Sunday, December 4, 2011

Midnight on South Mountain (Part II: The Mountain)

Now here at 25 minutes to midnight, I stood waiting.  My left knee throbbing with a dull pain, I knew I had over extended in that first section, but now I was facing this 6.6 mile section with a 900 foot climb.  I would be off as soon as our runner arrived.  The rain from earlier in the day was gone, but everything felt wet. 

Earlier in the evening I was talking with a fellow runner and he said that when it got hard, he found himself focusing on prayer.  As he shared his thought on how he dealt with the discomfort of running, I was reminded of a marathon in New Orleans.  At every turn in the course, I would say the “Lord’s Prayer.”  Though it was years ago, I couldn’t remember why I did it.  But when he said those words, focusing on prayer, it came back.  In the midst of the trails of life, our savior’s prayer has relevance.  In the joys of life, this simple prayer had power.  In the pain of striving forward, there was a healing peace.  So now standing there waiting for the runner to come, I started, “Our Father, who art in heaven…”  As I prayed there in the dark and cold, I felt my body relaxed.  I was ready, there in the center of my being.

As I watched out through the night, I felt the other runner coming into the light.  I stretched out my arm and the snap bracelet found it.  Turning up the hill, I started out into the dark.  My head lamp showed me the road ahead.  Looking up was like looking into the blackness of space.  Lights from distant houses, cars, and team vans were the only thing visible.  And above me the darkness of clouds blocked all the nocturnal lights.  At the top of the small rise I started on, I left my eyes again and in the distance, were a few sets of blinking red lights of fellow runners on this dark country road.

This first mile was a set of undulating hills; at the top of each crest you could see the blinking red lights of the runners in front.  The road was still and silent.  The distance had separated us from the other teams.  Those who were faster were long gone and those slower had fallen off the pace, still there was a string of runners making their way towards the summit of South Mountain.  At the end of the first mile the road began a slow rise, which marked the beginning of the 900 feet of climb.  Easy and peaceful, I found myself relaxing and found a prayer in each step I was taking.  My thoughts drifted to my family, to my four wonderful children, and precious wife.  “God, be with them…keep them safe this night as they sleep…and I run up this mountain.”  Then other family members and friends, each remembered with petitions to God for their needs and struggles.  I was lost in my thoughts for each of these people who touched my life in many ways that they will never know…and the peace continue.  I passed a few runners and in those moments, we greeted each other as companions, no longer competitors, as we engaged in the struggle to reach the summit in our lives.

I felt the pressure in my arms and chest.  I knew my heart rate was climbing as I moved into a steeper section of the mountain.  The road was just the few feet my headlamp illumed before me.  I wasn’t sure of my time, but I didn’t care.  My prayer for others turned to a prayer for our nation and concerns for the poor and homeless.  I propelled myself up the mountain, I found myself on the verge of tears.  The pain from my left knee sent sparks up my left side.  In those few moments I envisioned another climbing a hill.

One of the great mysteries of faith is the connection that we have with the suffering of Christ.  At this point my mysticism view of religion kicks in, but this connection I believe is an aid and I don’t know how to describe it any better than that.  William James in his book “Varieties of Religious Experience” notes this phenomenon as well.  But to deal with this would reduce the experience to something that cannot be fully explained.  Simply put…as the pain and pressure of running up the mountain increase in me there was equally reaction that drove me into a stronger feeling of peace.  This run was becoming more a spiritual event that transported my mind and spirit to another level of reality.  There was a physical pain, but there was a spiritual peace that came over me in the midst of this battle.  It seemed that time slowed, the universe was suspended, and I experience something unique to me.  My body moved through time and space and yet my spirit was the actor.  It pulled me up and forward.  If it was the result of the combination of the water vapor, the headlamp, the fatigue, the pain, could not deny these influences, but there was something more involved in the struggle.  A presence ran beside me urging me up.

Before I knew it I was making the decent down the mountain.  I felt nothing put the need to push down the hill as hard as I could propel my body forward.  Then finally in the midst of the darkness, a glow appeared further down the road.  As I made my way into the relay area, I was shocked at how short the run felt.  I quickly pulled and straightened the slap bracelet and came into the relay zone.  My replacement stood there, holding out her arm. And it was over; I hit the stop button on my watch and saw the time 56:57.  Initially I couldn’t understand what I read.  I should have been 1:10:57 or something in that area.  I looked again and the numbers did not change, it read 56:57.  I had just covered 6.6 miles over 900 feet of climb at a pace of 8:46.  My fellow teammates rallied around me, and they made me feel like I had just won the gold medal.  Their high-fives and slaps on the back were incredible.  The remarkable thing was that my earlier section of 6 miles had been covered in 53:47 for a pace of 8:57.  Now I had just run 11 second faster for each mile in the dark and over a mountain.  If the truth is to be told, I didn’t do it alone.

“Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us….” (Harper Bibles (2011-11-22). NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha (Kindle Locations 68399-68401). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.)

I was surrounded by the prayers and thoughts of teammates, friends and family.  A few days later, I had the chance to see a video clip made by one of my teammates.  They had stopped on the mountain to film my blinking lights, and cheer me on.  But I was so lost in my thoughts, I never saw them.  But they were there.

As we battle the challenges in our lives, we climb the mountains that line our paths; we do not do it alone.  We have others around us to help us on our way, even if we do not see them, they are there standing on the side of the road cheering us on to the end.  Now with my first two sections complete, there was the last one to face.  I hadn’t thought about it until now and with my body trying to recover and fighting for sleep, I knew I needed to refuel and rest.  Then test my body one last time.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Midnight on South Mountain. (Part I: The journey begins)

Sorry, I've not been keeping this updated. But been very busy running...and praying. Here is my reflection on the Washington DC Ragnar 198 mile relay race from Cumberland, Maryland to the DC Harbor in South DC. This will be a three part reflection...tonight is the first part of Mid Night on South Mountain.

"The journey begins."

It is about 11:35 pm on the evening of the 23rd of September, I am quietly waiting for a runner to arrive at the relay passing zone. I am the 6th runner on our 12 person Ragnar Relay team running the 198 mile relay from Cumberland, Maryland to Washington, DC. I am also the oldest member of our team.

Earlier in the day during my first leg, I had a very tough downhill run. When I started that first leg, my goal was to run easy and save my legs for the run over South Mountain, which I knew was going to be the hardest leg of my three runs. But as we made the hand off of the slap bracelet the competition bug hit me. The team was running well and some of the other teams that started with us were still with us. As I started that first leg, one runner passed me, a young woman. That was okay…I’ve been passed by many runners before. Then no sooner than she passed another runner, then another. Three runners past by in just the first few feet of my run, and then the competitor came out. I was not going to be the “old, slow” runner for our team. I picked up the pace.

Even though this section was basically a downhill section, there were still several steep climbs that we had to face, and I took advantage of those climbs. On the first climb, I passed the one of the runners who slipped past me at the start of the leg. And then on the second, I passed the other two. I was in the zone…and I started to push when I heard that young lady come up on my shoulder on the next downhill. The race was on and I was not going to lose.

I slowed a bit to let her pass me, but she didn’t. She was going to sit on me until the end of the leg, and let me pace her. For the next several miles, I could hear her breathing. I was keeping my pace but realized that it was faster than I was expecting. My initial plan was to run this section in about 9:45 minutes per mile, but I knew, I was actually covering the distance at 9 minutes per mile. I also knew because of looking over the route profile that there was one last large climb just before the last mile. I decided to try to break away from this young runner on that climb, if I didn’t I knew that she would blow by me on the last downhill right before the relay zone and I would finish behind her.

So at the hill I made my move. After about ten steps up the hill at our pace, I increased my step rotation and before she could respond, I had opened a lead that kept growing as we went up the hill. I had surprise her and she wasn’t ready to make a move. As we crested the hill, I knew I had to keep the hard pace. And just about that moment, the rain which had been a drizzle decided to really start coming down hard. The road was slick and I was pushing downhill. There was a sharp bend about 100 yards down the hill at a very steep point. I felt my left knee stretched as I came around the bend, but my concentration was on not sliding on the wet pavement. I knew instantly that I had over extended the knee joint, and that I was going to pay for that mistake the next time I ran which was about 11 hours away on South Mountain.

The final mile marker came into view a few steps from the next small rise, and then it was a finally downhill push to the relay area. The rain that had been a drizzle in the morning, now was a serious downpour keeping rhythm to my steps. A quick staccato of foot strikes and patter of rain, the tree line road became a tunnel of wet blacktop and brown barked trees and green canopy. My heart raced in my chest as I saw the finally turn. The voice in my head repeated its command, “Stand tall, keep form, and push.” My body responded. Then in my ear, I heard the young lady coming. Her steps haunted down the hill into the final curve. “Don’t look back, focus on the finish,” the voice commanded. And I executed.

Driving my body forward for the finish of the last of the 6 mile section, I lifted the slap bracelet from my wrist and straighten it out. Now 50 yards remained, then 25 yards then the first flag and chute, the young runner I was passing off cheered me those last few feet, as I slapped the bracelet onto her wrist. She was off with a quick look back. I slowed to a walk, and then felt a hand on my back and the windy voice of the young lady behind me. “I thought I could catch you, but you took off on me…how did you do that?” I smiled back and shrugged my shoulders, “Just didn’t want to be caught by you.”

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Summer Running

Sunday morning at 5, a friend and I headed down the C&O for a easy run of 19 miles.  The easy part was starting, the hard part continuing...after all it was like 80 degrees and 90% humidity.  I found myself several times because of the heat wanting to turn around and head back to the car, but because of my commitment to run with this friend his first 19 mile run...I didn't.  We just kept moving down the trail, finally after about 2 hours, we made the turn and headed back up the canal. Yes, we ran down river for the first 9.5 miles and as we headed back up the humidity broke.  The temperature continued to climb but the run actually became a pleasure.  As we headed back up the path, my friend noticed a waterfall that I had never seen before and I've run this path several times.  Finally after another two hours of running we reached the end...and I was so glad we did.  The temperature had reached into the 90s and the Heat Index had topped the 100 degree mark.

So why did we do it?  Friendship.  Loyalty.  Companionship...all these things.  We suffered through the long hot run, and in the process, we learned a little more about each other.  That's what challenges do.  They help us grow in appreciation of others.  My friend who pointed out the waterfall...had never run this trail before, but now, I'll never forget...and every time I run past the waterfall again...I thinking of Ron....and how he toughed it out and did his first 19 mile run on the C&O on a day that was over 100 degrees.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Week Off

I really wish I could say I have had a great week off from running...but the I've missed it. My right ankle is still recovering from the 50K last week and I know given my schedule for the year, I need it to heal. I noticed back on Wednesday and now every day since...whenever I pass a runner...I find myself wanting to be out there, too.

This past week, I have been extremely busy with work, and so this time off from running has allowed me the time I needed to finish a few projects I've been working on. As it says in the Bible...there is a time to work and a time to play. I just want to get out and play...and next week, I'll do just that...and I'll start working on preparing for the next challenge, my Fall Marathons. Until then, go out easy, have fun and keep the desire to run.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Don Quixote and the North Face Endurance Challenge 50K

As I ran along the Potomac River, up and down the bluff and through the woods and fields that made up the 50K course of the North Face Endurance Challenge, I found myself observing the other runners around me. They were wonderful people. All were attempting to conquer something that was deeply personal.

For me, I learned the lesson, once again that I had to trust God…and in my pain rise once again and continue to the end. That happened around mile 27. I had completed a fairly easy section of the course that ran along side the river when I entered a very rock area. The trail I was running along came to a point where you had the steep bluff wall on your left a small ledge to run along with about 2 feet drop to the rocks on the right. My legs were dead and I was totally spent. I was thinking about the next climb of about 600 yards that would be the last major climb of the race. Not something I should have been thinking about…but your mind tends to wander as you run. The next thing I felt was a rock under my right foot and the twisting of my ankle. The pain shot up through my body like lightning and I felt my body tumble forward into the rocks in front of me. Slamming my body to the ground and knocking all the air out of me. I tried to roll over to but rocks all around me made it almost physically impossible. I lay there thinking it was all over. I didn’t have the strength to move.

I again pushed up with my arms and still had trouble trying to rise. Then I heard the voice of another runner asking me if I was all right. His hand touched my arm and he helped me to my feet. I said I was good and my name less aid headed down the path, I following. I willed my body forward. My fellow runner who stopped and helped me to my feet gave me a wonderful gift. He gave me hope and a chance to finish the race before me.

Later that evening while attending my eldest daughter’s play, I found myself on the verge of tears. The play was a retelling of the story of Don Quixote. And as you all know in the end Don Quixote dies with Sancho Panza and Aldonza (Dulcinea) at his side urging him to live. And so it ends with Alonzo Quexana rising from his bed as Don Quixote ready to fight evil until his death. At that moment, I too realize what I conquered that morning in the race. As I stood up after that fall, I went on to finish the toughest race of my life. But I finished it because God sent a runner to give me a hand up when I needed it the most. He was my Sancho Panza…and he helped me fight to the very end.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Next Test - First Ultra Marathon - 50 K

Well, in two weeks I'm out there again but this time I'm moving up to an Ultra-marathon. Its a 50 K run along the Potomac River. It starts in Algonkian Park and the moves down river through River Bend Park and into Great Falls Park where we run around the park and then back track up the course to Algonkian Park to the finish. The whole course is on the Virginian side of the river. I'm totally unfamiliar with the course even thought I spend a day in Great Falls Park back in February 1980. My memory of that area includes steep my anxiety is up.

The total Gain/Loss listed for the course is 3147 feet. The only thing in my experience that comes close to that much climbing are the Palos Verdes Marathon in San Pedro and Big Sur Marathon in Monterey California. And those were just under 2000 feet of climb. am I going to run the course. Very slowly...that is key. I know there are some supermen out there who will go out full speed on their first marathon, or ultra, but they really should be the exception to the rule, rather than the rule.

I'm a firm believer that the first time you attempt a distance be that a 5K race to the Ultra marathons, your personal goal should be just to finish the race. As you gain experience and knowledge of how to run that distance, you can begin to push it and try to set personal records. When I coached High School distance runners, I only had them run full out after they felt comfortable with the distance, and sometimes that was after their second full season on the track or on the trails. The need for practical knowledge of having run a course will always improve performance in following years.

So on 4 June, I'm off to run my first Ultra-marathon. Game plan: Go out easy, have fun and keep the desire to run.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Pittsburgh Marathon - Its the fault.

I was prepared to run what I thought would be one of my best races in the last few years, but unfortunately that was not the case. I ran a "Okay" race but not a great one...and that's alright. One of the things that I have learned through all of my races is that somedays you are on and some days...its just not there. just wasn't there. I ran my plan, but at about mile 4, my shoes didn't feel right and by mile 8 my feet were in total pain. I actually thought around 23 miles that I had broken my right foot because of the pain...but the reality was "new shoes."

Okay...remember this rule and keep it. Don't change shoes in the last few weeks before your big race.

Right after the National Marathon, I was developing soreness in my right ankle and I also realized that my racing shoes, that I ran with on the treadmill were breaking down. So I a few weeks ago I went out and replaced them with a new pair of shoes. I thought I broke them in by running a few easy miles on the treadmill...but...on Sunday as I was running on the roads around Pittsburgh, I realize that the shoes were a piece of junk. Yea...the problem was the shoes. Wrong...the problem was me. I changed shoes and didn't run with them on the open road before hand. Had I tested them out, I most likely would have worn my training shoes, but I didn't do it. So again, like at that National...No excuses...just didn't perform the way that I wanted to. Yet...I did finish and I now have 26 Marathons to my name.

As for the race itself. I ran pretty much like I wanted to, but because of the shoes, I slowed down at the end. Can't say that I hit a wall...but my last 8 miles were in the 12 minute/mile range. As for the course. It was great...and I can't wait to run it again next year...yea...I'm going back...and I won't change shoes during the last two weeks again.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tapering for Pittsburgh Marathon

Okay...I'm lets get to the starting line. I'm starting to get that racer anxiety...that comes when you know you've done everything right. My milage has been right on for what I'm wanting to do, I've averaged about 35 miles a week for the past 10 weeks. I've gotten in three runs over over 20 miles, and I've done seven runs over 15 miles. So I know mentally, I'm as prepared as I could be.

Now this week, I've been resting. I ran 2 miles on Monday, 5 miles on Tuesday, 2 miles on Wednesday, rested Yesterday, and today another 2. Tomorrow, I'll not run with the traveling to Pittsburgh and Sunday morning...I run. That is only 11 miles for the week, but perfect when you think about tapering for the race. Everyone is different on how much they taper, but this works for me. Back when I did my 4:10 at the Air Force Marathon in 2008, that taper was identical with this one.

When I taper well like this, I find myself anxious to get out there to run. I'm not sure what causes that desire, but it is a strange feeling. So...let me get there and lets get this run done. More later.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

7 Days

I'm not a Biblical Literalist! Yes, I believe that God created the Heavens and the Earths, but not in literally 7 days, more like 7 of God's days...or a few million years or so. But that's not my point in this blog. No, I'm thinking of 7 days as in one week before the next test..."Pittsburgh." Next Sunday is the Pittsburgh Marathon, and I'll be there for the second time.

Back in 2001, I ran the race...and a few months later...Bin Laden launched his attack on the United States, that changed my life dramatically. Over the past 10 years, I have spent over 700 days in the Middle East and Southwest Asia. Now this year the idea hit me that again, my life could be very different. I’m nearing retirement from the Air Force in the next few months or years. And I’ve wondered will this “Pittsburgh Marathon” once again mark a major shift in my life and my work? My gut tells me that it just might. Bin Laden is dead, and I think this is shifting our worldview again. The economy is not in the best shape and will be challenging for the next several years. So it is inevitable that the times they are a changing.

So in 7 days, how different will my life be? Will I have finished my 26th marathon? Will I be looking at a world that might once again be attacked by fanatics? Will I be one step closer to retirement from the Air Force? Will life be once again, a scary place?

But then I think…of that passage in Genesis…you know where God creates the world in seven days…but my attention is drawn towards those little words at the end of each day… “And God saw that it was good.” Yea…life might be scary and always changing…but God sees that it is “Good.”

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Reading "Running With God" by Berry Simpson

I just picked up or should say that I downloaded to my Kindle the book, "Running With God" by Berry Simpson. In his intro he grabbed my attention quickly with this insight:

"I first started running in the summer of 1978 to win the heart of a girl, but instead, I found God. He chose running to be one of the places he revealed himself to me. Through my time alone, on my feet, the God of my parents and my grandparents became my God. It was on the road and on the trail that my relationship with God became personal. We developed a friendship which grew bigger than church and became deeper than rules of behavior."

Just change the year to 1974 and that could be me. Funny, but girls have away to make every guy in the world do something they would never believe possible. For me, 1974 was a start of a journey that I'm still on. But the more important line of the quote is what really got me thinking. My faith in God, during all those runs did develop a friendship great then I would have imagined and gave me rules...of very deep significant. I was forever changed in the quiet runs and through the challenges constantly presented to me. Yes, if you run far'll find God there beside you calling you to a new life.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Suntrust National Marathon

What can I say. It was a day for no excuses...and I have none. My goal was to be in the 4:30-4:35 time zone, so I'll take my 4:30:35. So no excuses from me...just a unbelievable filling of accomplishment, given that this is the first race of my "season."

The weather forecast had been calling for cold and rain showers, so I was mentally preparing myself for a hard run. I've run a cold and wet marathon before, actually back at the 1994 Marine Corps Marathon. If you remember that was the year Oprah decided to run. The rain soaked everything and the temperature was in the 50s...making it feel like 30. But today we just had the challenge of cold temperatures. We started the race a little after 7 am with temps in the lower 30's and finished just after 11 with the temp at 40 degrees, combine with a nice north wind, it felt like 34. But the sun was out and that made a big difference.

I was also very happy with my run plan. My plan going in to the race was to hold 10:00 to 10:30 mile paces for the first 20 miles and then try to push the pace at the end. But because of the hill between 4 and 5, I actually had a 11:30 mile through that section. So I ended up going through the half way point at 4:17 which was about 2 minutes slower then I was looking for. I kept reminding myself not to panic and keep those 10:00 miles coming. Because I was using Jeff Galloway's Run/Walk method at a (4 minute to 1 minute ratio) I was running around the 4:30 pace group. But at the 19 mile mark, I was not able to catch up with the group and they opened a huge lead on me going down towards the US Coast Guard Building around the 20 mile mark. Again my fear that I had miss something hit me and I wanted to run faster.

So I did some self talk at that point saying to myself if I was really slowing down and the watch was off, then I needed to relax. Getting upset and worried about the pace would only slow me down, so I closed my eyes for a few feet during my next walk and took a few deep breaths. Then I started back. As we crossed the bridge over the river at 21 miles, I had caught back up with the 4:30 group. The lead melted away. (When I looked at my splits for that time they were 10:23, 10:21, 10:29 but then when I caught them again it was 10:10.) So at the 23 mile marker I started to pick up the pace. But 24 to 25 was a hill and I could only pull up it at 10:50/mile, then 25 to 26 was 9:06/mile and the final 2/10 to the finish was at 8:32/mile place. My final half marathon was 2:13, giving me the 4:30:35 finish. And the 4:30 pace group...I don't know where they finished but it wasn't 4:30, because they never got back in front of me.

What this marathon taught me..."Don't Panic." Keep to your plan and trust that your training and prep did its job. Also...pray helps a lot. Thanks for the great weather God!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Focus or the lack thereof

Sometimes I feel good and I'm focused on my goals. Like yesterday, I did a nice easy 14 mile run along the C&O. It was cool and beautiful. But today...I feel like I'm in a fog. I have an easy 3 mile run on the schedule, but its hard to get myself out and motivated. And there is this bone weary-ness I've been feeling all day and I just can't shake it. So I finished making reservations for the Pittsburgh Marathon in May and signed up for the Baltimore Marathon in October...but that didn't help. The only thing left to do is to move my sorry tail out of this chair and get on my running shoes...and...go running. Yes, that will help. And if it doesn't...well at less the run will be done.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Running - The Sacred Art:Preparing to Practice

Warren Kay's book on running is one of the best. I just finished reading it. An awesome book, so here is one of my favorite quotes from the book.

"This is my sacred space when I run alone, this is my ritual, this is my sanctuary! I find God here, waiting for me, matching my pace. As my breath gets less jagged and my stride settles in to my unique pattern of effort, I find inner stillness cradled in outer motion. Through the stillness I have found a great deal of peace. After of lifetime of panting, I finally caught my breath."

Throughout my life when things were troubling me or I was upset, running has been my prayer time. Getting up early in the morning as the sun is rising, I found God there in the silence as the sun broke the horizon and God's peace enveloped me. When life's problems presented no solutions for me, my run became that sacred place to share my thoughts and anxiety with God. Getting up after hours of setting at my desk for a late afternoon run on a warm summer day, often allowed my mind to drift to solutions that I couldn’t see early while trying so hard to solve the problem at hand. When the demands of others made me exhausted and I felt the emotional tank on empty, those quiet sunset runs provided a source of energy that allowed me to strengthen my hope in others.

So when Dr Kay talks about the run being “sanctuary” I understand. I understand that running is my movement towards God…more then any movement away from the problems of life.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Why go any further?

I finally bit the bullet and signed up for my first Ultra-Marathon? My wife who is one of my greatest supporters asked, "Why?" In her unspoken argument were words that I had often used to talk myself out of running an ultra-marathon in the past. But the question: "Why?" Summed it up.

"You're no spring chicken?" How many times has that thought stopped my hand in filling out the form? An ultra-marathon implies that it is a distance greater that the 26.2 miles. I have pushed my body through to the end on how many occasions 20+. Most of the time, as much as I would like to flout my invincibility...I'm still very sore for several days why on God's green earth would I really want to try a distance that is further?

So why? Simply put, it is there and I have not choice but to face the challenge. Every day we face challenges that seem impossible to do, some times we face them, but more often than not we turn aside from the task and postpone or even avoid facing the challenge. For the past several years, I saw the ultra-marathon as a test that I had to face head on. But every time, I said next year, when I was in better shape, then I would do it. But this week…the realization that postponing the test was coming to an end. It was time to step forward and pick up the challenge.

God places challenges in our lives for one reason and one reason only to see us live life to the fullest. This 50K is a chance for me to live. To struggle through the valleys and over the hills that transforms the runner and more importantly the life. So now I’ll head out to do my training…and transform myself, inside and out.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Snow...What Snow?

I love the weather here. Last year we had nearly 66 inches of snow, a record for the Baltimore/Washington Area. This year with all the snow storms hitting in the south, west, east and north of us, I honestly believed we would be near those levels again. But oh no...we have barely moved over the 5 inch total mark. So why should that be a problem with me? Well because of last year record snow fall, I went out an purchased a treadmill.

My logic if you can call it that, tells me that had I not purchased the treadmill, we would be well up there with everyone else...but because of the treadmill setting in my house...God decided to keep the snow and ice away from us and give it to some poor sinner runner who didn't purchase a treadmill. can say, I think God is in the treadmill business.

I truly believe that God has a sense of humor. That is why all my friends and family in the south are upset with the snow, after all they live in the south to escape winter's furry. All my friends in the north are upset with the tons of snow falling on their houses and the states are running out of money to move the snow off the streets. And my own son is upset that we aren't getting snow days here and he has to go to school. I just can't win, but I can run on my treadmill and think about all that snow coming down someplace else;) and just smile. After all, God makes the snow fall on the just and unjust.