Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

Why Run 24 Hours?

May 10, 2012

I am still recovering from the 24 hour run that I participated in this past weekend.  My muscles are no longer sore, but some of the blisters on my feet have healed, and some are still an issue.

Why do a 24 hour run?

It is not for health reasons.  You don’t have to run for 24 hours to experience health benefits.  Actually, there are definite health risks involved, besides blisters and sore muscles, the possibility of joint issues arising is very real.

It is not really for competition.  I know that I am not good enough to be competitive.  Although this years winner was 58, so maybe I will improve with time.

It’s not really for fun.  I do enjoy participating but it stops being much fun after about forty miles.

I do it for the personal physical and mental challenge.

It’s not really about how I do, compared with others.  It is about what I can do compared with myself.  This year I improved my distance by 13 miles.  I am already thinking about a goal for next year.  I realize that it might be a little bit crazy, but I enjoy the challenge of seeing what I can do.

I think I can do better next year.

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My 2nd 24hr Run

May 8, 2012

This past Saturday I participated in my second 24 hour run.  That does not mean that you run for 24 hours, but that you have 24 hours to complete as much distance as you can by running, walking or crawling.

There are two types of 24 hour run: the track  run and the trail run.  Just like they sound, the track run is run on a standard track, and the trail run is on trails.  Both involve doing as many laps as you are capable of completing in the time allowed.  I participate in a track run.

Last year was my first attempt at a 24 hour run.  I ran two laps, and walked one for as long as I could.  Eventually, I ran less and walked more.  By fifty miles, and in the 14th hour,  my feet hurt with every step, and I called it quits.

This year I tried something a little different.  I still started out by  running two laps and then walking one, but this time every three hours I took off my running shoes and walked three laps in a pair of moccasins.  Then I put on a fresh pair of socks and went back to running two, walking one.  This strategy worked well for me.  I completed 63.65 miles and my feet were still feeling OK.

There was a different challenge this year.  Last year it was cool and cloudy, this year it was sunny and in the mid 80’s with plenty of humidity.  Even with applying lotion every hour, I still began to burn.  Plus, running in the heat is clearly more draining.

Once again, I did not complete the entire 24 hr period.  I called it quits in the 19th hour.  I had reached my goal of 100k and did not have sufficient motivation to push through to the end.

It was a good second attempt.  We will see what happens next year.

Clearing My Mind

April 12, 2012

I am back in school as a student after a fifteen year break.  I am taking a graduate course in philosophy and the majority of the grade is based on one assignment.  I have been thinking about this paper since the beginning of the semester and have done some preparation for its’ writing.  This past Monday, I planned to spend the day at the library, meet with the instructor, and thought that I would be well underway when the day was finished.

After the day was spent as planned, I had a million, jumbled thoughts rattling around in my head.

This was not good.

Tuesday morning came, and I was still wrestling with the information that I had gleaned from the previous day.  I had thought that I knew where I was going with the paper, but now I was no longer clear about a specific direction.

Still not good.

I went for a run Tuesday morning.  I try to run three times a week, six miles each time.  I run primarily for health reasons.  There is a history of heart disease in my family, and I would like to stay healthy.  On this run, as I was bouncing along the gravel shoulder, my thoughts bounced into place.  I had an idea, then an outline, and now I feel better about what I am going to write.

That is much better.

I thank God for bringing the ideas together in my head and for the peace that came with a chosen path.   I thank God foremost, but I do believe that He used the process of running to clear my mind, and to bring some order out of chaos.  Of course, I still have to put the thoughts down on paper, but at least I have a clear idea of  what I am going to do.

Bike Lanes

April 3, 2012

When I was a young adult in college I rode a bicycle year-round for transportation…in Minnesota.  It was quite an experience.  I’m glad that I survived.  Riding at night in snowstorms was probably not the smartest thing I have ever done.

While visiting my son, who was attending my old college, I noticed that they now have specified bike lanes in downtown Minneapolis.  What a wonderful thing that is for the bicycle rider!  I used to zip along between the moving traffic and the parked cars with not much room to spare.

Currently,  I am taking a course at a university that is over an hour away .   I am considering going back to school  to work on a doctorate, and am enrolled in a class to see if I can handle being a student again after many years, along with my normal schedule.

At this university town, I again see bike lanes.  They are a little inconvenient, because they did not make the road any wider, they just made the car lanes a little more narrow, and marked off the bike lane.  I am OK with that, I want to encourage people riding bikes safely.

What I am not OK with, is that on two occasions already this spring, I have noticed bicycle riders riding on the other side of the one way street, not using the bike lane.  This irritates me because there is a lane marked for bikes, the road is already more narrow, and now cars must slow down, or go around a biker who is not using the designated space.

I am happy to share the road with bicyclists, but they should use the space provided for them.  I sure wish that I had a bike lane thirty years ago.  I would have used it.

Adjusting

January 31, 2012

Yesterday I ran three miles. .. I was supposed to run six.

When I was considering going back to school Gloria asked me what I would be giving up.  My initial reply was “Sleep”.  However, that was meant to be a joke.  Since my heart issues of over a year ago, I have been more conscious of my need to rest, and not to overdo it.

That can be challenging.

I have decided that I am going to take each day as it comes.  I will do what has to be done on that day, and then I will try to work in as much of the things that should or could be done, for which I have the time and energy.

It means making judgement calls about what is important.  Like yesterday, it is important that I continue an exercise routine.  My health, possibly my life, does depend on it.  However, I did not have time to run the six miles, and do other things that I felt should be done.  So I compromised.  I ran three miles, and got some others tasks accomplished.

What have I given up?  Hopefully, I am giving up the idea of a rigid schedule.  Day by day, I will try to adjust as needed.

An Aging Gym Rat

December 8, 2011

Back in the spring of 1973, my friend Tom introduced me to lifting weights.   He showed me a handful of dumbbell exercises and told me that I should do them everyday.  My older brother had an unused weight set, so I set up the dumbbells to a weight that I could handle, and I was underway.

Since that time so many years ago, I have continued to lift weights.  I actually competed for several years in Olympic-style lifting and did reasonably well.  Throughout the years, I have tried a variety of routines and exercises, machines, free-weights, vitamins etc, etc, etc.

I never looked like a weightlifter.  At the peak of my competing years, I told a young lady that I was a weightlifter and she laughed in my face.   Apparently, appearances can be deceiving.

As I have aged there is much less emphasis on pushing hard to achieve maximum performance.  The no-pain/no gain approach has changed to no-pain is good…even a goal to be achieved.

I have also noticed that there are not many seasoned lifters left in the gym.  I look around and all I see is a bunch of people about the age of my children.  Only rarely do I see another person near my age, and it has been years since I saw someone older than myself lifting in the free-weight room.

I still enjoy it and plan to continue for as long as my body holds up.  I may not train as hard, or lift as much, but I still think of myself as a weightlifter.

Even if I look even less like one now.

 

Running Hot

June 7, 2011

When I was a young man, thirty years and thirty pounds ago, I loved to go for runs on hot, summer days.  The hotter, the better.  There was something about the experience that was particularly exhilarating.

Not so much anymore.

Now I prefer the temperature to be in the sixties.

When it becomes hot, and humid, I struggle to complete the distance.  My times slow down and I may even have to walk, (something I never did when I was younger).  I wear a hydration belt that carries thirty-two ounces of fluid and will use it all before I am done.

Yesterday, it was in the nineties, with high humidity.

I ran inside, where it was air-conditioned.

Fifty Miles

May 5, 2011

Well, I have participated in my first ultra running event.  It was a 24 hour track run.  That means that you have a 24 hour period to run or walk as many laps as you are able to complete.

I made 198 laps, which is fifty miles.

I did not make it through 24 hours.  I quit after 13 hours and eight minutes.  I decided I had enough for my first experience.  I was tired and my feet hurt.  My comments as I left the track was that I would never be doing this again.  However, before I went to bed that night I was already thinking about what I would do different next year.

Next year?  Have I lost my mind???

Maybe.

Next year I will be more prepared mentally for the event.  I will have an idea of what to expect.  I will bring along some comfortable walking shoes to go along with the running shoes.

I will try again.  Maybe next year I will be able to complete the 100k necessary to obtain a plaque.  (That is 62.5 miles.)  After this year,  I recognize that it is not an easy task to perform.

Don’t Stop

April 28, 2011

Saturday is the day that I will participate in my very first 24 hr run.  I am looking forward to it.  I expect to be physically challenged in a way that I have never experienced.

The advice that I was given by an individual who has participated in over twenty of these events was “Don’t Stop.”

Apparently you should alternate between running and walking, but don’t stop.  If you stop you will quickly stiffen up, the pain will set in, and it will be very difficult to start again…so… don’t stop.

It’s kind of like my overall approach to ministry and life.  I have been pastor of the same church for over twenty years and every day I get up and work at those things that need to, should be, or could be, done.

Don’t stop.

Of course there is a difference.  In life, I take breaks.  I observe a sabbath rest.  I go on vacation.  There are periods of rest, but I don’t quit.  I don’t give up.  A key verse to remember for continuing in Christian service is Galatians 6:9

“Be not weary in well-doing for in due season you shall reap, if you faint not.”

I hope to complete 100 kilometers in this race.  If I do, I will get a plaque.

More important, I hope to complete the course that God has set before me.  I want to hear the words.  “Well done, good and faithful servant…”

That will be worth way more than any plaque.

Blisters

April 19, 2011

I am preparing to participate in my very first 24 hour run.  I have run regularly for years, completing distances of up to 10 miles.  I thought that since I was upgrading the distance significantly that I should upgrade my shoes as well.  I went to a local store that specialized in running equipment and purchased the shoes that they recommended in the size that they suggested, which was a size larger than I normally purchase.

In over thirty years of running, I have never had problems with my feet.  These new shoes have been a challenge.  At first they caused soreness in my arches.  Now that has gone away but I am getting blisters on my left foot.  The good news is that my knees, hips and back: which have sometimes hurt,  are doing well.

I hope my feet adjust soon, the date of the run is quickly approaching.