Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I'm going to go to the doctor tomorrow, assuming he can fit me in, and am going to see a physical therapist, who also doubles as my training partner, on Thursday. She specializes in runners.
I'm assuming I'm done running for a while and that I won't be doing the Boston Marathon in two weeks and six days.
Here is the 411 on sports hernias:
DEAR MAYO CLINIC:
I keep hearing about "sports hernias." What are they, what symptoms do they cause, and can anyone get them? -- Minnesota
A hernia, strictly speaking, is an abnormal protrusion from one part of the body into another. For example, one of the most common types -- an inguinal hernia -- occurs when soft tissue (usually, part of the intestine) bulges through a weak point or opening in the muscle of the lower abdomen.
In the misnamed "sports hernia," however, there is usually no bulge. Occurring in the same general area -- the groin -- as that of an inguinal hernia, a sports hernia is a tear, strain, or weakness in one of the three muscles or the fascia ("gristle" that attaches muscle to bone) of the abdominal wall.
Sports hernias are thought to result from extreme, forceful and repeated twisting-and-turning movements, as in serious levels of play in sports such as soccer, hockey and tennis. As such, it is an affliction of professional athletes and is very rare among, say, two-mile joggers. Actually, it is even rare among heavy-duty athletes. While professional football players number more than 1,500, there may be only a handful of cases per year.
The symptoms of a sports hernia are similar to those of an inguinal hernia: sharp pain or discomfort in the groin or lower abdomen, especially when patients exert themselves -- for example, by lifting, running or even coughing. Unlike an inguinal hernia, however, a sports hernia is difficult to diagnose, as it presents no obvious external signs. It is also hard to spot one through imaging technologies such as MRI, CT or ultrasound because a small, subtle and nearly invisible muscle injury is the usual culprit.
Sports hernias are identified by default through a diagnosis of exclusion -- when other possible causes of the symptoms, such as inguinal hernia, appendicitis, bladder problems or testicular problems, are ruled out.
The pain of a sports hernia can be relieved with analgesics or ice packs, though they may also have the perverse effect of ultimately worsening the condition. If an athlete continues to play through the problem, the tissue weakness, strain or tear will likely worsen.
The best treatment for sports hernias is nature's own -- to lay off the offending activity and rest for a period ranging from a few weeks to a few months. It is also useful to engage in exercises that strengthen the abdominal muscles and increase their flexibility. This course is especially effective for professional athletes; because they are young and strong, they tend to have tremendous recuperative powers. On the other hand, they also tend to be exceptionally eager to get back in the game and seek a quick fix.
But quick, reliable fixes are not to be had. While surgical procedures exist -- suturing the tear (if it can be isolated) or patching the area with a synthetic mesh -- they offer no guarantee of solving the problem or preventing its recurrence.
Fortunately, though, given enough time, patience and self-restraint, the problem will usually heal by itself without such interventions.
-- David R. Farley, M.D., General Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
Monday, March 30, 2009
When I was a chaplain at a mental health hospital, my supervisor, Father Sitzman had a saying: "Pain in life is inevitable, suffering is optional." Pain happens. Jesus said, "Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." -John 16:33
Tough times in life will come. God acknowledges this. But suffering seems to be more of a choice. God has overcome the world. We can let our pain define us or we can choose to define ourselves in spite of the pain in our lives.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
20 Gifts to Give
- Mend a quarrel.
- Seek out a forgotten friend.
- Hug someone tightly and whisper, “I love you so.”
- Forgive an enemy.
- Be gentle and patient with an angry person.
- Express appreciation.
- Gladden the heart of a child.
- Find time to keep a promise.
- Make or bake something for someone else. Anonymously.
- Speak kindly to a stranger.
- Enter into another’s sorrow.
- Smile. Laugh a little. Laugh a little more.
- Take a walk with a friend.
- Kneel down and pat a dog.
- Lessen your demands on others.
- Apologize if you were wrong.
- Turn off the television and talk.
- Pray for someone who helped when you hurt.
- Give a soft answer even though you feel strongly.
- Encourage an older person.
No running today. Too sore.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Here is what she wrote. This is beautiful and powerful stuff:
I returned home Sunday night from a short mission trip called "Urban Plunge," where rural folks like me plunge headlong into the reality of urban suffering, a mere three hours from our doorsteps.
On the streets of Omaha, Neb., I witnessed the beauty of irony among the homeless, the lonely, the needy. For 48 hours, I experienced Jesus at work through prayer, the lifting of burdens, the reminder of God's provision for the broken. But, you see, the one on the receiving end -- of prayer, of lifted burden, of provision -- was me.
Me. ... One who is no less broken than Merced the Homeless, or Roosevelt the Poor, or James the Drunk, or Octavia the Fatherless, or any of the others I met here in the midst of their own suffering. What gift is this, that I should receive so abundantly from those who have so little?
Vignette I: Reality Check
They were waiting for us, in a single-file line outside the doors of the homeless shelter. Fifty deep, I'd guess, hungry for what we'd bring. They trusted that we'd come -- like folks do every Friday night.
We came to offer a bedtime snack -- and a bit of hope.
Two miles south, you could spend $200 on a meal at the French Cafe in the Old Market, while sipping vintage Cabernet over candlelight.
On the menu at the French Cafe:
Le Carre d' Agneau
rack of lamb, thyme demi-glace
white beans, pomegranate relish
On the menu at the Siena Francis House homeless shelter:
Nacho Chips and Melted Cheese
Crispy, with a slightly salty finish
Cost: Free for the taking
Vignette II: Prayer
Rachel saw him first. Merced was alone, against the wall.
She clutched a handmade blanket and was in search of the one to receive it. The one. Not just any-one. This blanket was for a special someone, and she wanted to find him. And there he was, against the wall. I followed Rachel to Merced the Homeless. I was skeptical and wary and protective of my 12-year-old niece.
She offered the blanket. He accepted, then told the story of his trip from Guadalajara to Washington to Omaha, Neb., in search of work. He searched for answers to questions that required the digging up of old wounds. Was his oldest son 17 now? he wondered.
We prayed with Merced; Rachel wanted to go first. "Dear God, Please be with Merced and help him find a job. Help him to be happy and not alone anymore. God bless Merced."
I brought Rachel, my goddaughter on this trip, to influence her. Yet who was the greater influence?
A child shall lead them. Beautiful irony.
Vignette III: Burden Lifted
I was on shopping-cart duty.
At the largest food-pantry in Nebraska, needy families may come once every 60 days to fill boxes full of canned goods, frozen food, milk, bread, fresh vegetables.
The boxes are so heavy that the pantry assigns volunteers to wait at the back door with shopping carts to carry each family's food to the curb.
And that's where I met my friend Roosevelt the Poor -- in the shopping cart lineup. He was eligible to receive food from the pantry, but today, he also came to serve. For three hours, he and I and a crew of others carted groceries from the back door to the curb.
Roosevelt, a man of great poverty and suffering, was rich in giving and sacrifice. He's 42. He's single. He speaks with a stutter. And he can't drive on account of his drinking.
He took an hour-long bus drive through busy city streets to get there. To serve.
Roosevelt served me, too, you know.
Time and again, my shopping cart overflowed with brimming loads -- 50 pounds or more in one box. Would I be able to lift it over the edge of the cart and into the back of a trunk? Roosevelt asked me.
I said I could, but he didn't want to take a chance.
Here, n-n-n-now," he said, "that's too heavy. L-l-l-let me. You wait for the next one. This one can be m-m-m-mine."
My burden became his.
Vignette IV: God's Provision
On our final morning, Pastor John called us to the lobby of the dormitory for an impromptu communion service.
He used communion wafers. He poured wine into a Styrofoam cup, atop a crumpled paper towel -- disposable, headed for the trash.
John spoke of the condemned buildings that we had seen the night before -- reminding us of the broken lives within, calling attention to the condemnation we'd face were it not for the grace of God.
There was no music to heighten the mood. No choir to move us to new heights. No PowerPoint presentations to help us visualize Christ's sacrifice.
"The body of Christ, given for you. The blood of Christ, shed for you."
"The body of Christ, given for you. The blood of Christ, shed for you."
We would be disposable and trash-bound, if not for God. Yet even within our own fragility, lies a treasure worth more than gold, a treasure that is not of our own making.
We are rescued from our condemnation for something more.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Here is an incredible story of a father's love for a his son. The footage at the end of the video is from the father - son team doing the Ironman together. This provides a glimpse of God's love for us as God carries us through the marathon of life and helps us cross the finish line to our final victory.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
7:00 - Amber leaves for work
9:00 - Soccer for Benjamin
12:15 - Benjamin goes to birthday party and David takes nap
12:16 - Craig prepares for a wedding
2:15 - Craig wakes David up
2:30 - Craig and David meet Amber at the church
3:00 - Craig does wedding
4:15 - Craig visits a new baby and family at the hospital
6:00 - Dinner and family time
The first lap at Zorinsky (7.35 miles) was easy running (mostly 7:15 to 7:30). I did just over 5 miles on F Street and continued with the easy running. The last lap at Zorinsky (7.35 miles) was 49:36 (6:44 per mile). 20 miles total.
My hip flexor got really tight the last two miles. I had trouble walking up the two steps in our garage when I got home. I don't know what to do. If I don't run, I wouldn't be in any kind of shape to run the marathon and if I do run my injuries don't get any better.
Regardless, here is the lesson from this morning's run:
I saw three people and one car during the entire run. The first 80 minutes I was all by myself. There were some rabbits. A few deer. The stars, the moon, a siren coming from Center Street. I was alone, but not lonely. Loneliness has nothing to do with being in the presence of others. Loneliness is a status of the heart.
Buechner writes: That you can be lonely in a crowd, maybe especially there, is readily observable. You can also be lonely with your oldest friends, or your family, even with the person you love the most in the world. To the lonely it is to be aware of an emptiness which it takes more than people to fill. It is to sense that something is missing that you cannot name.
"By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion," sings the Psalmist (137:1). Maybe in the end it is Zion that we're lonely for, the place we know best by longing for it, where at last we become who we are, where finally we find home.
As I ran in the dark through the woods and by the water's edge, I wasn't alone. As my hip flexors gradually started tightening up and the effort got a little tougher, I was perfectly content with who I am, who others are, and who God is. I was alone, but not lonely.
Friday, March 20, 2009
I love this video. I'm showing it in church on Sunday before my message. Give somebody a hug today. You might just make their day!
Monday, March 9, 2009
I ran 7.35 miles around the lake after Amber got home from work. The extra hour of sunlight was a big help. My right leg is pretty messed up. The heart and lungs felt very strong, but I just can't seem to get over these nagging injuries. I ran pretty easy, around 7 minutes per mile.
Benjamin has been working pretty hard on a report about President Kennedy. He and his friend Josh made a video and it can be viewed here.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Do. (dôô) verb - To perform or execute
Love is best thought of as a verb. Compassion and mercy are things that we do. If we only feel or think about love, compassion, and mercy – what good is that?
If you want to dig a little deeper, I suggest reading chapter 11 of "When the Game is Over it All Goes Back in the Box" by John Ortberg.
Here are my notes:
Many of us are square fillers. Most of us have a sense that our squares are too chaotic, stuffed with too much activity, but that we’ll get around to what matters most one day when things settle down. –John Ortberg
Many of us say that we will get to the parts of life that we have been When things settle down. Do you suppose things will ever settle down?
I was reading the results from a survey. The gist of the survey was what is the one thing that prevents you from knowing God better and loving God more. Think about your answer. The most common answer was: I’m too busy. You know in the past the people who have gotten us this far were not stopped by: 1) Prosecution, 2) Poverty, and 3) Prison. But we have let busyness slow us down because we are confident that one day things will settle down.
We all have things in our lives that keep us busy: work, school, kids, household management, sleep, personal care, etc…
The first priority is a relationship with God.
Are these statements true of you?
- I don’t want to get to the end of my life and not know God
- I don’t want every prayer to be help
- I want God’s heartbeat to be my heartbeat
- I want to discover His dreams for me
- I want to relentlessly chase and pursue those dreams
- I have a legacy I want to pass on
- I have patterns I don’t want to pass on
When we put God first:
- We yield fruit
- We don't wither
- We prosper
Jesus knew this:
Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. –Mark 1:35
Another priority is our relationship with others.
Jesus was always present with the people he was with. We never heard him say: “Huh, I’m sorry, I wasn’t paying attention.”
Jesus knew that people take time. Relationships cannot be microwaved. Intimacy is never convenient.
As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” –Luke 10:38-42
Martha – Distracted
Mary – Present
Part of our time should be spent serving others.
We all have an innate desire to add value to the world and make the world a little better place.
And we are confident in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we commanded you. -2 Thessalonians 3:4
No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. -Micah 6:8
Our true home is life is the love of God, the love of people, and serving the world. And God wants us to enjoy our lives.
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! –Philippians 4:4
It’s kind of like this: If Satan won’t make you bad, he will make you busy.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
One of my sisters was visiting today on her way to a skiing trip in Colorado with another sister. The boys had a great time with the cousins.
That is a pretty good way to think of a friend: one party who says "stay here" when the other party relucantly has to leave. Friendship, family, and others we love are a gift from God.
I had a nice run with Shannon, Scott, and Derek this morning. 14 miles at about 7 minutes per mile.
Friday, March 6, 2009
So here is a question: Wouldn’t it be pretty boring if all cookies were the same? Variety is a good thing.
And so it is with people. When God created me, He made me unique. I have particular gifts and abilities. I am wired differently than others. I look dissimilarly than others. This is who I am. It is my true self. Only as I become who God intends for me to become will I experience contentment and freedom. It is at this point of authenticity and realness when I am one with God, myself, and others. And so it is with you.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Think about that. Not only are you wonderfully complex. You are God’s masterpiece. You are living a once-to-be-lived and never-to-be-repeated life. God created you because the party wouldn’t be complete without you. God doesn’t want you to become like somebody else. Here are the lyrics to the song Persona:
Every morning I put it on. I walk outside and I am gone. And I don't seem to mind anymore. I can't think what it was like before. I wore it all the time.
In the evening I take it off, but there's another one underneath. And I can't seem to find the bottom of the stack I just might lose my mind and never get it back, but at least I'll get inside.
Some of us struggle with trying to meet the expectations of others and of culture, and we are losing our true self that God has created us to be. So today do God, others, and yourself a favor: embrace and be yourself.
No running. No time.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
You can buy the book here. It is a nice little book on busyness and priorities.
I did 10 miles with Christy this afternoon. Another great afternoon. We warmed up for about a mile and then did 10 x 800 meters hard with 3 minutes jogging between reps. We finished up with a cool down for about 2 miles.
Post run I met up with Amber and the boys who were enjoying the afternoon at one of the playgrounds at Lake Zorinsky.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I tried to do about 15 miles this afternoon at marathon pace. I didn't lose as much fitness as I thought I did and ran exceptionally well on the nicest day of the year.
I did 14.81 miles in 1:39:44 for an average of 6:44 per mile. It's not quite where I wanted to be, but overall, not bad. Plus, my ankle held up and seems to be all better.
Monday, March 2, 2009
- A man who as a physical being is always turned toward the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him.
- Be that self which one truly is.
- Boredom is the root of all evil - the despairing refusal to be oneself.
- Don't forget to love yourself.
- During the first period of a man's life the greatest danger is not to take the risk.
- Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.
- Faith is the highest passion in a human being. Many in every generation may not come that far, but none comes further.
- Far from idleness being the root of all evil, it is rather the only true good.
- God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners.
- How absurd men are! They never use the liberties they have, they demand those they do not have. They have freedom of thought, they demand freedom of speech.
10 miles easy in 75 minutes at an average of 7:30 per mile.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
- It is so hard to believe because it is so hard to obey.
- It seems essential, in relationships and all tasks, that we concentrate only on what is most significant and important.
- Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
- Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living.
- Love does not alter the beloved, it alters itself.
- Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.
- Once you label me you negate me.
- One can advise comfortably from a safe port.
- Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts.
- Patience is necessary, and one cannot reap immediately where one has sown.
- People understand me so poorly that they don't even understand my complaint about them not understanding me.
- Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.
- Purity of heart is to will one thing.
- The truth is a snare: you cannot have it, without being caught. You cannot have the truth in such a way that you catch it, but only in such a way that it catches you.
- There is nothing with which every man is so afraid as getting to know how enormously much he is capable of doing and becoming.
- To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.
Nothing today. Still kind of sick and still kind of injured.