Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Free State 100K

Finishing loop 1

Running and splashing through the mud somewhere in loop 2 I believe
Finish line photo
Just after the start

I finished the Free State 100K on Saturday at Clinton Lake near Lawrence, KS. My final time was 13:55:20. I finished 18th out of 30 finishers in the 100K. Results and some cool mud pictures are posted at

At the start, I hoofed it ahead a few steps to run with some of the top 1/3 faster runners so as to not get caught too far in the back at the beginning. Bad idea? I don’t know. It felt good to run and I never felt too tired in the end so I think it was good. I finished the first loop in 3:47 and the second in 4:30 feeling great at the end of both of those loops. I didn’t feel I was running any slower the second loop and I was surprised that my time was so much slower but I figure it was the mud that slowed me down a bit because the mud pits we had to run/slog through seemed to be deeper and stickier and sloppier as the day went on and more people traipsed through them. Normally I like to get in a pack or pair and stick with somebody running to chat and share the joy/pain, but that never really worked out this time and I ran pert’near the whole thing alone. That was okay, though. The day of reflecting and solitude on the trail was refreshing. In 2009 at Free State, I only ran 40 miles because I had to leave for OKC to run the Marathon the next day and my time was 8:50. This year, even though I had another lap, I finished the first two laps in 8:27 so I see that as good progress. Plus, the conditions of the trail were much, much muddier this year.

The 3rd lap in 5:37 I’m not really proud of but it was just survival, I guess. My shoes were coming off in the mud the third lap and the drive, will, determination to push harder was lacking. I still don’t remember walking that much but the running pace had just slowed considerably.

I did a good job at hydration and energy throughout the day never falling behind at either. The next day I was surprisingly not sore (meaning I could’ve pushed harder) other than a sore right calf (from lateral movements in the mud?).

This was only a little bit better than my last 100K at Free State in 2008 (14:12, I think). This year the story was all about mud. There was a lot of mud. When I say mud think quick sand, standing water, bog, swamp, deep mud, slippery mud, sticky mud, sloppy mud, dirty mud, and mud pits, mud pies, mud trenches, and mud bath. Did I mention there was some mud?

The whole day was eerily similar to 2009 – cloudy and humid. But this year we only had rain in the afternoon and some in the evening. It rained the last 1 and ½ hours I was out there or so, which as it because dark for my last couple miles, really made everything dark.

When I finished, I was soaked, and completely covered in mud and grime from head to toe. Even after 5 days of showers I still have mud in my toe nails that hasn’t come out thanks to Free State!

2009 Report:

2008 Report:

Run for Missions 2010 April Update

See for the Run for Missions 2010 update for April.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Good to Great to Godly

Quotes from Article in Christianity Today by Mike Bonem
April 2010

[Jim] Collins discovered that strategic direction was less important than having the right leadership team. If you have the right people, they will help define the future direction of the organization. If they’re in the wrong positions but have great potential and fit well, you can move them to a “different seat on the bus.” But when someone is wrong for the organization, whether due to personality clashes or lack of ability, hanging onto that person can drag the entire enterprise down. Collins concluded that we should focus on senior staff as a top priority.

I know the tendency of many churches to make excuses rather than confront underperforming staff members. I remember thinking, Wouldn’t the church be much more effective for the Kingdom if we got the wrong people off the bus?

Jim Cymbala, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire: “We don’t need technicians and church programmers; we need God. He is not looking for smart people, because he’s the smart one. All he wants are people simple enough to trust him.

Apply constituency thinking to a church, however, and your head starts to spin. In business, the three groups are mostly separate and distinct. In a church, a single person or family can be customer, employee, AND shareholder. You may not relate to these terms, but change the language to members, volunteer workers, and contributors, and the overlap becomes obvious.

Lines blur in ministry, such as whether to focus on those currently in the church or those who have not yet been reached. The priorities and emphases that fit one group my not fit the other. Of course, businesses must try to attract new customers while retaining existing ones. But in the corporate world, a cost-benefit analysis determines whether the expected profits justify entering a new market….In the church, the “bottom line” is life transformation, which defies simple cost-benefit analysis…So we wrestle with priorities and resource allocation, trying to make the right choices as we pursue a goal that is sometimes vague and elusive. What kind of leadership is needed to move from blurriness to clarity, from seeing through simple business lenses to seeing more as God sees?

…there is Jim Collin’s theory that “legislative leadership” is most appropriate in the non-profit arena. In contrast with “executive leadership,” he says that “legislative leadership relies more upon persuasion, political currency, and shared interests to create the conditions for the right decisions to happen.” Is effective congregational leadership limited to this legislative style? Collins goes on to hypothesize that “more likely, there will be a spectrum, and the most effect leaders will show a blend of both executive and legislative skills.” My experience is that church leaders—senior pastors, other staff, and laity—need a style that transcends both of these, a leadership approach that is spiritual and situational (sometimes legislative, sometimes executive) … the “best practices” from business have much to offer regarding decision making, but they omit the greatest asset available to congregational leaders—the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Jim Collins’ monograph Good to Great and the Social Sectors has an interesting line before the title: “Why Business Thinking Is Not The Answer.” Is Collins right? Yes and no. It’s clear that the unfiltered, wholesale adoption of best practices from business is not the answer. The church is not a business, and if we run it like one, God might end up as just one of the constituents to be considered, not the One for whom the whole thing exists. And while it is not a business, we’re foolish if we ignore the reality that a church has many characteristics that can be made better with organizational wisdom. We can’t read Jesus’ parable about counting the cost before building a tower (Luke 14:29-30) without hearing the down-to-earth decisions to be made. Or see Jethro advising Moses to appoint officials to share the leadership burden (Exodus 18), and not recognize the need for a sustainable organizational model. Then there are the lists of qualifications for deacons and elders (1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1), which clearly show that it’s important to have “the right people on the bus,” leading our churches.

Business thinking is not the answer, but it is part of the answer. For me, the most important lesson…of my leadership journey has been discovering the other part of the answer. Or perhaps I should say it’s been acknowledging that the biggest part of the answer is beyond me.

Too much reliance on business practices can mean too little reliance on God. I’ve learned to savor the moments when God gives a profound insight, and I’m much more willing to give credit to the Source when this happens. I’ve gradually become more comfortable saying, “I don’t know the answer” and slowing down so that I can wait and listen.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Eisenhower Marathon 2010

Saturday, April 10th I ran the Eisenhower Marathon in Abilene, KS. Kind of on a last second whim after some plans changed, I got registered. Planning to run something under 4 hours for the day, I showed up feeling good and ended up running a 3:29:58, my marathon PR! I ended up running the whole course with Scott Hill, from Wichita, fellow ultrarunner dude. Scott helped me a ton to not only PR but also break 3:30! I finished 25th out of 176 finishers and 3rd in my age division, males 25-29.

It was a pretty exciting and surprising day and a great confidence booster!

Results posted:

I must admit that this got me re-thinking about Boston and calculating qualifying times in my spare time! But we'll see...still would have over 19 minutes to take off my total time - wow!

Looking forward to Camp 2010 at CQH! for more info!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Rockin' K 2010

Saturday I finished the Rockin' K 50 Mile Train Run in 12 hours and 47 seconds. It was a beautiful breezy day in Kansas with only a few hours of 'heat' in the afternoon with intense sun in the upper 70s, I think. I finished the first 26 mile loop in about 5 hours and 35 minutes and set out for the second 24 mile loop feeling okay. Then the heat of the day set in and I started to slow a bit. Coming into gate 6 on the second loop, about 37 miles, I was hungry and had completey forgot why this was 'fun'. But after eating and fueling up I set off for the last 13 and it was much more fun and exciting, and the wind had moderated slightly and the temps had cooled!

My friend and one of my weekly training partners, Andy Bowman from Wichita, came and paced me the second loop which was a huge help to have the company and encouragement.

But best of all, my girlfriend, Sarah, was there and cheered me on and helped at every aid station. She wrote a great blog report on her experience there:

It was a PR for the course and was certainly better than last year so I can be happy about that. But I still think I can knock off some more time next year! It was a fun weekend and good to see everybody!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Run for Missions 2010 5K, 10K, 100 Mile Solo, 100 Mile Relay

More details and announcements coming soon...
Save the dates!
Run for Missions 2010 5K, 10K is Sunday, October 31st, 2010.
Run for Missions 2010 100 Mile Solo and Relay Runs are Monday-Tuesday, November 1-2.

Thursday, April 1, 2010