Tomorrow I will be running a 5k fun run. My hit and miss training endeavor began back in May. This past Saturday I had planned to jog part of the course to prepare myself. As I mentioned in a previous post, the route I’ll be traveling is one laid out on a cross-country course. I showed up on the athletic field only to find a number of college teams prepping for an invitational meet. My grandiose plan went out the window.
Not to be dismayed, I walked over to the 400 meter track for one last workout before the fun run. Here’s where the my tale turns humorous. I began jogging laps, taking care to press lap on my iPhone each time I passed my water bottle propped up against the base of a light tower. During the course of the workout, I became convinced 16 laps was the 5k distance equivalent. So I jogged and jogged and jogged racking up laps.
At lap 14 I began to tire and pumped a couple favorite songs into my ear buds for some much needed inspiration. I ended my workout after lap 15 and decided to wander over to the cross-country venue to check out the race. I did not expect to see a total workout time of an hour and ten minutes. That was too much time for having not walked a single lap! Something was amiss and it troubled me the whole walk home.
I sat down on the sofa and began listing out my lap times on a piece of paper. The problem wasn’t with my iPhone, it was me. After much thought, it finally dawned on me 2.5 laps on a 400 meter track equals one kilometer. Since the race is 5k, I only needed to run 12.5 laps (not 15). I felt like a moron. My wife came to my rescue, “honey, at least you know you can jog the distance!”
Another quote from my upcoming book regarding the aging process:
“Until recently, I naively believed the aging process applied to everybody else. Somehow I’d be immune (at least until I retired). Aging was a rut in the road of life everyone else fell into. These ruts were impossible to get out of and led to unintended destinations. I hoped a dog of my own would prevent one of those ruts from claiming me.”
I heard a sermon over the summer about faith dominos. The speaker described these as people or situations in someone’s life that led them over the course of time to encounter God. She went on to say God uses the elements of the world he created with perfect timing, falling one against the other like a string of dominos. Each domino moves a person closer and closer to their encounter with God. We were challenged to be a single domino in the string of many in the life of someone who may be struggling.
“A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” 1 Corinthians 12:7 NLT
Less than two weeks of training remain. As it turns out the 5k fun run I’m participating in takes place on a cross-country course. I downloaded a map of the course and printed out a copy. Thursday afternoon I decided to hit the trail. Unfortunately I neglected to bring the map with me and wandered off course as I tried to visualize the route from memory. On the positive side, it is a good gravel trail. However, much of the race is run in the woods on crisscrossing trails. Despite my inability to navigate the course, I was able to jog continuously for 20 minutes, which near as I can tell is about 2k. Part of that time amounted to retracing my steps so I could live to tell about it!
Saturday morning I returned to the 400 meter track for another training session. I jogged four laps (4:15 pace) and took a quick water break. It was getting hot quickly. Immediately, I resumed jogging for another five laps (sub 4:00 pace) and took another water break, this time walking a full lap. Since I still felt good, I decided to jog another two laps (3:30 pace).
It became apparent that if I hold my pace to about four minutes a lap I can run for an extended period of time. Jogging at this pace has done wonders for my confidence. I’m trying to put out of my mind the 5:45 laps (per mile) I ran in college. Oh well.
My weight loss over the past two weeks plateaued so I decided to shake up my diet by switching to eating chicken and a salad for supper for several days. Sure enough I began losing weight again. After my Saturday workout I touched 199.8 pounds on the scales. It didn’t matter that I was partially dehydrated and would gain back some of it later. It’s a milestone accomplishment and a great feeling to be able to say I’ve lost 25 pounds!