Thursday, April 30, 2009

OKC Memorial Marathon

The alarm went off at 3 am. I hurried to get ready and left within 20 minutes for the drive south to Oklahoma City. I drove through some nasty thunderstorms around the Kansas-Oklahoma border. I stopped just north of Oklahoma City and hobbled into a gas station to fill my camelback with water and ice. Inside someone said, looking at my shirt, "Free State?". I said, "Yeah, you were there?" Then we realized that we did recognize each other and had talked before. This guy (can't remember his name either) and 4 others all were doing a back to back Free State 40 miler and then the OKC marathon. That was very encouraging to me - I was not the only crazy one - in fact there 6 of us if I understood correctly!

Shortly before 6 am, I pulled into downtown OKC looking for a parking spot. I ended up parking like 8 blocks from the start line so I hobbled over to the start line finding the right spot to place my drop bag and then jumping the fence into the jam-packed corral. Oh yeah, Manny was with me and had picked up my packet the day before. He was pumped to run his first marathon. I was sore and thinking 26.2 more? Uh! Before the gun even went off to start the race with 19,000 at the start line, I was already sweating because it was so warm and muggy! The first two miles were awful as I ran to loosen up the legs (it probably looked a lot more like most people run the last 2 miles of a marathon or longer race). Then I finally fell into a groove and Manny and I ran the first 9 miles together, running 9 minute miles. Then there was a hill and I looked up and Manny was gone. He went on to finish in 3:51 something which is awesome. I had forgotten about my blisters, the only thing I really suffered from was just a deep fatigue in my legs - nothing out of the ordinairy for having run 40 miles the day before.

It was pretty hot and humid the whole way. At each aid station I grabbed 4 cups - poured two on my head and drank 2. I also carried my camelback and drained it twice drinking it in addition! Around mile 20 I asked a fire-fighter to spray me down and completely drench me with cold water from a hose. That really helped!

Well, there's nothing more to say than it was tough. But I must admit, for some reason, it was still really, really, really fun! The second half was much slower than the first but in the last 5 miles I really speed up and never looked back. I ran with the 4:30 pace team for the last 4 miles until the last mile when I sprinted the last 1.2 in sub 8 to finish in 4:27:44.
Race Results: (My bib number is 580)

Race photos: (My bib number is 580)

Free State Trail Ultras 09

Just after finishing the 40 Mile run at Free State on Saturday:
Saturday morning at Clinton Lake near Lawrence, KS I participated in the Free State Trail Ultras for the second year in the row. Last year I ran and finished the 100K but this year I opted for the 40 mile event since I had promised my friend (running his first marathon) that I would run it with him (the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon the next day, Sunday). The Clinton Lake trails were in good shape other than a little mud here and there which just makes it more fun. It was a warm, muggy day. I think I started sweating even before we started the race at 7:00 am. I had lots of fun on the course talking to all sort of runners, chatting about Leadville and other runs and everything from politics to garden planting!

I finished the first 20-mile loop in 4:00 and headed back out. I was loving my new camelback hydration bag that I purchased at the Great Plains Running Company. Never ran out of water the whole day! During the second loop I was running along in a train of 3 runners, a woman ahead of me and a guy behind me. I can’t believe I can’t remember their names – we ran together for hours! Anyway, all the sudden I started screaming in terrible fright and turned around and sprinted the opposite way, almost running into the guy behind me. “What!? What!? What is it?”, he said. “A-a-a-snnnake!” I stuttered and yelled and pointed ahead. It was just a harmless green snake about 18 inches long but I don’t care. It was awful. Once I turned around and convinced myself the snake was gone and it was okay to run again, I couldn’t help but sprint for some reason. We had a few sprinkles in the second loop – nothing too much – just threatening clouds and a little thunder. I finished with no problems, no major moments of discouragement or anything like that. I did realize only afterwards that I had a silver dollar-sized blood blister on the back of my right heel.

I ate some food and visited with other runners at the finish line and left to go home. 10 minutes to the West I hit rain and thunder and lightning and wind and I started to worry about the runners still on the course. Then the tornado sirens went off and I was listening to the radio reports of serious tornado threats. Anyway, come to find out later that the race was called off a couple hours after I was done running due to the tornado and everyone was sent home. Crazy day in Kansas. Meanwhile I drove home to Wichita, worked in the garden a little bit and went to sleep.

Next year I’m doing the 100K at Free State!

Spring Photos: Crossroads Youth

In Josh and I's simulated game, we both pitched 3 innings and we both struck out 9! Go figure!
7th-10th Grade Crossroads Small Group that meets in Sedgwick on Wednesday nights

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Adversity is the School of Wisdom

We are inclined to call things by the wrong names. We call prosperity “happiness,” and adversity “misery” even though adversity is the school of wisdom and often the way to eternal happiness.
-William Penn

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Salt Lake City Marathon

Saturday, April 18 was the Salt Lake City Marathon. It was a great, mild, partly cloudy day in beautiful Salt Lake City with white-capped mountains everywhere you look.

It was fun to run with Jadon and Audrey Ross, currently from Kemmerer, Wyoming (Jadon is Pastor of the Evangelical Free Church there), who both completed their first marathon ever! See Jadon's perspective of the race: I especially think it's cool that Jadon and I ran a pretty much even (and possibly even negative by 2 minutes if I figured right) split of the two halves of the marathon, which I think is especially a great accomplishment in his first marathon.

Jadon and I finished in exactly 4 hours and 28 minutes. Audrey finished about 18 minutes later, toughing out IT band/knee pain the whole way. She's tough! See her blog with great detail:

Oh yeah, one more funny/interesting thing. My phone apparently fell out of my drop bag before the beggining of the race. After I got back to my hotel room to take a shower after the race, I realized I couldn't find my phone. I figured I had either lost it on the train or somewhere between the hotel and startline drop bag drop off. At 2:30 pm after lunch, I went back to the starting line on the off chance that maybe, just maybe I could find it. I found a lost and found box full of lost car keys and cell phones and mine was one of them! I thought that was pretty cool, considering all the people there and all the places it could've been lost.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Skull Caps

Aunt Linda and I posing in our newest hip Skull Caps!

LOVE: The Words and Inspiration of Mother Teresa (Book Review)

I just finished a mini-book that I've been reading for several months, a few pages at a time called "LOVE: The Words and Inspiration of Mother Teresa". Ever since I heard Bill Hybels give an excellent talk on the life and ministry leadership of Mother Teresa a few years back at the Summit, I have been a fan. I really enjoyed this short biography and then pages and pages of her quotes.
The life, faith, and ministry of Mother Teresa of Calcutta continues to be an inspiration to me. My calling and specific passions don't have very much in common with Teresa but I have so, so much to learn from her zeal, faith, perseverance, compassion, obedience, humility and leadership. A few quotes from Teresa:
We learn humility through accepting humiliations cheerfully.
Never let anyone come to you without coming away better and happier.
Everybody should see kindness in your face, in you eyes, in you smile, in your warm greeting.

Monday, April 20, 2009

In Search of the Source: A First Encounter with God's Word (Book Review)

On Friday I finished "In Search of the Source: A First Encounter with God's Word" by Neil Anderson and Hyatt Moore. It was an excellent read and an incredible story of translating the bible into a language for a people group in Papua New Guinea, the Folopa, which had no recorded language. It's one thing to translate the bible into a language which has no bible. It's another thing altogether to translate it into a language that is spoken only! These Wycliffe Bible Translators had to first learn, then record into a written form, and then teach the people how to read in their own language and then translate the bible. What an incredible story of the eagerness and hunger to learn and understand God's words as recorded in the bible!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Rockin' K 09 Pictures and Report part II

(NEW) 2009 'Official' Rockin' K Report:
The marathon (loop #1) finish. He should've stopped there...
The water was cold, very cold...but it actually felt good!
Somewhere out there...
All smiles before it starts of course! If he only knew...

A bunch of Rockin' K 2009 pictures from Gary Henry's blog and Ultrarunners News website:

The good news is that I did get credit for a marathon finish, I believe, but I won't really count it in my list of marathons because I did go 35 miles or so. I'll count it in my list of ultras (that I lost track of a while back) for now. Final results:
Until next year...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Camp Marathon: Run YOUR Race (2009 EFC-MAYM Camps at Camp Quaker Haven)

Aren't we original?
I am looking forward to Mid-America Friends Camps again this summer at Camp Quaker Haven maybe more than ever! Especially fun will be enjoying the new "Extreme Camp Makeover" renovations and facilities! With great anticipation and lots of work to do in planning, preparation, and promotion...!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Putting Your Faith Into Action (4/5/09)

This is some of my edited content from my Sunday, April 5th message at Crossroads.

Letter to Philemon
-short letter, only 25 verses, very personal and intimate between Paul and Philemon, wrote it from a prison in Rome, and sent it with Onesimus (wrote it for all of us though, much to learn and apply).
-Onesimus was a slave who had wronged his master, Philemon, by stealing from him and then escaping. (Slaves were executed for less offenses than his, and according to Roman law death was his punishment.) After escaping, Onesimus went to Rome, met Christ, through the ministry of Paul. Paul sends him back with this letter/postcard. Paul has really befriended Onesimus, becoming his spiritual mentor and advocate. Paul appeals to Philemon, also a Christian, for leniency based on love and grace. 10-14While here in jail, I've fathered a child, so to speak. And here he is, hand-carrying this letter—Onesimus! He was useless to you before; now he's useful to both of us. I'm sending him back to you, but it feels like I'm cutting off my right arm in doing so. (The Message)

-Paul’s request of Philemon to show grace to Onesimus, ‘put into action’...
-move from spectator to player, observer to participant, consumer to owner and volunteer
-generosity (in every way: with resources of money and time, also with words and sharing about Christ)
-NIV (more literal) says: “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” (this shows a Cause & Effect relationship)
-we do healthy things to become healthy Christians, don’t wait until you are healthy to do healthy things, it’ll never happen (ie, don’t wait to be physically fit before you start exercising, don’t wait to lose weight before you start a diet)
-maybe it’s time for a public demonstration of faith – a public prayer, ‘confess with your mouth’, give your testimony (important to Sunday morning experience) – publicly demonstrate faith for other’s sake
-what is God calling you to ‘put into action’? how he is asking you right now, today, to match your talk with your walk?

-it’s a process/journey/adventure/lifetime of understanding and experiencing life with Christ
-remember Samuel’s message on the Prodigal Son from the perspective of the older son? “All I have is already yours.”
-we have so much ‘in Christ’: life, hope, forgiveness, joy, peace, identity ‘in Christ’, eternal life
-we have much to celebrate and to share this season – the empty tomb
-(this passage is Paul’s prayer for Philemon) It can be our prayer for our church. Pray that we will understand, as we ‘put into action’ and ‘actively share our faith’ all the good things we have in Christ!

A Thousand Splended Suns (Book Review)

This morning I just finished my second Khaled Hosseini novel, "A Thousand Splendid Suns". There is no adequate summary or commentary to describe the excellence of the novel and the incredibility of the story. Hosseini's first novel, "The Kite Runner", was excellent but I think this was is even more gripping and powerful. The story brings to light the history of about the last three decades of Afghanistani history, up to almost present times. This novel is painful to read at times and even overwhelming. I believe that the best part is that there is an excellent redemptive element in two of the main characters, Mariam and Laila. Hosseini has quickly become one of my favorite authors.

Also recommended is "The Kite Runner" which I read last year I think.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

AXIOMS: Powerful Leadership Proverbs (Book Review)

AXIOMS: Powerful Leadership Proverbs
by Bill Hybels

As I’ve said many times, Bill Hybels is pretty much I think my favorite Pastor when it comes to teaching and inspiring and edifying the spiritual gift of leadership. I love to hear him speak and have read several of his books. Last August, at the Summit Leadership 08 conference, Hybels introduced one of his excellent talks on what he calls “Axioms”, or leadership principles/proverbs that he has learned and been able to articulate. Hybels recorded 76 of these axioms in one of his latest books and I’ve been power-skimming and reading and studying it for several months now. I wanted to highlight for the sake of book review and leadership edification my favorite of Hybels’ axioms. The italicized comments are my own words, the rest are from Hybels.

Axiom # 2 Make The Big Ask
-Leadership is a lot about asking. After casting bold visions, leaders ask people to help make them become reality.
-The nature of human beings is such that we tend not to drift into better behaviors. We usually have to be asked by someone to consider taking it up a level.
I’ve seen all too often what happens when a leader has a dream, even a God-inspired vision, yet is afraid to ask for the right things to make that dream a reality. I want to be the type of leader who is unafraid to make the big ask, yet learns to do so wisely, humbly, and confidently.

Axiom # 7 An Owner or a Hireling
-Wise leaders understand that the single greatest determinant of whether followers will ever own a vision deeply is the extent to which those followers believe the leader will own it…you can’t fool people on this one. They see and smell and sense just how deep your ownership goes.
-A “hired hand” is committed to the vision God gave them to carry out until it gets too hard, the price gets too high, the fun factor gets overshadowed by onerous challenges, and the honeymoon gets declared over and done.
-The owner says “God, you gave me this vision, and it’s your power that’s fueling it and your people who are accomplishing it and your glory alone that we’re fighting for. Right here and right now, I tell you all over again that I will pay any price to achieve this vision so that someday, when I get to the finish line, I’ll be able to say with Paul that I fought the good fight.”
I want to wake up every day, ready to do battle on behalf of a God-given vision for one simple reason: to hear the commendation of Christ. “Well done, Well done! You did it as an owner, all the way to the end.”

Axiom # 13 Vision Leaks
-You or I could deliver a mind-blowing, God-honoring, pulse-quickening vision talk on Sunday that leaves everyone revved up to go change the world, but by Tuesday, many people have forgotten they were even in church the previous weekend.
-People in our church have real lives.
-Ask key staff, “How full is your vision bucket these days?” Ask volunteers, “Do you sense progress around here toward our vision?” Ask members of your congregation, “Which part of our church’s vision is the most meaningful to you?” Get a gauge on how full buckets are around you, leader, and then get busy topping them off.
This one is so easy to understand because I see it in myself so frequently. I can be very passionate about something and then a few weeks later actually seem to forget why I ever even supported it. Vision leaks in me and needs refilled, just like vision leaks in church people and they need refills regularly too.

Axiom # 22 Never Say Someone’s No For Them
-It’s an odd tendency I see in even the most discerning and faithful leaders: when they’re trying to add a great board member or an elder or a small group leader or other key leader, they ask God who would be the very best person on planet Earth to fill the position. Upon receiving the answer, they proceed to pursue everyone but that individual.
Hybels said it all in the quote above.

Axiom # 30 Pay Attention To Greetings and Goodbyes
-I make it a habit to do a personal, enthusiastic, genuine, warm, highly relational, look-you-in-the-eye greeting to every single person sitting around the table before I even think about starting the meeting.
I am absolutely no good at this at all. I tend to think that small talk is a waste of time. The clock is ticking and the more we banter the more we are wasting other people’s time. However, I am sure that Hello’s and Goodbye’s are much, much more important than I like and I must improve this aspect of leadership. To an exaggerated extent, Dave Kingrey is an excellent role model for this axiom.

Axiom # 33 Just Say It!
-People who work in Christian settings often feel obligated to present opinions with a level of politeness that can often dilute the point they are making to where it is barely recognizable. The other people in the room respond with blank stares, wondering what in the world this person has just said.
Often, the weird silence lingers until some brave soul finally pipes up. “Huh?”…
-Even if they have to interrupt the person midsentence, the best leaders I know refuse to tolerate mushy communication.
Wow, this is a tough road to navigate when trying to balance grace and truth. Sometimes I just want to say, sp-sp-sp-spit it out and get to the point and say what you really think (and usually what everyone else really thinks but they won’t say – finally acknowledging the elephant in the room): Just Say It!

Axiom # 46 Sweat The Small Stuff
-The best leaders I know right-size the amount of small stuff required to do their job well and then tend to those things furiously…They return phone calls and acknowledge correspondence. They answer followers questions clearly and in a timely manner….Please return every phone call (within 24 hours). Nobody likes to feel ignored, especially at a church.
This comes easily to me and but my challenge and unresolved consideration to my leadership is how, as a leader, to convince others around me to sweat the small stuff as well.

Axiom # 49
Is It Sustainable?
-Good leaders call out high commitments from people. They cast pulse-racing visions and say, “If we all rally together, we can take this hill!” But at some point along the way, they have to ask themselves how many hills they realistically can ask their congregations to climb in a given time frame.
-The sustainability concept is catching on in kingdom circles, and its arrival is long overdue. As leaders of the most important endeavor on planet Earth, we have to get better about implementing what we can sustain. They people we partner with deserve it.
This is such a great evaluative question we can ask for every ministry endeavor (as well as personal life endeavors): is it sustainable? Now, with the right questions being asked, I just have to continue to ask for and seek the wisdom to know the answer.

Axiom # 59 Let’s Debrief
-Debriefings are not about judgment and condemnation and ripping something to shred; they are about taking responsibility for the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Debriefing and honestly evaluating a ministry endeavor is such an important last step in the process cycle of making something better and more effective.

Axiom # 64
What Life Are You Waiting For?
-This is the only leadership life I get, my one and only shot at following God the way I feel him prompting me to do so. This isn’t some pregame warm-up. It’s the game, and the clock is ticking!
This is a great consideration in the process of discerning God’s will. Especially when we know and everyone else around us knows as well, what we are supposed to do. We can’t be controlled by fear. There is no ‘later’. This is the one chance we get.

Axiom # 70
Arrive Early Or Not At All
-Promptness is about character, and leaders are not beyond the rules that govern things like courtesty and character.
Again, I am very well aware that punctuality is not my ‘gift’. However, I must, absolutely must get better at this essential proverb of a good leader. To arrive early shows others that their time is important; that I am thinking of others as better than myself (Philippians 2).

Axiom # 73 Excellence Honors God and Inspires People
-Leaders in every arena possess an internal quality-control mechanism, a longing for excellence that won’t let them off the hook.
-We must fight for excellence because it is excellence that honors God. It is excellence that inspires people. And it is excellence that means trouble for the enemy of our souls.
I really hate when people say we don’t have to take the business of the church seriously, because it’s “just church”. I’ve always thought that we should take the ministry of the church way more seriously than any profitable business or anything else. I don’t know the chapter and verse that says that excellence honors God but I do believe it’s true. More subjective and even more assuredly true, excellence inspires people, including me! Excellence breeds excellence just like mediocrity produces more mediocrity.

Easter Reflections: Peter or Thomas, Which Are You?

As we celebrate the Resurrection and empty tomb again this year, I think about two characters in biblical story: Peter and Thomas.

In Luke 24, we find the account of Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and several other women visiting the tomb, finding it empy and then hurrying back to tell the apostles what had happened. "But the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it. However, Peter jumped up and ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened." (v.11-12, NLT) Peter, though just like everyone else may have had his reservations and doubts, "jumped up and ran to the tomb to look". I love this attitude. I wish it were mine. However, realistically, it is often not. I love and respect the "Peter's" in my life.

In John 20, we have the account of Jesus appearing to many after the resurrection, including his disciples. Then we find the story of Thomas:

"One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.
Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

Of course we know that Jesus says blessed are those who believe and have not seen. But that does not mean that those who 'have a little bit harder time believing' are out of the range of God's blessing, by no means! Some Christians seem to relate a little more with Thomas, including myself. As I reflect on these two characters, I at first thought that I should strive to be more like Peter than Thomas. And maybe that is the case? Nevertheless, the whole story is redeemed in the end when Thomas says, and all of the followers of Jesus can join with him in exclaiming, "My Lord and my God!"

Send Us

This song, "Send Us", is written by Abby Hutson, who is one of two primary Worship Leaders on sunday mornings at Crossroads. The songs' lyrics are growing on me more and more.

Together, we long to hear from you
Together, let us no leave unchanged
Together, we proclaim
Holy is your name (Holy is your name)

You ask, who will go?
Whom, shall I send?
In grace we say

Send us, we wanna see your kingdom
Today, Lord we will praise
Only Your name,
Send us

Together, our fears are turned away
Together, we come poor
Together, burn our hearts
and grow us some more (grow us some more)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Braves Win Season Opener, 4-1

The Atlanta Braves kicked off the 2009 MLB season with a strong victory over the defending World Champions, the Philedelphia Phillies.

The new Braves pitcher, Derek Lowe, pitched 8 shutout innings, giving up only 2 singles. Brian McCann, Jeff Franceour, and rookie Jordan Schafer all homered. Schafer homered in his first MLB at-bat!

What a great night it was!

Easter People

Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.
-Pope John Paul II

Rockin' K Round II: TKO!

Well, my second attempt at the Rockin' K 50 Mile Trail run was nothing like my first. (See
2008 Report:

Saturday's run at Kanopolis State Park was a crazy Kansas April day! According to co-race director, Stacy Sheridan, course record crowds showed up to start line for the 50 mile and marathon course, which started at 7 am. The temperature was in the low 40s at the start but with sustained south winds of at least 30 mph and wind gusts of up to 50. I was one of the only a few people I saw who braved the chilly early morning winds, leaving the start line in a t-shirt and shorts, but after only 10 minutes I knew I had dressed just right.

The 50 mile course consists of two loops over the same trail, the first of about 26 miles and the second about 24 (with one small shortcut). I ran the first 20 miles of the first loop feeling fine, running hard and having lots of fun. I ran most of it with fellow ultrarunners Terry, Dennis (same trio as the 50 miler in mid-March) and also Teresa (who I asked a lot of questions of because she finished Leadville successfully in '08). My feet got wet early and stayed wet at the multiple water and creek crossings (I did not waste time or energy going upstream to a beaver dam, like Gary!). The wind was pretty intense and it got pretty warm by noon, probably in the low to mid 60s. Somewhere around mile 20 - 24, my pace and drive and enthusiasm started to wane. My heart was pounding in my chest, I felt like I couldn't quite catch my breath, I had the slightest headache, and my stomach was upset. During those last couple miles as I was coming into the marathon finish line, I was telling myself that I should probably just stop there and take a nap and recover. I came into the shaded shelter where the finish line is and sat down and even laid down on a picnic table for a few minutes. None of the food or drinks looked any good because my stomach was upset and I couldn't decide whether or not I wanted to continue. I was leaning about 75% - 25% to just calling it quits. My marathon time was about 5 hours and 45 minutes, which I think is a decent effort on this course.

Then all of a sudden the people I was running with, who may have been thinking the same thing as I about not wanting to go back out into that brutal wind for another loop, just got up and said, "okay, let's go"! So, not being one of the brighter things I've ever decided to do, I filled my water bottle and off I went, giving in to the positive peer pressure, but deciding for myself that I really wanted to finish, of course. For the next six miles, the symptoms I mentioned earlier didn't worsen, so I thought they would eventually go away and I'd be fine. I kept reciting "It Never Always Gets Worse". Every time in the past when I've felt that awful, it was just a phase and went away. I learned that the phrase is, indeed, true: It Never Always Gets Worse. But sometimes it does!

After about 7 miles into the second loop, all of my symptoms of what I started to realize was dehydration, began to worsen. My pulse was beating rapidly and I couldn't catch my breath at all, and I also couldn't consume the water because it made the nausea more intense. By this time, the sun was out and the winds had gotten even stronger, I'm guessing, trying not to over-exaggerate, sustained winds of at least 40 mph and gusts of 50-60 mph. At that point where I mentally checked out and I knew I was toast and couldn't possibly finish the whole thing, I figured that I could take a short cut and get to the aid station in just a couple miles ahead to get a ride back to the start line. But I had mis-judged where I was and how far it was away, and reduced to a walk, and with an empty water bottle, I went on for what felt like a couple more hours until I got to the aid station and got a ride back. I ended up only covering 35 1/2 miles (including the distance I cut the course to get back to the manned aid station). After an hour of sitting in front of the fire place in the shelter and letting everything in my body settle down and reach something close to equilibrium, I ate 2 bowls of chili, ate a dozen cookies, drank 4 ice cold 7UPs and then went back to the RV to sleep for a hour and a half. About the time I was waking up, my friends came rolling in with an excellent, strong 50 mile finish! Incredible accomplishment for them on such a day! It was kind of discouraging and disappointing to have my second DNF to my name, but as all of the vets say, it happens to everybody. Now I really can't wait until the next race in a couple weeks to get back out there and run to a successful finish. Next year, without any hesitation, I will be running the 50 miles again and hope to have a much better finish!

2009 Pictures (round 1 of them) thanks to friend and fellow ultrarunner Gary Henry who had the wisdom and humility to just plan to run a great marathon and then go home, but in his race report actually says that he should've planned to keep going to do the 50 miles and for sure will next year and for now on! He writes awesome race reports so this one is definitely worth the read:

Friday, April 3, 2009

It Won't Be Like This For Long

by Darius Rucker (one of my current favorite country songs)

He didn't have to wake up
He'd been up all night
Laying there in bed listening
To his new born baby cry
He makes a pot of coffee
He splashes water on his face
His wife gives him a kiss and says
It’s gonna be okay

It won’t be like this for long
One day soon we'll look back laughing
At the week we brought her home
This phase is gonna fly by
So baby just hold on
It won't be like this for long

Four years later bout four thirty
She's crawling in their bed
And when he drops her off at preschool
She's clinging to his leg
The teacher peels her off of him
He says what can I do
She says now don't you worry
This will only last a week or two

It won’t be like this for long
One day soon we'll drop her off
And she wont even know you're gone
This phase is gonna fly by
If you can just hold on
It won’t be like this for long

One day soon she'll be a teenager
And at times you'll think she hates him
Then he'll walk her down the aisle
And he'll raise her veil
But right now she’s up and crying
And the truth is that he don't mind
As he kisses her good night
And she says her prayers
He lays down there beside her
Til her eyes are finally closed
And just watching her it breaks his heart
Cause he already knows

It won’t be like this for long
One day soon that little girl is gonna be
All grown up and gone
Yeah this phase is gonna fly by
He's trying to hold on
It won’t be like this for long
It won’t be like this for long