Half Marathon Reflections

For the past several months I have been training to run in the Seattle Half Marathon.  I use the term training pretty loosely because in the time that I began running, and the actual date of the race, my daughter was born, and I started grad school.  So my schedule got pretty busy pretty fast, which made regular training a little bit of a challenge.

But I committed to run, to help send some girls in Kenya to a great school, and to give them a chance at a better future. So whenever I could find time for a run I would go.  3 miles here, 5 miles there, 10 miles was my longest run before race day.

I woke up on Sunday, confident that I could finish the race, but I didn’t know what kind of shape I would be in at the finish line.  When we got down to Seattle Center and ready for the race my nerves began to ease up, and I got the nervous kind of energy that I have before I preach.  I felt really loose, started trying to make jokes and goof off.

When we got in line for the race, my first mistake was starting to hard to fast.  I was passing all kinds of people and I was swept up in the momentum of the crowd.  It was an exhilirating feeling.  We ran up 5th Ave, and when we crested the hill I looked out and saw thousands of heads bobbing in unison.  It was like an ocean of people all commited to the same thing.  Every race, age, body size was present in this race.  Knowing that I was a part of something so big was an amazing feeling.

All throughout the course I knew that I wouldn’t be alone.  I was surrounded by people who were a little better prepared and a little worse.  Some walkers, some runners, some joggers, all of us were in this together.  Knowing that kept me going.  When I faced the hills I knew that there were others who were struggling, who were hurting, and together we were going to finish these hills.

There was community in the broken, the people who were struggling, were encouraged by those who were just a little stronger.

Coming down the home stretch my knee started to hurt so I was struggling to keep my pace.  My thoughts were simple walk a little, run a little, walk a little, run a little.  Take one more step, get to that light post, don’t think about the finish line, just get around that corner.  One more hill, one more right turn and I was in the stadium and headed for the finish line.

As I was running I heard Kathy and our friend Emily cheering for me from the stands, I heard my name over the Loud Speakers, and I saw some friends from Cedar Park at the finish line who cheered me in.  That last little bit of support helped me to find the strength to sprint to the finish line.

I did it.  I finished the race, and I finished it well.  There were challenges, there was pain, it took longer than I expected to finish, and some things that I didn’t expect, but I finished with a sprint.  When Paul talks about running the race and finishing well, I understand exactly what he meant.  My Half Marathon experience taugh me a lot about life and a lot about myself.

Immediately crossing the finish line I was glad it was over and felt like I would never do it again.  Today I’m begin to feel a little different.  I’m beginning to feel like I need these kinds of experiences to teach me.

So stay tuned, I’ll keep you posted if I’m going to do another Half Marathon.

Run Fat Boy Run!

I’m talking to myself, of course.

I’m running in the Seattle Half Marathon on November 30th.  I’m a large man and I need some motivation to help me keep running.  So I’m running, along with several others from Creekside Church to help send some amazing girls in Kenya to a top-notch school.  By sending these girls to school we are actually helping to ensure that they have a chance at having a bright and meaningful future.

So I’m writing this post to give everyone who reads it an opportunity to pledge me to run 13.1 miles.  if you did $1 a mile that’s $13 dollars, less than a CD.  How cool would it be if we could get 100 people to pledge $13 dollars.  That’s $1300 dollars!  I did that math in my head.  That’s more than enough to send one girl to school for a year.  Our church is trying to send 5 girls.  I’m not doing this alone, and I want to give as many people as possible an opportunity to change some lives.

Think about it, and if you are able to pledge me and my running endeavor, then go here:

http://tinyurl.com/57ubq4.  Fill out the form, and let’s change some lives.
Want to hear more about these girls than you can watch this video.

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more about “Run For Life – Video“, posted with vodpod

Seattle Half Marathon – Fatbet.net – Ragamuffin Challenge

So in the on-going saga of running in this half marathon . . .

I ran last night in the rain and wind.  Not great.  My mile time improved though.  I have a lot of work to do to get ready.

Michael H, Matt T, and Nate (who I don’t know)  have entered a fatbet.  This is a great idea, because as a dude, I don’t like losing, and our wager is the loser has to shave their legs.  My leg hair is actually quite full and lustrous (think Absolom, but on my legs).  So I really don’t want to shave.  As of right now, I’m winning.

I also jumped into the the Ragamuffin Top Challenge with blogger extraordinaire Carlos Whitaker.  

I’m trying to do this thing right.

And now for the hard part.  My initial weigh in on Sunday was 288 lbs.  that’s a lot!  It’s still not my highest weight ever, and my 6’3″ frame hides my flab well.  No one believes me when I tell them my weight.  So my goal is to get down to 268, which was my lowest point before Judah was born.  I think I can go even lower than that, but 20 lbs is definitely do-able and I need to break my goal down into chunks.

So far I’ve actually lost 3lbs since Sunday.  Which is is encouraging.

If you are considering doing this, I found this website which was helpful Half marathon training.

Let’s do this thing, and let’s not lose sight that we are running to give 5 girls a future that they would otherwise never have.