Tag Archives: cross-country

Couch to 5k: the last workout

runner-19195_960_720

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!”

Bring it on!  I’m ready as I’ll ever be.

Advertisements

Couch to 5k: hitting the trail

forest-2248607_960_720Less 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!

 

Couch to 5k: Decision time

In a previous post, my friend asked me if I’d like to run a 5K Fun Run with him.  Incidentally, this experience is unfolding in near real time.  Since he reads this blog, I quickly reassured him his new alias (“Hasty”) was in fact meant to be a compliment.  What runner wouldn’t be proud to have that nickname.

img_0409.jpg

My glory days!

His proposal rattled around in my head the rest of the day.  I hoped to disqualify it on any grounds, but I couldn’t.  Perhaps the biggest carrot dangling in front of my nose had to do with my previous cross country racing experience back in the day.  Wouldn’t it be immensely gratifying to relive those glory days one more time?  My age (I graduated 4 decades ago) and my weight  (+70 pounds since my college running days) were obviously huge concerns.

I disclosed my delemma to my wife and son hoping they could inject a measure of reason to my aching brain.  Both of them initially voiced concern about my knees but I assured them they were a non-issue (at the moment).

Patty reminded me, “You keep talking about wanting to lose some weight.  Maybe this is how you get there.”

Further encouragement came from my son, “Google ‘couch to 5k’.  You can be ready in 8 or 9 weeks.”

I shared this information with Hasty the next time I saw him.

“That’s great news. If your wife’s on board, then it’s a done deal!” he said.

Be sure to check in every 2-3 days for progress reports on my Couch to 5k experience!

Fish, part 3 (revised)

saltwater-fish-720
The third decade of my life was the most unpredictable, wondrous and insanely gratifying period of my life. It began my senior year at Roberts Wesleyan College.  The cast of characters in my life remained essentially the same except for the appearance of her.

I was determined to play out my senior year like the grand finale punctuating a fireworks display. Out of the starting gate, I competed on the cross-country team.  We were an unusually close-knit team and often participated in social activities as a group.  Wouldn’t you know it, she happened to be at some of these socials.

I continued to immerse myself in campus life, voted by my peers to escort the homecoming queen and serving as a lead character in the all college play, Cheaper By The Dozen.  My academic pursuits kept me unusually busy,  but somehow I kept running into her.

As the fall semester began winding down, I caught myself taking an interest in her.  She seemed to take her sweet time acknowledging my interest.  Worried that the semester would end before I had my chance to ask her out, I decided to get creative by distinguishing myself.  She committed to going on a date with me if I could run a personal best time in what amounted to our last home cross-country meet. (This meant running a sub 30-minute race over a distance of 5 miles, and faster than any previous attempt).  What had I gotten myself into?

The race itself was a journey to hell and back, as the course punished my body.  The effort helped our team win the meet and secure a winning record for our cross-country team.  The time, 29:46, qualified me for a date with her.

IMG_0409…Maybe it was the anticipation of having to wait a month to go out with her but after that first date magic was in the air. There was no question I was like a deer caught in the headlights, enchanted by the inner and outer beauty of this woman.            

Patty and I corresponded over the weeks separating first and second semester. Our letters deepened our mutual affection, and each of us hinted of a future together. A flame was now lit within my heart and it danced wildly like a flame on the bare wick of a candle fighting to stay ablaze as it burns itself down to the renewing and sustaining body of the candle wax below.

Bill Roushey, from the book Junior’s Hope

I became engaged to Patty in the spring, during my final semester of college life.  Immediately, she was welcomed into my family but I had yet to meet hers. When Patty called home to notify her parents of the news, I can only imagine what thoughts were going through their minds.

“Mom, I’m getting married!”

“To who?” Her mother asked, not expecting any news of this sort.

“Bill Roushey asked me to marry him and I said yes!”

“When are we going to meet this boy?” Her dad inquired, quickly picking up the phone extension.

“We’re coming home on spring break.”

I hadn’t thought about inheriting another set of parents until that moment.  I was in the process of separating myself from my own parents and now I was inheriting another set. Never in my life had I been this nervous about anything, but then again I had never been more in love either.

Sweat pooled under my armpits as I sat in an empty living room waiting for her father to meet me. The sound of  the shower running indicated it wouldn’t be anytime soon. Patty and her mom were off in another room having a mother/daughter reunion.  When her father came out and laid eyes on me for the first time, our conversation went something like this.

“Hello, sir.” I said warmly trying to hide my nervousness.

“You must be Bill,” he responded trying to assess the character of the man about to steal away his daughter.

“I’d like to marry your daughter.”

“Do you have a job? How do you plan on supporting her?”

“Yes. I have one lined up after graduation.”

“We want our daughter to graduate from college. Are you planning to let her continue on with her schooling?”

“Yes sir, that’s important to both of us.”

IMG_0377“Well then, okay,” he said as I felt the tension in the room evaporate.  Then, he added, “… and we’d like to pay for her tuition.”

I realized at that moment what kind and generous parents she had.

Several years later Patty and I had the means to build our own home.  It was during that time we entered into what I call the “Noah’s ark” phase of our lives, acquiring fresh and saltwater aquariums, birds, cats and a dog.

The Lord soon blessed us with two boys, which we taught to fish among other things. They experienced first hand the thrill of having unseen objects tug on their fishing line as they dangled a worm into the watery abyss.  Eyes went wide when they reeled in their prize.

IMG_0368

My freshwater aquarium experience of the previous decade paled in comparison to the unfathomable splendor of gazing into a salt-water aquarium.  The personal cost to acquire and retain such beauty is far greater, the care more delicate and tedious, the hardships more severe, but the final result is breathtaking.  Such is my comparison to my love and my life with her.

My spiritual journey this decade was one of continuance, generation to generation, father to son.IMG_0364  The closer I walk with God the greater my appreciation for His continuance, an eternal God whose love has no limit or end. (Psalm 36:5-7)

For all practical purposes this is a storybook ending, but as it turns out this is not the end.

To be continued…

Fish, part 3

saltwater-fish-720
The third decade of my life was without a doubt the most unpredictable, the most wondrous, insanely gratifying period of my life. It began my senior year at Roberts Wesleyan College.  The cast of characters in my life remained essentially the same except for the appearance of – her.

I was determined to play out my senior year in college like a grand finale at the end of fireworks display. Out of the starting gate I ran on the RWC varsity cross-country team.  We were an unusually close-knit team and often participated in group social activities.  Wouldn’t you know it, she happened to be there.

I continued to immerse myself in campus life, escorting the homecoming queen and serving as
one of the lead characters in the all college play.  As busy as I was during that time, I always seemed to be running into her.

At some point that fall I started taking an interest in her.  She took her sweet time acknowledging my interest.  Finally, she agreed to go out on a date with me if I was able to run a personal best time in our last home cross-country meet (a sub 30-minute race for a distance of 5 miles for you running enthusiasts out there).  For me, the race itself was a journey to hell and back but more important than our team winning the meet was my prize, a date with her.

IMG_0409…Maybe it was the anticipation of having to wait a month to go out with her but after that first date magic was in the air. There was no question I was like a deer caught in the headlights, enchanted by the inner and outer beauty of this woman.            

Patty and I corresponded over the weeks separating first and second
semester. Our letters deepened our mutual affection, and each of us hinted of a future together. A flame was now lit within my heart and it danced wildly like a flame on the bare wick of a candle fighting to stay ablaze as it burns itself down to the renewing and sustaining body of the candle wax below.

Bill Roushey, from the book Junior’s Hope

I became engaged to Patty in the spring of the following year at my parent’s home. Immediately she was welcomed into the family. Patty called home to notify her parents. If memory serves it was around midnight when she placed the call.

“Mom, I’m getting married,” she told her parents.

“To who?” Her mother asked, not expecting news of this sort at this hour of the night.

“Bill Roushey asked me to marry him and I said yes!”

“When are we going to meet this boy?” Her dad inquired, wondering what in the world was happening.

“We’re coming home on spring break.”

The thought of inheriting another set of parents was something I hadn’t put a lot of thought into until that moment.  I had just about finished separating myself from my own parents and now I was inheriting another set. Never in my life had I been this nervous about something, but then again never had I been more in love either.

Sweat pooled under my armpits as I sat in an empty living room waiting for her father to come out and meet me. The sound of water running in the bathroom shower indicated it wouldn’t be anytime soon. Patty and her mom were off in another room having a mother/daughter reunion of sorts.  When her father finally came out and laid eyes on me for the first time, our conversation went something like this.

“Hello, Mr. Pickering.” I said warmly trying to hide my nervousness.

“You must be Bill,” he responded trying to assess the character of the man about to steal away his daughter.

“Sir, I’d like to marry your daughter.”

“Do you have a job? How do you plan on supporting her?”

“Yes. I have a full-time job lined up after graduation.”

“We want our daughter to graduate from college,” He said. “Are you planning to let her continue on with her schooling?”

“Yes sir, that’s important to both of us.”

IMG_0377“Well then, okay,” he said, “we’d like to pay for her tuition.”

I realized at that moment what kind and generous parents she had.

Several years later Patty and I had the means to build our own home.  It was during that time we entered into what I call the Noah’s ark phase of our lives, acquiring fresh and salt-water aquariums, birds, cats and a dog.

The Lord soon blessed us with two boys, which we taught to fish among other things. They experienced the thrill first hand of having unseen objects tug on their fishing line as they dangled a worm on a hook into the watery abyss.  Eyes went wide when they reeled in their prize. One son wanted to catch “chomper fish” after seeing his daddy bring home a northern pike.IMG_0368

In the previous decade of my life I used the example of fresh-water fish viewed through an aquarium to portray the beauty of relationships. The example just doesn’t seem adequate now that I’ve experienced a slice of heaven here on earth. More fitting of this decade is the unfathomable splendor of gazing into a salt-water aquarium, which Patty and I have had the pleasure of setting up together. The personal cost to acquire and retain such beauty is far greater, the care more delicate and tedious, the hardships more severe but the final result is breathtaking. To this I would add, the result of just being with her is priceless.
My spiritual journey this decade was one of continuance. The God of my grandfather became the God of my father. Later, IMG_0364
I began serving the same God, and together with my wife we introduced Him to our children. The closer I walk with God the greater my appreciation of His continuance, an eternal God whose love has no limit or end. (Psalm 36:5-7)

For all practical purposes this is a storybook ending, but as it turns out this is not the end.

To be continued…