Tuesday, April 10, 2007


During my workout this morning it dawned on me that in one week I will be running the Boston Marathon. I can do nothing else at this point in the journey to make myself run faster or farther. But, I can do silly things to make me go slower and shorter. So from here on out, the motto is, "Train smarter, not harder."

Christy and I ran 4 x 2 miles at marathon pace (6:20 per mile / 2:46 marathon) with 800 meter recovery runs between reps. I am not sure whose marathon pace this is, I guess it must be Christy's since I ran with her. Christy is an awesome runner and is a joy to run with. She has run in the last two Olympic Trials and has qualified for 2008 as well. We did the two mile repeats in 12:40, 12:46, 12:37, and 12:40.

(Photo courtesy of www.ndorfnz.com)

I think runners are generally misunderstood. I was reading a book the other night that had absolutely nothing to do with running. It was a theology book. Out of the blue, the author starts writing about running:

Running is supposed to be good for the heart, the lungs, the muscles, and physical well-being in general. It is also said to produce a kind of euphoria known as runner's high. The look of anguish and despair that contorts the faces of most of the people you see huffing and puffing away at it by the side of the road, however, is striking. If you didn't know directly from them that they are having the time of their lives, the chances are you wouldn't be likely to guess it. (Whistling in the Dark by Frederick Buechner, p. 72.)

mĭs'ŭn-dər-stʊd' adj. Past participle of misunderstand.

1. Incorrectly interpreted.

As runners we are probably misunderstood. When running fast, anguish generally appears on the face that is huffing and puffing. But, I remember when the workout ended, Christy and I both made a fist and smacked our fists together--kind of like a high five. It was rewarding. The pain was temporary. But we pushed our bodies and are challenging the limits God has given us. The runner knows that pain, if it does not cause injury, leads to growth.

Being misunderstood is frustrating for anybody who is misunderstood. As a parent of five year old whose communication skills are obviously not fully developed yet, Benjamin and other kids Benjamin's age get frustrated when they are misunderstood. When I visit patients in the hospital, I sense frustration when they are not understood. Christians can be misunderstood. Culture may see us as people who think everybody should live by strict moral rules when the heart of Christianity is simply loving God and loving God's children.

Being misunderstood is going to happen. Sometimes it is funny. Other times it is frustrating. One thing we can all do is try to understand others.

ŭn'dər-stănd' Verb.

1. To know and be tolerant or sympathetic

So we will do our best to know, be tolerant, and be sympathetic. And be flexible and forgiving when misunderstandings happen.

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