Saturday, December 31, 2011

Rest in Peace, Roger

Roger died last night around 6 p.m. I saw him yesterday and knew the end was near. We'll miss him a lot.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thursday a.m.

Good morning! Thursday! We're closing in on closing out one year and welcoming a new one. I can say that I will be kinda glad to kiss 2011 good bye. It was not one of my better years, and I will explain some of that in a post later on. Since it was not one of my better years, it sets up 2012 to be one of the best ever, and I will explain that later also.

Yesterday started really well. I met some friends in Bedford at 8 a.m. They had decided on a 10 miler, which was really what I wanted also. Off we went. We ran a nice comfortable 8.30 pace. I felt good the whole time and am gaining confidence. Today I will do an easy 5. I'll take Friday off and then run 13 on Saturday. This will give me 40 for the week and 1264 for the year, which is about 500 miles down from last year. I focused on the bike for most of the summer and really let my running slip, which is fine. I think the lighter miles has me rested and positioned to run really well in 2012.

Today is sermon prep day, plus I have a funeral and a funeral dinner. I will also spend some time with Roger's dog. Yap, yip, yappity-yap. ha ha. Roger's brother came in for a couple of days but is leaving today. I saw Roger yesterday. He is doing better but still has a long way to go.

Tomorrow mid-afternoon I plan to go for a bike ride outside, hopefully a 30 miler. I've got one other person going at this point and am hoping for others to join. It's supposed to be around 50 degrees. I am eager to get some more time on my new ride.

OK, I have lots of writing to do today - sermon and funeral message. See ya!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wednesday a.m.

Is it Wednesday already? This week, between Christmas and New Years, is always hard to keep track of. It seems that hardly anyone works, and people are coming and going. The days blur into one another. I kinda like it. It's the storm before the long, cold calm of January.

Yesterday I timed my run just right. I was dressed and ready to run in the rain, but by the time I got started, it had started snowing. It was beautiful! By the time I finished, the fields were covered in a nice blanket of white, and so was I. I had about half an inch of snow built up on the bill of my Gore-Tex hat. I had a nice run that included hill repeats.

Today, I am running this morning with a bunch of guys in Bedford. Like I said before, hardly any one is working this week. I'll run somewhere between 5 and 10 miles, depending on what others are doing. I have a funeral in the morning, which will limit my distance tomorrow, so I would like to go a little farther this morning. I have 40 miles scheduled for this week.

My neighbor, Roger, is still in the hospital, so I am going up again today to check on him. He is more stable now than he was over the weekend. His brother came in from St. Louis. I'm glad he's here. I think he is going to figure out what to do with Roger's dog, Benji. I feel sorry for the little beast. His socialization needs are not being met. ha ha.

The first picture above is from my home office window, shortly after my run yesterday. I guess you can see why I love working from this location. I love my home office and get a lot done there. The second photo is from Christmas day. Kedra managed to find Christmas Vacation shirts for our whole crew.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Monday December 26

Hey, good evening! I hope you survived Christmas! Welcome to some readers who have wandered over here from Perspectives. I wrote a short piece there about the amazing Albert Mesarosh. He's still running at age 73. Wow! I hope I can run that long. I remember, when in my 20s, hearing a girl talk about her father, in his 40s, running. I said, "Wow, that's so cool that he can run at his age!" ha ha. Now I'm 53 and feeling pretty strong. Who knows?

My 26.2 plan ended on Christmas Eve, but I didn't really alter the plan much. In fact, I don't think I did anything different. As a result of being on the plan, I lost 6 pounds, but I'm not quite where I want to be. I will resume the plan on January 1, if not before. In the mean time, I'm not going to do anything crazy. I simply love the way I feel, and I am running considerably faster. Several miles are being cranked out at or below my Boston Marathon pace of 8 minutes per mile, which will be a 3.29.45 marathon. I haven't started serious speed work yet, so I'm feeling good about where I am.

I did have a bad day of eating yesterday, Christmas Day, but, hey, it didn't kill me. I had a great 7 mile run this morning with a lot of the gang in Bedford, plus, Lester, my oldest son, was there to run with us. It was a beautiful morning and a great time.

We had a great turn out for our Santa Hat run on Saturday. More than 100 runners participated, and together we raised more than $600 for those who transport cancer patients. It was a great morning. As soon as the run was over, I headed to Bloomington Hospital to check on my neighbor Roger. He had coded earlier that morning, so I was very concerned about him. I found him in better shape than I thought. He's doing pretty well again today.

Today and this evening we had our family Christmas celebration. Part of the tradition is for my three sons and me to go on a long drive to explore unknown territory. Today we wander through eastern Greene County and then over to Monroe dam. We took tiny country roads and saw lots of interesting things.

Tomorrow is hill repeats for me. I hope you don't think I'm sick/crazy, but I am really looking forward to them. They are unpleasant at the time, but yield really good results. Kinda reminds me of this (from Hebrews 12:11,12):

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Pain and pancakes


I don't know if I oughta go sailin' down no hill with nothin' between the ground and my brains but a piece of government plastic.

Do you think it really matters, Eddie?

So how's it going? Here's how it's going for me - not in the mood to write today! ha ha. I am working on getting ready for Sunday by smoking meat to eat and by preparing a few words to say, hopefully also a little meat. Yes, that was bad. Go ahead and boo if you want.

I will go to Bloomington mid-afternoon to see Roger, who does not have TB! Relief confirmed. I'm gearing up to get everything done so that tomorrow is relaxing. I'll have our annual Santa Hat run in Bedford and then a day of not much else hopefully.

Merry Christmas to you!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Well, so far, this weather prediction has been far from right! I guess winter officially starts today, so I suppose there is still time. Speaking of winter starting today - did you know that winter started yesterday in the central time zone and today in the eastern? It officially started around 12.30 a.m., which is 11.30 p.m. (yesterday), centrally speaking. Now isn't that interesting? Stop snoring!

You already know about part of my day yesterday, if you read the previous post. Shortly after that I spent more than 3 hours involved in court with a grieving mother. It was a long, frustrating experience. We sat there for the longest time, only to have a 2 minute meeting with the prosecutor, and there was really nothing significant to share. Oh well, while we were waiting we watched several people being sentenced and others making appeals. There were lots of people garbed in jail attire, complete with chains.

The judge sure doesn't mess around. He speaks straight and boldly. One young man appeared before him because he had not checked in with a court appointed defense attorney. The judge ripped him pretty good. The kid was dressed in jeans, complete with holes, and a hooded sweatshirt. The judge started, "First of all, if you ever show up before me again in jeans like that and a sweatshirt like that, I will find you in contempt!" Then he said, after ripping him for not checking in with the court appointed attorney, "Mr. xxxx, you have 10 minutes to get from here to his office on I Street. We are going to call in 10 minutes to see if you made it." The kid started to leave. "DON'T YOU LEAVE, until I tell you you are dismissed."

Due to the length of my time in court, I didn't have time to get to Bloomington to see Roger. I called and found out that he had a biopsy and should know the result in a day or so. They also should be able to tell about TB.

Today I am running 10 miles with some friends and then the family and I are heading to Louisville for a while. Christmas vacation is kinda starting!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday late morning

I have a few minutes between things, so let me tell you a couple of things. One of them comes from last night. As I was running around Wilson Park last night, I kept seeing a police SUV. It stopped up behind the Armory, and I think let a couple of squirrely teen girls out. Theymay have been walking by there, I'm not sure. Either way, they came walking toward me. One was wearing a Santa hat; both were laughing and giggling as early teen girls do.

As I approached them, the one wearing the Santa hat said, rather boldly, "Nice ears!" What? I replied, "Hello." Nice ears? Wow, all these childhood memories of having monkey ears came flooding back. Then I felt my ears to see if they were hot and thus were red. Didn't seem to be. Nice ears? Of all the things they could have to said to me, the one who has the body of a god (think Buddha)... Nice ears? Oh well.

This morning I was on my 5 mile run. I had climbed the long, and at times steep, hill and was cruising along. A car was coming around the curve and I recognized the driver and waved. As he passed me, he entered into a very tricky curve. All of sudden I hear a car skidding across the wet pavement, and then I hear it crashing into small trees and debris off the road.

I immediately turned around and ran hard to see what had happened. I thought it was my friend, but it turned out to be another vehicle. This truck had met my friend going too fast and didn't make the (tricky) curve. As I got there, the young driver was getting out of the truck. He wasn't very happy and expressed that. I asked if he was OK. He was fine.

He started wondering how he could get out. It was clear to me that it was going to require a pretty good effort from another vehicle. He came to the same conclusion. I asked him if he had anyone he could call. "No, everyone I know is at work." I said, "Here's my deal. I'm about 10-15 minutes from my vehicle, and I have a 4 wheel drive at home. I can get it and try pull you out." He was happy to wait, and now I was on a mission.

Bronco to the rescue! Yeah, baby! I got the needed stuff together, put on my superman cape and off I went. Pulled him out! Another deed done, even though I had to shorten my run by a mile. Hopefully the heroics will cancel the feeling the "4" in my running log gives, the "4" that normally drive me nuts. I wanted 5! ha ha.

Wednesday a.m.

Good morning! How's it going? How many days until Christmas?

Today's the long day. I tried to sleep in and actually made it to 5:15 - ha ha. I really wish I could learn to stay in bed longer, but once I am awake, I find it hard to stay there. The upside is that I get a lot of stuff done in the mornings.

Yesterday was centered around Roger. I went over and took care of his dog. Soon, like right now, I am looking for someone to take the dog until Roger comes home again, which is likely going to be a while. Let me know if you are interested. Roger's house is pretty much a mess, and the dog has contributed a fair share of making it that way. I need to go do some basic cleaning...

Roger was about the same yesterday, maybe a little better but not much. He is still in isolation and will be another day or so. They have to take cultures three days in a row to determine if he has TB. Today will be day 2. Until they get to day 3 and beyond, visiting him requires a gown, mask, gloves, etc., which makes it a little harder. I went in yesterday with the social worker. Since she is a hospital employee, she had to have this really fancy outfit, looked like a haz mat suit, only a little lighter. The nurse debated whether I would have to wear one also. I told her that I've already been super exposed anyway. She let me go with the stuff I mentioned above. I am assuming Roger does not have TB. I'll be in for a shock if he does.

I spent quite a bit of time with old Rog yesterday. The social worker wanted me to tag team regarding nursing home placement. We did, and I think it went OK. Roger can't walk right now, so he really has no choice. I am guessing they will try to discharge him on Friday, assuming he is TB free. They are doing more tests today regarding possible lung cancer.

The rest of the day was filled with study and phone calls and messages. Last night I went to Bedford to run with my friends, which is always an encouraging experience. I started early so I could get 4 miles in, including a couple of hill repeats. I missed Monday's workout altogether, since I was dealing with Roger.

With my 4 miles in, I met everyone else. I thought they were running 5, but someone said something about 7 miles. OK. Then it was negotiated down to 6. OK. Then we were directed to go the wrong way, which would have made it a 5.5. Not OK. I mean you can't run 9.5 miles! So close to 10, you have to do 10. So another guy and I took a detour, and I ended up with more than 10. It was nice and misty. Actually, I think the mist had turned into rain, but it was mild. I enjoyed it and felt really good.

Today I have meetings, a court visit with a grieving mother, a trip to Bloomington to see Roger, and a class to teach. Going to start it all with an easy 5 mile run. I am thinking of running long in the morning.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tuesday a.m.

"Interruptions are my work." You've heard me say that over and over again, quoting Henri Nouwen. Yesterday I had a full day of such work. I was doing what I do a little after 8 yesterday when Roger, my deaf neighbor called me on my phone. He "pocket dials" me occasionally, so I thought little of it. I listened for about a minute to see if I could discern anything that would indicate trouble. Nothing.

A few minutes later he sent a text, which he does sometimes. He just said, "Could use some help today." I replied, "What with?" trying to discern a time frame. No reply, so I go over to check on him.

When I walk in, he is not on the couch, where I usually find him. I walked into the living room and turned on the light. Then I saw him. He was slumped over in the kitchen, leaning against a wall, over a trash can. He had a pair of sleep pants on and then jeans over them. The jeans had fallen to his ankles. It was a pitiful sight. I thought he was puking but he wasn't.

I touched him. He barely moved and said, "My legs aren't working." We slowly straightened up, pulled his jeans up. He is so skinny that they had simply fallen down, even with his belt buckled. We walked to the couch and got him to sit. I told him I was taking him to the ER. Significantly, he barely nodded an "OK." No protest this time. I told him I needed to go home and do a couple of things.

Returning in about 5 minutes, I found him lying on the couch in his usual position: head totally covered with blankets. I pulled them back and mouthed, "Let's go." He said he wanted to wait and let his legs rest. I shook my head. He protested, "I can't walk." With that I signaled that I was going to carry him to the truck, and before he could protest, I picked him off the couch and carried his bony 90 pound frame to the truck. His psycho dog was protest, acting like he was going to bite me. Must have been quite a sight really.

As we made our way to the ER, I was afraid he was going to die. He was in bad shape. I was praying for him. Then I called his brother in St. Louis, telling him what was going on. This is the only family member that has contact with Roger. We got to the hospital and started unloading. One of their folks came out and helped.

They got him in and started doing all kinds of tests, while I was Roger's ears. The doc came in and talked about what he was finding etc. A little later on, early in the afternoon, the doc came back and pulled back the curtain, he had a mask and gloves on and was accompanied by two nurses who were masked, gloved, and gowned. He said, "He may have TB, so we are moving him to isolation. If he has it, then you have been exposed." Hmmm.

We moved rooms and were informed that Roger was going to be moved to Bloomington. I need to leave and got home about 3. Kedra and I were planning on going to Bloomington last night anyway, so we made our way to the hospital, where it took a long time for us to find Roger. We finally found him. I gowned, gloved, and masked up to go visit. (Does all that protection really matter at this point?)

I'm going back up this morning to check on him, after I check on his yappy dog that I do night like (ha ha). Stupid thing barks its head off, acts like it's going to bite me, and then lets me pet it. Psycho dog. I talked to Roger's brother a couple of more times, and he told me that they thought he had TB before, due to a spot on his lung, but they ruled it out. I think that will happen again this time; sure hope so.

I feel so sorry for Roger. He is alone and doesn't understand a lot of what is going on in the hospital. I advocated and interpreted for him yesterday. While I there waiting I managed to get a lot of stuff done. Having done the ER thing with Roger a time or two before, I knew to take my computer and a book or two. I got a 12 week sermon series planned and outlined, amongst other things.

The ER is an interesting place. During my extended stay yesterday I heard a lot of real life unfold. You can't help but hear stuff. I heard an angry guy, a very angry guy, cuss loudly for everyone to hear, about his dissatisfaction with the slowness of the ER. He was going to blankity blank (lots of F bombs - lovely) leave and go to the other hospital in town. Adios!

There was an exchange between the doctor and a lady who said she couldn't afford her medicine. Not taking the meds had led to her visit to the ER. The doctor said, "Do you smoke?" "Yes." "How much?" She told him, and it was alot. "How much do cigarettes cost?" She told him. He said, "You say you can't afford you meds, but you are spending more money than the meds cost on cigarettes." "Yes." "I'm not trying to make you feel bad, but I want you to see that you are making a choice here." Good job, Doc.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Funny Tweets

One of the guys I follow on Twitter is NotKennyRogers - very funny guy! Here are some of his recent tweets:

Looks like Kim Jong II took the Denver loss pretty hard.

BREAKING: North Korean Leader Kim Jong II has died...making this year's Secret Santa gift exchange in Hell one for the ages.

"Congratulations to New England on today's big win." - Satan

Green Bay loses, Indianapolis wins and Kim Kardashian is a millionaire. I'll take 'Signs of the Apocalypse' for $600, Alex.

I am 100% certain that Christopher Hitchens is no longer an atheist.


Good morning! It's the Monday before Christmas! Are you ready? I'm not, but I have a plan to get ready. That counts for something I suppose. Getting ready will dictate a little bit of a different week for me., that coupled with Rebecca and Luke being home, which is so, so nice! Lots of unusual activities this week.

The weekend was good. Uneventful really, which is very good. On Friday I managed to take a little time off. It's really hard to get down time for people who do what I do. We are "on call" 24/7/365, which is fine, and I think most of us think about what we do and the people we love constantly. Finding blessed distractions is important. The older I get the more I realize the importance of taking care of my self. That, in part, is what my running, cycling, and my move toward triathlon is all about. Kedra can tell you that I am at my best when I come home from doing these things, especially if I have done them with a group.

Friday, after finishing up a little prep for Sunday, I got on my bike trainer for a little more than an hour and did some core work. I don't really recall what I did the rest of the day. Luke and Rebecca were here, and so was Kedra. She wasn't feeling well at all. She stayed home from school. I think I did some reading.

Saturday was a nice 10 mile run with a good group. It was a beautiful morning to run: upper 20s and still. We had a few miles at 8 minute miles or below, which is really encouraging. I'm starting to train faster. After the run, some of us went to breakfast. Then it was back home for this and that.

Yesterday was good. It was so beautiful! Church went well, followed by nice meal. The Colts won! After the game I went for a short 5 mile bike ride. I have a new bike that I am trying to get adjusted, so that was a lot of fun. I've been saving my bus driving money, plus other extra funds that have come in over the fall. I've been looking around and found an great deal. The bike felt great yesterday!

OK, let's get this week rolling...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011


What's this picture of? It's my bike speedometer from last summer, right after I rode my first 100 miler. I don't remember the exact date, but I do remember the ride fairly well. I rode most of it by myself and then connected with Tim the Elder, Tim the Strunker, and Iron Bill, for about 30 of the middle miles. They were a welcome break for riding alone.

Today is Friday, so I plan to get on my bike today for a little more than an hour. I will do my 3rd core workout for the week. I'm still right on my 26.2 days of discipline plan. I have only deviated twice, once on purpose and once on accident. Last Saturday after a 12 miler in pretty cold conditions, at breakfast I drank some coffee, and the other day, while talking with someone at lunch, I just grabbed the salt shaker without thinking and shook it a couple of times before I came to my senses. I immediately stopped, announced to everyone in the restaurant what I had done. I then began the process of self-flagellation. Please don't confuse this with another similar word.

Speaking of flagellation, and I didn't not wake thinking of this (remember which word we are talking about), a story comes to mind, a story from a few years ago. I was at a monastery where Benedictine monks live, receiving a nice tour of the place with a nice monk. He took us into a hall that had murals all over the wall and ceiling. One of the them depicted monks involved in self-flagellation, a practice associated with the past. So I ask the monk, "Do you still practice this?" He said, "Yes, in principle."

I could tell he was wanting the conversation to stop, but I pushed a little, "So what do you do?" He said, "Well, we don't beat ourselves anymore, but we do things that help us deny the power of the flesh." Not giving up, I said, "Like what?" He said, "We'll, let's say after supper, chocolate cake is being offered for dessert, we might deny ourselves that." I said, trying to keep from bursting out in laughter, "OK, thanks."

Beating yourself vs. not eating chocolate cake - sounds equal to me!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday a.m.

Good morning! I hope you woke up well and your day is going well! I had a few minor computer problems this morning that has delayed me by about 20 minutes. That's ironic since my sermon theme this week is "waiting." I got it going in time to do the essentials (not really essential but feel that way) before taking Ben into football conditioning at 6.05. By the way, he told me last night that has gained a few pounds already. Good for him!

Yesterday I had a Mitchell Area Ministerial Association meeting, you know, MAMA meeting. I will spare you my usual jokes about the name... Anyway it went long, as usual. I know this is so surprising -- a room full of preachers and the meeting goes long?? Whoda thunk it? Anyway during the meeting, one of my oft repeated lines came up, "I used to complain about interruptions to my work until I realized the interruptions are my work."

I left the meeting to do good. Went to the Store for a while, met a friend to give him some things, helped unload of truck load of food, signed a letter for our coat giveaway follow-up, talked on the phone, and went back to the Store. I hadn't been there very long when my phone rang. The incoming call said, "Mitchell Police." Hmmm - the police calling me...

The person calling identified herself by name and said that she was with the police department. Then she asked if I knew a man named Roger. Of course she was referring to my deaf neighbor. She went on to tell me that he had an episode in Arbys and needed me to come and help him. "I'll be right there." [Gotta love small towns where everyone knows your name.]

I arrived to find a community of first responders gathered. Roger was sitting in his truck's passenger side, all slumped over. The ambulance people told me that he had fallen and hit his head but was refusing medical care. They did take his blood pressure and it was "sky high."  I opened the door of Roger's truck. He looked at me and said, "I want to go home."

One of guys who was there, Greg, said he would drive Roger home, if I could bring him (Greg) back to town. No problem. We got Roger in the house and on the couch. I took Greg to town and then came back to Roger's. I tried and tried to talk (by writing) him into letting me take him to the ER. He was having nothing of it. I wrote him that his blood pressure was "sky high" and that he could have a stroke and die. He just smiled and did a no-big-deal wave of his hand. OK, Roger. With that I left.

I stayed close by and went back to check on him. I really thought I might find him dead, and I actually thought I had when I walked in. His eyes were half open and he was not moving. I could not discern any breathing movements and could not see a pulse in his neck. I was about to touch him, when all of a sudden he moved! Startled? Yes. Both of us. ha ha

Anyway, he said he was fine. I checked on him later and again this morning. Still fine. I offered to take him to eat and get some meds. He's thinking about it. Stubborn old man! He told me he could drive. Watch out for a black Ford truck! ha ha.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Thinking ahead

I was in a hurry this morning and didn't get to mention anything about running. Last night I went over to Bedford to run. I did a couple of miles to warm-up before the others arrived. There was a smaller group last night. We started out at a rather pedestrian pace, but on the way back things started picking up a bit.

Kathy and Josh were out ahead of the rest of us. I could tell coming up the hill that the 4 of us in the chase group had picked up the pace. We dropped down from an 8.40 to an 8.18, and then I decided to pick it up further, trying to catch Josh and Kathy. My next mile went down to an 8.01, which is my Boston Marathon goal pace, but I wasn't done yet. The last mile went down to a 7.07, which I was pretty happy about, especially after a hill workout yesterday. I caught the leaders, and at about the same time, Tim the Elder pulled up with me as well. It was a great run!

I had a nice 5 mile recovery run early this morning, while it was still dark. I love mid 40s and mist. I think it may be my favorite training conditions; not sure why. While running, I've been thinking a lot about biking. I really look forward to having a great biking season, right after the Boston Marathon. I will be working all winter on making that happen by being on the trainer. I hope to do all 162 miles of RAIN (instead of the 158 + hospital plan).

The other big thing I look forward to next year is completing a triathlon. That's ambitious for a guy who doesn't know how to swim! This old dog is going to learn a new trick! I've been reading books about triathlon, specifically about the Ironman, which is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, followed by a full 26.2 marathon. All events are back to back to back. I know I can do the last 2... Of course I have to start with a sprint tri, which is about a quarter mile swim, 10 mile ride, and a 5K run. If I don't drown, then I should be fine.


Good morning! Are you finding the whole present political process pretty discouraging? I confess I am. I am less politically minded than I used to be and more Kingdom minded, but I'm still interested and concerned. Nothing (and nobody) about any of it really excites me right now. Oh well. I am a citizen of Heaven, and that's what really matters. I'm ready for the Second Coming of Jesus. I really am.

Yesterday was a good, solid day of doing good. Enjoyable. I attended a funeral yesterday morning and was moved by the minister's message. He knew the deceased and knew her well. I wish I had known her better and would have seen some of the things he knew and saw. It's impossible to spend enough time for everyone to know them well.

While at the funeral home I got to see the good folks who work there. I really respect all of them for the way they do things and who/how they are. While there, I was reminded of a couple of stories. Once when the funeral director and I were on our way to a cemetery, we were talking about an employee that had been let go. The director was saying that this young person didn't like having to work unusual hours, and then the director added these words of wisdom and insight, "Death takes no holidays." How true.

This reminded me of a few funerals that I have done right around Christmas. I think I've done 2 funerals on Christmas Eve; not totally sure but I think so. That's a tough time to bury someone, but it actually is a powerful time, if we believe the Christmas Story. That, of course, became the heart of my message. "Today in the city of David a Savior has been born." A Savior that takes away the sting and the power of death.

Once, several years ago, I had a funeral right around Christmas for a lady that I did not know that well. I was surprised that I was asked to do it. The funeral was on a Sunday afternoon. The problem was that I had tickets for Colts football game that kicked off at 4 p.m. Here's what I remember: I had Kedra lurking in the cemetery in her car. As soon as the final amen and the loving hugs and handshakes were done, I said, "Look, it's Haley's Comet!" As everyone looked, I dashed away toward Kedra's car, throwing off my suit and tie as I went.

We sped to Indy! Kedra drove while I painted my body blue and got my blue wig on. After I was "dressed," at the first stop light, we switched drivers. She shoved the car in park, and the doors flew open. I ran around the front and she around the back. Just as the light turned green, I was able to forcefully pull the shifter into D and off we went. I think I hit 124 mph.

As we neared the old RCA Dome, I forged some official looking papers, and we were able to park right inside, where the players park. We got a police escort on one of this little golf cart things, right to our seats. We arrived just in the time for the kick-off.

Some of the above is true.

OK, that's probably enough for you and me today.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday a.m.

I can feel it coming on! It happens every few months or so, and I usually just go with it. For the sake of a faithful few, a righteous remnant, who enjoy coming here for a visit, I will resist the urge. What am I talking about? The thing that seemingly strikes most bloggers - the urge to stop doing it for a while. I'll try keep sharing a glimpse of my life each day, as boring as it is.

I guess you've noticed that I talk about a lot of different things, but I don't talk about everything; not even close. I keep a lot to myself. A lot. I tell my wife and children, on a fairly regular basis, "I am an enigma of a man." They roll their eyes, which I think means that they agree. A man of mystery, that's what I am. ha ha. A man of selected information to share for sure. I mean, I would have to kill you if I told you a lot of what I know, like the whole alien visiting me thing. Oops.

OK, see, I am making the cartoon come true. Yesterday was so beautiful! I took advantage of it to go for a midday run, which involved hill repeats. Wow, my heart has not pounded that hard for a while! The weather made it a little easier. I also went out for a very short bike ride. I have a friend's bike that I am trying out. I about decided it's too small for me. I felt a little scrunched and don't see anyway to fix that.

Later in the day, I worked out in the yard for a while. Then I grilled some chicken for supper. See, what an exciting life I live! Prior to, and mixed in with those exciting things, were a few phone calls and texts to check on people, some time at the church building, and some time at the Store. I picked up my wife for a brief lunch, which I love doing. I'd rather spend time with her than anyone else.

Each week I make a list of 20-25 people that I will try contact in some form or another. These are people that I probably would not normally run into. I hope you don't thing this is a legalistic list that I am going to check off. I care about each one and try to speak encouragement in some form or another. Probably more than half don't go to church with me/us.

Today I'm going to study old Simeon for a while, attend a funeral, go to Bloomington for a hospital visit, deliver a couple of coats to kids who don't have any, after picking the coats up at the Store, contact/see some people, and then cap the day off with an evening 7 mile run with my buds in Bedford. That's the plan...


Monday, December 12, 2011

Good morning Monday!

Here we go! It's Monday, and we're closing in on Christmas, less than 2 weeks away. We're also closing in on a New Year, and I am really looking forward to a new year. This year has not been the best - something that I will explain in a future post. That's not a complaint but more of a set-up for an epic 2012. I've got some major plans for 2012.

The Boston Marathon is 18 weeks from today, so today I officially begin training. Of course, not much will change, because I've been focused for the last 3-4 weeks. The only change is the official introduction of hill repeats, and then at the first of the year I will add tempo and steady state runs. It feels exciting to be within the 18 week timeframe. A lot of marathon training programs are 18 weeks long.

The weekend was good and basically uneventful. We had a nice party Friday night with our ReGeneration Store board and employees. I dearly love this ministry and the people involved. Things just keep going better and better. Our sales are increasing, and so are donations. We are trying to figure out that last part. It's becoming more difficult to process all of them. We are trying to figure out what to do about space and employees. It's a good problem to have.

Saturday started out cold and with a good run! We had a nice group that did 10+ miles. I wanted 11, so I started a little early. We started out slowly but kept picking up the pace. I was very pleased with the overall time and with the data that showed that we ran the last 3 miles down in the 7:50s per mile, which is my intended pace for the Boston Marathon.

After the run, several of us went to breakfast, where the talk turned to bikes. I visited a nice bike store on Friday, down in Clarksville. The "very motivated seller," as he called himself, said that we "could make something happen," if I was a "motivated buyer." (ha ha) Wow, I'm not an impulse buyer, but he had my attention with all the deal$ he was offering! It's a good time of the year to buy bikes. I walked away but enjoyed seeing all the tri bikes he showed me.

This should be a great week! The weather is looking mild, and we're heading toward Christmas! Two of my beloved children will be home Thursday. I can hardly wait!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday, December 09, 2011

Gettin' serious about bike trainin'

I don't want to fail at RAIN next summer, so I'm going to get out all winter long! Thanks Alan!

Friday morning

It's Friday! I hope your week has gone well. Seems like a pretty good one from my end.

I think I remember why I've lost interest in baseball. I think it goes back to a strike many years ago and all the greed involved. Fast forward many years. Did you see what Albert Pujols is going to make over the next 10 years? Around $250 million. You want to know how that breaks down in terms you and I can understand? Try this: He will make $68,493 per day, everyday, for 10 years. You can read more here.

I don't know much at all about Albert. I think I've heard he is Christian in orientation and is generous. I hope so. Leaving him out of it, the whole thing seems obscene to me. I know all of pro sports is full of lots of greed and selfishness, and, yes, I do enjoy watching NFL football. Sigh. I guess I am part of the problem, just a small part, I hope.

Today is bike day - an hour or so on the trainer, followed by my 3rd core workout for the week. Tomorrow is an 11 mile run, which will make me 35 for the week. I think I've lost 3-4 pounds, so my 26.2 plan is working.

My exchanges continue with the young man I mentioned a couple of posts ago. Pray for him please. OK, I need to get a few things cooking, so I'll see you soon.

Thursday, December 08, 2011


Doing Good

A couple of posts ago I mentioned the idea of "going about doing good," which is rooted in Peter's words found in Acts 10. Peter is describing the work of Jesus. I think that's how we should look at life and do life. (As an assignment, read the letter to Titus, noting how often the word "good" shows up.)

Yesterday I had an opportunity to do some good by connecting a guy who needs a job with a guy who was looking for someone to help him with a 2-3 day project. The boy needing work has been in trouble with the law because of drugs and alcohol. The guy needing some help, long ago, travelled down that same road. He's understands and was eager to give the boy a chance. Here's hoping it turns out good for everyone.

The young man that emailed me yesterday emailed me again. He was replying to my reply to him, but he had a question.

God has a plan for everyone, right? Is there anyway to figure out what that plan is?

How would you answer that question? I wrote him back this morning basically telling him that I don't believe that God necessarily has specific plans all the time for specific people. For example, I'm not sure God wants you to have a specific job and marry a specific person. If he did, then he would have to make those things clearer, it seems to me. Further, it seems to me that God simply wants us to be faithful to him, living out his will on earth, wherever we are, doing whatever we do. Right?

I like the illustration of a kid in a big backyard. "Son, I don't care what you do in the yard. You can slide, play in the dirt pile, swing on the swings, play with the dog, whatever you want, just don't leave the backyard." I think God would say, "It doesn't matter to me where you work, just do it in my will to my glory. JUST DO GOOD!"

Just a few thoughts for you this morning. Feel free to disagree.

So it's Thursday! I like Thursdays like I like Tuesdays, which is a lot. Class, what happens on Thursday? That's right! It's sermon prep day! I am really enjoying that right now, because I am collaborating with Pat A on sermon prep. That is enjoyable and it keeps me more focused. After a late morning run, I will meet him in Bloomington for lunch and to finish the sermons that we have started independently.

Last night in my class we considered Luke 2:8-20, which tells of the shepherds receiving the very first word of Christ's arrival in this world. This is really shocking! Shepherds were not mainstream folks and were not very popular with the religious types. Yet they get the birth announcement and hear the angels singing. Wow! We need to think about this, and that's basically what the sermon will be about.

The song the angels sing is pretty brief, but it is amazingly reassuring to those who wonder if God loves them. So far in the Nativity narrative, we have seen God use the too young and the too old, and now he is focusing on the outcasts. God is inclusive!

We talked last night about God's peace and goodwill. Troy talked about smiling lovingly at his daughter during a public performance where she "messed up a little." He talked about how he still loved her and her "mess up" didn't change any of that. The angels' message seems to convey this love from God. Troy's comments made me think of the wonderful book The Shack. There is a line repeated in the book, a line attributed to God that is directed toward us, you and me as individuals.

I am especially fond of you.

Isn't that the essence of the gospel? God loves us, and as is fond of us. We are his beloved children, sons and daughters, even though we may be shepherds. OK, I'll save the rest of the sermon. ha ha.

I ran 6 miles yesterday and will try to get 7 in today. I did some hill repeats yesterday. These were unofficial, since there are not on my schedule yet - ha ha! I'm getting ready for the official ones that begin next week. I've run fairly well this week. I'm concerned about the long run on Saturday. It's only going to be around 20 degrees, which makes it a little harder to run farther. We'll see.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Wedensday a.m.

 Good morning! How are you? It's Pearl Harbor Day, December 7th. There are 17 days until Christmas. Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future.

Yesterday was another good day, full of expected and unexpected people and things. I had to remind myself of the deeply embedded Nouwen words, "I used to complain about interruptions to my work until I realized the interruptions are my work." I had lots of interesting conversations yesterday. If I told you about them, then I would have to kill you. Not really. But you would probably find most of them not that interesting.

The best part of the day was the brief visit by Lester and Maddie, as we shared a meal together. Lester got his truck back from the mechanic, so he has to be happy. There is a thing about a man and his truck. I prefer to drive my old beater with 240,000 plus miles over anything else in our fleet.

Why the preaching pictures? Well, that started with an email that was sent very early this morning by a 19 year old who no longer lives here. More about that in a minute. I have to confess I really struggle with preaching at times, especially with my preaching. It's so hard to tell if it does anything. There are all the requisite jokes about it being boring, too long, etc. I always laugh along, but don't really find them funny, to be honest. Then there are others, from time to time, who say kind and encouraging things. Those words are like honey.

Most preachers, I think, always wonder about the effectiveness of what they do. I think that's probably a good thing, but sometimes it can lead to discouragement. I have to remind myself on a regular basis that my job is to present Scripture and to make sense of it, patterned after Nehemiah 8:8.

They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read.

I remind myself further of what God says in Isaiah 55:11.

. . .my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty,but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Yes, I am very aware that my words are not God's, but if I am doing my job, then, in a sense, they are (right?), and if that's the case, then my preaching is not in vain (even though if often feels that way). I suppose that's why I am very careful with the text, and it's why I don't tell a lot of stories and then find a text to go with them. I start with the text and try to stay with it. It may not be the most entertaining way to go, but I believe it's faithful.

OK, having said all that, this morning I get this (and I really, really hesitate to put this here, fearing you will think I am being boastful):

Hello Allen...I'm not sure if you remember me but my name is .... My mother is ... we used to go to your church years ago...I recently had a really bad accident and broke my neck playing football. Since then I realized how wrong I was living and how blessed I am to be here today after everything that's happened to me. I was talking to my mother a while back and she told me I should talk to you...And truth is I wouldn't even be doing it if I had any one else to talk to but right now I just feel like I have no one. I've been thinking very hard about going back to church and learning more about the word of God and when I thought about it I don't think I've ever seen anyone deliver such a message in their teaching as you did. I want to thank you for being such a wonderful person. You helped my Mother a lot when I was younger and at the time I was too young to see how. I plan on coming back to Mitchell one of these days, and coming back to the community I feel like I belong in. I'd love to hear back from you I'm having a very hard time dealing with a lot of things in my life right now and I need Him more than anything. Thanks Allen. By the way I'm 19 now. And me and my Mother both really miss living and Mitchell and being in a community like yours.

 Here's my point: God's word does not come back empty. Further: this is not about me, it's about God and his message. Again, I feel strange sharing this with you, but I feel led to. And yes, I will be contacting the boy. Who knew he was paying any attention at all? He was just a kid when he lived here before, a troubled kid. Wow. You never know who is paying attention and to what they are paying attention. Live well.

OK, time to head for the hills to run...

Tuesday, December 06, 2011



Hello Tuesday! I like you. For some reason you are one of my favorite days of the week.

Did you survive all the rain? I know you know that I'm nuts, but I really like rainy days like yesterday. Not totally sure why, but I do. I like being inside watching it rain, but I like being out in it also. Yesterday morning I helped my Dad and Ben load out some calves, which was fun. The truck and trailer got slightly stuck only once, so that wasn't bad.

Seems like I was out and about in the rain a fair amount during the day. I went here and there seeing people and doing things, splashing in puddles along the way. Last night I went for a run with a bunch of other crazies (I know that's what most of you are thinking, so I beat you to the punch - ha ha!). I had a really good run; I felt good and picked up the pace for the last 2-3 miles, going 7.30 for the last mile. My 26.2 plan is really going to help my training. I'm getting rid of a lot of the impurities in my body, making it more efficient.

Today is another day packed with good things. Gonna run 7 miles, see a bunch of people, email & text others, have lunch with another former student, hang out at the food pantry, and generally do what I do. I try to model my life and ministry on the words that Peter used to describe Jesus (Acts 10):

He went around doing good.

Some days I simply try to do no harm - ha ha! Don't always succeed. Most days I try to be aware of simply doing good, even in the smallest simplest of ways; nothing flashy, fancy or really worth talking about. It may be just a smile or a pleasant word to a cashier, maybe a nice tip to a waitress at lunch, or maybe some notes of encouragement. I am aware of the bigger things too -- things like being faithful in following God's lead with the ReGeneration Store, or being conscious of preaching well by studying well. You get the picture. I don't talk a lot about it; just do it. I think it's important to see Kingdom significance in all we do. It all matters.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The exciting news of the day for us is that Lester and Maddie are coming to dinner tonight! I don't know if I have mentioned this or not, but Lester has a pharmacist job waiting for him at a pharmacy in Bloomington. What a blessing to have a job lined up before you graduate! They are coming down this afternoon with some work related things and to pick up Lester's truck. He left it here at Thanksgiving to get our local mechanic to work on it.

OK, off to do the day!

Monday, December 05, 2011


Do you like silence? The older I get the more I seem to enjoy it. I drive without the radio on a lot anymore, which is a big change, because I used to listen to the radio all the time. The silence in a car provides a great time to pray. I leave my eyes open, just in case you were wondering.

I enjoy silence – most silence but not all. I don’t enjoy the silence of relationships gone bad, and I don’t enjoy the silence of (seemingly) unanswered prayers. That kind of silence leads to lots of sighs. I think Zachariah and Elizabeth could relate to this one. You can read their story in Luke 1. Go ahead if you want. I’ll wait here.

Something else isn’t it? You may not realize the backdrop for this story is 400 years of God’s silence. His people are waiting, anticipating a day when a Messiah will come and restore them to a position of freedom and prominence. They’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting. Generation after generation, anticipating and anticipating and waiting some more.

That’s been the story of Zachariah and Elizabeth as well. When they got married, everyone said they were the perfect couple. They both came from good church families and their immediate families were both involved in the priesthood. It was a match seemingly made in Heaven. They got married, and like most everyone else, they hoped to share the love they enjoyed by bringing new life into the world. They prayed to have a baby.

They prayed and prayed and prayed. Each month they waited and waited and waited. They anticipated that God would answer their prayers. They sighed at God's silence. The fervency of their prayers died down as the months changed into years and into a decade and beyond. One day they stopped praying for a baby. Life changes. They finally admitted what they had known for a long time. Elizabeth was barren, and God was not going to answer their prayer. Silence. The silence of unanswered prayer. A silence stretched out over a lifetime of possible conception, echoing 400 years of God’s silence. Silence with lots of tearful sighs.

Then one day Zechariah is serving in the Temple, doing literally a once in a lifetime task: offering incense in The Holy Place. The angel Gabriel shows up and nearly scares Zechariah to death. Gabriel calms him down and tells him that his prayers have been answered. "You’re going to be a dad!" Gabriel goes on to explain the special nature of this child and what he will do. Turns out he’ll turn out to be John the Baptist.

Zechariah takes it all in but is not so sure it’s really true. "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years."  A very good question and an excellent point, in my opinion. Gabriel doesn’t like the answer and strikes poor old Zechariah with silence. There it is again! Silence. Turns out it will be nine plus months of silence. Nine plus months of "be quiet and watch this." Nine plus months of "be still and know that I am God." Nine plus months of "be still and trust me."

I wonder what Zechariah did during all the time Elizabeth carried John the Baptist in her old womb? I think he was deaf also, so there wasn't much communication with anyone, maybe except God. He had nine months to think, to pray, to adjust, to wait, and to trust. Once the baby was born, Zechariah took the opportunity to show that he learned the lesson. "His name is John," Zechariah announces to the stunned crowd. Then old Zechariah, with his rusty vocal cords,  sings an amazing song about his son.

Let’s go back to silence in this story for a moment; it's all through it. Is God trying to tell us something? Do we hear echoes of "Be still and know?" We should, if we don’t.

The silence of God, as it often does, led to disappointment for Zachariah and Elizabeth and even disgrace for Elizabeth, but even in the silence, even in the disappointment, they kept trusting and obeying and didn’t grow bitter. They trusted God with the unanswered questions. They trusted him with the silence. They trusted him.

I'm working on doing the same.

Monday Morning

Yes, it's Monday again! And raining again! I hope you had a good weekend. Saturday was unbelievably beautiful, and, for me, full of activity.

The weekend started with a fairly busy Friday. I finished up all my stuff for Sunday, spent an hour on my bike trainer, did my 3rd core workout for the week, ran a few errands for the coat giveaway and the toy sale, and then drove a bus to the Crawford County basketball game. I got home sooner than I thought from the game, around 10 p.m., so I was happy about that.

I got up early on Saturday, read some, and then took off for my weekly long run with friends in Bedford. I wanted 12 miles, and I knew that most were running either 5 or 10. I got there early enough to get a couple of miles in before the 8 a.m. start. A rather large group gathered to do 5 together, then a smaller group, including me, continued on to do another 5. The weather was perfect and the pace was comfortable. I ended up with 35 miles for the week - just what I wanted.

After the run I went straight to the coat giveaway and toy sale at church. Wow! I got there right after both had started, and it was crazy! Crazy in the good sort of way - lots of people everywhere. People were getting coats, and people were buying toys. We had tons of people helping with both projects. It was so encouraging, on so many levels, to see. 

We ended up giving away more than 300 coats, and a few of those will be delivered this week. We ran out of a few sizes, so we will buy the coats and take them to the people who need them. About midday I left to go home to change clothes. As I was leaving I saw a family of 5-6 walking up the street, coming to get coats. None of them had coats on. It made me feel really good about what we were doing.

The toy sale was amazing also. When we tallied up the money on Saturday evening, we had right around $3500! Keep in mind that most things were sold for less than $5, many things a lot less than that. The amount of toys we had was simply amazing, almost overwhelming. These all were donated over the course of the year. Around 1.30 we still had so many that we decided that we would allow people to fill up a garbage bag full of whatever they wanted and we would charge them $5. This really helped us, because a lot things got taken away, which lessened our clean-up task.

The toy sale benefits in at least two way. First, it allows people to buy toys for very low prices. We had people of all kinds shopping, but we had a lot of poor people. This made me feel good, because it means that they will be able to provide some Christmas presents that otherwise they might not have been able to afford. Second, the revenue we receive will be used to help people in need in various ways. Everybody wins!

Here we start another week! Only God knows what will happen this week as the days unfold. Right now it looks to be a fairly uneventful week, which is bit of a change. Of course that could change rather quickly. This is my second week of my 26.2 plan. It's going great! No slip-ups and no problems so far.

I may post some more later...

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Friday, December 02, 2011

Christmas Carols

This is our banner for our sermon series, considering the 4 "Christmas Carols" in Luke's Gospel.

Mary’s song - Luke 1:46-55 Magnificat
Zechariah’s song - Luke 1:67-79 Benedictus
Angels’ song - Luke 2:13,14 Gloria in excelsis
Simeon’s song - Luke 2:28-32 Nunc dimittis


Here's what my son, Luke, says about this photo:

Despite individually stating all 10 letters of my name, the worker (of Oriental descent) managed to get one letter wrong.

I will say one thing and then leave it. I don't mean this as a racist thing. I love all people, but sometimes you just gotta laugh, especially at yourself.

So how's it going? Yesterday was another one of those non-stop days. Got up early and got on my sermon prep, then I went for a nice run with Tim the Elder and Time the Strunk (not to be confused with Tim the Younger and Tim the Elite, although I could make a case that the Elder is also Elite. I mean he won his age group at Monumental!), then arrived at my lunch meeting with the ethics committee. Let me say this: the hospital food at St. Vincent Dunn is good! At least what I've had each month has been.

After the ethics meeting, I chatted with the chaplain for a while about his work and about his adventures. His name is Wally, and he is getting ready to leave for a few weeks to climb Mount Aconcagua in Argentina. It has an elevation of 22,841 feet and is the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas. He has climbed several of the world's highest mountains. If I were younger, one of my goals would be to climb Mount Everest. I made that decision after watching a series about it on the Discovery Channel a couple of years ago. Wally has the same dream, and he has already climbed to Everest base camp.

After the ethics meeting, I made my way to Heaven's Garden, a little cafe at the Lighthouse Christian bookstore. It's a great place to work: free WiFi and all the stuff you would expect at a cafe. I met Pat there and we work on our sermons for Sunday. Working with another person really helps me to stay focused on the task at hand. It was very enjoyable time well spent.

Then it was off to the Family Life Center to check on the set-up for the huge toy sale. The amount of toys we have is unbelievable! Seriously! Penny and crew have done a great job in getting set up. They will work all day today as well. I left the FLC and went to the Store for a little while. While there I got a truck load of coats for the Coat Give Away on Saturday. We have more coats than we can sell at the Store. It's all the Lord's work... Darrin came by and we had a great talk about life.

I got home in time for supper and the nightly battle to stay awake until bedtime! I like to read in the evenings, but I cannot read serious stuff. I finished a book about running last night, Once a Runner. I only dozed off once last night.

OK, here we go today. Finish up Sunday stuff, help with the Toy Sale, lunch with my lovely and beloved wife, and then I am helping out the desperate transportation director by driving a basketball bus to Crawford County. That'll be fine, but it means a late night.

Tomorrow a 12 mile run, followed by Coats and Toys...

Thursday, December 01, 2011


This cartoon cracks me up! I'm not sure we could handle the truth of what people really think at times. That's an interesting thing to think about, isn't it?

Yesterday was one of the longest days I've had in a while. I was up at 5, doing what I do -- reading, praying, getting ready for the day. I ran Ben into football condition a little after 6 and came back home for breakfast with Kedra. I saw her off, read a little bit more, and then went for hilly chilly 6 mile run. The sun was so nice! After the run, it was off to the office for a meeting, followed by some more study of Zechariah. Then I went to a funeral in Livonia, followed by a visit to couple, followed by a meeting, followed by a brief trip home to change clothes, followed by a meal at church, followed by a class, followed by some Toy Sale stuff. Yesterday was a rare day with little to no down time. Of course, scattered amongst all that were several phone calls, texts, and emails with various people needing various things.

Today will be a little quieter, I think. This morning I will work on preparing for Sunday: sermon, slides, life group discussion guide, and Sunday a.m. class. I will run late morning, when the sun has warmed things up a bit. I have a St. Vincent Dunn Ethics Committee meeting today. I really enjoy those. We talk about the new policies being adopted, do case studies, and problem solving. I think I would really enjoy being a hospital chaplain. Today's meeting is considering that piece.

This afternoon I am getting with Pat A to work on our sermons. We are doing a collaborative effort on the Christmas Carol series. He met with his church last night regarding the text, and I had my class which did the same. We'll bring all of our individual study, coupled with what we learned in class, plus what we work on this morning, to the table this afternoon to see how that influences what we say on Sunday. The sermon belongs to the church, not the preacher alone. They should help prepare it, in the sense of helping the preacher see what the text says. I've been doing this for about 8 years, I think. That's what my doctoral thesis was about.

My 26.2 effort is going exceedingly well. I am staying right on track and doing well. The eating is not too hard and the core work is coming along nicely. Tomorrow will be my bike day, along with my last core session of the week. Saturday I plan to run 12 miles, which will put me at 35 for the week.  I did this 26.2 type thing about 2 years ago and lost 12 pounds and got my body fat down to 10% or less.

Jay Eubanks and I were talking last night and we stumbled upon the fact that we both love the TV show Amazing Race. Long story short: we think we should apply to participate! I think we are serious (ha ha). If you have seen the show, then you know that each couple has some interesting angle. Ours would be: black/white, short/tall, preacher/former pro basketball player, etc. Every time I watch the show, I tell Kedra that I would love to do it. It involves world travel, physical challenges, problem solving, and other things that I would enjoy. We'll see...

OK, here we go...!