Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday a.m.

Good morning! What day is it? The day so many live for, I suppose. I am looking forward to today. I need to finish up some things in preparation for Sunday, and then, late morning, we are going to pick up our ambulance for Honduras. We'll get it parked and then begin the process of jumping through hoops with the BMV. It should not be too bad.

I did some speed work yesterday morning, and Mr. Hamstring behaved acceptably. He complained some but not enough to change anything. Mr. Humidity had a much louder voice of protest. I ignored him also, so he hosed me to the dripping point.

Last night I drove the soccer bus to Silver Creek, which is located in Sellersburg. It was hot. Once we arrived, I began looking for a cool place to plug in my computer and work. I tried getting in the school but it was locked. I looked around and across the road was a pizza place. Ding, ding, ding - we have a winner.

Why did the bus driving preacher cross the road? To get pizza and work on a sermon, of course. It all worked out pretty well. I got back in time to watch the second half of the soccer match (or is it game?) It all ended and we got home around 9:15. It was a long but productive evening.

Tomorrow on the endurance calendar are a long run at 7 and then a bike ride late morning or midday. Probably 10 and 30 miles. Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thursday a.m.

Good morning! Here we go again. Another day. Another chance to live well. I wonder what will happen today? I think I know, but there will likely be some surprises along the way.  I'm pretty sure it is going to be hot today, and that's OK. It is August. 

Today is the day I hope to get mostly ready for Sunday. The way it looks right now I should have a pretty good run at it. I don't have too much else scheduled. The question now is how focused I can get.

Yesterday morning I cranked out another 5 miles, and this morning I will do some more. If my hamstring will behave, I plan to do some speed work. One of my goals this year is to run the Persimmon 5 K in less than 20 minutes. That is probably the most ambitious goal I have had in a long time, and I am still waiting on a training breakthrough.  The race is 4 weeks from Saturday. Lester is running a marathon that day in Columbus, trying to qualify for Boston. I hope to run my race and then quickly drive to Columbus to watch him finish.

Tomorrow we pick up another ambulance for Honduras. St. Vincent Dunn is donating an old one to us. IU Health gave us one a couple of years ago. The one we get tomorrow will be put in use in the little village of Ojojona. This is where our mission house is. It's a neat little village with a little hospital.

Once we get the ambulance, we will have it thoroughly checked out by a local mechanic. We also have to get it classified as a truck by removing the word ambulance from it. There are a few paper work hurdles to jump over but they are doable. Then we hope to drive it to Honduras.

Here we go!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wednesday a.m.

Good morning! Wednesday it is. One weather site I follow says it will be 100 degrees today. I doubt it, but it is going to be warm. And humid. I must confess that I am dreading my run, here in a little bit. All I know to do is slow down a bit, hang on to it, and try get it done. All this is temporary, and, as I said yesterday, I don't mind a little summer weather.

Yesterday got a little crazy on me. Loading the semi with bales of clothes was the main culprit in the craziness. That was a fairly hot activity. Warren did the forklift work, and I supported him by moving boards and helping with other things. I had to leave slightly before we finished.

I left to drive the junior high cross country team to Shawswick for a meet. I felt for the kids. It was a hot evening to be running. They did fine. I got back to Mitchell and on my bike. I was about a half hour behind the group, so I started calculating where I would meet them.

My calculations were pretty accurate. I figured around Pumpkin Center Road, but the lead group was about mile closer to me. I climbed out of Lost River bottoms and was going through the S rollers when I spotted the A team pacelining. I flipped and got up to around 23 or 24 and hooked on. I made it through the bottoms and up the Lost River hill. Then in some confusion, which was my fault, I got popped. I finished solo, but there were other guys behind me.

We regrouped and rode in together. Wendy's cash register was broken, so we headed to Arby's. It was an unusual evening all the way around for me, but I got 25 hot miles in. It was a nice to spend time with a great group of guys. These evenings are numbered, so each one is to be savored.

Lots of stuff going on today; some of it carry-over from yesterday. Guess I better get after it! Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday a.m.

If your car radio quits working...
Good morning! I hope you are doing well on this good day. It's warming up! That's fine with me. I want to feel a little bit of summer, and really we had not had much until now. Fall with follow.

Yesterday was a pretty busy day. Just lots and lots of little things. They all add up and take a lot of time. It was all good and had the feel of productivity when it was all over. I started the day with a 5 mile run. I could tell the humidity was on the rise. Today's run is going to be more telling, I'm sure. It's already in the low 70s with a pretty healthy dew point.

Today I have several things going on, but I have to be ready to drop them and change activities, probably this morning. Why? We have a semi coming to load out bales of clothes. The clothes that we cannot or will not sell at the store are baled into 1000 pound bales. Once we get around 40 of them, we make arrangements to sell them. Who knew there was a market for this?

The bales are shipped to Canada. There, I think, they are opened, and if I understand it correctly, sorted, with some going to developing countries and some being used for paper production. Either way, it feels good to get additional revenue from things we could not sell. We also sell containers of shoes, belts, and purses. Again, these are ones that did not sell in the store or that we won't sell for various reasons.

Tonight is our bike ride from church. I don't think I can make all of it. I'm scheduled to drive a cross country bus right after school. (The semi should be gone by then.) I will not be back for the 5:45 departure, but I might make it back in time to somehow join the ride in progress. We'll see. I don't want to miss all of it.

Last night I sat down and mapped out my training plan for The Rocket City Marathon. I have run this one several times but it has been a while. Kedra's parents live right off the course, so I train on the course a lot, when in Huntsville. I hope to re-qualify for the Boston Marathon.

OK, here we go! Thanks for coming by.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday a.m.

Good morning! How's it going? It's gonna be a hot week! And dry. For the first time this summer I am hearing people talking about needing rain. That need is going to get stronger before it happens.
Good weekend for you? I hope so. Mine was pretty good. Friday was a bit crazy. I smoked 8 pork shoulders, 77 pounds, all day Friday, while working on my sermon and other stuff. It was not exactly a relaxing day off but that's ok. I pulled 90% of the meat by myself, until Kedra got home and rescued me. I had to drive the football team bus and rushed to get there on time.
The meat got pulled and the football team got massacred by the Brownstown Braves, a very good football team. It was embarrassing, and I feel so badly for Ben. He has worked so hard in the off-season and played pretty well as an individual. He said the hardest part is hearing people rip the coach and make fun of the team. Life lessons.
Saturday I woke up for the 3rd morning in a row without a good enough or long enough night's sleep. This was going to make the endurance tasks at hand a little tougher. I was scheduled to run 14 miles, which was an arbitrary amount. My hamstring started squawking pretty hard about last week's speed work, followed by the proposed distance. Long story short: I stopped at 11 miles. It was a good decision.
I went home and did a few things and then joined Scott and Bill for an easy 30 mile ride. That was enjoyable. We noted that it was warming up. I think it was around 90 by the time we were done. Of course this is nothing compared to last year's heat.
Yesterday was a good, busy day. I had stuff wall to wall. It was all good, but I was so tired last night. Today it all starts over again. New opportunities, new challenges. I'm ready, I think. ha ha. I hope your week goes well.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday a.m.

Good morning! How are you on this fine Friday? I will tell you how I am. I'm smoking! Like a smoking hot body? No, I'm smoking meat. The other probably works too. Well, maybe not. BUT I do have the body of a god. Buddha is a god. Right? Lately we have been teasing Troy Y., because he, foolishly, revealed at one point in his youth a coach, criticizing him for not using it, said, "you have the body of Greek god." Good stuff.

I am smoking 77 pounds of pork today. That's way past the "enjoyable smoke" level, so it is a utilitarian smoke. It's for a fund-raiser Sunday evening at church. You are invited. It starts at 6 and ends a little after 7. We are serving pulled pork and sides on a donation basis, and we'll give a brief presentation of our work in Honduras.

While smoking today I will be working on my sermon and other stuff. Yesterday was a pretty full day, so I didn't get my usual Thursday work completed. I spent a large chunk of the day in Shoals. I had a funeral and stayed around for the dinner following. I worked with the Shoals church from 1994 until 1998, when I left to start my present ministry. I always feel so welcome at Shoals. The people there are really good to me; always have been.

Tonight is Ben's first official football game of his senior year. Brownstown. That's a rough way to start the season, but you might as well start out with one of the toughest teams, I suppose. I am driving one of the busses, so I get to hang out and around with the team. It looks like the weather is going to be decent.

IRONMAN Louisville is this weekend. It is tempting to consider it in the future, since it is so close, but the heat is the problem. Some of my friends have done it. I believe the one in Panama City, Florida is a better option for me, even though it has the ocean swim. The weather is much cooler.

Tomorrow I hope to begin the day with a 14 mile run at 7 a.m. and a 30+ mile ride at noon. I should have plenty of company for both. I hope so.

OK, back to smoking and writing.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday a.m.

Great bike rack
Good morning! I hope you are doing well this morning. I slept well last night, so I am off to a good start to another busy day. Today is unusual. More about that in a moment.

The bike rack, pictured above, is really good. I built one after seeing a friend of a friend's. He sent the picture to me. I would suggest you buy a 10 foot section of pipe. It gives you a little more room. I have not glued mine together yet and may not. As it is now, I can adjust it a little. If you want me to make you one, I will do it for $20. That's friend's rate. ha ha

Yesterday was a packed day. I started fairly early with a little recovery run. I ran hard Monday, not so hard Tuesday morning, followed by the bike ride Tuesday evening, so I needed a light workout before today's speed work. After the run, the work was on. It involved trips to Bloomington and Shoals, along with phones call and deal-making. I just through that deal-making reference in for all those who think  my work in Honduras involves me being a drug runner.

Speaking of Honduras and deals, I think we are "this close" to having another ambulance. I think we are down to lining up a time for a photo when the title is transferred to us. How will the ambulance get to Honduras? Well, Marc Tindall, our main man in Honduras, wants him and me to drive it down. You know I want to do this, so I am starting to look at all that. Some will be very unhappy to hear this news.

Yesterday afternoon I went to Shoals. I have a funeral there this morning, so I went to the visitation yesterday to see the family, etc. While on my way, I had a vehicle come up on my very quickly. Then it slowed dramatically. It repeated this several times, plus it was going off the side of the road some. I called 911.

I talked with the Lawrence county dispatcher and then got transferred to the Martin county dispatcher as I crossed the county line. The car passed me at a high rate of speed. Every time I went around a curve I fully expected to see this car involved in a head-on crash. Somehow the driver, a woman, managed to make it to Shoals.

When I arrived the police had her pulled over. After spending some time at the funeral home, I headed back home. The car was still where it was pulled over, and no one else was around. I am guessing she was in jail. It was pretty scary to see this unfold right before me eyes. I'm glad she got stopped/caught before she killed someone or herself or both.

Today is wrapped up with a funeral and prep for Sunday primarily. I'm sure there will be other things along the way, just to make it more interesting. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wednesday morning

Ever-changing family
Good morning! For some reason my atomic clock/thermometer that sits on my desks says it is 20 degrees outside and 21 inside. Hmmm, visions of last winter when my heat was out. Yes, I know, for some reason, that it is has switched to Celsius without my permission. That's OK. When we lived in Australia and New Zealand we got pretty good with the metric system.

What a random way to start a post. Here's some more. The picture above was taken about a month ago. In fact, it was taken on July 21. How's that for accidental precision? Anyway, this was the picture I used to announce to the general public, i.e. Facebook, that Lester and Maddie are expecting their first child in January. I assume most of you knew this, but just in case...

Also we joke about the status of friends of our children. Should they be in the picture or not? For example, Lydia, Luke's girlfriend. We sometimes take 2 pictures: one with them in and one with them out. You never know how these things turn out. Right?? ha ha. Lydia is definitely in the picture. We didn't even take one without her.  And we hope it stays that way. I think it will.

Last night was so much fun. It was our Tuesday Night Ride. We had a total of 12 riders before it was all said and done. It has been a great summer and no one wants it to end, so we keep riding. We even talked last night of further extensions by modifying our starting place as the daylight continues to diminish. We are probably good for another 2-3 weeks from our present place. We get back around 8 p.m.

We broke into 2 lines last night -- an A team and a B team. I offered the lead the Bs and did the first and last pull. We had a good, steady ride, announcing that we would try keep 22-23 mph average. What did we do? 23 mph. You can see my Strava data here. Check out the "segments" section to see our time trial data. We are really enjoying Strava. James is mostly responsible for this.

I had been on Strava for a while but had not done much with it. James really encouraged me to start recording rides. Now I see it as a valuable training tool. I have created several segments that function as opportunities to do interval work and generally to work really hard for periods of time, followed by rest and recovery. It's a great way to improve.

Yesterday was busy. Today is going to be similar. There are lots of things going on with lots of people. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesday a.m.

Heading to Washington Co.
Good morning! I'm up a little earlier than usual today. I went to bed a little earlier, hoping to sleep a little longer, but my body thinks I only need 7 hours. I keep telling it that I want more, but after 7 hours it wakes up and says, "let's go." So up I get. You would think my endurance training would require more sleep. That's what I keep telling it, but it won't listen. It is true that exercise, for me and most (I think), does not diminish energy overall but increases it. It's a myth that exercise robs you of energy for other things; just the opposite.

Yesterday got started off busy and pretty much stayed that way. My usual practice is to find some time early on Monday to make The List for the week. The List is hand-written and contains all the things that I need/want to do, including people I need to see. There are some things that I don't always get to, so they are carried over to the next list. The List got made quite a bit later than usual yesterday. That's quite alright. It still got made.

I started doing some reading in narrative leadership yesterday. I love narrative theology and do my best to live it, practice it, teach it. The Alban Institute is a great resource. I have read several of their publications over the years, and now I am reading 4-5 of their books on narrative leadership. Just got started last night. The idea is to move into a better story, to keep improving your story, acknowledging your mistakes and flaws, telling the truth about yourself, etc. That section of my story might be several volumes. ha ha

Tonight is Pace Line Tuesday! We are in the latter stages of this weekly gathering, so I don't know how many will show up tonight. We have averaged around 10 per week for the summer. We roll out of our church parking lot at 5:45, heading to the Washington county line, which is about 17 miles away. Then we line up or time trial back to the edge of Orleans. That segment on 337 is exactly 10 miles. After we regroup we cool down by riding easy back to Mitchell. The total mileage is around 36, 37 miles. It is a nice, enjoyable workout. Following the ride, most of head to Wendy's to refuel and tell stories.

OK, here we go...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday morning

Ben Burris # 33

Good morning! It is going to take me a little while to get back into the swing of doing this. Because of my love for you I am going to be disciplined and just do it. ha ha  I hope you had a good weekend. Mine was a little busier than usual.

The highlights of the weekend mostly involve Ben. He had his 18th birthday on Saturday. It is hard to believe he is that old. He's a good young man and I am proud of him. He celebrated his birthday by having a good scrimmage against BNL Friday night. He plays middle linebacker and wide receiver, a weird combo, I think. He had several good tackles and caught a pass. It's going to be fun watching him in his senior year.

We had a big gathering Saturday night for his birthday. I smoked a brisket and a couple of chickens, so it was a meaty gathering, which are the best kind. His party topped off a busy day. I ran early Saturday morning, followed by an event a church, followed by a counseling session with a couple, followed by a fun bike ride in the afternoon with 3 amigos. I needed a nap but didn't have time for one. That was the only regret about Saturday.

Yesterday afternoon I had another session of open water swimming. That went pretty well. I am making good progress I think. Ironman Florida in November 0f 2014 is still very much on the table and on the calendar. You have 2 hours and 20 minutes to swim 2.4 miles. My pace is well under 2 hours now. Of course that is on a shorter distance, but I will get faster and stronger over the next year. That's the plan anyway.

This is going to be a very busy week. On top of the usual I am going to have a funeral in Shoals and I need to smoke 70 pounds of pork for a dinner on Sunday night. OK, I think I better get busy! Thanks for coming by.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Used to live for this day

Back in the day, way back in the day, I used to live for this day. August 15. August 15 was marked on my calendar, and it was not unusual for me to back up some 300 days or so and start a countdown. Why? Squirrel season. I used to love to hunt squirrels. I have totally lost that desire now, but I still remember what happens on August 15.

Thinking of this reminded me of something that happened a couple of years ago. I am referring to THIS.

Today has been a busy and unusual day. I helped 2 people who are moving. Moving is an interesting thing. It is a difficult thing when you don't want to do it.

I had a really good 7 mile run this morning. I wore a long sleeve shirt and gloves. Yes, it was that cool at 7:15. I shed the gloves a couple of miles in, but they sure felt good for a little while.

This weekend is going to be busy, as is tomorrow. I am smoking brisket for Ben's 18th birthday party. 18?? Wow, how did that happen? I also have a lot of work to do for Sunday. Saturday I have a pre-marital counseling session with a couple, plus I need to run long and ride medium.

Thanks for coming by. See you Monday.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wednesday afternoon

So... a few have been asking me if I was going to blog again. Yes. It's time to start the (nearly) daily discipline of sharing what the general population would say is my pretty ordinary, boring life. Hey, what do they know? Well, they could be right, you know. That's alright. Writing something about the pretty mundane things I do is helpful to me.

I do believe every life is important and that the things we do do matter. I have a consciousness of that regarding just about everything I do. Sometimes I think I think too much about it. But I am learning and continue to learn a lot about life and about myself. Some of it is fun. I will be 55 in a few weeks and feel like I have so much to learn.

Since I came back from Honduras I have stayed pretty busy with several different things. A routine is returning, which is good. Ben started his senior year, and Kedra is doing her student teaching this fall. She will be a licensed math teacher in a few weeks. We are hoping and praying that she gets a teaching job in January. Presently the high school is holding her old job, which she can resume in November.

My endurance athletic work continues to be an important part of my life. I enjoy it, and it is therapeutic. It is a nice release and a great and healthy distraction from the pressures of constant ministry. I am running and riding pretty well, and my swimming is improving a lot.

OK, there. I started. Thanks for the encouragement and for stopping by.

Back Soon!

Amish Country Cyclists

Lined up into the wind