The echo of that strong wind remained

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Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

This morning I set out for a ride in the early gloom and wet streets of overnight storms. The roads and yards in our neighborhood were strewn with leaves and branches. But just the echo of that strong wind remained. Blown on to the east. The birds still dripping, but singing in the mist of the fall morning.

I turned the pedals on a short and easy ride. Cross training on the bike, rather than focusing on it.

I’m training for the Huntsville Rocket City Marathon on December 13. It will be my first marathon since the Country Music Marathon 13 years ago. I was 27 then and “ran” that marathon with virtually zero training miles. I did it out of guilt, because I’d told a friend who was serving in Iraq that I was going to. I made it to the finish line that day in 4 hours and 30 minutes – but paid a steep price for not training. It was a painful, but rewarding day. The joy of finishing propelled me to continue on with endurance sports – but not with a full marathon. It was too painful.

But now, at 40, I’m finally signed up for another one. I’m training for this one, being careful to respect the distance. I’ve run dozens of half marathons as events and certainly in training. I’ve run 14 miles and 15 miles. And 26.2 miles. There’s an unknown in those miles between 15 and 26.2 that I’ll discover in the next few weeks. Like the echo of last nights strong winds I know they’ll remain with me, even as they pass beneath me.

I’m excited about my training and looking forward to my first marathon in over a decade. I haven’t forgotten my first though; limping to my car, having to stop and rest half way, nearly falling as I stepped down from a curb, my ankles bruised and swollen to the size of my calf muscles. That memory remains and causes me enough fear that I’m trying to do it right this time. I’m thinking that if I can get another marathon under my belt, without severe suffering,  I’ll be ready for Ironman in 2016. Seems the next step after 6 half irons, many half marathons, many century rides, and hopefully 2 full marathons.

Anything is possible – we often just need the passage of time and the strong winds. And a faint echo to remind us.

I love you,

– Daddy

ps. a good friend gave me a book on my birthday about the life of a missionary named Jim Elliott. I wrote down this passage and have been looking at it daily of late. It’s given me great motivation in many areas of my life and has reinvigorated me to live in the Shadow of the Almighty.

“Live every day as if the Son of Man were at the door, and gear your thinking to the fleeting moment. Just how can it be redeemed? Walk as if the next step would carry you across the threshold of Heaven. Pray. That saint who advances on his knees never retreats.”

TRAINING: this was a recovery week on my plan, so I did very little. I’m battling through fall allergies, so I’m being careful to take my rest days. I didn’t swim any this week, but I plan to add 1 day per week back in next week.

SUN: Ran 15. 8:555avg mile

MON: rest

Tues: Ran 4 miles. 8:00avg mile

Wed: rest

Thurs: Ran 6 miles. 9:15 avg mile

Fri: rest

Sat: Biked 23 miles

Sun: Planned 13 mile run