Monday, April 22, 2013

M-Cubed for 4.22.2013

Monday Morning Musings for Monday, April Twenty-Second, Two Thousand Thirteen...a collection of musings that end up here (from time to time) on Monday morning.

- 71.8 miles last week! Sunday was 6.6. Monday was 0. Tuesday was my birthday 29. Wednesday had 0...recovery day. Thursday loosened me up with 4 miles. Another rest day was Friday with 0 and Saturday? A rockin' 26.2 miles in 3:41:11!! Woohoo! 71.8 and still 3 days of rest. Injury free, too!!

- The heat is running in my house at 3:10am. "I will wear only shorts. I have willed winter away. My winter running clothes are back in storage. I will wear only shorts!" OK...enough cold, already! Perhaps another rest day is in order?

- Recovery since Saturday's marathon has been pretty good. I did sleep in until 5am (gulp!) yesterday and got a solid 8hr sleep and took the day off from running. I do believe in day-after runs but simply had zero desire to lace up. Not much more desire this morning, honestly, but we'll see what happens. Physically, no issues. No blisters, no pain, no anything. Just a little beat down mentally and physically.

- My 21st ultra is just around the corner...like 6 days around the corner. This Sunday is the "Forget the PR 50K" on the trails of Mohican State Park, about halfway to Columbus. Just like a Navy drill weekend, I'll just wake up early and drive on down that morning. Shocking to many fellow trail runners, I've never stepped foot on a Mohican trail. I do know, though, that I have some kick butt hills to tackle and one water crossing that will be between my knees and thighs. No staying dry! After Sunday, I'm "race free" for all of May as it stands now. The big race of the year is just around the corner on Father's Day...my 40-miler in the West Virginia mountains.

- Am I alone in being one that scrolls as fast as possible past more news about the bombing suspect in custody? He's caught, his brother is dead, and sure, I'm curious as to why he did what he did, etc. but I hate just seeing his mug on my phone or computer screen. I'm not saying I want to live in a bubble but seriously, I have a life to lead, too, and a family to care for. So much more to focus on so fast-scrolling it is for now and I'll check back in now and then for updates. In the meantime....life!

- Great sermon yesterday at church. Our pastor began a new series on "doubt." Doubt is certainly one of those emotions we all face and probably daily at some level, no matter what walk we are on. There is such a difference, though, on how we handle doubt, depending on the foundation upon which we stand, isn't there? If what we believe and base our life on isn't rooted in something concrete, something solid...doubt can truly run crazy and leaving a wrecking ball's worth of damage in its wake. It can cloud so much good!

- Heard this question? "How can God allow things like the Boston bombing to happen?" "If there really is a God, this would not happen." "Did God cause this to happen? Is it punishment?" Great questions...all of them, and totally normal. Same with natural disasters, mass shootings, war, etc. Here's my take: God's heart breaks at the sight of things like this. I do believe He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and is right there for you...and me, at all times. HOWEVER, He gave you and me free choice. It all goes back to the story of Adam and Eve and the garden. Eve had but one directive..don't eat that apple! She could look at it, touch it, smell it...but just don't eat it. Eat anything else! But, as the story goes, deception crept in which made her to think that direction was one to be ignored and she took the bite that changed it all. Free choice then...followed by pain and free choice today...followed by pain. Our world is a very fallen one and filled with hate, selfishness, and desire to please self over others. Sure, there is much good in the world but the evil often trumps good in times like these. The thing is this: we have to let the "light" shine through on times like these and in our daily lives. The light blots out the darkness and it can't exist.  Standing in that light, though, is a choice. It is awesome, though, to stand in it....like at the marathon on Saturday. We took tragedy and turned it for good. Bitterness, hatred, pain, anger, doubt...they all exist in the shadow but you/I don't have to stay there. For me, when that darkness comes, I have to run to the One who won't ever fail me and to my bride. One in spirit and the other in the flesh... If you ever feel like you're alone and have nowhere to turn...you're wrong. YOU'RE WRONG! You do...we all do...free will to choose. Choose well and choose the illuminated path...not the one wrought with darkness. Pain will come...be ready for it. Need prayer and support? Ask for it.

- Swing...what a great new style of ballroom dancing! We began another 6-week session last week. We completed 6 weeks of tango (thanks to a killer Groupon deal) and decided to take the plunge again. Totally, 100% different, and loads of fun is how I'd describe swing. Where tango is much more structured, swing is more "loosey-goosey"...that's really the best way I can describe it. The first basic step we learned last wee is an 8-count step but it's more "loose" in how it's executed and very customizable as long as you hit the key markers with your partner to keep yourselves together. My wife and I were joking that we're probably that couple who thinks we have it and look great doing it but on the outside looking in, we're probably all goofy and such.  Who cares?! We laugh and smile more than ever. I can't recommend it enough! We have a great instructor, too, who has a great way of teaching and is  simply kind and "tolerant" to those of us with "two left feet."

- OK...fine. I'll go run. But, I'm not wearing winter pants. It's just going to have to be a shorts-wearing, 35F morning run and won't be pretty. I do need my joints to get a little sweat-lubrication going this Monday morning and break away those cobwebs. Maybe the stars will be out... Regardless, I'll be moving and running happy. Maybe someone will ask me at work this week again: "You ever run?" hehe...

Run Happy, friends...and CHOOSE to make it a great week!

1 hour later: I ran. It was star-filled, windless, and 35F. Planning on 5, it became 6. It began easy but turned into a tempo run that approached the 7 min per mile pace. I felt incredible, pain-free, zero soreness and as if I hadn't run in days, much less an all-I-got marathon less than 48 hours ago! I charged the hills with everything I had and loved every step. Arriving back home, the birds were beginning to sing and first light was at the horizon. The truth? I nearly quit before I even laced up. I am thankful I didn't...and I just ran. Go friends....get out there! Regret nothing and never give up!

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