Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday a.m.

Made it to the distant dam!

Ready for the run!

Good morning! This is probably going to be short, because we are leaving for Alabama after I crank out a 5 mile run very soon. We are heading to Huntsville for a few days. We will stay with Kedra's parents for a little while, and I am speaking at the Mayfair church on Wednesday night.

Thursday we head off to Orange Beach for a few days. I am hoping Debby will decide to leave by then. Right now it's not looking too good. I've always wanted to be in a hurricane. Seriously. My problem is that Kedra does not share my desire.

Well, I did my first triathlon on Saturday. The top picture is the lake that we swam in. It was low, warm, and not the cleanest it's ever been, but it was the place to get in and go. My goal was to make it to the turn around, which was right before the dam you see in the distance. If I arrived, I would take a ride back to the dock. (My first goals were not to drown and not to panic.)

I wasn't nervous, which was good, and I didn't panic, not even close, which is better. I made it, which is the best part! It was ugly, but I never stopped. It was slow, but I made it and gained some experience and confidence and some (secret for now - ha ha) insight.  Everyone was encouraging and helpful. I really enjoyed it. It turned out to be a little longer than I have to swim for my first official tri on August 11.

While the experienced swimmers finished, I prepped for the bike ride. I was eager to ride and had been warned by Bill that the paceline will take off without any warning. I was ready for all that, but a few people in front of me had trouble deciding what to do. Before I knew it, the paceline was off and I was not on. Frustrating! Rand, who was behind me, pulled me hard for 3-4 miles trying to catch it. My Garmin shows 2 miles north of 25 mph and a couple of others close. 

I thought we were going to catch them a couple of times, but as the gap increased again, I gave up. Spent! I shouldn't have given up, because the line got stopped by a truck, but before I could get there, they were off again. Oh well, I had a good 30 mile ride to the SAG stop and then enjoyed the last 20 miles with the big dogs.

On the way back Jim, trying to avoid an obstacle in the road, rubbed Mike's rear wheel hard. This usually results in a crash and almost did, but Jim, somehow, managed to stay up. When Jim was sliding sideways, I hit his rear wheel lightly and thought I was going down, but I didn't. We all stopped to check everything out before making our way back without any more incidents. It was a great ride!

Following the ride was the run. Due to a wedding 2 hours away, I had to cut the run short. I only had time for 3 of the 9 miles. It was hot! I got back to the Black's home, which is one of the most beautiful homes I've been in in a long time, took a shower and took off. I missed the feast and story telling but had a great day. The Blacks are wonderful and gracious hosts.

OK, I MAY post over the next few days. Come back and see, I suppose. Thanks!

Friday, June 22, 2012


Hey, it's Friday! Sorry about not posting yesterday. It's summer and I didn't want to - ha ha. Don't you love summer? How are you handling the heat? I thought you people with unairconditioned vehicles could get an idea or two from this picture.

Let's see...where were we. Oh never mind, it doesn't matter. I've been doing the usual stuff for the last couple of days: reading, relating, riding, running, and a little rithmatic just for fun. Our trip to Honduras is coming too quickly, so I am spending a fair amount of time thinking about it. But before it comes, I have a trip to Alabama coming up.

We are leaving next week for a few days away. I am speaking at the Mayfair church in Huntsville on Wednesday, and then we'll head to Orange Beach for a few days. Ben, Rebecca, and Maddie will join us for the beach journey, meeting us in Huntsville on Wednesday. I'm taking my bike, my wetsuit, and my legs, which means that I hope to swim in the Gulf, ride, and run a fair amount.

Speaking of triathlons, tomorrow is the Jim-N-I tri in Sullivan. It's an informal triathlon put on by Jim Sowder's long time friend, Steve Black. I went last year, and it was lots of fun. I didn't get in the lake last year for this swim, but this year I will. The swim is varying lengths depending upon your desire, ability, and conditioning. I will try to do one lap; others will do 3, I think.

Following the swim is a 50 mile ride. It will be a pretty fast ride. Last year I got dropped early, but this year I hope to hang on. Following the ride is a 9 mile (maximum) run. I have to be in the Evansville area for a wedding tomorrow evening, so I'm not sure how far I can run before needing to leave. Following all the endurance activities is a feast.

Today I need to get lots of things done, including resting my body for tomorrow. I've pushed it pretty hard/far this week.

I hope your weekend goes great!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


This photo is dedicated to IronBill who twice lately has commented on my hair sticking out my bike helmet.

Hey! How's it going on this fine Wednesday morning? I've downed 2 cups of Honduran coffee this morning (Mike and Don - it is so good, so fine!) and now I am ready to take on the day. A lot of my attention today will be on Honduras and the upcoming trip to that lovely land - July 8-18. I had good conversation with our man down there yesterday. It's going to be a great trip, and some of us will have the option of staying a night or two in Guajire with the locals. That should be fun!

Yesterday was a good day! I spent some time reading/studying yesterday morning before heading out into the fallen world as a fallen man. I spent significant time at Burris school, helping with the summer meals program. We had around 90 show up yesterday.

From there I went over to the food pantry. A young lady and her son wanted to volunteer, so I was there to make sure that that got off to a good start. I really wasn't needed. The usual crew there is a wonderful community of love and fun loving abuse, at least they like to abuse me. I do nothing, of course, to bring this about. Unprovoked attacks. They happen, you know.

After the food pantry it was time to go to the Store for a while. We had a good meeting, trying to figure out how to best use the opportunities we have to serve. It's a pleasant thing to consider. The community that surrounds the Store--workers, volunteers, board folks--encourage and inspire me.

A trip home to prepare to ride was next on the agenda. I loaded up the bike and everything I needed to ride it, and it was off to the Park for our 5:45 departure. We had a group of about a dozen that finally assembled out on the road. The winds were pretty strong and seemed to be mostly from the south. The trip out to the Washington Co line saw two groups develop. One group went out in a line at about 20 mph. The rest of us went out a little more slowly and a little less organized.

There were lots of Amish buggies around last night, plus there was lots of Amish buggy "exhaust" on the road. You do not want to ride through this very solid and smelly exhaust. We thought we saw one buggy rider drop down into areo position as we came up from behind. One of our riders, DFO, decided to trash talk a buggy rider. It wasn't too bad, but... Oh well.

The time to time trial arrived. We took off about 45 seconds apart. The winds were favorable to say the least. I took off 4th and was riding really well until I hit Lost River Hill (LRH). It's the hill that generates lots of stories and comments on Tuesday nights. I had a great time trial for 7 miles. Mile 8, which includes LRH, took me down, and so did the last set of hills but to a lesser degree. Regardless, I was pleased with my time, which was 25:19 for 10 miles, which averages 23.7 mph. Tailwind or not, I'm happy to go that fast. The details are here. Notice lap 8; it has LRH in it.

We had a nice leisurely ride back to the Park. Everyone was happy with their times, I think. We had several people group right around 24 mph. Our group is starting to gel, it seems. Those of us who are weaker are being pulled up and along by the stronger ones. There's probably a good sermon in there, but I will spare you.

Arriving back at the Park, it was time for some "masonry work," as Mike J. calls it. In other words, some of us were going to do a brick - a run following the ride. We--Dan, Tim, Rand, Jim & me--did the 3 mile Loop T Loop. (The T stands for Tim; he makes us do extra loops.)  Then we reassembled, minus Tim, at Wendy's. Bill, who rode from Bedford to the Park (along with Tim M.), drove back over after riding very quickly back home. They don't call him Iron Bill for nothing! Food, fellowship, and stories -- a great way to end another Tuesday.

Today I will run and then go about doing good (at least I hope to, most of the day anyway).

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Good morning! What a pleasant morning it is! And, if I read the article right, today is the earliest the sun will rise all year. I did notice that daylight was showing up pretty early today. When does summer begin, maybe tomorrow or the next day? It started a few weeks ago in my mind. I guess that's what really matter. Summer is mostly a state of mind it seems to me.

I started yesterday with a conservative 3 mile run. After riding 100 on Saturday, I wanted to be careful, especially as I anticipated a time trial ride and the Jim-N-I Triathlon this weekend. I didn't want to go into tonight's time trial ride tired or over trained, and I want to be fresh for Saturday's tri adventure.  Three miles it was. I was hoping to do the late morning swim at Mitchell's pool, but interruptions kept coming, which is fine. I did not make it to the pool. Again. My lack of water time is a concern. But, wait! There are other things afloat. Keep reading.

Me, being Mr. Flexible and Mr. Spontaneous all wrapped into one dynamic, charismatic body, (stop rolling your eyes!) decided to pursue lunch with a friend. We had a nice time talking of life and ministry. Following this fine lunch, I went to see a couple who are struggling in various ways, and I helped them the best I could.

A stopover at the Store is always good for my soul. Yesterday was no exception. There are lots of people and wonderful employees to see and hear. Yesterday, as is usual in the summer and especially summer Mondays, was extremely busy with donations. We get a lot of yard sale leftovers. It's always interesting to see what people donate. We get lots of unusual things and lots of nice clothes. Most of the clothes I wear in the summer came off the ReGen racks -- 2 dollar shorts are hard to beat. Columbia shorts!

My lack of water time was bothering me yesterday afternoon. I was reasoning through about what I needed and how I was going to get there, trying to figure out how to be "good enough" on August 11, which is my first official sanctioned triathlon. Literally while I was thinking about this, I got a text suggesting that there might be some good quality pool time in just a couple of hours. Score! I ended up getting an hour of time and instruction that really helped move me along.

After the pool, I made my way over to Murry Park to watch the church boys play softball. That's always a nice, relaxing, entertaining event. Last night was no exception, and they won!

Today I will do some study this morning, followed by serving at the summer meal program at Burris School for a couple of hours. Following that I am meeting a college student who needs to volunteer at our food pantry. I will hang out there for a while. Then I have a meeting at 3, and after that it will be time to get ready to ride!

The wind is the going to be the big issue AGAIN. If the wind is more southerly than westerly, then we will time trial tonight. If it is the other way around, then we will paceline. We'll just have to see. It is supposed to be blowing at 10-15 mph, which is a significant wind.

OK, off we go...

Monday, June 18, 2012


Yeah, I know, I know... It was last week sometime, Wednesday to be exact, since I posted. Hey, it just worked out that way. It is summer you know, so things go that way sometimes. Hopefully no one had to go on suicide watch or anything.

We had a great visit with Luke on Wednesday. We installed his porch swing and tried it out. It was really nice to spend time with him. He started his new engineering job on Thursday and is on a good path. Kedra and I spent Wednesday night at the Lavender home and returned back to Indiana on Thursday afternoon.

I got home in time to go for a 30 mile bike ride with several people. There were 7 of us who left Lighthouse around 6 p.m. for the 32 mile trip to Orleans and back via Amish country. It was a pretty casual ride on a perfect evening. One of my favorite parts is the last 2 miles or so down highway 37 from Tieman Tires to Lighthouse. It's fast! On Thursday no one wanted to go hard or pull hard. At least that's what everyone said. Dan said he would do it and it would be in the low 20s. Like everyone else, that stretch of road makes a liar out of you.

Dan crested the hill, and the next thing you know we are moving along pretty well at 27, 28 mph. Bill, who said he was not going to go fast, passes us going around 32. I felt good, so I jumped out of line with Dan and Tim and latched onto Bill's wheel. We cruised along at around 30 for a little while, and when we slowed, Dan and Tim were there too. After I made my move, they were able to close the gap and get on my wheel.

Friday I had lots of work to do and managed to get it all done. I started to run around 7 a.m., but my heart rate was way too high, and knowing that I had a 100 mile ride on Saturday, I decided to stop and walk back in. Managing all the miles and not getting over trained is the biggest challenge I am facing presently. I think it was a good move to stop my run.

Saturday was the big day. I met Bill at Parkview for a 7 a.m. departure. I didn't know if anyone else would be with us, even for part of it. Roy and John showed and said they wanted 60 miles. Bill and I were planning on meeting Tim S. out on the course. He was camping at Spring Mill and would ride until he met us. He, too, was planning on 100.

We met Tim on Yockey Road. We continued on our way to our first official stop at Huck's in Orleans. There we took on some food and drink and planned the next move. Roy and John would turn at Bromer, while Bill, Tim and I would continue to wander our way to Campbellsburg via Saltillo. We turned south on a beautiful little road that connects 337 with 56, just west of the county line. I love that road.

We went into Livonia and headed back on 337 until the we hit the Saltillo road. We made our way to Campbellsburg and ate at the little gas station store. It was not the highest quality of fare, but at 46 miles, real food tasted pretty good. After that little break we wandered around West Washington School before heading back to Livonia. We calculated that we were going to need a few more miles before arriving back at Huck's. We need to be around 80 miles at Huck's, since the ride back to Bedford is about 20 miles.

Looking for extra miles makes exploring new territory fun, and that what's we did and what we had. Plus we had a bit of tailwind heading out of Bromer on 337. I was feeling good and found myself going around 20 mph quite comfortable in aero position. We made it back to Huck's with a mile or two more than we needed, which was good in my mind. More food, more drink, and it was time to ride again.

Tim left us at Meridian and went back to Spring Mill to complete his century. He was making a huge jump from a long ride of 65 miles to 100. He was feeling it but did a great job of hanging on/in and getting it done.

Bill and I, since we had an extra mile or two, decided to head out to highway 37 at Tieman's and ride down to the junction. The promise was to take it easy, but Bill, really strong, started enjoying the tailwind. We were going down the highway at 28 and 29 mph, which was fun, but my heart was not liking it. I was watching my rate rise through the 150s to 170, so I shouted at Bill that I was going to back off.  We slowed and the heart rate lowered. My main concern was the upcoming rock cut after the bridge.

With my heart rate back down, I took the rock cut as it came. It was very hot through there, and I was tired. I managed it, as Bill patiently waited at the top. Once the climb was complete, we made the ride on Washington Ave, turned a couple of times, and ended back at Parkview. Our century ended up being about 101.5. We took it easy and averaged around 15.4 and my average heart rate was 117, which I am very happy about!

I was pretty beat after the ride but happy to have ridden 100+ miles. I am way ahead of last year's training for RAIN.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wednesday a.m.

Just following instructions...
Good morning!

OK, are you ready to receive another day as a gift? Gratitude is the right response.

Following a 5 mile run, here in a few minutes, we are taking off for Nashville to see Luke. He got back from Guatemala over the weekend and starts his job tomorrow. Kedra wants to go pack his lunch, and we will drive him to work tomorrow. We'll speak to his boss and tell him to treat him nicely. JUST KIDDING! ha ha Thanks, Tim S., for the inspiration for those thoughts.

Yesterday was another day. That's a pretty profound statement. Or not. Anyway, it came and went, and like most days, most of what I did was mundane but filled with eternal significance. Right?

Yesterday evening we gathered at Spring Mill Park for Paceline Tuesday. We are supposed to roll out at 5:45 but never do, which is fine. It's a relaxed start. We rolled over to Orleans and then lined up to get out to the Washington county line. We had a nice tailwind, so we took off at 20 mph and had trouble holding it, trouble holding it that slow! It was great. Of course that meant we would pay for it coming back. And we did.

We lined up as A and B, which is working out nicely. Tim the Elder is an A rider but doesn't mind pulling us Bs along. We had 5 and 5 last night, with one guy who tries to do both lines. He rode in the B line, without pulling, until the A went by. He latched onto them before getting dropped pretty quickly. Then he was back with us and got dropped again. It's not the best thing really.

The wind was strong last night. I can't recall it being any stronger in the 3 seasons I've been riding. My pulls were short and slow. I just didn't have much last night. Our line still managed a tick above 20 mph, and the A group was around 22.5, I think. Despite the wind, it was fun and a good workout.

Following the ride, Jim, Bill, Tim, Dan and I ran 3 miles in the Park. This group, with the exception of Tim, then gathered at Wendy's for refueling and analysis. It was a really nice way to end the evening.

We are planning another ride Thursday evening at 6 p.m. from Lighthouse: 30ish mile Amish Loop. On Saturday 2-3 of us are planning a 100 mile ride, starting at 7 a.m. from Parkview. Hopefully others will join for part of the distance.

OK, off to run and then to Nashville for today and tonight. Back tomorrow in time to ride.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday morning

For me it's all about the little things that people do. I'm so not a romantic. I don't think you need a specific day to celebrate your love for someone. I think it can be a Tuesday. It's an everyday thing.
--Lauren Conrad

OK, there you have it! It's Tuesday and a day to do good and to love in ordinary time. Make it personal and intentional today.

I don't know where any of that came from really, but it was a different start to a blog post. Well, we missed out on the rain again. Hopefully next time we will get some. The winds are supposed to pick up today, which can mean only one thing: Tuesday Night Paceline. I think every Tuesday so far we have had some wind to deal with. Tonight's forecast is a 10 mph NNW, which means a headwind coming back. Oh well, it will make us stronger.

The picture? My first century (ever) from last year. I am planning on doing one this Saturday. I rode 80 miles the other day and felt pretty good, so going 100 should not be too bad. RAIN is July 21st, and I hope to get at least 2, if not 3, centuries in before then. I'm already in better shape than last year, so I should have a much better experience.

I had a good 10 mile run yesterday morning. I planned to do it without a water stop, but about 5 miles in, I could tell that that was a bad idea. I was soaked with sweat. I decided to change my plans and went back to the truck at 6 miles and got a drink. The last 4 miles were fine, and it turned out to be a pretty good run on a humid morning.

Following the run, I had a typical day with a meeting or two, seeing people, and trying to do good. I had a nice lunch with a good minister friend. We laughed a lot, and that's always good. That's serves as a contrast of sorts for a comment someone else made later in the day. Two people spoke to me about crying, crying a lot. One person hurts so bad that she said she can't even talk yet. "All I would do is cry," she said. I said, "I have a big box of Kleenex." She laughed at that. Maybe later we'll talk. Maybe later.

I had hoped to do a late morning swim at the Mitchell pool, but a phone call from Atlanta changed those plans, which was fine. I hope to grab as much pool time as possible between now and my first official tri on August 11th. My friend in Atlanta is getting ready to make a move from church to the academy. He will be a great bridge between the two. I love both places as well.

OK, gonna be another interesting day in the neighborhood! As I navigate through this fallen world as a fallen being, specifically this day, I will focus on how it all ends. We win! Also today, I will focus on this evening's therapy, I mean bike ride. Pacelining into the wind with great friends, followed by a 3 mile run in the Park, followed by some food at Wendy's -- I'll take it!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday morning

Good morning! Here we go again - a new week, a fresh start, so let's make it a good one! I think this week is going to be extra good for me. Luke came home (to Nashville) from Guatemala late Saturday night, so Kedra and I are going to down to see him this week. It will be a short visit, but we are looking forward to it. He starts his job on Thursday.

Well, I posted Saturday, using up a lot of my usual Monday material. We had a really nice day yesterday. I thought church went well, and we had a great lunch, as usual, at my parent's house. After that I headed out to Kenray Lake for a little open water action. Jim has some property there and is generous in sharing his time and water.

This was my second time in the open water. The first was a couple of weeks ago at the Me N Steve triathlon. I wore my wetsuit for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and I donned it the second time yesterday. I felt like I had a good day in the water yesterday. I went farther than I ever have, and I think I am making progress. There was another guy there yesterday, Brent. He is doing the Louisville Ironman this August. He is only in his 2nd year of swimming. He, like everyone else, was extremely encouraging and supportive.

I rushed from the lake to the shower at church, quickly hosing off before our life group met. We worked around the building last night, organizing for our Honduras trip, which is now less than 4 weeks away, and doing other little projects. Following our work, we met at El Compadre for some food. It's funny how more people show up for the food part than the work part. ha ha

Today we step further into the summer. I look at and use summer as a bit of slow-down, a time to rest a little, just like most people. I take a break from my usual approach to preaching, where I share the text with the church and meet to discuss it in advance of the sermon. Too many people are gone too often in the summer, including me. I'm also taking a break from my Think Along daily pieces. They will return when school starts. Even without those things, I stay plenty busy. My pace is often not dictated by me. Those two things are things I can control; not much else when it comes to needs, contact, requests. I'm not complaining!

Another thing I am taking a break from this summer is Facebook. I like Facebook quite a bit, but I can get sucked into wasting time there. I am not looking at newsfeeds or birthdays or anything beyond messages I might receive there. I can't ignore it totally because that is my only connection with some people. Fortunately if I have a message, there is a red flag at the top of the page to tell me that. I am still doing Twitter. That's where the majority of my endurance friends hangout.

OK, this day starts with a 10 mile run, and then it will just happen an activity and a person at a time. My goal: do good and be faithful in all things.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Saturday afternoon

A rare Saturday post! That's what this is! Jim was feeling good at Huck's in Orleans, half way through our ride this morning. Dan was taking it all in. Roy and I were the only other riders, and clearly we are not in the picture. 

It was a great morning to ride! I wore my arm warmers and took abuse from the others, but I think it was simple envy. My arms were warm and comfortable. I shed them at Huck's. We rode right at 44 miles and had a really good time doing it. After the ride we ran 5 miles. The run was good but a little on the warm side: 80s.

One of my favorite things post-activity is to upload my Garmin info regarding the workout. I like looking at the data: miles, pace, heart rate, etc. After the ride, I reset the watch for the run. Then at home I can upload both and import them into my online log at Beginner Triathlete. Mike J. told me about this site back at the end of last year, and I've been using it ever since. I like it for lots of reasons, and one of the main reasons is that it imports Garmin data.

It keeps a weekly, monthly, and yearly total of all things, including overall average pace/speed. Here's what it shows for this year for me:

20 hours and 45 minutes. I have not tried keeping distances, due to learning, etc.

1041.73 miles that took me 66 hours 47 minutes 22 seconds

690.41 that took me 102 hours 17 minutes and 29 seconds

These numbers include all activities, slow and fast, serious and not. I find it interesting, but I like numbers. Maybe you don't...

Friday, June 08, 2012

Friday morning

Good morning! Another amazing day is waking up right in front of us. This weather has a preferred status with me. I like it a lot.

As promised, yesterday morning Tim the Elder and Dan the Man and I rode from Lighthouse. It was on the cool side, but we dressed appropriately. It was such a beautiful ride out through Amish country before slipping into Orleans from the west. Almost every time we ride out there we comment on how blessed we are to have such a beautiful and interesting place to ride. Dan took a couple of photos yesterday, and I grabbed one of them for you.

After our ride we ran a true 5K. Low-tech Tim wanted Garmin confirmation of his measured course. Not one to push technology on anyone, I said, "Only if you are asking." He said he wanted to know, and it turned out that Galloway and Garmin agreed almost perfectly. Who is going to argue over 15 feet? We ran 3.1 miles and it felt good.

Before and after the ride I managed to get quite a bit of work done, but I didn't get done. Today should see me through to completion. I hope to throw a 7 mile run in sometime today as well. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's ride. We'll ride from Bedford at 7 a.m. to Orleans and back, through Amish country. Then we'll run 5 miles afterwards. One brick at a time I am getting stronger.

Lester passed both of his tests for licensure as a pharmacist! He is totally finished with all his requirements now. I'm really proud of him.

Thursday, June 07, 2012


Hey, I want to try opening a blog post in a new way. Here goes:

A criminal’s best asset is his lie ability.
When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.

So what do you think? What? Well, fine! You try coming up with something creative and see how it works out for you.

I think I might have had too much coffee or something this morning. Oh well. I did wake up in the middle of the night for a while. I got my Kindle out, coolly equipped with the little attached reading light, and read for a while. That did the trick. I am reading Chrissie Wellington's book presently and am enjoying it. I'm reading another Donald Miller book as well. Chrissie's book is my night time, go to sleep, book.

See those six window panels in the picture? They are now refreshed, actually replaced with new ones. My friend Don measured, cut, primed and painted all the new panels. Then yesterday we took the old ones down. I hung out of the window opening and painted the frames. Standing in the frame, I could not still reach the top, so I had to stand on a ladder and then hang out the opening. One lady came by and looked at me; she seemed alarmed. I had to assure her that I was fine and was not going to jump.

Then another time, a lady with a big, big beehive hairdo came out of the Store, just as a huge drop of black paint came off my brush. It was like slow motion watching it fall right in the middle of her high hair. I crouched down behind the opening, peeking out to see if she felt it. She did not. RELIEF! If you see a big haired lady with a black paint spot in the middle, then you'll know what happened.

[The 2 previous paragraphs contain some truth and some fiction.]

It took most of the morning, but all 6 panels are now in and looking good. Most people will never notice, but they would notice the old ones as they continued to fade. I think there is probably a pretty good life lesson in there about taking care of things. The Store continues to do well. We have had record sales every month of this year.

After lunch my physical labors continued. We are swapping the youth group and preschool space, so I got involved in that for a while. I managed to squeeze a short run in there as well. Then last night we had a tremendous group of people show up for our "For the Sake of Others" class. Last night's task, in part, was to move the heavy stuff, and some of it was really heavy. Everything was done and no one was hurt. Blessing.

I'm taking this morning off to ride with 2-3 people, and we'll follow the ride with a 3 mile run. Tomorrow I plan to run 7, I think, and then Saturday will be a bigger brick: 43 mile ride and 5 mile run. That will give about 100 miles on the bike and 30 miles on the run. This will be my "low" bike week. Last week I had 156 miles. Swim? Working on a plan for it.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


Good morning!

I need to make this fairly quick. I am meeting a guy at the Store to do some painting this morning. We hired him to do some work because he needed some work and we needed some work done. He's not comfortable hanging outside of our 2nd story windows to paint the frames, so guess who is doing that this morning? I may wear a helmet or something. If I fall, I want to make sure that I land on my head.

Yesterday was an interesting day. I looked at sighing for a while. It's an interesting thing. There are two passages that says that Jesus sighed deeply. That's an interesting thing to imagine. God in the flesh sighing. Once was a sigh of frustration, and the other seems to be a sigh of sadness, sadness because of the fallen nature of humanity.

The summer meals program started at Burris school on Monday. There were 60 something on the first day. Yesterday, the second day, was my day to work, along with Alex T. Word must have spread that I, considered a rock-star-like figure in our community, was going to be present. We had 123 show up! I refused to sign autographs. It wasn't about me.

Last night was Paceline Tuesday! I love Paceline Tuesday. We had a dozen or so riders show up at Spring Mill Park. Tires were pumped up, bottles secured. shoes and gloves donned, computers reset, jokes made, and then it was time to roll out. We managed to anger 2-3 cars in the first mile. I think that's a new record.

The six miles to Orleans was easy and fun, even with the swirling wind. Once on 337 we tried to "lightly" paceline the 10 miles out to the Washington county line. The line never got formed very well. Some were confused and some didn't want to participate. I got in the line, but I was having shifting trouble. Specifically my rear derailleur developed a mind of its own, shifting against my will and not with my will. I was working too hard and pulled out.

It wasn't long until the line fell apart. Bill was pulling and decided it was too windy to keep it all together. I was near the back of the pack, and then to exacerbate the situation, I threw my chain off going up the hill out of the Lost River bottom. At least I didn't fall over this time. Bill helped me fix it, and then I rode nearly 20 mph to the county line. There I made some adjustments, and they worked.

There at the county line we formed into 2 lines. I call them A and B. The B line comprised Tim the Elder, Tim the Strunk, Dan the Man, The Dave of Orleans, and your humble scribe. We said we would go about 20 mph, knowing a headwind was going to be present from time to time. I pulled first and eased up to the announced speed. Slowly we were closing in on Rand the Independent Man. He doesn't like the danger of pacelining, so rides alone most of the time.

As we caught Rand, we persuaded him to join the line, and he did. Once he got to the front he pulled and pulled and pulled, down the Lost River hill, across the bottom, and up the Lost River hill. It was a great pull. I ended up with the last pull that included the hill right before Pat's Plants. I pulled the hill and then, just about a mile from the finish, starting picking up the pace. I think we were going to 26 or 27, when Dan started his sprint to the finish. He was going fast - 29 to be exact, according to him. I responded and went as hard as I could.

Dan started too soon and faded a little, so I was able to catch him a few yards before the finish. I knew what was coming next. Sure enough Tim the Elder came flying by me to win the B line sprint. It was a great ride! We averaged 21.7 mph. The A team averaged 23.3 I think, and Bill won their sprint. If you are interested in that, then you can click here.

After the 32 mile ride, several of us ran 3 miles in the Park. Brick, baby, brick! After the brick, it was time for some refueling and fun at Wendy's. It was a great evening any way you measure it.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Tuesday a.m.

Hello Tuesday! You, my friend, are becoming one of my favorite days of the week. (Please don't tell the others.) Why do I like you so much? One reason is because you are a day that I can think about Sunday in a relaxed way; no pressure to be prepared yet.  Another reason is that at the end of the day I get to ride with a bunch of good friends. It's my favorite ride of the week, followed by some time at Wendy's.

Yesterday was a good day! The poor weather forecasters sure messed up, didn't they? Of course people messing up always makes us feel better about ourselves. Right? I started my day with a 10 mile run in nearly perfect conditions for late spring. It was in the 60s, no wind, no sun, and little traffic. I cruised through it and felt good the whole time. I ran the last half faster than the first. None of the miles were in blazing speed, but they weren't supposed to be. I'm happy with my running right now. I think all the cycling is helping it a lot.

Meetings dominated the day yesterday. They are an essential part of life and progress, it seems to me. Capstone Ministries continues to be blessed in lots of ways, and we strive to be a blessing to others with the revenue with receive.

I spent some time yesterday with a guy who is looking for his "mission in life." He's had an interesting and difficult life. Loneliness has dominated most of it, loneliness forced upon him by an abusive step father from an early age. He is struggling to figure out and find faith. I shared with him my favorite expression regarding faith.

The essence of faith is trusting God with all the unanswered questions.

Having faith means that we follow God and his ways while walking through this world. And what does that mean? I'm pretty sure that means knowing and following Jesus, striving to love as he loved, etc.  And this brings me to sighing. Sorry about the hard transition -- ha ha!

Anyway, I'm still focused on sighing. Surprisingly, at least to me, Scripture mentions it a few times. How about this one from good ole Job:

. . .sighing comes to me instead of food; my groans pour out like water.

Or this from Psalm 5:1:

Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my sighing.

OK, enough of that for now. Backing to biking, running, and swimming. Presently I am focused on the bike, ramping my miles way, way up. Why? RAIN! I want to make it all the way across Indiana this year! (If you don't know what I'm talking about, the go back and read this.) I am in so much better shape already, so I am on track. I hope to get at least 2, if not 3, 100 mile rides in before July 21.

Running is in a holding pattern. I hope to keep a 10 miler going each week, along with a little speed work, hoping to run 25 miles a week or so. The focus of running involves the sprint triathlon at Cicero on August 11 and then the Monumental Marathon the first Saturday in November. I hope to requalify for Boston 2014, whether I go or not.

Swimming is the issue. I have to figure out a way/pattern of getting to the pool and into open water. I think this will all come, but it is going to take some work.

Today is going to be a busy one, so I need to get after it.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Monday a.m.

Good morning Monday! I don't hate you. In fact I like you a lot. You are as far away as I can get from the only day of the week on which I work, so what's there not to like?

OK, when did we last meet? Oh yeah, it was Thursday wasn't it? Yes, I was lazy and slacked off last Friday. Hey, it's summer in my world! This means from time to time these things are going to happen. I know my life is so exciting and inspirational that it is hard for a lot of readers to miss a day, but you'll just have to cope one way or another.

OK, OK, I'll go back and catch you up! Thursday night I went to the BNL pool for the last time for a long while. Now the action shifts to the Thorton pool. I did a lot better Thursday evening, which was good. The move outdoors and into open water will be interesting. My mantra: "I will not drown. I will not drown."

Friday, Kedra had a praxis test for her education degree. It was a 4 hour test at IU, and she had to be there at 8. We left around 7 and arrived in plenty of time for her to get everything ready. After dropping her off, I headed over to a parking place near the "rails to trails" system in Bloomington. It was on the cool side and a little damp as well. I wanted 8 miles, and I got them. It was a good run on the B line.

In addition to running, I had some time to read and visit with Pat A. After Kedra finished we went to a movie and had a nice dinner together. It was a fun day for me, and she was relieved to have jumped another hurdle on her way to becoming a teacher. I am very proud of her for managing everything so well.

Saturday morning was cool, very cool, like 48 degrees cool. We had scheduled a bike ride for 7 a.m. from Parkview There were 7 ready to roll around 7 a.m. Tim the Elder, a master golfer, only wanted 25 or so, so he turned around early. He had a tee time at 9:30. Roy, Rand, Dan, and Jim all wanted a Metric Century (100 kilometers = 62 miles), so they turned around out on 337 just past Bromer, just short of the Washington County line. This was after wandering through Amish country and a stop at Huck's in Orleans.

After everyone turned back, it was just IronBill and me. We continued on out 337 for a while and then turned south on a beautiful little road that took us down to 56. We turned left and headed through Livonia, turning right on the Hardinsburg road. We hit the 40 mile mark and then turned back toward home. We faced a really stiff headwind on 337. Iron Bill is strong, so he offered to pull me along at 20 mph into the wind. This we did for a while. I couldn't hold it, so we slowed a bit and got back into Orleans. Huck's stop #2. On this stop a lady started asking me questions about my biking shoes. I think she was just checking me out in my cool biking gear. I told her, referencing a Queen song, that she should get on a bike and ride. I'm not making all of this up.

After the stop we added a little loop just west of Orleans and then made our way north. We had a little bit of a tailwind on the way back, which was nice. It helped me getting up the rock cut on 37. After climbing the cut, it was a nice little cruise back to the truck. It was great to complete an 80 mile ride and not feel totally spent. I could have done a 100 miler, but I will wait and do that in a couple of weeks. IronBill is a great riding companion. He's strong and fast but doesn't mind riding slower.

The rest of Saturday was about reading and relaxing and getting ready for Sunday. Sunday came and went. My same sex marriage sermon was well received. No one shouted me down! Our Life Group last night had an interesting discussion about sighing. Yes, sighing. Look for a sermon soon on the subject. Yes, sighing.

OK, I am getting ready for a 10 mile run...