Monday, November 23, 2009

Greatest Part of Running 21.5 Miles

Saturday was another milestone run for my marathon training.  21.5 miles was the longest and last long run of the training program.  Now we begin to taper before the Dallas White Rock Marathon on Sunday, December 13th.  I think I’ll like this part of the training.

The last couple of miles was pretty tough, but I really feel confident that I can do this marathon thing!

OK – the greatest part of running on Saturday was a phone call that I received from my wife, Ursula.  Let me preface this by saying that Ursula loves me, but she’s not crazy about running.  She doesn’t get it, but supports me.  She normally doesn’t call me to ask about my running.

The timing of the phone call was magnificent!  We start our long runs on Saturday at 6am.  Ursula gave a call at 9:30am on her way to school.  We were just taking our last break at the 18th mile before our final push to the end of our run.  It was such a pleasant surprise because normally I wouldn’t hear or feel my phone vibrate.  The conversation went like this…

Ursula: “Good morning!  Just calling to see how your run was.”

Me: <chuckle> “We’re still running.  On mile 18 of 21.”

Ursula: “Wow! You can do it.  Just wanted to let you know that I love you and am very proud of you!”

Me: “Thanks. Love you too.”

As mentioned, those last couple of miles were pretty tough.  It seems like it was a huge mental challenge to keep running/plodding along.  Since I don’t where an iPod, my mind goes everywhere.  I like it that way, I get to take in the scenery and take in the event.  For those that don’t know, I can get pretty emotional.  Yes, I cry at sappy movies and during times of joy and pain.  I experience all aspects of life.  While running the last couple of miles, I really digested the meaning of the phone call that Ursula made.  The gambit of thoughts went like this…

She took the time to say that she loves me.  She is proud of me.  She called me at the exact time that I could take the call.  She cares about what I’m doing.  She called me when she’s normally rushed to make it to school.  I’m so glad that she’s my wife.  She did something that meant a lot to me by asking me about my running.  I am so blessed!

The impact of this simple call was huge!  I believe that it’s the little things that make the biggest impact.  Also, let me tell ya… it’s pretty hard to run while holding back tears!

Is there something that is small for you, but would make a big impact for someone else?  A tip for ya… do it!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Today’s Theme: I Get To!

Today’s theme of I Get To is inspired by a favorite blog of mine: Mile Markers Featuring Kristin Armstrong.  She explains how she shifted her perspective from “I have to” to “I get to”.  If we only realize how fortunate and blessed that we actually are… I think we’d really embrace the perspective of “I get to!”

Kristin Armstrong did such an awesome job on her blog post that I cannot add too much to it, but I’ll try.  A lot of times, I’ll be frustrated that I have to do certain things.  When I’m frustrated, I won’t give it a 100% effort or 100% of a loving attitude.  For example, if my kids ask me if I can take them somewhere while I wanted to relax, I might get frustrated and just do it because I have to.  If I shift my perspective to I get to… I know that the experience for both of us would be so much better.  The same goes for just about any situation.  Here’s a few that quickly come to mind…

  • I get to read my Bible and openly praise God while others cannot.
  • I get to run while others cannot because of disabilities or ailments.
  • I get to raise my kids while others cannot have children or have lost children.

So, whenever you think that you have to, change that perspective to I get to!  I know that entire situation will be so much better!

Still don’t feel happy about getting to do something? Have a conversation with God through prayer and thank him for the opportunity.  He will reveal to you how wonderfully blessed that you are!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Sport of “Only” and “Just”


As many know, I’m digging this running sport.  I’ve come to terms that I probably won’t win a race, my age group, or turn heads with my lightning speed.  Although I’ve gotten quicker over the last year, I know I won’t be at the head of the pack.  I’m good with that!  I’m enjoying myself.

However, it seems that this sport is about justifying yourself with 2 special words – only & just.  This probably happens unintentionally, but it goes a little something like this… I only ran 10 miles today.  I didn’t run the Full Marathon, I just ran the Half Marathon.  I only run at a 8, 9, 10, or a 11-something pace.  I’ve heard these words so many times.  This often happens when talking to newly met runners when you’re trying to establish where on the running scale you rank.

If you’re a runner, a 5K runner, or a Marathon runner… we’re all training to do the same thing.  Cross the finish line and hopefully do it a little better than the last time.  Nothing feels better than knowing that you trained as well as possible and ran the race as well as you personally could.

Sure, we cross the finish line at different times, but I’m positive that the effort levels exerted are at the same high levels.  Do we really need to justify ourselves with saying that I only run at a X-something pace and that it was a just a X distance race?  I don’t think so.  However, it’ll happen again and again.  Just smile when it does.

Here’s a scary “only” for ya or for me… Only 4 more weeks until the Dallas White Rock Marathon! I cannot wait to run it! So many thoughts going through on how those last 6 miles will feel.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Today’s Theme: Be Proactive

At work, Fellowship Technologies, I’ve been coming up with themes of the day.  It’s been a fun thing to do to concentrate on a number of things: honoring God, improving self, and every once in a while, having fun!  After I pick the theme, my boss, Scott Lowrie will pick a song to go with it.  He’s picked everything from Van Halen, Abba, to contemporary Christian music.  His music collection is pretty eclectic.

Today’s theme is Steven Covey’s 1st habit in his book – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Be Proactive.  This is not about planning for the future and knowing where you’re heading in life.  But rather, how you’re going to react.  Steven Covey says it best in his blog post.  Here’s an excerpt…

The key to being proactive is remembering that between stimulus and response there is a space. That space represents our choice— how we will choose to respond to any given situation, person, thought or event. Imagine a pause button between stimulus and response—a button you can engage to pause and think about what is the principle-based response to your given situation. Listen to what your conscience tells you. Listen for what is wise and the principle-based thing to do, and then act.

Take today and choose a positive response to situations that would normally set you off.  It’s a challenging thing to do it, but if you think about it, you can do it!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chicken Wings

I love hot wings! I’ve had a video before showing how to peel a banana, well Briana, found this one on how to eat chicken wings.

Seems like a simple thing to do, but there’s a good way to get all of the meat.  Of course, I like the drumettes, because they’re not much work to get to the goodness. The wings themselves are a little more work.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Milestone – 20 Miles

brooks runningI’m so proud to knock out the 20 miler this morning with my marathon running group with the Dallas Running Club.  It’s incredible what your body can do when you put your mind to it.  I never thought that I’d be able to run a 5K race, a Half Marathon, and no way to a Marathon.  But, here I am well on my way to running my first marathon.  I laugh when people say, “I could never do that!”  I used to always say that… they can do it or better yet, YOU CAN DO IT!  You just need to start out slowly and work up slowly.  The key word is slowly – speed will come when you’re ready.  Run happy!

Only 5 more weeks until the Dallas White Rock Marathon!  I cannot wait!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Running for His Glory!

IMG00026I’ve been tweeting and blogging a lot about PRs (Personal Records) lately. However, I’ve got to tell you about a race that I recently set aside my own wants for someone else’s needs.

Sometimes I cannot seem to stop talking about running and it gets a bit contagious by others around me.  Chris Risen, a great friend and co-worker at Fellowship Technologies caught that bug.  He set his sights on running his first 5K race in the Gary Burns 5K race in Frisco on October 31st.  This is one of my usual races since it’s right down the street.

Well, we were set to run it at the same time and I’ve been on a tear with knocking PRs out.  The dilemma that played in my mind for several weeks was if I should go for a 5K PR or run with Chris and encourage him.

I wish this was an easy decision, but the flesh is just so selfish.  The Holy Spirit had to hit me and explain that instead of a PR which would be for my glory… I needed to think of what would be for His Glory!  Running with Chris would definitely please God more than trying to set a selfish PR.

It was awesome running with Chris and sharing the joy of running.  He did so well!  I cracked my usual jokes and he laughed at 1 out 3 of them.  Not bad!

It was great experiencing the final push to the Finish Line with Chris.  There was so much pride and satisfaction to feed off of!  I probably got more out of the experience than he did.  Maybe.

When the race was over, Chris explained that either of two things would happen… 1) He would say that he was glad that he accomplished his goal of running the race and be done with it –or- 2) He would enjoy it and be hooked.  He said that he’s definitely hooked! I can confirm this as he text me a couple of days later saying that he knocked out 3.22 miles.  I love when we book our runs down to the tenth of the mile – it all counts!  He’s also lined for another 5K Race in his neighborhood on Saturday, December 5th.  Go, Chris, go!

My sister Denise will actually be doing this for me next month as she will be rooting for me during my first Marathon at the Dallas White Rock Marathon.  She could choose to run it herself, but from the beginning she has said that wants to root me on.  How selfless of her to do this for me!  She’s an awesome example of a great friend!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Great Halloween Lecture!

I haven’t participated much in Halloween since I was in my teens, but I love this video.  I’m a fan of anything that can make learning more fun!

DRC Half Marathon – 15 Minutes Faster!

IMG00031 I was so geared up for this year’s DRC Half Marathon. My 4th Half Marathon in my short running career.  Geared up because I PR’ed the last 3 races that I ran:


  • October 3rd – DRC Loop 15K – 1:22:34 – beat last year’s time by 6 minutes
  • September 19th – Tour Des Fleurs 20K – 1:53:54 – beat last year’s time by 7 minutes
  • September 5th - DRC Breakfast Bash – 44:33 – beat last record by 2 minutes

What’s the secret with PRs? Two big things:

First is the success of the surgeries back in January for my heart and feet.

IMG00030 Secondly is the greatness of the Dallas Running Club Marathon Training program.  I could NOT do it without this program.  If you’re thinking about training for a marathon, definitely consider the Dallas Running Club.

  • There are so many runners that there will definitely be plenty at your pace.
  • The pace leaders are awesome! They really care on how well you do.  They smother you with encouragement and great running tips and tricks.
  • Last fall, I trained with the Dallas Running Club, but couldn’t take advantage of the Wednesday training sessions because of work.  These Hill and Speed sessions are the key to my PR’s.  Without them, I’d probably be at the same pace.  Nothing wrong with the previous pace, but I enjoy running so much more, by putting in the hard work!
  • The price is definitely right with the Dallas Running Club.

OK – so back to my time… my best Half Marathon time was last year at the White Rock Marathon with a time of 2:10:20.  My time for the DRC Half Marathon was 1:55:21.  Crazy!  It was like an out of body experience as I couldn’t believe these were my legs taking me on a 8:48 minute per mile pace for the whole race.  I knew that I started out faster than I wanted to, but I felt great.  The last couple of miles were tough, but knowing White Rock Lake, I just kept promising myself that it was only so much farther to the next landmark. It was great to celebrate with my friends from my pace group shown above.

6 more weeks until running my first full marathon at Dallas White Rock Marathon on Sunday, December 13th.  I’m excited, nervous, prepared, and anxious!