Wednesday, July 29, 2009

this week in running

I'm taking off tomorrow a.m. for a week long Minnesota vacation. We go to the same place each year, so I'm already mapping out familiar roads in my mind for runs. I have to run 5 days by myself! Even a couple longer ones....that will be good for me. While I'm away, how about some comments to finish this phrase:

Interesting observations/mental notes along the running path...

1. It's hard to laugh and run. A few friends have given me some belly laughs along the path, and it's difficult to laugh hard and run at the same time.

2. I always develop the desire to go the bathroom around mile 4 or 5.

3. My shoes are starting to feel like they're wearing down. Might need to make a purchase in the next few weeks to break in some new ones.

4. When someone faster than me is running toward me and passing me, I tend to speed up for a little burst. A very little burst, mind you.

How about you?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Great run this morning!

It was great to see so many at Pfeifer Park this morning for the 14 miler. Don, we missed you. We hope you had a great time running with your buddies along the St. Croix River in MN. Sid, thanks for organizing and placing the water/gatorade this morning. Keith Sandvold did a great job giving some real practical tips for the Chicago marathon (which he has done 2 times). The tips that stuck in my mind:

1. Most people are right handed and will go right for water stops. So, go left...and go to the end because many runners stop toward the beginning of the water stop. You might find more liquid and find it faster if you go left and to the end of those stops.

2. At 1/2 marathon, you're still feeling pretty good so smile big for those pictures that get taken and sent to you by race photographers. You might not be looking quite as fresh at mile 26 when the photos are flashing. Keith has framed one of his 13 mile shots from the marathon. :)

Scripture/Commentary for 7/26 week

Biblical Training: Don't get cut in on.

Galatians 5:6-8 The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.

Commentary: Remember the verse above when someone pulls up at an intersection blocking the bike trail as you are running. The forces of sin and evil in this world seek to throw us off track. When "it" happens turn back to the One who calls you, obey the Truth, get back in stride and run on. Remember what counts.

Friday, July 24, 2009

light the world

A few quotes from The Hole in our Gospel:

"The gospel itself was born of God's vision of a changed people, challenging and transforming the prevailing values and practices of our world. Jesus called the reslting new world order the "kingdom of God" and said that it would become a reality through the lives and deeds of His followers. Jesus asked a great deal of those who followed Him. He expected much more from them than just believing He was God's Son. He challenged them to embrace radically different standards, to love their neighbors and their enemies, to forgive those who wronged them, to lift up the poor and downtrodden, to share what they had with those who had little, and to live lives of sacrifice. Then He likened their effect on the world around them to that which light has on darkness. Light dispels darkness; it reverses it. Likewise, truth dispels falsehood, and goodness reverses evil...

"When we committed ourselves to following Christ, we also committed to living our lives in such a way that a watching world would catch a glimpse of God's character- His love, justice, and mercy- through our words, actions, and behavior. "We are...Christ's ambassadors," wrote the apostle Paul, "as though God were making his appeal through us" (2 Corinthians 5:20). God chose us to be His representatives. He called us to go out, to proclaim the "good news"- to BE the "good news"- and to change the world. Living out our faith privately was never meant to be an option."

I love that "Iowans for Africa" is a team of dedicated ambassadors for Christ out to BE the "good news" and change the world! The money we raise for World Vision will give hope and opportunities to so many without either of these. All in the name and power of Christ. It's so good to be in this with you.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

group run tomorrow at 6 a.m.

If you want to run 7 miles in the morning with others, we meet at Shawn and Karla Chestnut's house, 114 E. 14th St. (1 block south of CF Rec Center) at 6 a.m. and run the loop in Pfeifer. Everyone's welcome!

As for Don's team update, the question you are to answer is the post below this one! To comment, you need to sign in at the top right of the computer. All you need is a username/password, and you'll be able to make a comment under the post by clicking on comments once you've signed in.

Thanks! You all are great. Hey, I had my first redwing blackbird attack this morning on my run. Swooped right in on my head from behind! You would have laughed had you seen me on out there in the middle of a gravel country road trying to fend off the flying devil. :0

Friday, July 17, 2009

What do you love about running and/or training with the I4A Team?

Okay, come on, let's see if we can get at least 25 things on this list.

What I love about running and/or training as a part of this Iowans For Africa Team:

1. I love when I get past about the first mile of each run...that seems to be a hard part of the run for me and there seems to be a "groove" that I need to get into each run.

2. I love the camaraderie that we're discovering as we run together and as teammates cheer one another on in this effort.

3. I love the unbelievable gift of beautiful weather that God has given us during these weeks of training.

Comment with your love list!

changing things up

I've discovered that there are probably some good benefits for me to change things up a bit in my training. Yesterday, I decided not to run the normal 4 mile route from home in the early a.m. but to rather run at about 5 p.m. from church. This decision led me to a. some hills on Greenhill, b. a warmer sun than I'm used to, c. a little head wind. And to top it off, I decided to push myself to a bit of a faster pace. I had gotten into a groove where I was challenging myself distance-wise but not pace nor heart rate, etc.. So I ran the 4 miles at a little stretch for myself and came in huffing like a steam engine, taking about a minute and a half off of each mile.

I'm thinking I need to do a bit of this at least once a week in my training. I'm spoiled on Saturdays running in the cool shade of the morning, running the flat trails, being protected from much wind, running with friends.... It's good for me...though not exactly fun at this train occasionally with some wind, sun, hills, and by myself. I think these things might all help prepare me for the big marathon day.

Monday, July 13, 2009

This Wednesday, July 15

7 mile run this Wednesday, starting at 6 a.m. from Karla Chestnut's at 114 E. 14th St. (one block south of CF Rec Center). It's a natural 7 from her home to Pfeifer, around the 6.25 loop, and back to her place. Come if you can!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Somebody else?

Anyone have any running tips, favorite websites, tried and true practices, or stories to share? Or photos? If you do, email them to me at and I'll post them right here on the blog. Would love to shake things up a bit and get a little bit more representation on this here bulletin board.

Have a great day!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Scripture/commentary for the week

Biblical training: Run safely

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.

Commentary: Run safely by making wise choices about where and when to run. Whenever possible run with a partner or group. Pray in the name of the Lord for true safety.

Thanks to Ron Martin for providing these weekly Scripture/commentaries.

The longer get shorter

Two weeks ago, I ran 13.1 miles, the longest run in the history of my life. This morning, our group ran 12.5 miles, and because I had run .6 further in my experience, the run was not as daunting at the beginning, nor as taxing toward the end.

I keep thinking, then, that it would be helpful to run 28 miles in training before doing the 26.2 marathon! I already know that training won't take us beyond 20, but in some ways I wish it would because of this mental deal that makes the runs seem shorter and more pleasant if I've gone beyond the mileage. I guess I'll just have to use some different mental techniques those last 6.2 miles in Chicago!

On a different note, I was reminded of the power of encouragement today from an anti-encouraging moment. Three of us were just starting our 2nd loop today when an older gentleman walking on the trail asked us if our group was involved in a race today. We told him that no, we were preparing for the October marathon in Chicago. His face got real sober and serious and he shook is head as he said, "That's terrible." And then he added, "They had to call it off last year due to the heat, you know." That's terrible??!! We didn't quite know how to respond, so we ran off saying something like "It's going to be beautiful weather this year!" Then we laughed deliriously after he was out of sight. We've been so encouraged by everyone thus far, that it was so stark and shocking and well, funny to get such a response. Anyway, keep encouraging everyone, everyone! Coach Don, you're our supreme leader in that!

And thanks for everyone who cooked for the pastafari night last night and all who came. For those who couldn't make it, we'll do it again in a few months! You all are fantastic...I'm so proud to be a part of this team!


Monday, July 6, 2009

Wednesday group runs continue 6 a.m.

We're continuing to offer an early morning group run on Wednesdays. The group starts at Chestnut's home, 114 E. 14th St., (one block south of CF Rec Center). We meet in their driveway at 6 a.m. and are real close to the trails. This Wednesday, some are going 6 and some are going 9 miles. Come if you can!

This week's Scripture/Commentary

Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

Habakkuk 3:19 The sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to go on the heights.

Commentary: We find our true strength, for all of life-not just running- in God.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Friday Pastafari

Don't forget to email Stephanie Bardal at if you plan to attend Friday evening's team pasta meal. We'll meet at Boettger's at 6 p.m. They live on the corner of University and Union Road. Just travel University going west like you're going out of town toward Dike. Their home is on the righthand side on the corner of Union and University. You'll see the Barn Happy sign on the silo!

Hope to see you there!

Run in Jesup, IA!

It's so funny how before I began this training, I was oblivious to all 5Ks and half marathons out there. I heard from people now and then that they were off to run a race, but for the most part, I didn't really imagine all that many race opportunities existed. Since I've begun training, I notice that if a person wanted to get involved, there are races just about every single weekend somewhere nearby! You could almost have a little passport/logbook to record all the places and causes you've run for!

Jess Hansen mentioned that there is a Jesup Farmers' Day Run that she and a few others are doing next Saturday. Here is a little information she sent me today over email:

"A few of us are going to run the Farmer's Day 5K in Jesup this Saturday. That means we are going to run our long run on Wednesday morning. We will meet Wed. at Pfiefer at 6am and plan to run 9 miles. Anyone is welcome to join us, 9 miles-more or less, and anyone is welcome to join us Saturday too. We're going to stay in town for the big parade afterwards at 10am in Jesup Saturday. If anyone would like to register for the 5k, it is $12, and I have registration forms. If you mail a form in write "CM" in the memo so they know you are part of the Chicago Marathon group and you will get the 3 dollar discount :) "

Why don't you comment to this post if you'd like to get a registration form from Jess. Could be a fun thing to take the family and kids to on Saturday!

Restoration Run

Two of our team members, Chris and Jon Anderson, live in Hampton, IA, about 50 minutes from CF on Hway 3. Near their hometown is a wonderful state park called Beed's Lake. On Saturday, August 29, "Friends of Beed's Lake" will host Restoration Run, a 5K, 10K, or half marathon. This is a day when our group training run is 12 miles on the schedule, so if any folks want to road trip to Hampton and join together for another half marathon experience, here are some details:

- Entry fee is $35 and includes t-shirt and pancake breakfast after the run.
- You can find information at

If anyone is interested, leave a comment. Could be cool to embark on Hampton, IA, in our orange shirts. :) And if you haven't done a half marathon race yet, I'd highly recommend it as a part of the training for the marathon in October. In my opinion, it was just really good practice to be around a crowd and to run in an organized race before the big one in Chicago.