Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Week 10 - Training for Ironman Texas 2020- 10 Weeks Done-Fire and Rain

As the song says, "I've seen fire and I've seen rain."  During this first 10 weeks of Ironman Texas training, I have sweltered in the heat and yesterday had to deal with dust and now rain and cold. I have bonked at the pool because the water was so hot and chilled in the same pool yesterday because the water was so cold. Through these 10 weeks, I have logged 206 running miles, 1114 biking miles, and over 11 swimming miles; all not great but incrementally a step up from the weeks previous to the training start.  It has been a good run of it.  I am blessed.  No matter how this turns out
"I wouldn't take nothing for my journey now."

What's next?  A step up in volume as I  wander off into areas more out of my comfort zone. The true testing of my will, and my spirit, and ultimately my faith, are yet to come.  But there is a wry smile on my lips and I just have this great feeling that no matter how it fleshes out: God is saying "face it. I am with you."

Monday, October 7, 2019

9th Training Week-Ironman Texas 2020

God must know I need an arrogance reducer built into my life as He seems to put enough disappointments in there to keep me humble. That tells me He knows I could never be humble without His help. Over the years I have come to find out there is not much else I can do without His help.  Yeah, this was not a great week.  I didn't get in the long bike or the long run, though I trained some every day. Got a couple of good swims in though.  That made the week seem much better and if I don't think about how long and hard the actual event is going to be, then I  can get excited that things -overall - are going pretty good.

The week started slowly and never really gained traction. It could be that  I haven't had a complete day off in a month and a half.  That could be a little severe for a 75-year-old.  It doesn't feel too severe right now. But over time, it might become cumulative fatigue that could be hard to get rid of.
So, perhaps I need to factor in a day off soon.  Perhaps, I need to pray for direction instead of trying to determine it on my own.  From experience, I know:  His directions will work better.

Monday, September 30, 2019

8th Training Week - Ironman Texas 2020 - Up Is Where My Hope Is

It was a week of benchmarks.  This last week I had my longest run of the year, the biggest week in hours of the year, and my longest swim of the year. There seems to have been some stepping up in fitness recently.  I am blessed by it.  And, this blessing is part of the journey.

It is not a given that there will ever be another journey and I intend to be extra sensitive to all the ups and downs and truly savor the little and big things from this experience. There is a peace in it all this experience that hasn't been here before as if to say, if I were to die now, it would be with a contented smile.   I am so richly blessed in that I can acutely sense God's presence in this endeavor and have truly reached that point where I can say "nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done," and mean it.

Oh, it will get scary at times around the corner.  I know that.  But that makes me smile too.  There is a line from a song that says, "when it's scary, don't look down."  No, look up.  Up is where my Hope is.

(Age 75, Eating Plant-Based  (no animal, no eggs, no dairy) for over 3 years now)

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

7th Week Training for Ironman Texas 2020 - Be Not Afraid, Only Believe

This last week wasn't that bad.  It wasn't a great week but one to be satisfied with.  I got my long bike and long run in and the rest of the weeks training fell into place. And, that place I am at, overall, it is a good one.  However, there are times when I consider ramping up my training and I the look at the training plan and think my goodness:  in over my head.   Then I think of the race distances and of moving forward for almost 17 hours and gracious, I feel small and fearful.

This morning, I read a scripture that spoke to me about some of those timid times I had last week -Mark 5:35- Be not afraid, only believe.  Yes, be not afraid.  God's got this.  I am 75 years old and don't have that much to lose anyway, so be not afraid.  This journey could be painful, but so is illness and arthritis and other aged related pains.   Why would  I think I won't ever have to face pain down if I back off from this ironman?  Can one really avoid the eventuality of pain in life? Ever?

Perhaps, life is more about how you bear your pain and what you bear your pain for - pain with a purpose.  My purpose is to honor and glorify God in my effort and for that, I will bear the pain; the pain in the body, the pain of possibly more disappointment, the pain perhaps of not finishing yet again - whatever- but pain with a purpose.  I don't know how all this will flesh out but my job is just to "be not afraid, only believe."  I believe.

Monday, September 16, 2019

6th Week- Training Ironman Texas 2020- Failed Restraint

Taking it easy has never been easy.  I tried and failed a bit at that this past week.  It was supposed to be a much lighter week for a bit of recovery before more ramping up.  But, after 3-4 days of that, I wanted to turn all the horses loose.  My son and I did a bike ride together on his birthday.  It was supposed to be a recovery ride. It was and wasn't one.   There were times it all got loose and I had to rein myself in.  I told my son that restraint is difficult sometimes, but necessary.  Such is life. There is a time for everything under the sun.   Surely after years of this philosophical bike riding with me, he wouldn't want to ride with me much anymore.  He is a glutton for punishment, I guess.

Win or lose at this Ironman business, I am enjoying this journey;  like when I was riding with my son, feeling great on a downhill, standing up, not pedaling, the wind pouring across my body.  I thought, no, there is no place on earth I would rather be; no other person I would rather be.  I am a child of God on an arduous yet beautiful journey.

(Age 75, Eating Plant-Based  (no animal, no eggs, no dairy) for over 3 years now)

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

5th Week Ironman Training - The Good and Bad

Another good and bad week as some days were right on target and others were much less than hoped for. Isn't that so much like life?  Life is ebb and flow, ebb and flow, but the key seems to be:  keep moving; keep stepping forward though you may have taken a few steps back.  Otherwise, life is one spent in full retreat from what God has called us to do and be.

So my prayer for this week is:

Oh God, keep me on course, on point, and in focus on this journey.  Make my way bright and clear.  In the dark times, make Yourself so known that I might see the Light to follow out of the pit.  Hold me close.  I will be lost without You.  I am lost without You.  Amen

Monday, September 2, 2019

4th Week - Ironman Texas 2020 Training - A Look Up

 Most of my workouts were done this week and I feel pretty good about that.  Health is good and there are no serious injuries right now.  That is, if you don't count my bum knee and if you don't consider that I have to be careful not to fall down when I first get out of bed. As I do my nursing home shuffle to the bathroom in the morning, I always think:  Ironman?  Come on now.  Who are you trying to kid?  Every day - you might say - starts with serious disbelief.

Yesterday, I got that same doubt when I considered my abilities and the enormity of the task and told my wife that chances are that I won't make this training.  She was disappointed to hear me say that.  Then we went to church and guess what the sermon was about:  not giving up; not having doubts about what God called one out to do.  My side is still sore from my wife giving me the elbow every time the preacher made a point that stomped all over my weak and whiney attitude.  It was like I had been ambushed and told to look up when doubts and fears seem to control.  Yes, look up, praise God, "feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death."