miles

HE UNDERSTANDS

November 18, 2011 Read: Hebrews 12

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." -- Hebrews 12:1

I think God understands the marathon. Many people will tell you that a marathon is all about the journey, the memories. Well, yes and no. While the memories have their moments, what awaits us at the end is really what it's all about. I mean, I loved the music at mile 12, but I didn't hang around for an entire song. It played, not so much that I would enjoy, but more so that I would endure.

When I began the race, I had a running partner as well as a dedicated pacer (the pacer's name was Paul, by the way.) But as you learned this week, a little over midway through the race, my body started to fail me. And when the partner and pacer ran ahead, I had to slow down. But had that not happened, I would have missed the blind man with his guide, and the woman in the wheelchair with no legs. And yes, I would have missed the two men who led me my last few miles of the race. Two men wearing identical shirts; bright yellow jerseys with black letters. Unmistakable to me. Not so much for the color combo, but for the words on their backs. On one shirt, "Father", and on the other, "Son". Oddly enough, the only comfort I could muster at the time was written on the back of two strangers.

The journey is one thing. But while our bodies fail us, friends leave us, and pacers lose us, the only real comfort is who we follow to the finish. I think God understands the marathon.

P.S. At dinner that night, I watched a lady limping her way through a restaurant. As she passed our table, I said, "Congratulations". Surprised, she thanked me. Hmm. You can always tell the runners. You can see it in their walk.

--Jimmy Pena

WEEK IN REVIEW

Faith

>> FOREVER ROAD: Each step is worth it when we remember who awaits us in the end

>> WHATEVER YOU DO: No matter how painful the pace, keep going

>> TRACKING NUMBERS: Following the steps of the one who's already won the race

>> TIRED OF RUNNING: His favorite place to run is to our rescue

Fitness

>> RUNNER'S RESOURCES: Our favorite digital haunts for running advice

>> SPEED TRICK: A surprising benefit of running sprint intervals

>> MASS FRUIT: How apples contribute to greater muscle gain

>> RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Spicy pulled pork

PASSING THE FAITH ALONG

July 21, 2011Read: John 14

“You know the way to the place where I am going.” --John 14:4

Hope nobody’s tired of this week’s marathon theme, because I’m definitely not running out of topics (Ouch!). But I did see something at the race that made me tilt my head and squint my eyes just a bit; something that seemed out of place–a relay team.

I never thought of a marathon as a team sport, but as it turns out, you can run relay-style. Every few minutes or so, I’d see someone run by carrying a baton they’d received from their forerunner, and I realized they’re not in the race alone; for them to be running, there needed to be a hand off.

As believers, it’s neat to think that as we run, we’re collectively carrying a light that Jesus himself lit miles and miles ago. My forerunner was a sweet man named Henry Powell. Because of him, I’m in the race. And although I haven’t always kept pace, because of my ‘preacher man’, I know where I’ll be when I run out of road.

Who was your forerunner?

–J.P.

SO YOU WANNA RUN A MARATHON? (continued)

So if you have managed to stick to the site all week, you will have noticed a developing theme. First, we discussed how beginners should approach their training. Here, we'll speak to the intermediates and our more advanced runners who are looking to make a serious impression on the course.

INTERMEDIATE: If you regularly run 20 to 30 miles a week, and have done so for a year or more, you’re an intermediate. Intermediates also likely do a weekly long run of 8-10 miles and have some experience with tempo runs or intervals. They’ve run 10K races and maybe even finished a half marathon. The rare, elite category of intermediates may have already run a full marathon but are now ready to set more challenging goals for their race times.

>> The Plan: “Long runs are the basis of marathon training, but at this level it’s important to add some intensity to the program,” says anaerobic management coach John Sinclair (www.anaerobic.net). So, you’ll gradually increase the length of the weekly long run to adapt your mind and body to the rigors of running nonstop for several hours. But running 18 to 20 miles at a time isn’t all you need, so you’ll supplement these runs with some higher-effort running twice weekly, including sustained tempo runs at your half-marathon race pace. These promote aerobic strength and efficiency and will help you find that groove you’d like to be in when you run a longer race, according to Sinclair. You’ll also be doing a smattering of speed work. For more specific tips, visit www.runnersworld.com.

ADVANCED: Advanced runners are veterans — those who have been at it for at least three or four years that routinely log 35 to 40 miles a week, with a splash of interval training mixed in for good measure. Advanced runners have likely run the full gamut of races from the 5K up to the marathon. But even elite runners want to score that most prized runner’s achievement — the PR, the absolute fastest 26.2 miles you’re capable of. They may also have ideas of crossing the tape first in a given division.

>> The Plan: “You’ll have to be willing to hit 50 miles a week,” Sinclair says. “For an advanced marathon effort, inadequate miles just won’t cut it.” At this level, your goal is to learn how to maintain a strong, solid pace for several hours. So, along with the standard long runs, you’re going to spend two days a week developing stamina at half marathon, 10K, and 5K race paces. On Thursdays, you’ll be served a marathon goal pace/tempo/cruise combo platter — an extended effort that develops focus, strength, and the capacity to hold a strong pace as fatigue sets in. “Long runs and mileage get you to the finish line,” says Sinclair. “Intensity in your training will get you to the finish line faster.”

Source: Runner’s World

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WALKING THE WALK

October 7, 2010 "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." --1 Timothy 4:8

As we strive -- and struggle -- to live more like Jesus, it's important to immerse ourselves in God's word on a daily basis. But an extension of Christ-like living, whether we realize it or not, is exercise (1 Timothy 4:8) -- because Jesus did a lot of it, mostly through walking. Sure, most of that was out of necessity but you can bet that He was pretty fit. Would you believe that Jesus walked over 3,000 miles during his ministry? Click the link below and marvel at the mileage He racked up. Then, lace up your shoes and take a walk! WWJD?

HOW FAR DID JESUS WALK?

>> FORUM: Does God call us to be fit? See what others are saying and leave your thoughts in our forums or by clicking comments below.