Saturday, May 3, 2014

Just Because

So ends my week of running and it's not exactly a textbook "Runner's World" edition of "how to recover after a marathon." Instead, it's been a week of run when I want and for as long as it feels right. I'm done trying to understand myself and why I recover how I do. I'm nothing special, wasn't born with some superhuman genes, and give new meaning to the movie's name "White Men Can't Jump." I'm a goof. I can hardly shoot a basket, run the bases with grace, or catch a football on the run when it's thrown right to me. For some reason, though, God has decided to gift me with this endurance "thing" and I thank Him every day for it. I do think many look at me and say I'm "addicted to running" or that I must have a trainer or some very strict regimen...or that it dominates my life at the cost of my family. All of that would would be false. I honestly have no schedule, no trainer, I read no training plans, I'm not "addicted" to it, and it once did impact my family in not a great way but no longer does it. Most of my daily runs happen before they even wake up...that's how I know it to be true and I often head to bed immediately after tucking them in. For those occasional races, especially the ones away from home, I strategically pick them to make them mini-vacations for the family. But anyway, I'm off on a tangent and that's not my point of today's post. The week went like this and then I just want to share a few thoughts from today's 7th day run: From Sunday to Saturday: 26.2mi, rest, 6mi, 21.5mi, rest, 11mi, 17mi.

Today just kinda happened. I first thought I'd do 7, then that turned to 10. When I reached a point where I turn around in my 10 mile route, I decided to turn on my GPS tracking and keep on running with no plan...literally. I decided to run until I just felt like turning around. I went on along that route but made a different turn to go south instead of north in a section I had never driven in nor run in. Wow, did I make a great choice. I came upon a road that passed a road that had a sharp right angle (about 60 degrees) turn. No street sign and it looked like it could be private. However, it had street signs so I figured it was public. Along this section, there was nothing but trees and through them was a beautiful reservoir and flying wildlife everywhere. In fact, there were yellow signs giving notice that it is public hunting land for waterfowl only with permit. I saw so many birds and never a vehicle. I even saw my first Bluebird of the season, too. I could just look and gaze and never bother looking at the road in front of me. Talk about peaceful. Throughout today's run, I was listening to the new Passion 2014 album that just came out on Tuesday. Passion is an event that happens primarily in Atlanta, GA just after New Year's Day each year and is attended by mostly high school and college age kids. The concert is recorded and released as a LIVE album about this time each year. Chris Tomlin, Christy Nockels, Crowder...awesome music to run to and let permeate every thought as I look around, smell Spring, and listen to the wind and birds singing. Eventually, I decided to make the turn which happened to be at 3 miles past the point where I turned on the GPS...which would be an additional 6 to the 10 mile loop. On my way back, a car was parked alongside the road in the middle of nowhere so I looked around, wondering where the driver was and why it was parked there. Behold! A trail entrance! Looks like out in my neck of the woods is some actual Buckeye Trail. I had to dive on in for just a taste and immediately my whole pace ratcheted up and I was flying through the twists and turns over pine needles and roots. I went out about a 1/2 mile and turned around, swearing to return to see where this trail leads.

Why the miles? Why run at all? Just because, I suppose. I can't explain much of it but I do know I love it, I often need it, and I'm untouchable while I'm out there. Some can't fathom the thought of running without music. I rarely turn it on and usually am left with only my thoughts and prayers. For me, most of the time isn't about the run at all. It's time to process much of life, my job, my kids, my relationship with my wife, and days like today...if I'm being totally honest...it's about worship. What better place to worship Him but when out in His creation under the power of what He has given me? My ability is not my own...but His. My joy flows not from myself, but from what He has given me. My life is still in existence not because of my own strength, but because He rescued me. I owe it all to Him. Out there...on the run...it's just us. I talk a little, I listen a lot. I could even argue it's my church but that would be a bit misplaced. I will say, though, that worship is a lot more spot on and personal when it's just me, the open road, and Him. So why run? Just because.

Here are some photos I snapped from today's run. Feel free to click on any photo for the full size image and save if you'd like. The last image is a photo I took and a sentence I wrote while out there today. The road is in that section near the reservoir. Enjoy!
This white horse is a common staple on my country route. I always watch for her/him.

This white horse is a common staple on my country route. I always watch for her/him.

See the baby calves? Right after I snapped this, they turned left and ran to mom.

The reservoir.

Just an old barn with a lot of color and character to it.

The reservoir.


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