Friday, October 30, 2009

Meditations of the Week

Throughout this exciting and emotional and incredible week, I've been singing and reflecting on these passages and their corresponding songs, which are some of my favorites. These words kept going through my mind over and over during the Run for Missions and through these days of excitement, reflection, and anticipation.

Isaiah 40
27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God"?
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Zephaniah 3:17
17 The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Run For Missions 2009 Finished!

The run is over and everyone had a successful finish. Stories and reports by next week...

Run For Missions 2009 Results 103.9 Miles
Tim Marshall 23:37
Adam Monaghan 24:11
Allen Smelser/Mark Smelser Relay 29 Hours

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Quotes of the Day

“Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Beware you are not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge.”
–John Wesley

“The decision to grow always involves a choice between risk and comfort. This means that to be a follower of Jesus you must renounce comfort as the ultimate value of your life.” –John Ortberg

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Roofing the Friends Ministry Center

In just two long days, we re-roofed the entire 2018 W. Maple St. Friends Ministry Center office and the storage shed in the back yard, Monday and Tuesday. After unseasonable cold earlier in October, we had unseasonable warmth and sun and wind, which is always in season in Kansas, for these two days. A bunch of Youth Pastors and a few others, including my brother Andrew, came to help to get the job done, with the insurance money 'profit' going to finish some Extreme Camp Makeover (Hangover) projects.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Kansas City Marathon

(NEW) Link to Pictures: type in Bib number 1238. These are some great pictures. I especially love the agony in Gabe's face. Good stuff!

Saturday was the Twadell & Reed Kansas City Marathon that we've been looking forward to for a long time. Gabe Hancock and I ran a 3:50:59, official time, on a chilly, brisk, cloudy morning into a northly breeze. It was raining right up until the race start of 7:00 am, but cleared up for the run itself. The race, starting and ending in Kansas City, MO, goes through some scenic and beautiful areas of Kansas City, over several hills throughout, but has a nice slight downhill section about mile 22-24. We ran a negative split of the two halves of the marathon by 6 minutes! It was a textbook perfectly run race. When it was over we hurried inside the mall, the Crown Center, to warm up before coming home. Gabe, who excellently completed his first marathon ever, was impressed with the challenge and difficulty of the marathon, and also suprised by the overwhelming emotion he experienced at the finish line.

I believe I finished 406/1556 in the marathon. To see official results: and then type in my last name to see the results. Everyone who heard of my finish kept saying "not bad considering the fact that you finished a 100 miler last weekend" but, honestly, I felt no residual effect and was totally healed up after just a few days (except some numbness in the ends of my toes but I don't feel it when I run so as far as I'm concerned that doesn't count!).

I was thrilled with the results as it is the fastest marathon I've run in all of 08 and 09 and my third fastest ever (behind Marine Corps Oct 07 at 3:48 and Memphis Dec 07 at 3:40). I believe this to be my 17th marathon finish.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Adding Extra Years To Your Life!

My good friend Jesse Penna doesn't have a Facebook. I know, imagine that, he really doesn't have a facebook page or even a blog! Go figure! Anyway, from time to time he sends me or tells me something that he would say or write as a status or post, if he had a "myface, spacebook, facespace, or whatever they call it".

So, posting for the world to see, sometimes remaining anonymous, but not this time, Jesse Penna (and I add my own commentary saying, Good Words, Jesse!):

The following quote found on my coffee cup would be cited on my facepage:

"Americans spend an average of 29 hours a week watching television - which means in a typical life span we devote 13 uninterrupted years to our TV sets! The biggest problem with mass media isn't low quality - it's high quantity. Cutting down just an hour a day would provide extra years of life - for music and family, exercise and reading, conversation and coffee."

Obviously, I would advocate cutting out not just one hour per week, but the whole 29 hours...This quote is hard to swallow - to realize how much of life people are wasting watching TV! However, there is a bit of hope to realize the life that could be lived if persons shut off the tv and enjoyed "extra years of life"! - Jesse

From Discipline to Harvest

For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

Hebrews 12:10-11 NLT

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Heartland 100 2009

I've talked about the "Finish Line" experience in an ultra before...but here we go again - this was the finish line just after Terry and I completed 100 miles. There's the man with the clipboard!
Here we are, all bundled up, giving it all we got left coming up to the finish line. The first 1/2 mile is on this highway and then the next 99 are on dirt/gravel roads and then the last 1/2 mile is on the same highway.
When the sun rises the second day, you start to feel better and it causes you to start picking up the pace all the way to the end!
I think this was at mile 75 at Teterville aid-station. About 1:00 am. All bundled up like eskimo runners!
This is mile 18 at the Lapland aid-station. Still feeling strong at this point and running in shorts!

This past weekend was the annual Heartland 100 mile run through the Flint Hills of Kansas. The warmest and most comfortable part of the day came at 6:00 am at the start on Saturday. It was cold, around 30 degrees I believe, but with minimal wind. I was over-dressed and shed my wind-breaker layer within a couple miles. When the sun came out for a brief time around 7:30 am and started to warm things up, we could see an ominous looking cloud formation rolling in from the north. Then the wind picked up suddenly, the howling, cold, blustery northerly winds that blew for the rest of the day (never to see the sun again through the clouds) and night...and the next day.

The first half, other than being cold was uneventful. The hospitality and care at the aid stations was as phenomonal as ever! At every aid station I ate soup and cookies at least. Had to keep the calories up this event because of the cold. We came in to Lone Tree, the 50 mile mark at 11:13 elapsed time, or about 5:13 pm, which I think is one of my best 50 miles times ever. I ate at least two good cups full of noodles with alfredo sauce there, and we set out running again. At this point I met a few other runners and joined along side them for several miles. I enjoyed the company of Kevin from the KC area. He was running very strong but I heard he had to drop at Teterville on the way back in. Terry Rider and I pretty much stayed side by side from start to finish on this race. We returned to Matfield Green, around 57 miles in exactly 13 hours, so I was really thinking around a 24 hour finish was possible. Then it got dark and I got sleepy. Oh, I forgot to mention I had a case of night-before-the-race insomnia on Friday night and, no matter what I tried, I absolutely could not fall asleep and ended up sleeping from 2:00 am - 3:30 am on Saturday morning, then had to get up to drive to race start. Not only was I tired all day Saturday, but when the nightfall set in I knew it was going to be a long night. Between 9 and 10 pm was one of the hardest stretches to stay awake. I kept dozing off while running down the road! I can't explain it other than when the chin hit the chest and bounced back up - I knew I had fallen asleep and then I would shake my head a bit and nothing was working. The road from Matfield Green back to Ridgeline seemed to have grown much longer with a few more hills but we finally made it there and had some of Dave Dinkel's Prarie Power Pellets (a great bean soup) even though I was feeling a bit nauseated at this point. Then we set out to Texaco Hill and suprisingly made it there feeling okay and the stretch from there to Teterville seemed to go by quickly, because the wind was at our backs. By this point, I had my UnderArmour tights on under my shorts and dry clothes, 3 layers on top, 2 pairs of gloves and 2 beanies to stay warm. The wind chills were in the 20s all days. The odd thing is that I haven't hardly even run in a long-sleeve yet this fall because of the mild temps up until this wild, record-breaking cold weekend! It went from summer clothing gear to extreme winter gear in one week!

At Teterville, mile 75 I changed my shoes to my trail shoes, which I don't know if that was smart or not because taking my shoes off and putting a fresh pair on sure did hurt. Terry and I set out down the road to run, which we did a decent amount of, to Lapland. We could see Lapland from from seemed like miles away before we finally got there. Theresa Wheeler, friendly (tired and bored and cold) aid-station volunteer met us, bundled up, about 1/4 mile from the aid station to escort us in. I sat down, for probably too long, eating my soup, because the next thing I knew several people were yelling at me. "Adam, Wake Up, Get Up, Get Goin!" My head had fallen over asleep sitting in the chair, even if just for a split second. That never happens to me so they made me get up immediately and get out of there! The next section is the worst part for me everytime, from Lapland to BattleCreek. It just takes forever and it's so lonely and so dark and the hills seem so long and steep and like there's 10 times as many of them as on the way out and the rocks seem so sharp and the down hills so awkward and steep and painful. (Okay, that sounds like I'm whining...I did sign up for this and I did have fun. Back to the report.) Plus during this section I kept falling asleep. I knew I had fallen asleep when my, mostly walking course veered sharp to the right and I'd kick a rock. Then I'd wake up again. I did this dozens and dozens of times. Then I'd know to start trying to talk to Terry about something, anything, mostly mumbling to stay awake. didn't seem like it would ever come...but finally we made it in to BattleCreek in around 25 hours, if I remember right, which is mile 92. We ate some soup but didn't stay long because it was so cold. There is a really steep climb from out of BattleCreek then it pretty much flattens out all the way to the finish. It felt like it took forever to get up to the top, by then the sun had come up.

We trotted along to the Mirage Aid Station and I grabbed a Boost energy drink and a cookie to eat along the way, just 5 miles to the finish. Here Terry and I, finally, had the closest thing to a surge we could muster. We ran to the finish the best we could. Then we got to the finish and high-5ived and I went to my car, cranked up the heat and finally warmed up for the first time in the previous 27 hours and 34 minutes, my slowest 100 mile finish time yet, but certainly the one with the most brutal conditions. Normally I feel an elation of joy upon finishing, this time I was just relieved it was over! But I was joyous the next day! Official Results:

I drove home, stopping on the shoulder to nap, slept most of the afternoon and then all through the night and then, surprisingly, on Monday felt mostly fine, just with a few aches, but not that deabilitating limp/stagger that I'd experiened in the past. Now I'm just plotting my recovery strategy for the Run for Missions 100 in a couple weeks...

The goal one of these years is to break 24/25 hours in a 100 mile run, anywhere. I think with fresh pacers and experienced crew, this can happen. Not having fresh pacer legs to keep me awake and moving in the middle of the night made it hard. Anyway, it was epic, it was cold, it was tough, it seemed like a good idea at the time, and it was fun in the know...not really...but I can't wait to do it whatever that means!?

Friday, October 9, 2009

To Be Christian Means

You are Christian only so long as you constantly pose critical questions to the society you live in, so long as you emphasize the need of conversion both for yourself and for the world, so long as you in no way let yourself become established in the situation of the world, so long as you stay unsatisfied with the status quo and keep saying that a new world is yet to come. You are Christian only when you believe you have a role to play in the realization of the new kingdom, and when you urge everyone you meet with holy unrest to make haste so that the promise might soon be fulfilled. So long as you live as a Christian you keep looking for a new order, a new structure, a new life.
-Henri Nouwen A New World Is Yet to Come

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Spiritual Life

The spiritual life is not a life before, after, or beyond our everyday existence. No, the spiritual life can only be real when it is lived in the midst of the pains and joys of the here and now."
-Henri Nouwen