Saturday, March 31, 2007

State Farm 10 Mile Race

State Farm 10 Mile Race

I ran the State Farm 10 Mile Race this morning. It was my first non-marathon race in over 15 years. I picked up Kurt early in the morning and we headed to Lincoln. A heavy rain the night before soaked the limestone Mo-Pac trail. Kurt, who is legally blind, was not able to run because of the soft trail and the puddles. I enjoyed his company and his wise advice. Kurt is on the the fastest blind runners in the country.

My goal was to run sub 6:00 minute miles. I started out well below that pace. My final time was 58:59, but the woman at the turnaround point was in the wrong spot. My GPS had the course at 9.65 miles - so my pace was 6:06 per mile. I placed 11 out of 589 finishers and won my age group (35 to 39). My mile splits were: 5:47, 5:59, 5:49, 5:54, 6:10, 6:06, 6:24, 6:30, 6:34, 3:45 (.65 miles - about 5:37 pace). The heavy traffic made the trail really soggy and slow between miles 6 to 9 (it was an out and back course). The last mile was on the cement and I was able to pick up the pace a little bit. I pushed it pretty hard, but didn't go all out. I am saving that for Boston in two weeks.

It was a fun morning. I was covered in mud by the end of the race and needed a long shower when I got home.



The English language uses the word "time" in two different ways. The first way might be something like: "What time did you get home last night?" Or, "What was your time for your last marathon?" The second way looks like this: "Did you have a good time?" Or, "Do you remember the time when we went to the lake?"

The Greeks used two words for our one word: "time." The first is chronos. Chronos means time on the move, time as before and after, time as the future passing through the present and so becoming the past. From this Greek word chronos we derive such English terms as chronic, chronicle, and chronology. Thus, we call an illness chronic if it lasts a long time. A chronicle is an account of events through a sequence of time. Chronology is the itemized, studied measurement of time.

The second Greek word for time is kairos. In addition to chronos, the Greeks also spoke of time as a moment, time as occasion, time as qualitative rather than quantitative, time as significant rather than dimensional.

Kairos isn't measurable. We don't ask someone, for example, "How much Christmas did you have?" We inquire, rather, "what sort of Christmas did you have?" The reason that kairos cannot be measured is because it is always a now. A now is obviously indivisible; an instant is, so to speak, too brief to account for. By the time you stop to measure a now, it is already gone. Now is punctuated by a swift, indecipherable passage from this to that. Furthermore, if now cannot be measured, it can also not be counted. It is futile, for example, and probably a threat to sanity, to ask how many nows there are in an hour.

For the most part, I am a kairos runner. Yes, I own a Garmin 305, the world's most advanced chronograph. But, if you were to ask me how yesterday's run went, I would be far more likely to tell you about how I joked around with my friends than my total time or my average pace. It is more interesting to look at creation, enjoy the silence, and interact with people than it is to be driven by a watch.

What are you driven by? Not in running, but in life. Chronos is necessary. Knowing the time of day is a necessity to live in our culture. But more to life exists than just chronos. Hopefully moments exist in life that can't be measured. They are gifts from God. Somehow I think we may be missing the kairos because of our obsession with the chronos.

Today was one of those days for me. I was busy moving from appointment to appointment -- task to task. Constantly looking at my watch and checking things off my to-do list.

I had too much stuff filling up my chronos to enjoy any meaningful kairos. I'll do better tomorrow.

No run today. Read the above paragraph.

Amber got this picture of David sucking his thumb for the first time during one of her kairos moments.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Creativity and Imagination

Creativity and Imagination

I took this picture of Benjamin this morning before school. I am blessed to have a kid who is so creative and so much fun. I don't know where he learned how to pose, but maybe he has a future as a bodybuilder.

After I dropped Benjamin off for school, I met Christy, Maureen, and Kurt for some running at the lake. We warmed up a few miles and then did 2 minutes fast and one minute slow. We repeated this eight times and cooled-down for about six miles. Christy came up with today's workout. Pretty creative, compared to just running.
Creativity and imagination aren't just for kids and marathon running women. Think of everything that has ever been invented...the wheel, the printing press, BBQ Sauce, the Snickers Bar, television, telephones, telescopes, airplanes, email, -- all by creative people with an imagination.
Here's the deal, God has given you imagination and creativity. Even if your imagination and creativity doesn't change the world or make you millions of dollars, there is something even more compelling--you can always imagine a better life and create a way for that image to become a reality.

Deep Tissue Massage On My Teeth

Deep Tissue Massage On My Teeth

No run today. I didn't have time.

Anyway, I went to the dentist this morning. My usual dentist is on maternity leave, so I had some other people working on me. I usually don't have much work that needs to be done on my teeth, but for some reason, the woman who was working on me did this cleaning that took 65 minutes. I don't know if she was a hygienist or a dentist or a complete impostor. Whoever she was, she had one of those sharp, little metal things and totally worked me over with it. I have a fairly high pain threshold, but if this were a fight, I would have tapped out after about 20 minutes. Here was part of our conversation:

Dental Worker: Do you brush before you go to bed?
Me: Yes. Virtually every night. I have one of those Sonic toothbrushes.
DW: How about flossing?
Me: I am very pro-flossing. I floss a couple times per day. I even have some in my office.
DW: Are you sure?
Me: Yeah, I just saw it there yesterday.

Anyway, I have the cleanest teeth in Omaha right now.

After the Rock n Roll Marathon in Phoenix in January, my legs were pretty messed up. I went to my massage guy and got a massage. He totally worked my leg muscles. It was painful as he grinded his sharp, pointy elbows and vice like hands up and down my depleted legs. He called it a deep tissue massage. I felt better the next day.

Sometimes in life, painful things are good. Like teeth cleanings, deep tissue massages, talking about conflict, setting appropriate boundaries, saying "no", etc...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Even When You Don't Feel Like It

Even When You Don't Feel Like It

I didn't really feel much like running this morning. My training partner who was supposed to run with me had a last minute change in plans. I was still full from dinner the night before. I had to go really early in the morning because I had stuff to do all day. I had run 19 miles the day before. I was doing a track workout which isn't quite as enjoyable as a run around the lake or on the country roads. I had all the excuses.

But I went running anyway because I promised myself I would give my best effort in training for the Boston Marathon.

The workout was challenging, but I didn't go all out because I don't need an injury at this point in the journey. The workout was like this:

1 mile warm-up
1 x 3 miles in 17:36
3 minutes rest
1 x 1 mile in 5:33
2 minutes rest
4 x 400 meters in 1:16, 1:15, 1:15, and 1:13 with 30 seconds between reps
1 mile cool-down

Not attempting the workout was not an option, even though I didn't feel like it.

So here's the life we are called to love God and love others when we feel like it and when we don't feel like it. Over ten years ago I promised Amber to love her for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health--until Christ calls us home. I made a similar promise to God at my baptism. And a similar promise to Benjamin, my son, at his baptism.

Sometimes we may not feel like loving others--our spouse, our kids, complete strangers, ourselves, God, etc... Even though we may not feel like loving, we should love anyway. For two reasons: a) we are supposed to and b) it is good for us. Love when you feel like it and love when you don't feel like it.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Getting to the Starting Line

Getting to the Starting Line

The toughest part of the Boston Marathon is not getting to the finish line. The toughest part is getting to the starting line. Running 26.2 miles for a trained endurance athlete is a fairly simple thing to do. The tough part is becoming a trained endurance athlete.

I started running just under a year ago. I vividly remember the first run. It was just over four miles and I had to stop a number of times. It took me over 44 minutes. I was so discouraged that I wanted to quit. But I realized that quitting doesn't glorify God.

I remember those hot and humid days of summer. My well-insulated body felt like a polar bear on a tropical island. By the fall I had lost most of the insulation, but a hamstring injury slowed my down for a few weeks. Then came two months of snow and ice and cold.

And the biggest enemy of all: being complacent with the status quo. Not challenging or pushing oneself as far as one can go. Choosing comfort over pain and safety over risk.

I ran just over 19 miles today--mostly with Maureen. It was easy. I could have run lots further or lots faster, but probably not both.

I have come a long way from that four mile run a year ago. Running the 26.2 miles three weeks from today will be tough, but not nearly as tough as the daily decision to lace up the shoes regardless of how I feel or how it feels outside.

Happy birthday Amber! Thanks for being you and thanks for letting me be me. With us 1 + 1 = 3.

The Water's Edge

The Water's Edge

As usual, no running on Sunday. We had a great morning at The Water's Edge. I talked about how to achieve balance in life. One of the things I stressed was that God is very interested in us living balanced lived full of wellness and wholeness. I interviewed three women from the church: one is a fitness coach, one is a nutritionist, and one is a wellness coordinator. They all did a great job! To listen to my message, click here. Here are some pictures from this morning. Check out our web site:

Saturday, March 24, 2007


I ran with Gary well before the crack of dawn this morning. We were planning on running about 15 miles, but had to cut it short after 7 miles. It was either that or risk getting struck by lightning as a pretty major storm was brewing and we were getting rained on pretty good. Since we both have a wife and kids who love us at this point in our lives, we played it smart and headed home.
Gary has an awesome web site and takes some really cool pictures. He is also a very good runner -- I think his marathon PR is around 2:42 or so. His web site is Check it out.
Gary, like many of us who run long distances, enjoy the "runner's high" that happens when strenuous exercise takes a person over a threshold that activates endorphin production. Endorphins are released during long, continuous workouts, when the level of intensity is between moderate and high, and breathing is difficult. It creates a time of euphoria.
After the rain, I took the boys outside and shot some photos of flowers in our various gardens. Benjamin is a good little gardener. David is quite sure what to think of the outside yet.



Maureen and I did some exploring this morning. We started on the Mo-Pac Trail between Springfield and Lewisville and headed to Lewisville. We arrived safely and somewhat uneventfully in Springfield and then headed south to Lewisville. A while later we arrived in Lewisville almost as uneventfully as we arrived in Springfield. We noticed that she got a parking citation as we passed her SUV on the way to Lewisville, but we were making good time, so we didn't stop to check things out. Upon entering Lewisville we noticed a little diner on the Platte River. It smelled pretty good. We didn't stop for breakfast, although I may take Amber there sometime for dinner. They have this nice little patio outside. Anyway, we progressed back to Maureen's SUV and realized we weren't quite at 12 miles, so we kept going until our Garmins said we covered 12 miles. It is interesting having a running partner with obsessive-compulsive disorder when it comes to mileage.

This was a great run. Perfect weather. Soft trail. New scenery. My legs felt rested and strong.

It's interesting how in life we can travel the same road over and over again. Or we can explore new paths. Certainly a time for both exists.

A time to scatter stones
and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace
and a time to refrain,
a time to search
and a time to give up,
a time to keep
and a time to throw away,
a time to tear
and a time to mend,
a time to be silent
and a time to speak,
-Ecclesiastes 3:5-7

Happy three month birthday to David yesterday. His smile in contagious.

Thursday, March 22, 2007



I start my Thursday mornings at 6:15 at Perkins at 108th and L Streets. I meet with a small group of guys who are my friends. We laugh, eat, study the Bible, talk, learn, grow, and pray. These friends bring me great joy and add value to my life.

I made my way home and took our older son Benjamin to school. The other day at Scheel's, Benjamin asked me if I would be his best friend. I was happy to say yes to such an offer. We went over his Spanish words on the way to school this morning. It is so exciting to see him learn and grow. He brings me great joy and adds value to my life.

After I dropped Benjamin off, I ran with another friend. Kurt and I met at the Millard West track around 9:00 and ran 25 x 400 meters in about 80 to 85 seconds per 400 with a 45 second rest break in between. I am glad Kurt did this one with me. We both agreed that it wasn't likely that either of us would have finished on our own. Friends bring out the best in each other. We finished the workout and celebrated with sweaty handshake. Kurt brings great joy and adds value to my life.

Thank God for friends who bring us great joy and add value to our lives.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007



Everything was fresh today. The air was fresh. My legs were fresh. The wind was fresh. My new shoes were fresh. The 11 miles this morning was almost effortless. I ran the entire 11 with Maureen. We ran with Paul, Kurt, Christy, and Joanie for part of the time.

Sometimes people say something like: "I need a fresh start." Fresh is defined as revived or reinvigorated. Revival and reinvigoration are gifts from God. We can predict when they come no more than we can predict which way the wind is going to blow a year from now. We can only pray for such things to occur and enjoy the gifts when they happen.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007



I usually run with people. Tonight I ran alone. I had a busy day that didn't end until after 8:00 p.m. By that time it is pretty dark outside. I ran around the trail at Zorinsky, 7.38 miles, in just under seven minutes per mile.

I enjoyed the time alone. I had time to think, dream, and pray. It was a beautiful night. I didn't miss the banter between friends or the energy that one gets from another. I just ran.

Loneliness has nothing to do with being physically alone. A person can be lonely in a crowded room full of friends and family. Another person can be all by himself or herself and be perfectly content with the love of God and the love of others.

The root of loneliness seems to be grounded in desiring to control or at least be embraced by someone we don't control or somebody who doesn't embrace us. The lonely person focuses on what he or she doesn't have rather than appreciating what he or she does have.

We all have the love of God. God tells us that alone is sufficient. Most of us have at least a few people who love us for who we are. Blessed is the one who embraces such things.

Monday, March 19, 2007


As of today, my most recent pair of Asics Gel Nimbus are officially retired. I have used them since January 1st and they are done. We've had some good times together. Lots of hills and mud on the gravel roads south of Gretna. Lots of ice and snow on the trail at Lake Zorinsky. We've even spent way too much time on the treadmill at Better Bodies.
The shoes went out in style today. We were on the trail before sunrise. We battled the wind and cruised around the lake three times for a total of 22.3 miles. We ran with Christy for about ten miles and Maureen went the final sixteen miles with us. Our time was about two hours and fifty minutes. This was my final 22 mile run before Boston--which is four weeks from today.
After I got home, I took out my orthotics and the shoes arrived at their final resting place. I took a fairly painful ice-cold bath in the Jacuzzi for 15 minutes with the jets on full-blast.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


I generally don't run on Sunday and today was no exception. We had a great worship experience this morning and enjoyed our small group tonight.
Benjamin has been the junior member on the set-up and tear-down team the last two weeks. We dressed David up in street clothes today--overalls, shoes, and a long-sleeve shirt.



I played with the boys this morning while Amber worked and then I got my sermon ready for tomorrow morning, saw a few people in the hospital, and read a poem at an Eagle Scout ceremony (Way to go Bentley!). I got everything done by about 7:00, so I decided I could run one lap around Lake Zorinsky if I hustled. I drove home, changed quickly, and was at the trail by 7:30. I made it around the 7.41 miles trail in just over 46 minutes.

The highlight of the run happened with about one mile left. It was pretty dark by this time. A deer was standing on the trail. I didn't see the deer until I was about 20 yards away. I just kept running. The deer didn't move. I ended up running within two or three feet of the deer. I was surprised it didn't run away and glad it didn't jump at me.

Two of my favorite Scriptures involve deer.

As the deer longs for streams of water,so I long for you, O God. (Psalm 42:1)

With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland. The parched ground will become a pool, and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land. (Isaiah 35:3-7)

Friday, March 16, 2007

David's Play Day

David's Play Day
I ran on the hilly course early this morning with Maureen. It was a nice, easy 12.4 miles in about an hour and thirty-seven minutes.
Benjamin didn't have school today, so he had his cousin Satori over this morning and the twins, Blake and Nicholas, over this afternoon. I took the three boys across the street to the park this afternoon. We played basketball, played on the jungle gym, and ended up rolling down a big hill about thirty times each.
There is something special about three Kindergarten kids playing in the park. They are so innocent. They love to explore. They forgive quickly. The laugh a lot. They weren't beating themselves up over yesterday or worrying about tomorrow. They were simply living in the present. Us older people can learn a lot from watching them. Maybe that is what Jesus means when he tells us to become like children. (Matthew 18:3)
Meanwhile, back at the house, Chase (Nicholas and Blake's younger brother) and David were playing. Chase is a few months older than David, but they liked each other and played well together.

Thursday, March 15, 2007



I was seriously crunched for time today. I had a one hour and fifteen minute window to run between 12:45 and 2:00 this afternoon.

I couldn't have run at a better time--it was nearly a perfect afternoon. I jogged to the Millard West Track and did 8 x 800 repeats with a 400 meter recovery jog between repeats. My splits were: 2:40, 2:40, 2:41, 2:40, 2:41, 2:41, 2:39, 2:37. I jogged home. Our house seemed further away during the cool-down than the track did during the warm-up.

God gives each of us twenty-four hours per day. That is God's gift to us. What we do with the twenty-four hours is our gift to God. We often don't have the amount of time that we want in life, but that shouldn't stop us. Instead of complaining about the time we don't have, we should use the time we do have.



My hamstrings were very sore from yesterday's attempt to turn back the clock 15 years to my college days and pretend that I was a competitive 1,500 meter runner again. Paul and Maureen were kind enough to slow it down and run with me when they saw me hobbling around the lake. I felt better as the run progressed. I got in 8.21 miles in just over an hour.

I lifted abs, calves, back, and biceps with John during lunch. His wife has us on this new lifting program that seems to be making my upper body as sore as my legs.

I am sleeping better than ever, so I guess a sore body is good for something.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007



For the first time in many months, it was warm outside. We haven't seen 80 degrees since October. It was a great afternoon for 5 x 1 mile repeats. I dropped Amber, Benjamin, and David off at the park on the southeast side of Lake Zorinsky and warmed-up for about a mile. I had a good talk with a guy who was asking me about The Water's Edge. Once I got started doing the faster stuff, I was totally not feeling it, but I gutted it out and gave it a pretty good effort. My splits were: 5:39, 5:40, 5:42, 5:41, and 5:37. I cooled down for a mile, watched Benjamin get chased by some kid at the park, held David, talked to Amber, and drank lots of water. Great way to spend an afternoon!

Monday, March 12, 2007



Maureen and I ran the hilly 20K (12.4 mile) loop south of Gretna this morning. We added 3.7 miles by running across the Platte River footbridge for a total of 16.1 miles. The run took about two hours and five minutes. I was going to do my long run this morning, but had some things to do for the church and needed to get going. I'll save the long run for later in the week. Which day depends on my schedule.

There is something peaceful about seeing the sun rise. We ran up and down countless hills. We ran alongside the Platte River for about five or six miles. We ran the the trails of Schramm Park and crossed the long Platte River footbridge. We saw deer, turkey, fish, trees, and nature in general.

Something peaceful about running exists. It is an adventure that is free of distractions and worry.

Paul writes about the peace that really matters: "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)

The following are some signs and symptoms of inner peace:
  • A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.
  • An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
  • A loss of interest in judging other people.
  • A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
  • A loss of interest in conflict.
  • A loss of the ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom).
  • Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
  • Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.
  • Frequent attacks of smiling.
  • An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.
  • An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.

I pray we all find peace.



I generally don't run on Sunday for two reasons. First my legs need rest. Second, I generally don't have time.

6:30 to 9:30 -- Finish and practice sermon
9:30 to 12:00 -- At school for worship
12:00 to 1:30 -- Hosted Starting Point (get to know new people) at our house
1:30 to 2:30 -- Play with Benjamin and David
2:30 to 5:30 -- Travel to denominational meeting and return home
5:30 to 8:00 -- Travel to small group, lead small group, and return home

Sundays are always great days!

Saturday, March 10, 2007



Benjamin and I made the trek out to Maureen's house this morning. He played with her girls and Maureen and I went running.

My back and arms were sore from painting until 2:30 in the morning and my legs and buttocks were sore from the tempo run yesterday. I even had a headache for some reason. Other than that I felt great!

We got in 13.7 miles in about one hour and forty-five minutes. It took me a few miles to warm-up, but once the muscles got loose, the running was pretty good. It was a beautiful morning running through the hilly gravel roads.

One of their horses had a baby yesterday. Benjamin was so excited to see the pony.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Obstacle Course

Obstacle Course

Lake Zorinsky was an obstacle course this afternoon. I did a 2 x 5K tempo run with a one mile recovery jog between 5Ks. I was hoping to be under six minutes per mile for both repeats, but it didn't work out that way. The trail was snowy, icy, and flooded in certain parts and slowed me down a bit. The first 5K was 18:41 and the second 5K was 18:59. I felt strong and was a total muddy mess by the time I finished.

It was a great day for a run. The temperature was in the mid 50s and it sunny!

The obstacles were a bit much for a faster tempo run. I found myself running over icy spots, through snow drifts, and in puddles of water. I guess it is that way with life as well. Things are rarely smooth, even when we are trying to do our best. We may struggle in a relationship or emotionally or physically or spiritually or in about one hundred other ways. We have a choice on how we deal with obstacles: we can either go over them or go around them or go above them or go through them or tear them down. Or, we can be stopped by them.

Don't let the obstacles stop you! A better life exists on the other side.

Thursday, March 8, 2007



This was my worst run in months. It was just miserable. The plan was to run an easy twelve miles. I had enough after seven. The trail at Zorinsky was miserable and the roads in the surrounding neighborhood were only a little better. I was a little sore from the twenty-two miles yesterday. On days like this I wish I was in a sport slightly less physical than running--like the UFC or the WWE or something.

I ran with Maureen. If it weren't for her I would have stopped after about seven steps instead of seven miles. Accountability is a good thing.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

A Beautiful Thing

A Beautiful Thing

I woke up around 4 o'clock this morning and enjoyed a Blueberry Crisp Clif Bar. I worked for a few hours and then got dressed and made some Go Grape Cytomax. As I drove to south of Gretna, I downed a full sleeve of Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies and the Cytomax for some much needed fuel.

I ran on the hilly gravel roads around the Holy Family Shrine and Schramm Park. I took it pretty easy for most of the 21.7 miles. I averaging about 7:35 per mile and ran for just under 2 hours and 48 minutes. I worked some of the uphills. I climbed a total of 4441 feet and averaged 7:50 per mile running uphill. I ran Ben's Hill (.42 miles long and a 8.45% grade) two times. One of the best things about the run is that I burned about 3,200 calories or the equivalent of about 80 Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies.

It was a beautiful morning. The sun rose across the rolling countryside. Each passing hill brought a new picture. The deer and wild turkey were scattered throughout the near barren fields looking for food.

Maureen met me and we ran the last five miles together. It was good to run with her again. She had been resting much of the previous week and placed fourth in the Little Rock Marathon on Sunday.

Beauty is God's idea. It has more to do with the person looking at the object than the object itself. Two people could look at the exact same object. One may see beauty; the other may be ambivilent. Whether or not we see beauty in life most likely depends on if we understand who the Creator of life is.

Here are two of God's beautiful creatures -- both taking a nap this afternoon.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007



No time to run today -- I worked 14 hours. We had some of the ministry team leaders from our Connection's Team over tonight. We are blessed to serve with such a dedicated and gifted group of leaders! Not only on this team, but all the the teams.

Benjamin enjoyed playing with one of the girls. He was a police officer and she was a magician. He tried to arrest her for putting a spell on a police officer. She put another spell on him so he couldn't arrest her. As you can tell they made up at the end of the night.

Rest in life is essential. Sleep is rest. So is laughter with friends. Watching a baby laugh is rest. So is reading a good book. Rest comes in lots of different forms. Our bodies need rest. So do our minds and our souls.

The rest that really matters is nothing we can do or earn. It is a gift from God. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) Did you catch that? God gives rest to us. It's free.

Since I didn't get to run today, I can run long tomorrow. Running on fresh legs is one of the great joys of life. Being rested beats being tired.

Monday, March 5, 2007



Monday is the day I generally try to take off. Today was not a great day for rest. I worked much of the day. I had to squeeze in a 10K run on the treadmill at Better Bodies between a meeting with a couple whose wedding I am doing in June and the meeting of a ministry team that I lead. I had a good, easy run. I ran the 6.2 miles in 42:42 -- just under seven minutes per mile.

It is ironic, on my day off, that I have to squeeze in a run. Irony teaches us some of life's most important lessons. A situation immortalized in O. Henry's story The Gift of the Magi, in which a young couple is too poor to buy each other Christmas gifts. The man finally pawns his heirloom pocket watch to buy his wife a set of combs for her long, prized, beautiful hair. She, meantime, cuts her hair to sell to a wig maker for money to buy her husband a watch-chain. The irony is two-fold: the couple, having parted with their tangible valuables, is caused by the act to discover the richness of the intangible.

It is in the busyness of life that I learn the value of rest. It is in the complexities of life that I learn the value of the simple. So I will take Wednesday off this week.

Sunday, March 4, 2007



Today's run was nearly perfect. I'll get to the nearly part in a minute. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. It was sunny. No wind. The temperature was in the low 40s during my late afternoon adventure. It felt good to be back in shorts. I got a few comments from some drivers about the shorts. I even got a comment from a college-aged female about my legs. Hey, at age 37, I'll take what I can get.

Speaking of drivers, most drivers on F Street between 180th and 192nd decided to leave their brains at home today. One driver almost ended my running career and any other kind of career. The other fifty feet of road apparently were not going to work for her, so she decided to invade the one foot of the road that I was using. I wanted to give her some kind of gesture, but then remembered I was a pastor and she may be in my church.

So I stayed mostly west of 204th Street. I went north to Center on 222nd Street and then north another mile after that. I ended up in the community formerly known as Elkhorn. I saw a Elkhorn police car. They don't have the decals changed on the squad cars yet. If the city of Omaha is as quick to do that as they are to scrape the roads in my subdivision, the cars will have to wait until the sun melts off the decals.

I ran 12.4 miles late this afternoon. I wanted to do 15, but had to cut it short because I lead a small group at six o'clock and my friends definitely appreciate me showering.

It was really peaceful running on the country roads. Living in the city, I forget they are so close.

It was cool to be running next to a seven foot snow drift and sweating because I was too hot. Life is life that sometimes. A paradox. A sweaty runner surrounded by snow.

Consider the paradox of hedonism: when one pursues happiness itself, one is miserable; but, when one pursues something else, one achieves happiness. Or the paradox of control: a person can never be free of control, for to be free of control is to be controlled by oneself. And who wants to be controlled by oneself? Or the paradox of thrift: If everyone saves more money during times of recession, then aggregate demand will fall and will in turn lower total savings in the population.

One more paradox to consider: God so loved the world that he gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. God sacrificed the perfect for the imperfect. Thank God for paradoxes.

I ran 70 miles this week and discovered another paradox: running, a physically tiring activity, especially in ten mile increments, gives the runner more energy than it takes.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

We Can Leave

We Can Leave

Vehicles can finally leave our subdivision after two days of being snowed in. Amber had to see people this morning at work and I had to speak tonight at church, so our little two day vacation at home is over.

It was fun. Benjamin's school was cancelled. We just hung out and did a few things around the house. Benjamin and I played in the snow before Amber went to work this morning. I took a two hour nap with David after Amber left. Benjamin was working down in his lab and would come and check on us from time to time.

I did repeat 800s late this afternoon on the treadmill at Better Bodies. I didn't have too much time from when Amber got off work to the time I had to speak tonight -- so it was quality, not quantity. I did a mile warm-up and cool down. The workout was 8 x 800 meters with a 400 meter recovery jog between reps. I was able to do all the 800s at my target pace: 2:53, 2:51, 2:50, 2:48, 2:47, 2:45, 2:44, and 2:42.

This is my shortest workout and is among the most difficult. My breathing becomes very audible and my heart rate hovers around 190. Each rep becomes more challenging than the previous one. The recovery runs, although they are all the same distance, seem shorter as the workout progresses.

Life is like that. Times of stress and times of recovery. Stress without recovery is called self-destruction. Recovery without stress is called complacency. Stress with proper recovery is called growth.

Friday, March 2, 2007



The big physical task today wasn't running. It was spending a few hours shovelling snow from our driveway. Drifts were as high as three feet and the driver of the snow plow left us a four foot present full of icy clumps at the bottom of our driveway. We have a three car garage with a two car driveway with room for one car to enter the driveway. Thankfully we only have two cars and the next gathering at our house isn't scheduled for nine more days.

So for all my readers in Texas, Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida, Southern California, Alabama, Georgia, Arizona -- snow is heavy. Lots of snow is really, really heavy. Pray that one of these months, winter will be over in Nebraska. At least Benjamin, Georgia, and I had lots of fun working in the snow.

I managed to run about nine miles -- mostly on the hills of Giles Road between 168th and 204th Streets -- late this afternoon. Very tough and slow going.

That's the way life is sometimes -- tough and slow going. I pray the run made me stronger. I pray the times in life that are tough and slow going make us all stronger.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

The Servant

The Servant

We had blizzard like conditions today in Omaha. We sent Benjamin to go out into the snow to see if he could find the newspaper for us. The kid gave it his best shot, but came back empty handed.

Then we sent Georgia out. She has the body type and the brute strength to get the paper, but got too distracted. Note: She is usually a black dog.

It took me about 90 minutes to shovel about half of our driveway. The other half will have to wait until tomorrow. We can't get our cars out until the driveway is scooped as some of the drifts are two to three feet high. So I couldn't get to the gym to run on the treadmill today. Not a problem...
I took off from our house at 173rd and Harrison about 4:15. I left Harrison Woods, crossed Harrison, and ran north through Mission Park. I crossed Q going north through Hawthorne to F Street. I helped three motorists get unstuck. I took F Street to the east to Lake Zorinsky (probably about 174th Street) then took F Street west to 222nd Street. F Street was strangely isolated, but the road was in pretty good shape. Entrances to subdivisions were totally drifted over. No way in or out. The northwest wind was a bit much at this point. Thirty mile per hour winds were hammering my face with little ice pellets. Amber wanted me to take a cell phone, so I fielded five calls when I was running. Here was one of the conversations.
CF: Mikey.
MW: Hey Craig. Man I could have swore I just saw you running at 192nd and F.
CF: Yeah. That was me.
MW: Where are you now?
CF: Ummm...194th and F.
MW: You're crazy. OK, gotta focus on the road. Later dude.
CF: Bye.
I made it out to 222nd Street. Didn't see a single car between 204th and 222nd -- either way -- about 3 miles total. It was very peaceful, especially coming back with the wind at my back.
The tranquility ended when I got back into Omaha. I helped a few more stranded cars. I run into this 4 wheel drive truck who was stuck at 192nd and Q. He had a baby in the backseat, so he needed to get out. I wasn't able to do it by myself. This guy, about 20 years old, pulled up behind him to help. It turns out the 20 year old was just driving around helping people who were stuck. We got the chains hooked up between the vehicles and a few minutes later we were all three on our way: the guy and the baby were on their way home, the 20 year old was on to help his next person, and I had about two and a half miles left.
What a great guy. Driving a truck around helping people who need helped. The kid is a true servant.
13.5 miles, 6 stranded motorists unstuck, and 5 phone calls taken.