#getyourpraiseon


I run, and I run, and I run…
Waiting for a moment of change and excitement between broken miles…
It finally happened today.
After school, in my inbox, I found the results of an application that I had placed nearly two weeks ago…

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…since adopting running as a living joy five years ago, today I was accepted onto a running team, sponsored by a local running store.

It may seem trivial, but to me it’s another step towards future goals.

Personally, this is a monumental prayer answered. I’m not one to cast myself out in the public eye. My God is so good.

-D-

XXXI: Vanity or Salvation


I run.
Nearly every day now.
What started six years ago as a means to impress my now ex-wife, became a tool of divorce recovery, and now a method of worship for my soul.

It’s more though…

I, like many, hate looking in the mirror. Daily I question what Darco sees in me anyways. It’s hard to stomach the idea that you’re not an attractive person. It’s a sin of doubt that plagues the mind. It’s been one of mine since I was a child.

Recently I learned a fun project for myself to handle the temptation of doubt and humility. I would grow my hair and my beard crazy long, losing my face in the process. I didn’t want to see it, I didn’t want to see my shortcomings.

I’d run for weeks, months, watch what I eat, and any time spent in the gym was done with multiple layers of long sleeve clothing.

I made it hurt.

I never wanted Darco to regret marrying someone that wasn’t handsome, unique, or attractive. She deserved more, she deserves more.

This weekend I shaved and cleaned up to see the progress, and for once…truly once…I was surprised.

For the first time in my life, that I can recall, I can look in the mirror without the guilt.

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I know it isn’t perfect, but I hope it’s something for my wife. She deserves it.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Black Friday Survival


I did it.
I finally did it.
For the first time in my life I braved…wait for it…Black Friday!
*bum, bum, bum…*

In reality Darco was at work, and it was myself and our teenage cousin, Chey. After cooking five scrambled eggs, Chey (shy) and I made our way into the city. Mind you, we were also blessed with 33℉ temperatures and freezing rain.

The stage was set.

60 miles away was a running store that I was targeting; there was a potential of a serious snag (and I desperately needed new running shoes). 7:00 AM we show our faces, we ducked in, dodged the marathon specialist, the runner that just finished training in the rain, and the two folks talking about GU running gels. There I saw them; two size 13 pairs of Saucony Guide 8’s. One box in each hand, hurdled the sale table like Lolo Jones, paid, and ducked back out into the rain.

Total time: 10 minutes
Money saved: $200.00

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New gear.

After breaking a sweat, stretching our limbs, we flew across the metro to Under Armour Outlet and…ready for this…snagged sweat pants. Due to the ‘fat years’ of my childhood elastic sweat pants scarred me. Chey talked me into getting a pair of sweats, along with some other goodies. Due to the outlet mall being an outdoor facility no one was out and about. There were no stiff arms, Chey even tried clothes on, and we still made it out in twenty minutes.

Total time: 20 minutes
Money saved: $130
Bonus: $20 gift card from Under Armour

Coffee, lunch, a quick jaunt to IKEA and the day was done. We only needed a few light bulbs for the house at one last stop.

Walmart.

Wouldn’t you know it, even at 1:00 PM, Chey and I dodged two moving vehicles, one lady with some wicked eye brows, and at least three chain smokers just for a few bulbs. Easily Walmart brought upon more stress than my most recent job evaluation.

Total time: 30 minutes
Money saved: Not worth the increased blood pressure

But hey…it was all worth spending time with a crazed teenager.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: 400m Sprint


What I just learned…

Nerves can destroy you. When I sign up for a 5K races, I’m not really thinking about competition, I’m just there to run.

Today, a mixture of competition and nerves ruined me.

First, “open heat” does not equate to everyone and their sister. Open heat means if the cutoff for “elite” is 4:40.00, “open” runners run at approximately 4:41.00.

Second, unlike my assumption that these runners would be in it just because their standard 5K wasn’t this weekend, these runners were hellbent on the mile and only the mile.

Third, do yourself a favor, at least once in your life be the idiot that jumps out front first. Do it in order to get it out of your system. Today was my calling to this event. I ran…wait for it…a sub-55 second 400m to start the race. I led that crew like there was no tomorrow. Then my lungs caught on fire, my legs cramped, and the ‘nursing home special’ passed me. Needless to say, I suffered the next 1200m of that race.

Embarrassed doesn’t even describe the sensation in my soul right now. However, two positive things came out of this:

1. Darco got a kick out of it and wants to witness more of these races.
2. Man, I flew in that first 400m and it wasn’t even in a sprint.

Back to the drawing board.
After some food and rest.

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-D-

Mobile Minutes: Sunflower Run


Greetings from the Sunflower State!

Darco and I are currently located in Wichita, Kansas. Tomorrow I’m competing in my first mile road race…ever. It’ll be the first mile race I’ve been in since the spring of ’05.

Needless to say, I’m a bit terrified.

I don’t know why. Probably because it’s something I enjoy, something I’ve legitimately trained for, and because of this I’m scared that I’ll disappoint those around me. Make no mistake, I’m not an athlete by anyone’s count. I’m just warped into the programming of believing that when you’ve put in the work it’ll pay off.

However, ‘pay off’ doesn’t equal 4:40.00 or below times (elite timing requirement).

I’m rambling. I suppose this is what someone could call their “pre-race jitters”. Zoning out, closing eyes, visioning the course, listening to the same audio track over and over.

I can only form a single thought tonight…

Please God, let me run.

-D-

#getyourpraiseon


It’s the moments you lose touch with your humanity.
Merely animal instincts drive the movement. The natural transition of flow, dating through the history of man.

Reach. Grab. Pull. Push.
Reach. Grab. Pull. Push.

I confess, after an unplanned, surprisingly stressful day, the last thing I wanted to do was run. Really, I wanted to eat pizza and sleep.

However, with 40 minutes of sunlight left, temperatures dropping from 60℉ to 50℉ in no time flat, I decided to start moving.

At first it was just a walk. Feeling the cool air, trying to breathe, trying to push away the past of the day.

That turned into a light jog. Slowly downhill, pondering if “pushing it” would be ideal…

I started to lift my legs, stretching them out as if they were wings of Mercury.

Anger; it started seething through me. I could feel blood boiling, air pushing out through my teeth, jaw clenched. Only word uttered:

Faster.

Arms locked into their rhythmic, piston drive. I had already forgotten that two hills were cleared.

I could see my legs, lifting, stretching…higher and farther. Fear of my own history racing through my soul, pushing me to new heights.

Faster.

Sling-shot symmetry courses through my feet. They’re in unison curving around the two 90° corners; leading the final sprint of asphalt.

Faster.

There’s no fear left. There’s no thought process. Breathing locomotion takes over the mind, as the body runs itself.

Faster.

The end is near.

Faster.

The road ends.

Faster.

Finish alone.

Faster.

Run.

Faster.

Stop.

Staring at the sapphire sky, I allow a final breath. Acknowledging the journey’s end. A lifetime of thought, comprised into four minutes and 57 seconds, lasting a duration of one American mile.

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It’s been four long years. Four years since I saw my mile time drop below five minutes.

I almost cried telling MC tonight.

-D-

…now just one more minute to go…