Category Archives: Running

Running Your Race

This past weekend, I ran a half marathon. It was hot and humid and now I’m physically paying for it in pain……..but it was worth it.

It was pretty crowded, and as we ran along rarely was there not someone pretty close to you. I had to be on my guard at all times so I wouldn’t be playing bumper cars with other runners. It would be pretty dangerous for an old man to go down on his face.

When training for a half marathon or any other distance running event you must have a specific training plan you follow. You have to run specific distances and speeds and even be diligent about your gait and posture. You have to be consistent with the food and drink you take into your body both before, during, and after the run. Consistency is important because if you introduce something into your run during the running event that you have never done before, it could keep you from finishing your race.

Basically you must have a plan and stick with it. No matter how you feel on race day.

However, one of the most difficult things for a runner to do is stay with the plan. You see someone running a little faster than your planned pace and you want to try to keep up. You went a little slower up the hill  than you thought you would, so you miss your next “walk break” to make up a little time. Or better yet, you see a tiny little 20-something knocking it up a hill faster than you  and, well, we can’t let that little girl beat you can we?

It’s very difficult to keep your mind off the other runners around you and stick with what you know you should be doing.

As I was running along this past weekend I considered how parallel that is to our walk with God.

God has given us a plan in His written word, the Bible. It’s written down, and in all honesty, it’s actually pretty clear. At least on the important parts, it is. Where His written word isn’t clear, He’s given us His Holy Spirit to guide us when He feels the time is right. The Bible is our plan. It’s His written plan for walking out our salvation and for living lives of obedience before God.

The problems begin, however, when we start looking at the other “runners” around us and think we need to keep up with them. We see them running a little faster. We see them being cheered on from the sidelines. And we see them meeting their goals with seeming ease. All the while we’re huffing and puffing just to get up the “hill” in our lives.

There are far too many “experts” these days that want to tell how to run better and faster and win that shiny medal of gold you’ve had your eyes and heart set on all your life. These “expert runners” frequently tell you things God wants you to be doing but, quite frankly, it’s just not in the Bible. Oh, they’ll take an  instruction here or there, usually out of a plan meant for other types of running (Old Testament), and use it to help you run better. But it’s not in the current plan you’re to be running to.

You want to know what your plan says about you? Crack open your Bible and begin reading the New Testament. Until you finish, pour your heart into it. Tune out the other runners and keep your eyes on the plan until you’re done. When you reach a difficult “instruction”, ask “The Expert”, Jesus, to make it clear for you. In time He will.

Most of these “experts” mean well, but nevertheless it doesn’t help you run your race. As you run your race, studying and following your “plan”, and a true expert comes along with good advice, you’ll know it. Until then, tune the “experts” out.

10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (Acts 17:10-11, ESV)

Even Luke, in the book of Acts, said it was a noble thing to search the scriptures diligently to see if what Paul was saying was true. I suggest you do the same with the “expert runners” around you……..you just might find you’ve been fed a load of ……..granola bars.

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Filed under Christianity, Life, Running

Run For Your Life

My wife and I have been “running” for a while now. Nearly three years, I guess. It doesn’t really seem that long because I would’ve thought there would be more progress in three years. I put the word “running” in quotes because what we actually do probably more closely resembles waddling….like a duck….than running.

Nevertheless, like most people who run, we began to run as a way to lose weight and improve our health. We were both on a one way ticket to a life of health problems if we continued eating whatever and exercising never.

I’ve seen a bumper sticker on the back of cars that reads “Run. For life”. All of the reasons people run can be summed up in this statement. Running improves the quality of a person’s life. And that’s why I started running. Hopefully to improve my physical health….my physical life.

These past couple if years have been rough ones. Deaths in the family. Job loss looming in the background like a dark cloud. And worst of all, changing churches and the ensuing loss of a stable “spiritual life”.

The other day I realized that running is one of the things I’ve been using to help me cope with the enormity of it all. I’ve been “Running. For life.” When all the thoughts of darkness have threatened to envelop me, I run.

I thought about the bumper sticker I mentioned above, “Run. For life”, the other day. I wondered what my bumper sticker would say if I was to have a similar sticker on my truck. Maybe something like this:

  • Run. Because the pain in your lungs clears your head.
  • Run. Because the pain in your lungs isn’t as bad as the pain in your head.
  • Run. Because thanking God for the extra mile you ran is necessary when you’re finding it too difficult to  be thankful.
  • Run. Because it gives you something to talk about other than problems.
  • Run. Because you find it easier to pray on Sunday while running than attending church.
  • Run. It occupies the time you used to have serving the church.

And maybe the “best” of them all.

  • Run. If you don’t you might just run….away.

Running, for me, has filled a place in my life that needed filling. The pain of being left in the cold between churches has been the most difficult time of my life. Probably much like a divorce, I don’t know.

I know I’ll have to curtail it someday, before it becomes an idol. But for now I believe it’s been a gift from God, allowing me something to occupy myself with while I wait. I’m not good at waiting, and I guess He knows this.

So for now, I run…..maybe tomorrow something else……because God is sovereign and don’t forget that.

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Filed under Church, Diet and Exercise, personal, Running

Second 5K…It’s An Addiction

Today we were a couple of heathens and skipped church and ran another 5K in Trinity River Park. It was our second 5K. Well, other than this one here. But it was the second one that we were able to actually participate in.

The 5K was named the Honored Hero Run and it benefitted children with blood cancers.

As it seems with most 5K’s or any other organized runs for that matter, we received a t-shirt to wear while running. This year the logo on the t-shirts and awards were designed by a couple of children who are currently patients with blood cancer. I thought it was kinda cool that the logos are designed by the kids that are benefitting from the run.

The run started at 8 am and it was perfect weather for running. It was cool, a little humid, with a light breeze. We ran along the Trinity River. The fresh air and the scenery was great.

Laura Ann finally was able to run in a 1K fun run. She did pretty well and was able to run about half the way. She received a medal for finishing and my wife and I were so proud of her. She was pretty proud of herself too.

Kristine and I ran together just like we did last time. Once again, Kristine took second place in her age group and received a pretty cool trophy. I’m so proud of where she’s come from. I think her and I running together is one of the funnest things her and I have ever done as a couple since we’ve been married.

It’s still so hard to believe that she runs toward the top of her age group in speed. Sure, when you look at the results of other races and distances around the area, there are many that are much faster, but she certainly is in the top 10 percent of women aged 40-44.

May the LORD continue to bless us with physical strength and if He’s willing  I hope we can only get better, because my plans are for a 10K next time!

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Filed under Diet and Exercise, Family, Running

Running Your Mouth

My wife and I have been running now for a while. Every since she took second place in her last 5K, it’s lit a fire under her running. She is focused and really looks forward to running. She’s even trying to involve the whole family.

In looking for our next 5K to run in, she found one in a nearby town. A fairly popular 5K. In addition to a 5K, they were holding also a 10K and a 1K fun run.

It’s this 1K that she was using to get the rest of the family involved, namely Laura Ann, our 9 year-old.

Over the past month, Kristine, my wife, and Laura Ann have been training for the 1K. Surprising to us was how Laura Ann was so looking forward to the run. The excitement was building.

Well yesterday morning, new outfit on, full of anticipation, Laura Ann toed the starting line along with several other children about her age. The horn sounded and they were off.

Then 15 steps or so into the race, Laura Ann was down smack on her face. Shoved down by an overly aggressive girl her age who was shoving her way to the front. Notice the elbow into the gut of the girl next to her. Might make a good running back in the NFL.

Laura Ann’s face was messed up and her two front teeth were broken. No one seemed to care, dismissing it as merely something that happens. “Gotta pay if you wanna play”. Well, she’s going to the dentist first thing Monday morning and we’ll see what kind of damage was done. Worst of all, Laura Ann’s heart was broken. My anger came out probably a little too unchecked.

It’s exactly this sort of thing that has left me disgusted with sports in general. The aggressive grinding of others to powder in order for your climb to the top and our society’s worship of these type of “sports heroes” .

This is where I fail to understand my fellow Christian men and their almost obsessive love of sports. It’s one of the reasons I have such a difficult time fellowshipping with other Christian men. I can’t look up to, obsess over, discuss endlessly and commit my time to a group of “heroes” that have become almost “worshipped” for their elbow to the gut of another player.

I’m sorry, I don’t see that it’s something we as Christians need to be putting so much time and effort into.

It’s this sort of thing, as seen in the picture above, that I feel most kids are learning of the sports activities of today. You know, little league ball parks filled with aggressive, yelling, screaming parents is what seems to be the norm today.

I’m sickened from yesterday’s events. I don’t feel like this girl learned to behave this way on her own. I can almost guarantee that somewhere behind this elbowing little girl is an adult whose behavior she is mimicking.

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Filed under Family, Running