to us today, some of the things he would say to us would be something like: “What are you dreaming about?” “How are you helping others achieve their dreams?”...

...The only word I can speak is the only word that really matters and that is a word of grace.

Grace is what we need most in life. Grace is forgiveness from the past, power in the present, and hope for the future.

Grace is something we can never get, but only be given. There is no way to earn it or deserve it any more than we deserve the taste of fresh ice cream or can earn our own birth.

A good sleep is grace. So is a good dream. Laughter is grace and so are most tears. The smell of fresh rain is grace and so is a kiss from a child. Somebody loving you is grace and loving somebody is also grace.

Grace is the central theme of the Bible. It is how the world began and is how the world will end. God is the Alpha and the Omega; the beginning and the end. He is the giver of grace.

The grace of God means something like this: Here is your life. You might never have been, but I created you because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things happen. Do not be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate you from my love...

...I broke a childhood pact with Craig. We promised each other that we wouldn't get married until we had established our careers as a tag-team in the World Wrestling Federation. I broke that pact...

...When Craig met you he knew right away that you were the one...You know this simple truth of life: that it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all...

...We believe that sin is overcome by grace. That despair is overcome by hope. That death is overcome by life.

Craig lives in two ways. He lives in the lives of those he touched along the way. Memories are God’s gift to us. Craig also lives eternally in a place the Jesus has prepared for him.

Join me in praying for Craig's family. His wife Allison, his daughter Ava, and his daughter who will be born in June. His parents, Daryl and Dorothy. His siblings Dave and Debbie.

Thanks Craig -- for being you.

I did a late night run tonight after everybody went to bed. I finished just before midnight. I ran from our house at 173rd and Harrison to 204th and F Streets. I thought a lot about the day specifically and life in general. Running allows me to do such things. 10.05 miles.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Long and Winding Road

The Long and Winding Road

Today Maureen and I ran 15.24 miles in the hills. It was a tough workout. I lifted chest, shoulders, and triceps with John. That was tough too!

The road to Boston is long and winding. It is not short and straight. Tough. Not easy. Marathon running is challenging. There is no other way to describe it. It takes lots of dedication and even more perseverance.

But, pretty much anything else in life that is worth anything takes a lot of dedication and perseverance as well.

Sunday, February 18, 2007



It was a perfect day for running! Although I was working on about four hours of sleep and was mentally exhausted from worship this morning -- Amber gave me permission to take a rare afternoon run.

I hooked up with fellow Boston-qualifiers Kurt, Tracy, and Joanie and enjoyed the 40 plus degree weather. It felt good to be in shorts. We started out at Lake Zorinsky and then worked the hills on F Street between 180th Street and 204th Street. We returned to the lake and did another loop. We put in about 13 miles.

Grace is the surprise of good news. It is grace when a beautiful day comes out of no where. Grace is also a gift. It is something we can't earn or deserve. It is only something that we can accept and enjoy. This afternoon was grace.

I got in 70 miles this week.

Saturday, February 17, 2007



No time to run today. I worked about 13 hours.

Friday, February 16, 2007



I had a busy day from beginning to end, so Maureen and I did an early morning run at Lake Zorinsky. It was cold, icy, snowy, and windy. I usually don't complain much about the weather, but this is getting old. We need deliverance from cold and wind and ice and snow. We managed to get in 12.32 miles.

Amber went to work for the first time today since having David. I had both David and Benjamin for a few hours. No major catastrophes. I had to miss my upper body training with John. But, Benjamin and I did some cross-training with about 30 minutes of mixed martial arts. I dominated most of the match, but he made me submit at 29 minutes and 13 seconds. Pretty good stuff for a five-year-old.

I spoke at a gathering tonight. My warm-up act was a Barbershop Quartet. I never had to follow one of those before. I made a late night shopping trip to Hy-Vee at Amber's request. At my request, they had a great supply of Nature's Path Optimum Rebound Energy Bars. All organic. All good. I totally cleaned them out. Life is good.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Remembering Craig

Remembering Craig
When I arrived home for worship on Sunday morning, I learned of the death of a good friend, Craig Long. Craig's funeral is today in California. Craig and I were childhood buddies. We spent countless days and nights hanging out in his family's basement. We watched ESPN when ESPN was new. We wrestled together. We played practical jokes on pretty much anybody and everybody. Much of my time with him seems like it was just yesterday.

Craig and I journeyed down different roads in life. But every few years we would connect and it didn't seem like we ever missed a beat. Each time we had a little less hair, a little more wisdom, and hundreds of stories where we would shake our heads in disbelief thinking, "Man...I can't believe we did that."

It had been too long since we had seen each other. A few emails and a phone call here or there. I kept up with him through my mom and occasional contact with his parents. We possibly would have seen each other this summer. I'm sad I will never have another conversation that starts with the words, "Remember when..."

I admired what Craig accomplished in life. He was enterprising and a hard worker. He gets that from his parents. He worked in the PR department for the Oakland Raiders for a number of years and hosted a web cast that Amber and I had fun watching. Here is an article about Craig and his time with the Raiders. Craig accomplished so much for being so young.

As I was celebrating Valentine's Day last night with my family, my heart went out to Craig's family. I know he loved his wife Allison and his daughter Ava. Another daughter who will be born in June. His parents, Daryl and Dorothy, were so proud of him. Among the many things they would say is that he was a good son. Craig touched the lives of many.

Craig died of a heart attack at an age way too young. I am grateful that God put him in my life. When I think of Craig I will always smile.

Although it is insignificant in the grand scheme of things, I ran for two hours early this morning on a treadmill. Just over 15 miles. I alternated between flat, 5% incline, and 10% incline. I thought about Craig and his family. I remembered that life if a gift.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I worked most of the day before I went to get my hair cut late this afternoon. It was a busy day, but I did manage to lift weights during lunch. I lifted chest, shoulders, and triceps with John and then did my abs and legs on my own. The plan was to run late this afternoon, but I run out of time so I took the day off from running.

We enjoyed our Valentine's dinner at Hu Hot. Amber was accompanied by her three Valentines: David, Benjamin, and me. Benjamin got his normal fare of tofu, thai noodles, and miniature corn. He got something really hot on his lips and was freaking out for a few minutes. He stuck with fried rice the rest of the night. I enjoyed three trips to the grill and am loaded up with enough carbohydrates for the next week or so. Tonight was a great way to celebrate Valentine's Day and our first venture to a restaurant since David was born!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007



I had a meeting all day today in Lincoln. After an all day denominational meeting, an extreme run was in order. After doing 20 miles yesterday, my legs felt surprisingly strong.

I headed out the door at sunset with a head lamp on to light the dark roads. The temperature was around 5 degrees with a stiff northwest wind blowing about 15 miles per hour. That put the real feel about fifteen degrees below zero. I ran from our house near 173rd and Harrison to Giles Road. I then ran Giles Road between 168th and 204th Streets. By the time I got to Giles, it was dark and the head lamp was on. Giles Road bewteen 168th and 204th is all hills. The road was drifting in places and I found myself running through a foot of snow at times. Thankfully the gravel road didn't have too much traffic. I think I saw five or six trucks and one car. I had an interesting conversation with one of the drivers.

Driver: Hey, what are you doing?
Me: Running.
Driver: Aren't you cold?
Me: Not really. Once you get going it's not too bad.
Driver: How far are you going?
Me: Probably about ten miles.
Driver: Are you crazy?
Me: A few people have suggested such is the case.
Driver: Are you sure you don't want a ride?
Me: No, I am good to go, but thanks.
Driver: Alright man, take care.
Me: See you.

I got in just over ten miles. If you can believe this, running uphill into a wind in the dark in about a foot of snow really slowed my pace down. I was out there for almost an hour an a half.

This run was an adventure and life is an adventure as well. Sometimes it is best to play it safe. Other times it is best to take some pretty extreme risks and experience all the possibilities in life.

Monday, February 12, 2007



I looked at the upcoming weather and my schedule for the week and decided that if a long run was going to happen this week it was going to have to be today. My trusty running partner, Maureen, joined me, on very short notice, for a little twenty mile jog up and down the hilly gravel roads south of Gretna.

This is one hilly course! We climbed over 3600 feet of hills and descended the same amount since we start and finish in the same spot.

Here are some interesting facts about this course:

The run was 20.24 miles. 8.42 miles were run uphill at a pace of 8:07 per mile. 8.64 miles were run downhill at a pace of 7:58 per mile. 3.18 miles were run on flat ground at a pace of 8:06 per mile. It was icy and slick on many of the roads, so we had to slow it down, especially on the downhills.

Patience is required when somebody runs for 2 hours and 43 minutes. Even when you run with somebody who is fairly entertaining. Patience is also required in life. Here is the lesson I have been learning from the long runs:

Don't keep looking at the watch, just stay focused on the road ahead and enjoy the journey.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Craig's Column

I won't have time to run today. Sunday is usually pretty busy for me. Here is my column that was in our bulletin this morning:

Craig’s Column

George Sheehan is one of my heroes. He was the oldest of fourteen children, a cardiologist, and a marathon runner. But his most important contribution to the world was as a writer. He wrote seven books, among them the bestselling Running and Being. George Sheehan died on November 1, 1993. In the months leading up to his death, he wrote a book Going the Distance: One Man’s Journey to the End of His Life. I recently read the book thinking that is was a book about dying. I realized at the end of the book that it was a book about living.

Some of the last words Sheehan had the strength to write were:

Each hour brings new assaults on my body. Mere living has become my Heartbreak Hill. What last words will I have? I can only wait for what comes next. The second Perocet is not as effective. Thirty minutes and I still have pain.
Today the priest came. I was dozing and found myself looking up into the face of Father Brady, our longtime pastor at the church. He is a very kind, soft-spoken man who began his visit by saying: “I’m not here to help you with your theological problems, George, but with your relationship with God.”

In the end, the only thing that really matters much is our relationship with God. But the book was not about dying any more than life is about death. God doesn’t exist only so that we may die well. God exists so that we may live well.

The more we are able to understand how God has shaped us and made us who we are, the more we are aware of God’s individualized plan for our once-to-be-lived and never-to-be-repeated lives. Many of us can recite readily the words of the Lord’s Prayer which goes something like: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) I encourage you to pray a similar prayer that is based on the Lord’s Prayer: “Your will be done in me. I am part of Your earth, Your clay, for which You, the Master Potter, have a design.”

Having God’s kingdom manifested in your life—God’s purposes for you brought to fruition on the earth, even as they were designed and planned in heaven—you will experience the life that you were meant to live!

In Christ,


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Early Morning

Early Morning

I had a meeting at the church from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and then had work to do all day and much of the night, so my only opportunity to run was in the early morning.

I met triathlon legend, Jerry, early this morning at Lake Zorinsky. Although he hadn't run outdoors in quite some time, he has some good skills. He hung with me the whole time! I had a good run with him.

It was cool to run before sunrise. It was also very cold. The wind chill factor was well below zero. We did one lap around the lake and ran 7.43 miles.

As I saw the sunrise and the beauty of the fresh snow as I was running this morning, I thought of the Scripture: "This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalms 118.24) Every day is a new day to God and it is to us as well!

I won't have time to run tomorrow, so I got in 67 miles this week.

Friday, February 9, 2007



Marathon training is usually fun. Today wasn't one of those days. Maureen and I run just over 12 miles at Lake Zorinsky. The cold and the ice are starting to wear on me and the weather during the next week looks even worse.

Somethines life is like that. We go through seasons where life is more of a grind than a joy. Like the runner has spring -- the person has hope. In a few weeks I'll be in shorts and hints of green will emerge. If you are in a grind -- know that the grind makes you stronger and it doesn't last forever.

I lifted chest, shoulders, and triceps with John during lunchtime today.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

An Icy Treadmill at a 12% Grade

An Icy Treadmill at a 12% Grade

Today is Maureen's birthday. She will make her debut in her new age group in about a month in the Little Rock Marathon. Gotta love those round numbers. We ran 12.38 miles in the hills. Gotta love those exact numbers.

One of the last hills we run on today's course is a hill we affectionately call "Ben's Hill". The hill is named after a United States Senator named Ben who owns the only house on Ben's Hill.

Anyway, a little information about Ben's Hill. It is .41 miles long. It climbs 186 feet. It has an 8.6% grade. What would I do in all my spare time without the Garmin 305? Heartbreak Hill in Boston is .45 miles long. It climbs about 80 feet with a grade of 3.4%.

A 0% grade is flat. Like running on a track.

A 2% grade does not seem very steep, but it's enough to reduce forward speed.

A 4% grade is steep and climbing is difficult. Remember, Heartbreak Hill is not this steep.

An 8.6% grade is just crazy especially when the hill is nearly a half mile long.

So here's the deal. Today Ben's Hill, and the rest of the gravel roads were covered in snow. For some reason Maureen was running like a mad woman. Maybe she was trying to feel younger or something. At 9.95 miles we get to the bottom of Ben's Hill and begin to climb. We aren't running fast anymore. Running up Ben's Hill in the snow was kind of like running on an icy treadmill at an 8.6% grade. (Actually, to simulate ground running, you need to add about 3% to 4% to a treadmill. So, let's say it was like running on an icy treadmill at a 12% grade.) We made it to the top and climbed three more tough hills in the last two miles. Great run!

I had an interesting day. I worked from 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and then again from 4:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. I played with the boys. Talked to Amber. Cleaned the house a little. Listened to AJ record two of our songs. Ate five crunchy beef tacos, fresco style from Taco Bell at 10:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Running in the Snow

Running in the Snow

I didn't have time to run today until just before dark. I wanted to go 11 miles, but the trail at Lake Zorinsky was covered with two inches of snow and was icy in patches. It was cloudy too, so the nearly full moon was no help in lighting the path.

It was a tough run. I made it once around the lake -- 7.43 miles. I don't think the 20+ miles I ran yesterday was much help.

It was also a beautiful run. I was the only runner on the trail. I saw a few ice fisherman doing their thing on the lake. The pine trees surrounding the trail were covered in snow. The sky was kind of eery as the daylight disappeared. The ground was freshly painted white. The deer cautiously watched me. I watched them as they played in their refuge.

Usually I look at my watch to see how far I have run or how fast I am running. I glance down to occasionally check my pulse. No need to do such things today. Just me, the trail, and God. It was more than enough.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Long and Hilly Run

Long and Hilly Run

Nicer weather today. About 30 degrees and sunny. It got pretty windy -- about 15 miles per hour from the northwest. It felt good to run in shorts as opposed to layers of tights and pants.

Maureen and I ran my Boston training course. It is a very hilly course with a number of hills that are much longer and steeper than the hills in Boston. We did another long run today -- 20.26 miles. Our pace was right at 8:00 per mile. With the hills and the brutal wind, we were pretty happy with the pace.

Four of the last five miles on this course are all hills including one hill that is a steep, half-mile climb. I am going to try to run on this course two to four times per week to be ready for the hills at Boston.

When I was a student and Tae Kwon Do instructor, the Grand Master used to have a saying: "Practice doesn't make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect." To succeed in running and in life -- our training should simulate the real thing.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Back At It

Back At It

After a three day sabbatical--I resumed training today. Monday is generally the day I try not to work. I had a few meetings tonight and had to get ready for the meetings this afternoon, but ran 7.41 miles this morning with Maureen around Lake Zorinsky. I think we were doing 7:40 miles or so. It was cold: about 10 degrees and a pretty stiff wind. I felt rested and fresh. I lifted weights with John during lunch: chest, shoulders, and triceps. I was able to increase most of my weights today. I probably shouldn't do that too much as I don't want too much muscle. The highlight of the day was building a sweet train track with Benjamin.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

This Profession is Hazardous to my Running, Part 3

This Profession is Hazardous to my Running, Part 3

We had a great day today in worship. We ran out of chairs and space in the cafeteria and are getting lots of new visitors. We are about twice the size as we were in September. We had a new couple at our small group too! We had lots of fun eating and watching the Super Bowl.

It is so cool to see God change people's lives. Lots cooler than finishing a marathon.

I wrote about starting a running small group in the newsletter this week. Lots of people are interested. I can't wait for the weather to warm up a little bit so we can get started!

Hope to resume training tomorrow. Boston is just over two months away.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

This Profession is Hazardous to my Running, Part 2

This Profession is Hazardous to my Running, Part 2

See yesterday. Take out the birthday party and add a few more hours of getting ready for tomorrow.

Friday, February 2, 2007

This Profession is Hazardous to my Running, Part 1

This Profession is Hazardous to my Running, Part 1

No time to train today. I worked all day. The highlight was leading a worship service at the nursing home with Benjamin. He wants to be a pastor too. At night Amber, Benjamin, David, and lots of other family had a birthday party for me. I turned 37 today.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Lemonade from Lemons

Lemonade from Lemons

I helped lead my men's small group this morning at 6:15. On the way to Perkins, I was thinking that it was a pretty cold morning. When I drove by a bank and the sign said it was two degrees above zero, my suspicion was confirmed. The same bank said -1 degree on my return trip home an hour and a half later. Not ideal running conditions.

I went home and threw on a pair of socks, two pairs of underwear, a pair of spandex tights, a pair of running pants, a short-sleeved Under Armor shirt, two long-sleeved performance shirts, a weather-proof outer layer, an Under Armor mask, a stocking cap, gloves, my trusty Asics Gel Nimbus--quite possibly the world's greatest running shoe, and my Garmin 305--100% more reliable than Maureen's internal GPS. By the way, that is a full load of laundry right there and I didn't even wash the shoes or the GPS. So I get to the lake and the trail is covered with two inches of fresh powder from yesterday's snow. Not ideal just turned bad.

Maureen and I planned to do our long run this morning as the weather is supposed to turn really bad. We completed our 20.25 mile journey a few hours later. God gave us lemon a lemon this morning, so we made lemonade.

I think we agreed that this was the most difficult twenty plus mile run either of us have done. The weather wasn't too bad because it wasn't windy. But, running on two inches of snow is kind of like running on a beach. It felt like we were running uphill the whole time. My thighs and buttocks are shot.

We were close to 8:00 minutes miles. A little faster at times; a little slower at times. Regardless, it was probably a 7:15 to 7:30 effort because of the snow.

I wasn't expecting much, but it was a great run.

Life is that way sometimes too. We are dealt a bad hand or a forced into a tough situation. We can't avoid such times in life. But our response seems to make all the difference. So when life throws a lemon at you--make lemonade!