Monday, July 18, 2011


Just before my head is about to sink below the surface and I’m going to drown in frustration and self-pity for all the setbacks I’ve had, whispers of encouragement come from so many places. Last Saturday, I stayed in the Valley and ran with friends since the 405 was closed. (This closure was dubbed as Carmageddon.) The pace felt blistering fast, but when it was over, it was about an hour. It’s slightly slower than what I was running at prior to surgery, but I know without friends at my side, I may not have been able to push myself to accomplish this. (A 5-mile run in under an hour was my secret goal.) So I came close to meeting my secret goal. And I accomplished what was on my training schedule which includes weights and running. 

This week I’m continuing the weigh lifting, but I’m increasing my mileage.  (Yay!) One area that has been sorely neglected has been my neck.  Legs and cardiovascular are a given and for long-distance running, core is a smart thing to build up, but I had neglected my neck. It had bothered me during long runs, but exercising the neck is just so, well, boring. It didn’t really hit home until I was doing a push-up using a stability ball and after a set my neck bothered me. So here I am, training for an ultra-relay (190 miles)  and half-marathons and I have to worry about my neck. (This does make sense since my surgeon in essence filleted my neck to get to my cerebellum to resecet that darn tumor.)   So, I’ve committed myself to doing these lame exercises in addition to my normal long-distance training.

Not too far after surgery, a running friend who also goes to Bible study with me recommended that I read IN THE PIT WITH A LION ON A SNOWY DAY.  I never made it to the bookstore to buy it, but with my recent iPhone purchase, I downloaded it to the Kindle app so I could retrieve this book. Without turning a marathon training blog into a book report, the author, (Mark Batterson), raises a good point, “He (God) is always using past experiences to prepare us for future opportunities.”  So far, I highly recommend the book. Moreover, this idea slapped me in the face to just take what I’ve viewed as setbacks to my life and to training and let those experiences be my springboard to something else. 

This week, like all weeks for people on a training schedule, will be a challenge to balance with work, and friends, while increasing mileage and/or speed. It's not just the ultra-marathon relay or the charity half-marathon the following month, the training is about getting to each race and crossing each finish line at my personal best. 

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