Sunday, January 29, 2012

7 Miles After Beer Fest

So, if you have ever taken the time to read the About E section on here, you know I am a beer snob. This is not a topic I post about often, but it sort of ties in to today's run.

Last night was the 2nd annual Top of Hops Beer Festival, which as  a beer snob I am required to attend. If you have ever had the joy of attending a beer festival it is amazing. You pay one price to get in and are given a small "sampling mug" and you get to taste craft beers from all over the world. I had a blast and even though we skipped several tables offering more common beers you can find anywhere we still wound up sampling somewhere north of 50 different beers. If you are good with math I drank more than 100 ounces of various beers. That is some where in the neighborhood of 8 to 10 regular sized beers and we completed all of this in a 3 hour window.

I said I was a beer snob, but I am not typically a heavy drinker, 1 to 2 in a night every other week or so is about my limit. So to say the least I was feeling no pain last night, and a good bit of pain this morning. This is the one time each year that I "allow" myself to let loose a little. Over indulgence can lead to addiction and we don't want to go there. Did I mention I had a lovely driver last night? My wife was the "DD" for myself and two friends after the festival.

A goal I have not put out there for everyone yet is that I plan to run my first half marathon(13.1 miles) in New Orleans March 4 and I am trying to follow a strict schedule to get ready. Today's schedule called for 7 miles which is one of the longest runs I have ever completed, and seemed even more daunting with the way I felt; ok I will say it, I had a little bit of a hangover.

After much delay I finally drug my self outside to start my 7 miles, and for some stupid reason I chose a new route, which was quite a bit hillier than my normal route.My body took some time adjusting and I wasn't sure I was going to make it.

Mile 1 struggling " I should have skipped today and slept off last night"
Mile 2  "Feeling a little better, but still not so sure this was a good idea"
Mile 3 "You know my pace really isn't that far off"
Mile 4 "This isn't so bad after all"
Mile 5 " I Got This!" finally starting to feel really good
Mile 6 " Pace has quickened, finish strong"
Mile 7 " OH YEAH!!!"


miPace (min/mi)Elevation (ft)

The great thing was after I got through I felt tired and even exhausted, but I no longer felt the effects from the previous evening, mostly I felt exhilarated and this amazing sense of accomplishment!

I will have to be more careful with scheduling conflicts next time beer fest rolls into town, but all things considered, what an amazing run!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Here Am I

It has been several months since I have last blogged, but I have not been abducted by aliens nor driven off to the desert and killed I am alive and well. With the new promotion at work and with everything else going on, something had to give, and unfortunately it was blogging.

So, what brings me back? This blog has been a space for me to convey my thoughts and feelings  on a variety of topics, everything from running to book reviews. There has been one theme however that I have touched on a few times that I feel  I must spend some time elaborating on.

If you have followed along at all on this blog you are probably aware I am a Christian. I have not used this page to preach or to try to convert anyone, but I have never shied away from my beliefs. God has spent a little more than the last year of my life preparing my heart for something I never imagined. If you knew me growing up, If you knew me in college or if you have never met me, you can rest assured I know I am not a good person, and I know I am not worthy of God using me. For several months as I have studied the lives of many of the heroes in the bible I have discovered they were not "good people" either. It is not our own virtues that make us worthy of God's use it is His grace.

I finally came to accept that no matter how flawed I am God is sovereign and powerful and can "draw a straight line with a crooked stick" (thanks Dustin). I accepted this a few months back and begin to look for ministry/missions opportunities only to have more than one door close or never open. I begin to wonder if maybe I wasn't  "hearing things." Maybe I wasn't being called at all?

This morning at church we studied Isaiah's commissioning and i have never felt more sure I was being called to do more than sit in a pew! My biggest takeaway was that God wasn't through preparing me yet. There has been an area in my life I have been somewhat neglecting.  Below is the passage from this morning's service

1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:
   “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
   the whole earth is full of his glory.”
 4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
 5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”
 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
   And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

In this passage, Isaiah first is in awe and adoration of God, he realizes just how unworthy he is, he worships, confesses his sins, God cleanses him and then asks if he is ready. I have been skipping ahead, telling God I am ready, when clearly he knows better. I have left out the worship, the adoration, and the part where God asks me if I am ready.

Every morning I get up and run or train, but every morning i do not spend time praying and worshiping Jesus as I should. This doesn't mean I am not saved, just that I am flawed, but we already covered that. I have done better the last several months of reading my Bible, but there are days I slip. I know God wants me to be a better leader in my home with my wife and my children, It is my responsibility as a father and a husband to help them grow in their relationship with Jesus as well.

If you have read this incredibly long blog I am sure you are thinking, what does all this mean, and why are you sharing all this? Well, when I was on my weight loss journey this page helped greatly with my accountability I am hoping on my spiritual journey that will again be the case. I will be sharing a lot over the next few months as God works on  me. I don't do this for outward appearances, in fact if no one reads this, that would be okay too. I want to be ready when God asks me "who should I send?" to reply "Here Am I"

Here is my first step, This week I am committing to spend some time each day in worship and in prayer. I will not be doing flaunting this on this blog. If something comes up I feel Like sharing, I will share, Otherwise, I just wanted to put it out there that this is my commitment for the week.

My hope is that as I humble myself more in worship and in prayer that I will draw closer to God and he will continue to work on me until he is ready to reveal his plan for me.

Thanks to anyone who might have read this for your support in this journey. I will update everyone later n where I am physically and what challenges may lie ahead