Marathon – Start Notification

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Marathon:

Krister Dunn has started.

Presented By CSE.

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Tracking For Saturday

In case you noticed an odd post a little earlier this evening, I tried to set up email notifications to automatically post here during the marathon on Saturday. The test post mostly worked a little bit ago. I’ve used these services on previous races via text and other social media sites, but never an email post to a blog, so I’m curious how it will work.

Emails should post an update automatically when I cross 13.1 miles, 19.5 miles, and then at the finish.

If this works, it may be sort of neat. If not, it will definitely be annoying.

Have you ever used a service like this?

3 sleeps and a wake up…

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Marathon Alert

This email has been signed up to receive alerts on race day during Marathon.

You will be tracking

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Seven Days…

One week from today…

Michelle has been incredibly supportive and has endured her own form of endurance training while I’ve been preparing for this event.

She found this hilarious video that pretty much sums up my training program:

 

 

Training has been a family affair and Michelle is turning the running festival into one too.

TheBoys may even see some action. More on that later.

Are you participating in the Baltimore Running Festival this year?

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October 1, 2013. Kingdoms And Leaves

“October and the trees are stripped bare
Of all they wear.
What do I care?

October and kingdoms rise
And kingdoms fall
But you go on
And on.”

And on. I’m not even sure how we got here, really. October? Seriously? It seems like days ago we were packing for the beach or heading to the pool. And yet, here we are.

Three months left. Have I done what I set out to do this year? What’s left? Is there enough time?

This day usually reminds me of the lyrics above. It’s interesting in light of everything constantly filling the news that those words were true and will remain true. Whether plans and dreams are on pace, lagging, or out in front, they’re still true.

Kingdoms and leaves have a lot in common, really. They both grow and fall. They live an die. They are valuable and then discarded. They are created things. Sometimes it helps to be reminded of that. There is One who goes on. And on.

What are you reminded of?

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Got Lost. Learned Stuff.

As part of the lead up to the Baltimore Running Festival I got to run 20 miles of the course with about 300 other runners. Sponsored by local running stores, they also had 10 and 15 mile options plus tips on how to customize the distance for whatever you needed. Everyone got race bibs, turn by turn directions, an overall map, and off you went. (Here’s a link to the map if you’re curious: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=5095440 )

There were 2 huge differences between this run and a full on event: 1) no police involvement, so watch the traffic, and 2) since the course wasn’t totally marked and blocked off you had to actually navigate.

I’m pointing out those 2 differences not as complaints. I’m pointing them out because I learned a very valuable life lesson while on that run.

We spend a lot of energy and time trying to find our way.

I’m going to clutch my Man Card securely when I say this: I’m not a navigation guy. When zombies attack give me a weapon, point me in the right direction, and I’ll do what I can. Do not give me a map and say “which way do we go?” I digress.

20 miles through Baltimore provides a guy with remedial navigation skills plenty of opportunities to get things a bit back to front. So, things got a little twisty. It happened on my run and it happens in life.

Sometimes I knew I was lost. Sometimes I’d realize it when I’d see something that triggered that “this doesn’t look right” thing in my head. Sometimes I’d just get paranoid (it’s one of my skills) and I’d have to check things out.

Every single time, I spent energy and time trying to figure out my course. On a “fun run” where my primary goal was time on my feet, this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. In a race where you care about time or in our lives, repeatedly spending those valuable and unretrievable resources trying to find our way can be a very bad thing.

We can’t completely eliminate getting off course. This is life. Analyzing how it happened only goes so far. Things happen. So how can we realize we’re off course and get the guidance we need so we are back on track faster? I think it has something to do with community.

Several times I noticed I was off track because I saw a group of runners from a distance on a different path. Several times I got pointed in the right direction before wasting time and energy by other runners. Generally speaking, I’d find myself alone, realize I was not where I wanted to be, and others would help get me there, confirm I was back on track, or both.

Isn’t that usually how it works though? In the Bible we see that Satan waits to tempt Jesus until Jesus is alone. He’s been using that same ploy since the beginning. When was Eve tempted? When she was alone. I know that most of my biggest mistakes were decisions made on my own.

We need to stop living like we know it all and can handle it. Life is lived in shades of gray. It’s sweaty and smelly and can be difficult. Community makes staying on course easier. Community adds an element of fun to something that can be very difficult at times.

How much time and energy would we have to focus on other things if we lived in better community with each other?

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The Slow Kind Of Fast

A couple days after I ran my first 20 miler I experienced some ankle pain. With a little over a month left to my first marathon this is not the time to start hurting. In case you’re not in to the whole running thing let’s keep it basic: there’s a couple more weeks of heavy (for me) training followed by some less intense training leading up to the event. Basically pain interrupts more training.

After lots of reading and talking it out with a friend who is a physical therapist I decided to take a full week off. Ice, stretch, rest, repeat. Then ease back into it leading up to a sponsored course run followed by 3 more weeks of training before the event.

Why? Something my friend said hit home. He told me that he sees lots of runners in this spot and lots of them try to push through it, keep training, and end up with a full on injury right before the race; or they don’t rest enough and they get 4 miles in and then have 22+ miles of pain, misery, and regret. He reminded me that I’ve done the long runs. I know that physically I can complete the event. The rest of the training will boost performance if done properly, but I can go the distance.

You know what I noticed after a week off and properly recovering? Going faster is easier. My first couple runs have felt easier but when I check the time at the end, I’m faster. Not much, but I’m still running at a pace that feels easy.

I slowed down, then sped up.

How many times do we need to apply this lesson?

Want improvement in sales numbers? Take the time to improve/learn specific sales skills. After some practice you’ll see a sudden lift in the numbers.

Interested in better personal relationships? Slow down long enough to listen to each other. Really communicate. After some time the relationship will have new depth and life.

It’s really just a variation on the “measure twice, cut once” mentality.

I guess what I learned was that sometimes rest, recovery, and lack of apparent speed can produce improvement. We don’t always have to push as hard as we can to make forward progress. Sometimes slow is the way to go.

Have you ever used/seen that principle at work? Slow down to speed up?

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