Friday, March 25, 2011

The KU Basketball Fan Prayer

Our Father, who art in Lawrence, Hallowed be thy Game.Thy Tourney come, thy Championship will be done, in Houston as it is in Allen Field House. Give us this day, our deserved victory And forgive us our turnovers, as we forgave Roy, who double-crossed against us. Lead us Not into Defeat,but Deliver us from the East Coast Bias. For Kansas is the Basketball Kingdom,& the Tradition,& the Glory, forever & ever. Amen.

Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk

A Conglomeration Of Happenings

It has been a while since I have blogged about life. And I guess I have been not really wanting to write anything because it seemed like there was nothing exciting going on. But my reason for having this blog isn't to just write about exciting things in life. So here goes with a smattering of things from the past week or so.

I'll start with today since it is the most fresh in my mind. I did something that was a first for me today. I attended a webinar. You know, a seminar that is held on the web, a webinar. When I first told Audrey about it she laughed and said, "They really call them that?" I said, "Yes, they sound very sophisticated, and only sophisticated people are asked to join them." Anyway the really cool webinar was hosted by the Rocky Mountain District (RMD) of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) and I participated on my Acer Laptop (ALP) while I was in my Church Office (CO). Catching a drift of acronyms? (CADOA?) The topic was reaching out and meeting needs in your community. There is a program called Blessings in a Backpack, and the idea behind it is to provide food for the weekends for kids who aren't able to get it at home. On Friday afternoons all the kids who are in the program receive a backpack full of enough food for the weekend. Pretty cool idea if you ask me. And only $80 bucks per kid for a school year's worth of food. This definitely is a possibility for our Church.

I am ready to race this weekend. It has been kind of a weird week for running. I haven't ran near as much as I would have liked to, but I guess that happens sometimes. One of the great things is that Audrey and I run basically all of our races together and we train together as well. And then on the other hand if something happens to one of us, such as an injury, then we join them in their healing process. That being said, Audrey has sustained some foot pain for the past week, so it has hindered our training. We even swam on Tuesday, and if you don't know how much I am NOT a swimmer you can read about it here. I also took today off from any sort of exercise, I felt sluggish and worn out. But that doesn't make sense to me now because it's 2 a.m. and I have a serious case of insomnia. Which NEVER HAPPENS TO ME! So I'm pretty baffled by that.

I am also looking forward to wearing my new trail shoes (Brooks Cascadia 6) farther than 4 miles. Since it is still half snow/half slush, all wet and muddy here in Wyoming I haven't had the chance to take them out very much. My only worry is that I don't get blisters. Antelope Island has quite a bit of sand in some parts of the trail, and if you get a bunch down in your shoes you either stop and dump it all out or you have about 15 different hot spots from all the tiny pebbles.

In Church we are going through a sermon series on Habakkuk. If you haven't read it, you should, and if you have you should read it again. It's a pretty good one. On one hand you can totally relate, because Habakkuk is questioning God with circumstances in his life that don't make sense. But then you get to chapter 3, which we will be studying this Sunday, and doing what Habakkuk does makes it really hard. He says that he is going to rejoice even when he doesn't have anything to rejoice about. He is going to rejoice even when things in his life are going horribly. This is not an easy task. Because when things are bad we want to be down, depressed, angry, and hurt. We don't want to have understanding, or to be rejoicing, looking at the bigger picture of life.

So there you have it. The uneventful things of this week. Oh, I finished our taxes today. Cleaned out our dog kennel, which hadn't been cleaned all winter - let me tell you, two dogs go to the bathroom a lot during the winter. I'm currently reading Dave Ramsey's book Financial Peace Revisited. That's it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Win A Sony Walkman @ 26.2 Quest

Enter to win a sony walkman from 26.2 Quest. He's giving away 2 of them!

Go and check it out. 26.2 Quest

Saturday, March 19, 2011

"The Sentry" by Robert Crais

Mark your calendars. Another book in a week. These book blog posts are more for me to keep track of what I've read more than anything else. But I'll write up a little review. This is a story about an ex-police officer turned military free-lancer. He gets involved with a few shady characters on a chance happening, and throughout the entire story has to follow the trails to figure out what exactly is going on. Part crime solving detective novel. It's a pretty decent book. I guess good enough to keep my interest going to finish it so quickly. But not the best book I've ever read.

Monday, March 14, 2011

"The Fall" By Guillermo Del Toro And Chuck Hogan

Like I said in my earlier book review a couple of weeks ago, that once I get on a roll I can crank through books pretty quick. This one took me about a week to finish. I'm not sure if I am anticipating all the reading that I am going to have to be doing for my Masters that is going to start this fall or not. I guess I am either getting good practice in or I am figuring that I won't have time to read anything else once I start.
On to the book!
This is the 2nd installment in a trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan. I stumbled across the first book last year in the library and decided to give it a try. It was good enough for me to want to read the 2nd one, which I stumbled across again at the library. These kinds of books are purely for entertaining reading only. I really don't know if you can pull anything worthwhile out of them, but sometimes its good to have a book that you can just get lost in and not have to think too much about.
"The Fall" continues on with the story of how the entire world is getting "infected" by a strain of vampires (completely science fictionish) and the few people who are trying to save the world from this mass destruction. The common theme of a catastrophe and the survivors trying to figure out a way to stay alive. It is well written with good characters and plot theme. And made a nice addition to the first book. I'm not sure when the third one is supposed to come out, but chances are if my luck remains that I will stumble across it at the library as well.

11.5 Mile Saturday Run

I had a pretty productive Saturday. In the morning myself and a few others ran a booth for the "Burn Your Lungs Run" that I am directing again for July 30, 2011. We had laptops set up for people to register on the spot, and if they registered that day they received a free training plan courtesy of "The Audrey Ross Way". It was a great time to interact with everyone and let them know about our upcoming race!
Then in the afternoon I set out for my long run of the week. I have been trying to increase my weekly mileage over the past month or so, and so far it has been happening. Not necessarily the easiest thing to accomplish in February and March with winter still trying to keep it's hold on Wyoming. But Saturday was one of the warmest days that we have had yet, and I was priviledged enough to only wear a beanie, gloves, shorts, and a long sleeve. Not quite summer yet, but way better than the 3-4 layers that I have been wearing to run outside.
I decided to run out HWY 233 - Which is our tentative course for the BYLR (Burn Your Lungs Run). Did I mention we are having a 5k, 10k, and half marathon? And that you can walk or run any distance? Really, everyone should come and do our race! Anyway, back to my run. It went great, got in 11.5 miles and was wonderful to run outside. I even saw a mama moose and her baby crossing over the frozen Hams Fork River. Luckily I was far enough way that she decided I wasn't a threat, I probably didn't look to menacing either with my white legs flashing. I need the sun!
So here's my stats from my Garmin 305, which I love, and love being able to wear it outside!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Gearing Up For The Antelope Island Buffalo Run 25k

Audrey & I are looking forward to our next race, The Antelope Island Buffalo Run.We did the 25k last year, and it was our first real "trail" race. I kind of surprised Audrey with it, and she didn't really know what she was in for. She hated me for a while during the run, even contemplating just sitting down on the edge of the trail, but she cowgirled up and finished strong. Directly after the race was over she said, "I'm never doing that run again!" I didn't say anything at the time, I have learned when to keep my mouth shut, and after we had some lunch she came around and said, "I think I could beat my time next year." 
So we are signed up again! 1,900 ft. of elevation gain over 15.5 miles, single track trail, buffalo to watch out for, views of the Great Salt Lake and the Wasatch Mountain Range. You couldn't ask for much more. I'm am looking forward to the race this year, and since I am planning on running an ultra this year on trails, this will be a kind of starting point in that journey. 
Map Of The 25k Course

25k Elevation Profile
I will be taking my camera with me this year and plan on posting quite a few pictures on my race report. As you can see from the elevation profile mile 7-9 is killer! I really had a blast at this race last year, and I hope the weather is good.
I was out doing my run yesterday, more of a fun run than serious training once I saw a snow machine path heading up Oyster Ridge. I guessed that it would be packed enough for me to run on, since everywhere else up there was covered in at least 6 ft. of snow. And I guessed right. I headed up and ran into 5 mule deer, plenty of snow, and sunshine. I figured it would be a good little piece of uphill training for Antelope Island. Basically straight up till I turned around and then straight back down. I only postholed a couple of times, and it was a blast running back down.

For a 3.5 mile run from the front door of my house and 500 ft. of elevation gain in the middle of winter with 6 ft. of snow all around, I'd say not a bad little run. Hopefully I can get out there a couple of more times with a little longer trip up before Antelope Island.

Friday, March 4, 2011

"The Road" by Cormac McCarthy

I'm a pretty avid reader, and it seems like once I get on a roll I can go through quite a few books in a relatively short period of time. Especially if they are books that grab my attention. I just finished Cormac McCarthy's book, "The Road" and considering my last post was a book review and it was just about a week ago I'd say I made it through this one pretty fast. I think I actually started it last Friday.
McCarthy has a distinct way that he writes, kind of disjointed. I have also read "No Country For Old Men" which I think is a better book than "The Road". But that's not what this post is about. "The Road" is about a father and son who are living in the post-apocalyptic future. Their entire world is cold, burned, and ashen. It is the story of their survival. They have to search for food, shelter, and safety. Always on the lookout for bandits and thieves. It brings up questions about life, God, morals, and it explores the relationship between the father and the son in the middle of all these horrible things that they have to go through. That is probably the best part about the book.
It was a pretty easy read, entertaining, but not the best book I've read. Probably somewhere in the middle.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Coming Back Stronger - Unleashing The Hidden Power Of Adversity"

I just finished up reading "Coming Back Stronger" by Drew Brees, Quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. The book is about his life story, and how he came back from shoulder surgery to win the Super Bowl. The book is published by Tyndale Publishers a well known Christian book publishing company. And I was unaware until I read the book that Brees is a Christian.
The book itself is written fairly well with quite a few insights into Brees' personal life and the thoughts and emotions that he went through during the whole process. From the devastating thought that he might never be able to play again to working through all the struggles only to come out on the other side not only a better player but a better person.
I think people can resonate with a story like this because we all go through adversity and struggles in our lives. Sometimes on a daily basis. We love to hear the stories of how people have overcome obstacles to be better afterward. And this applies to every area of life. We have struggles with friendships, with spouses, with jobs, with finances, with children, with God... you name it and there probably has been a time where there was a struggle.
Being a runner I like to illustrate it to every other aspect of life, one because I am very passionate about running, and two I think you can illustrate just about anything with running. For example, think about how good of a runner you would be if you never had to struggle through anything. If you never had an injury that you had to rehabilitate, or you never had to push yourself past where you thought you could go with a long run, or you never struggled to get through your speed work and your lungs are burning like crazy. You would be a terrible runner, actually you wouldn't even be a runner at all. You have to purposefully put struggles and obstacles in your way to be a better runner.
God uses the struggles in our life to form and shape us into the best person that we can be. One struggle might teach us grace, another struggle forgiveness, a certain trial might lead to humbleness. Sometimes when we are broken is when the real transformation can take shape.