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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Fartlek Haiku

Fartlek training today. It was raining when I started but I completed 45 minutes. My training plan is to skate intervals at 90% effort for 1 minute, then rest for 30 seconds, 90%, 30 seconds, and so on. I find it difficult to define what 90% effort means for me - too close to all out 100%. So, I skate 100% for 30 seconds and rest for 2.

I've said it before - fartleks are hell. Finishing is always good. I must stay focused on the purpose of making me faster.

My wife helped me put together a little diddy - a Haiku for a friend and Haiku master:

Fartleks are not fun
You become faster because
You want to get done

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Today's Training Route

Here is today's training route - 15 miles completed in 1 hour and 15 minutes (the map calculates 14.4 miles but I did a small lap near my house to make up the difference.) Last year I was only up to 10.6 miles at this stage in the training. So far I am tracking with the advanced plan I designed for myself.

No Llama sightings to report. The only intense sphincter clenching moment came at the train crossing - I'd love to ask the conductor if he blew the horn just for me.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Yes I Get Monday Off But for What?

This from Fathers.com weekly email newsletter:
"Those who have not had a father, a brother, a son, an uncle, or another relative serve in the military can probably never quite understand what Memorial Day is like for those who have waited for loved ones to return from war—or who have received word that they will not be returning. Too many acts of patriotism by these real-life heroes go unnoticed by the rest of our country. Many children grow up today thinking that Memorial Day is little more than the first three-day weekend after the last day of school, set aside for picnics and leisure activities instead of paying tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

This year, consider taking your family to a local event that commemorates the real significance of Memorial Day. Then, talk with your children about the father-heroes who have given their lives in service to our country, or who are currently serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. What must it be like for those families who have lost a father and husband, or who are separated for so long? This weekend also provides a prime opportunity for us to reach out to these families (as well as veterans and their families) with gratitude."
Tim McGraw's "If You're Reading This" helps get to the heart of the matter. Check out the video:

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Pay no attention to the Llama

One of the exciting aspects to my Saturday morning long skates is that I never know what to expect to see along the way. I do typically anticipate a confrontation with at least one dog but I didn't think I'd ever have to skate slowly around a Llama - standing in the middle of the road.

Of course the happy hormones (endorphines, etc.) are pumping strong around mile ten but not enough to produce hallucinations. Off in the distance, about a 1/2 mile a way, I thought I saw a huge dog waiting for me. I started planning my defense tactics to beat the beast away. Soon I realized I would be dealing with an animal that I know can spit some pretty good goobers. Something new! I just didn't want the hacker to lunge a greeny at me. Not much time to think, less than 20 yards away. What was I going to do?

I decided to be nice and skate slowly around. I thought perhaps not looking him/her/it in the eye would help too. I just smiled and moved by. The worst was catching a drift of his insane smell.

Obviously the Llama broke out of his fenced area. The owner was working on it when I passed by.

Friday, May 18, 2007

2007 Inline Training

I've been inline training for the last four weeks but haven't (obviously) blogged about it. With this entry I'll start consistently posting on my training progress up until I participate in two marathons in August. Posting helps with keeping me accountable and driven to do my best.

I have a goal to skate Hayward on August 11th and then St. Paul on August 19th*. This is the first year since I started two years ago that I will participate in two marathons. More important to me than two marathons is completing St. Paul in better time than last year. This year I would really like 1 hour and 30 minutes. That's fifteen minutes better than 2006. It is very possible. So far I am on track. The last four weeks have been about getting my skating muscles back in tune and building endurance for longer training skates. Tomorrow is my first long slow skate (LSS) - 15 miles. From here on out I increase one to two miles on each consecutive LSS.

Most of my posts will be positive and show my growing passion for inline skating. There will be a few posts though where I'll most likely be complaining. That's because I am incorporating more interval (fartlek) sessions. Fartlek's are to help me get faster. They are also terribly grueling and at times painful. I tend to sluff off and cut myself short. I can't afford to sluff off this year. So when you read my complaining about fartlek's, give me a kick in the pants with an admonishing comment.

*I've decided to live in denial that the marathon's are a week apart. I want to skate both no matter what. So in this case, denial is good.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Rape and Abortion

About Abortion rights for a woman who has been raped and become pregnant.

The following quote is from a story at National Review Online. The article is a must read - Telling the Rape Victim's Story.

"Instead of demanding abortion funding for rape victims, assuming rape victims are better off aborting their babies, and that no-exception-for-rape pro-lifers are heartless, perhaps we listen to the real experts on this emotional issue: Women who became pregnant through rape — and say their abortions only prolonged the agony of their rapes. Women who, like Julie Makimaa’s mother, survived the horror of rape, but ultimately viewed the birth of their “rape babies” a great gift."

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Career Day

This month my son's third grade class has been setting aside a few times each week for parents to come in and discuss their careers. Today is my day. I have 25 minutes to "present" - that is a lot of time to speak. I'd better be prepared.

The way my world works, everything I do needs to be connected to an ultimate, primary purpose. I want to shape the young minds. I want them to hear passion in my presentation. I want to inspire them. Among all these lofty thoughts of inspiration, passion, and purpose, I seem to keep coming back to one lowly, but very powerful motivation. I want the kids to think I am "cool". I want my son to say "that was cool Dad, thanks."

Talk about pressure! I am tempted to make up a career. Of course, kids think astronauts are pretty cool. But that is so predictable. Doctors are honored in society...a kid would think that is a pretty cool career. Professional athlete would work to. What else is cool to kids?

In a sense cool seems to be synonymous with funny. Let's see. I know my own children laugh all the time whenever our discussions have something to do with farting, butts, snot, and burping. Not that these subjects are the center of all our conversations, but ya'know what I am talking about. Laughing endlessly about the word butt seems to be what being a kid is all about.

Perhaps my career should be a butt doctor? This will for sure be a hit! I will explain that the reason the world needs butt doctors is because all butts are broken...all butts have cracks. This will work! The whole class will be laughing! I will be cool! All the kids will go home and tell their parents how cool career day was today.

Thinking through to the end of this fanatical attempt at coolness...all the parents will also call the teacher tomorrow and complain how uncool career day was.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Explore the Space

Absolutely no time for serious blogging these days. Got a lot of things going on in my head and heart and would love to post about them. Someday maybe.

For now...

I have posted this before but it is SO worth another look:

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Message That Has Angered Many

Does this make you angry?

Facts of the Matter, Part 3 - Control

By Dwight Hill posted at Facts of the Matter. The bold blue type is mine for emphasis.

THE “McDONALDIZATION” OF OUR SPIRITUAL LIVES (Part 3 of 3)

In the last two issues of the “Facts” we have talked about how the McDonalds Company has incorporated three values into the production and marketing of their products; values that increasingly dominate sections of American society, including our spiritual lives: They are efficiency, calculability, and control. 1

Control: To insure the quality of their hamburgers, McDonald’s carefully controls the feeding and slaughtering of the cattle, the processing of the beef, and the cooking and presentation of the hamburger. In many areas of our lives we also seek to control the outcome: Our budget, our weight, our investments, our future, etc. Thus, it is easy for us to live with the illusion that we are in fact in control of our lives. But are we? Did you, for example choose your:

Parents?

Date of birth?

Intelligence?

Athletic ability?

Country of birth?

Giftedness ?

Temperament?

Are you really in control when you drive your car, fly in an airplane, or take medicine? Tomorrow you could be killed by a drunk driver, the plane you are riding in could crash, or the pharmacist could make a fatal mistake in filling your prescription.

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” (Prov. 16:9)

If you are in business, the control of expenditures, production, image, timing, standards of performance, etc. is essential to the success of the company. Yet when it comes to our spiritual lives, Jesus calls us to relinquish control: “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him…I urge you... to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice....” (Psa. 37:5a; Rom. 12:1a)

I doubt that there is a greater struggle that you and I face in our walk with Christ than that of relinquishing control of our lives: “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other…” (Gal. 5:17a) But why? I suspect that for many of us there lingers deep within us the unspoken fear that if we really give God total control of our lives he will mess it up. We no longer will be able to have any fun. Or he’ll demand that we do something that we simply don’t want to do, like go to Tibet as a missionary. The irony is that when we choose to retain control, God grants us our request by releasing us to our own self-destructive impulses: God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity…shameful lusts, …[and] to a depraved mind…The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast” (Rom. 1:24, 26, 28 – selected’ (Prov. 5”22).” (See Jn. 8:34; Rom. 6:12-16, 19; 7:14, 25; Tit. 3:3)

Christ, on the other hand seeks to liberate us from ourselves and our sin into his wonderful freedom: “…If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (Jn. 8:36) (See Jn. 8:31,32)

After walking with Christ for over 50 years I have learned that God truly gives the best to those who leave the choice with him. It is his intention that we live lives that are rich in purpose, significance, relationships, and experience. But we must trust him by allowing him to plot the course on his terms: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths… Commit your work to the Lord, and then your plans will succeed…For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” (Prov. 3:5,6; 16:3, ; Jer. 29:11 – NLT)

QUESTION: Are you relinquishing control of your life to Him on a daily basis. How about on a moment-by-moment basis? If not, what is holding you back?

1 Alister E. McGrath, The Future of Christianity, Pages 52,53, Malden, Mass., Blackwell Press, 2002