Sunday, September 23, 2012

more to lament on the trail

I want to go on record as saying I will not stand for some of what is happening on the American Tobacco Trail.  I say this sort of thing around my house all the time and it usually works.  I yell and raise my voice.  I stand very close to someone over whom I possess an enormous height advantage.  It usually works.  I don’t know what I will do next, but at my house, I know it is something.  Take away privileges.   Yell louder.  I don’t know.
I feel the same way about the American Tobacco Trail this summer.
I want to commend Ginny Mueller for fighting for her life.  She stood up to her attacker or better, punched her attacker in the face.  This is the right time to take life by force and be thankful that we are shown the way of protection.

I cry out to the LORD with Psalm 142

psalm 142:3
With my voice I cry out to the Lord;
    with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.
I pour out my complaint before him;
    I tell my trouble before him.

When my spirit faints within me,
    you know my way!
In the path where I walk
    they have hidden a trap for me.
Look to the right and see:
    there is none who takes notice of me;
no refuge remains to me;
    no one cares for my soul I cry to you, O Lord;
    I say, “You are my refuge,
    my portion in the land of the living.”
Attend to my cry,
    for I am brought very low!
Deliver me from my persecutors,
    for they are too strong for me!
Bring me out of prison,
    that I may give thanks to your name! 
The righteous will surround me
for you will deal bountifully with me.

Friday, September 21, 2012

2013 Indoor Track--Reclaiming My Youth or Embracing My Age

Winter seems far off and I usually dread the winter...but not this year.  Here's my running plan for 10 of the weeks that cover parts of January, February, and March.

2013 Indoor Racing Season
Sunday 1/20 @Winston-Salem, NC Mile.  Goal 4:39.
Saturday 1/26 @Lynchburg, VA Kilo. Goal 2:40.
Saturday 2/18 @Blacksburg, VA  3K. Goal 9:05.
Sunday 3/3 @Winston-Salem, NC 800m and Mile. Goals 2:06 and 4:38.
Fri-Sun 3/22-24 @Landover, MD 3K, Mile, 800m. Goal 8:59.  Last year, 1st place was 9:24 in 3K.  2nd was 9:30.  Mile was won in 4:25.  2nd place was 4:46.  800m was won in 2:03 and 2:17 was 6th place.

Eight races over a ten week racing season.  Five weekends of racing.  Season includes setting PR’s in four events.  Podium in all three events at Masters Indoor Champs.

Did you know that Indoor Track and Field begins to include runners in the Master's category once they are over 30?  That's right.  I bet you thought you were only a Master's runner when you turn 40.  Well, that's the heavy influence of road running in our culture these days.  Indoor Track is 30+ and Outdoor Track is 35+.  I've already been a Master's competitor in the indoor discipline for seven years and I didn't even realize this distinction until last winter when I competed in my very first indoor meet.

This winter I will be visiting the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem and Rector Fieldhouse at Virginia Tech University.  I will make my way to the indoor facility at Liberty University in Lynchburg and hopefully all the way north to Maryland and the National Championship race.

There are other harriers that I run with all the time at local races who are older and grayer than I and they are already tearing it up at major indoor events.  Check out Owen Astrachan (image 8 in Carolina Godiva singlet) and Jay Smith (in the blue).  These are both local studs with experience.  I'm going to grow up to be like them.

I would really like to race at The Armory sometime soon.  Maybe I can weasel my way into a Thursday night this winter.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

preparation in the key of life

:) :) :D 

This morning I woke from a great night's sleep

after a long day of work
and a great date with my wife

I was rested
So I wrote
For church
For what would happen before, at 2:00pm

Somewhere around late morning and on to midday
I began to clean

I threw out the excess and cleared the desk
And the floor

I was a bit later to the mile race then I’d planned
But the office was clean and I felt nourished
by tidiness at an unexpected hour

I listened to Ephesians on the drive over in the light rain and thought God is good on a cloudy, foggy, cool afternoon: There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

I made it to the city of oaks, center-city, in plenty of time
Shared a jersey with a new runner
Stretched out legs
Picked up bibs
Prepared my heart
Laced up trainers then racers

Not my most disciplined first quarter of the race
Still two seconds too fast

Pushed with a protégé
On the back side of capitol square

Didn’t hurt enough on the closing 500 meters
But that’s what next time is for

Ran 8-10 seconds faster than ever before for the distance of one mile
I’m thirty seven.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"The next time you face something that's unexpected, unwanted, and uncertain, consider that it just may be a gift."
Stacey Kramer


I wonder if what Stacey is getting at is why I am always being asked to wait as of late.  She somehow has an amazing way of describing giftedness through a brain tumor.  But I'm quite certain it would take waiting and reflecting to see a golf ball size bump on your brain as a gift.  But I get it.  Don't react.  Reflect.  See what God is doing.

Jim Carrey as Ace Ventura says, "If I'm not back in five minutes, just wait longer."  One of my favorite lines, funny and prophetic when it comes to how long things take.  They take, well, as long as they take.

Last night and this morning I was inspired by one of my greatest teachers, John Perkins.  I left both a dinner and a breakfast inspired to act, to make phone calls, to feed the poor, to go for a run, to work harder, to love better.  All good stuff, right?  Yet, I pulled back.  I'm not called to rush into anything.  I am already Naming and Claiming more things than I can name and claim well.  I'm already overextended.  I'm already not following up on all the relationships and the commitments and the dreams and "to do's" on the level that I would like to follow up on.  And none of this is a guilty rant.  I'm happier and more content these days than ever, yet that only calls me to what, more waiting.

Maybe JP's charge to me was to keep on keeping on, don't get busier, but simply stay the course.  The watchmen in Psalm 130 look out for the lights for the lights on the boats or the morning or God to speak a word to them, or something.  They don't even know, but they wait.  This is Scripture, good Scripture.  What does God have in store next?  I don't know.  Just keep on keepin' on.  The journey is better than the outcome, or that's been my experience.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

inspired by John Muir

The Mountains are Calling and I Must Go—Muir
They beckon to me
Out of the fog and the smog
And the dew and the damp
They call out and I must go
Following out of the foothills
And up the slopes
I must go
Why do they call?
Why does the mountain need a climber, a runner, a pilgrim, a poet?
I don’t know, but she does
She needs her neck scratched, the spine, the place we call horizon---there, far off and on it must be trod upon.
She calls and I must go

ongoing inspiration from David Whyte

Start close in as david says, the step you shant take
That’s the one
Isn’t it?
That’s the one to take
The one task you dare not confront

As you embark
be not paralyzed from outside your heart
Let other people’s questions wash away
Down into the gutter
Their's shall rain again, their questions, rising up into a cloud, and pummel you once more, but for today
Start close in
Refuse to talk, refuse even to listen to yourself
just embark

Slowly reflect, slowly proclaim as your soul turns to gold, keep this heart slowly thumping, 30 
perhaps 40 bpm

take your time, start close to your heart

influenced by Coleman's Bed and Start Close In, poems by David Whyte and I Will Wait, a new release by Mumford & Sons, and the gulley-washing rain of a Thursday, first among the days in September, 2012

Raise my hands, paint my spirit gold, bow my head, keep my heart slow