Monday, June 30, 2014

Two Days Off

I have not moved an inch on my virtual pilgrimage since the last time I wrote on Saturday.  So, I am still 1047 miles from where I started at the beginning of the year.  It is kind of cool that that is 47 miles further than I was at this time last year (as mentioned before).  I decided to take two days off as I didn't want to get up super early to run on the day we drove from Baltimore to Wolfeboro, NH (it took us nearly 11 hours including a stop for lunch, a stop for gas, a stop to orient ourselves near the end, and some traffic tie ups), and I decided that an extra day of getting 7 hours of sleep would be better for me than getting up really early.  I still can get 35 miles during the rest of this week pretty eaisly.  

So, today, other than mentioning the fact that I did not run, I am not going to talk about running.  Today's dots to connect were not steps on the running path.  Today's dots, instead, were mostly walking steps.  Today instead of running with someone I had been training with for several years (no matter who I run with it is usually someone I've known for a while now) but instead, my wife of 22 years.  And the nourishment of the soul--just enjoying presence.

Today was the first day of vacation without having to drive.  We began the day with a relatively late start.  We went to the office of where we are staying fr a donut and some coffee and OJ.  Then, we went to the grocery store.  A big deal?  No.  Romantic?  Not particularly.  But something we did together that we don't usually do together.  Something that we had to make decisions together.  How did we want to plan breakfast?  How many dinners?  What did we want to have?  (Turned out we bought groceries for two dinners so far--tacos and spaghetti.)  How about lunches?  What about beverages?  Did we want to use bottled water?  How about some energy bars?  What about wines to try?  (A sweet Malbec and a local Reisling.)

Then we came back.  Hung out a bit.  Made reservations for the 4th of July dinner dance and cruise on the lake.  Then I made lunch with her help (again, something we don't often do and we did it in the little kithcen in our studio sized condo unit).  The lunch was simple--organic peanut butter and unfiltered honey sandwiches on wheat.

Next we went into town.  Left a little after 1.  Got back just past 5.  The walk from the Windrifter to the edge of "downtown" Wolfeboro is almost exactly a mile.  We went in almost every little store in the downtown area.  Gift stores.  Consignment store.  A store that provided temporary henna tattoos (neither got one) where Sherry bought headbands.  A store with spiritual books--like several that talk about the important of being present in life).  Looked at swimsuits.  Looked at beer.  Looked at cheese.  Bought a maple sugar mead.  After several hours of walking and looking we bought less than 1/4 pound of fudge and split it.  Then we stopped on the way back and bought cold beverages.  Hours of walking together.  Being together.  Buying just one or two things.  Talking to each other.  Talking to sales people and store owners.  It was not so crowded that we ever felt rushed.  It was possible to have a conversation with almost every one.  And we coudl both particiapte in the conversation.

When we got back, we chilled with email for a bit and then I cooked tacos and served the Malbec with dinner.  After dinner we went for ice cream.  Small ice cream meant quite a lot of food.  Finally, we headed to Carry Beach and sat on the edge until the sun was all the way down.  

Spending an entire day together at an easy pace--not rushing anywhere--was a gift.  It is a gift we get all too rarely.  Do we have to go nearly 600 miles to get it?  I hope not in the future.  Would having more such days be helpful?  You bet.  

But I will take every one and count it as something special forever.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Week of Running Brings Me to "Potato" Lake

Since my last blog, I have run an additional 47 miles making 60 for the week—my second longest running week ever.  At this point, I will rest tomorrow, run 35 in the coming week, and be ready for Philly training to officially begin on July 7.  With those 47 miles, I have now gone 1047 miles total.  On my virtual pilgrimage from Baltimore to New Mexico (2000 miles of running for the year) I find myself on Missouri Route 254 near Pomme de Terre Lake.  For those who might now know, Pomme de Terre translates from French to potato in English.  So, there is a "Potato" lake in Western Missouri.    

The week of running has included an easy 4, 7 on the track including 8x800 with the pace starting at 3:26 and coming down to 3:03.  Then all purpose mileage runs of 7.7, 7.5, and 5.8.  This morning, I rand 3 by myself (starting at about 5:35) and then 12 with my running partner.  15 is the second longest distance I have run this year.  While I had my stopwatch going for the three alone to make sure I got back to the meeting place in time, I turned my stopwatch off when I met my friend.  We ran from the approximately half mile point where the parking lot is to the zero mile marker, up to the six mile marker, and back without looking all that much at my watch even to see what time it is.  We spent a lot more time talking than normal as well as meeting many old friends from a training group we were once both part of.  It was a "timeless" run but certainly not purposeless.  The conversation was a good one this morning and made the 12 miles together go by quickly. 

The term Pomme de Terre is an interesting one.  As mentioned above, it translates to potato.  The literal translation is “apple of the earth.”  Even that indicates that it is a bit more complex than meets the eye.  Apple and potato.  More than one type of food mentioned even in the name and translation.  It shows how complex a food can be.  It shows that there are aspects beyond what meets the eye. 

Running is sort of like that.  It is an activity that just involves putting one foot in front of the other—again and again.  Simple, right?  Well, no.  There are hills.  There is the weather.  There is how many miles I ran earlier this week.  Or last week.  There is pacing.  There are track workouts.  There are intervals.  There is tempo running.  There are progressions.  So many choices.  Running is a pretty complex activity. 

Runners are complex people.  What motivates them?  I wrote about this in social media earlier this week, but it made a big enough impression I think it deserves another mention here.  I saw a woman who was clearly overweight running up Charles Street on my way home from my optometrist appointment on Wednesday afternoon.  It was hot. She looked like she was struggling.  I have to be honest.  I half wondered, “Why?”  (Although I often wonder why anyone wants to run in the afternoon.)  But then I thought, “No, I should compliment her.”  I could have honked and given her a thumbs up but that is difficult when coming up from behind a runner.  It may have distracted her or me.  And each could have led to an accident.  So, I didn’t do anything.  But the fact that she was there made a STRONG impression.  It was great that she was making an effort.  It was great that she was trying to make herself better.  It was amazing.  And I thought—that is something to live up to.  Not something to wonder about.  She is doing exactly what we tell people to do.  Make themselves better.  Have a plan for wellness.  Be strong.  That was all coming out in what she did.  Yes, she was "complex" in the sense of not clearly always being one who seemed (from outward appearances) to take care of herself.  So what got her exercising?  I will never know.  It may be the most complex story in the world.  It is her story.  And I have to respec that. 

Finally, I remind myself that everyone has their complexities.  Many of us try to maintain an image.  Married life is good.  Career is going well.  Especially for those of us on social media—yes, we will post about deaths or negative elements of our lives that can’t be denied. But most posts show amazingly positive lives that probably can’t possibly exist.  Yet, when you get underneath—wash the dirt off the potato and peel it—you quickly find that there is a lot more there.  Blemishes.  Eyes in the potatoes.  Things that can’t be seen from the outside.  Things that would remain otherwise hidden.  But things that define the potato.  Over the past year, I have found that many of my friends and acquaintances have a lot more going on below the surface than I ever imagined.  Or than they typically talk about.  For all those friends who have questions of the heart, questions of the soul, or questions about their core values that they hide from the world and keep inside, I offer a thought, a prayer, a hope that they will find their issues settled so that their lives may come closer to the image of a good life that we all maintain.  And though the journey may be difficult, may they find their way and come out better on the other side even if their lives continue not quite to measure up to our ideal images.  

It is amazing sometimes how my mind wanders from one topic to another and while I start talking about potatoes, I end up talking about questions to our core values.  Connecting the dots.  Noursing the soul.  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Half Way There

So, in the three days that included yesterday (since I last blogged), I have run 8 miles, 7 miles, and 13 miles.  Yesterday’s 13 miles was nice as it was the furthest I’ve gone on one run since I did 14 on the day before Mother’s Day.  That’s a long time to go without hitting a half marathon distance.  But that’s okay.  The 13 miles today run as 3 by myself (warm-up) and 10 with my long time training partner (passing one other pair of runners three different times on the NCR trail) brought me to 1,000 miles total for the year.  Before I go and reflect on that, I will explain how I passed one set of runners three times.  In short, I ran from about the half mile point on the trail up to the two mile marker and back to get three miles as warm-up.  On my way back, I passed two runners just before the mile marker.  My running partner was already there when I got back so after sending a quick text to my 18 year old we turned around and headed back out on the trail.  We were running a pretty solid sub 8:30 average—a bit faster than this other pair.  So, we ran past them headed up to the 5.5 mile marker.  And we passed them again as we (and they) were returning to the parking lot at the half mile point.  I’m not sure if they thought I was totally crazy.  They realized how fast I was running.  So did another pair who were setting up a water stop at around the 2 mile marker and then were sitting on a bench at the parking lot at the half mile marker.  They commented to me and Joselyn that we must have been going pretty fast as they had just gotten back by driving.  Of course, the drive is longer than the run.  And they were not yet in the car as Joselyn and I ran past.   

That leads me to think about six different things.

  1. Where am I on the 2000 mile quest.  Obviously, at mile 1000. But where on the map to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico am I?
  2. What are the nearest Catholic churches?  Where I am there is not a lot right on the roads I am on.  But it is interesting to see what is nearby.
  3. The very different way I accumulated 1000 miles by June 22 this year compared with how I accumulated 1000 miles on June 30 last year.
  4. The fact that I registered for the Philadelphia marathon and put down 3:10 as my goal time.  Today’s miles were run as 3 and 10.  That sends me looking for scripture inspiration.
  5. With the thought of scripture, I consider what I heard in church this morning.
  6. Plus one comment I heard on a radio program this morning about letting ourselves have a time each day to be purposeless and timeless.

Let’s begin with the easy one.  On the map that I created with 2000 miles by walking from St. Pius X in Towson, MD, to Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Truth or Consequences, NM, I am on Lowell Williams Road in Linn Creek, MO. I am about to turn onto A-68.  Pretty much the middle of nowhere.

When I search for Catholic churches in the area, what comes up?  Two different St Anthony churches sort of nearby.  One in Camdenton and one in Iberia.  In any case, St Anthony is the saint to whom many Catholics say a prayer asking for intercession for finding something.  Whether there is anything other than superstition there is not for me to judge at this time.  What is interesting is that while someone running with no purpose out in Linn Creek might seem like they themselves are a bit lost and need to be found, I’m actually feeling less lost than I have in a long time?  Is life perfect?  Of course not.  But all that is good about my professional life (that was good a year ago) and all that is good about my running while (which I think is better than ever) and all that is good about my kids’ lives (which has more certainty than a year ago) and all that is good about my church life (a new ministry role for the first time in a long time and the right combination of ministries) and all that is good in my spiritual life (mostly writing this blog) and all that is good in my married life (stronger than it has been in a long time as we move ahead to a new life with only two kids at home regularly starting this fall) is good.  A year ago I could have said that some parts of my life were feeling very lost.  Now, I still have a ways to go to find balance.  To make sure that everything gets done.  To make sure that I fulfill all responsibilities.  But I am not feeling lost at all.

Accumulating 1000 miles.  Last year, I ran the Boston marathon in April for 26.2, plus three workouts of 20+ miles, and a couple 18’s.  That is more than 15% of the distance in just 8 runs.  I was still running with Back on My Feet a lot and I was trying to mix it up a bit.  That is much different from this year.  My longest this year is 16 miles.  And I don’t think I’ve done that more than once.  I have run a lot of days.  I have spent less time driving to run.  About the only place I’ve driven to run is the NCR trail.  Perhaps a couple times from the store in Timonium.  I don’t think I’ve been to Loch Raven this year.  And I have run the old B-10 course that goes through Druid Hill Park just once.  So, a completely different type of consistency.  A lot more 6-8 mile runs.  A lot of time spent just putting the miles in.  Just three 5K races.  It is a much more liberating and liberated feeling.  Of course, I have a purpose—stay fit  But no particular place to go.  A lot more “making up the course as I go along”.  And a much different feeling.  I may not be as fast as I was last year (at least based on my race times so far this year) but I am fitter, I have a better sense of how important running is to me.  And I have continued to develop a better sense of just how to work in running around the other things in my life that are ultimately more important to those who are important in my life no matter how important running is to me.  Another thing about 1000 miles is that it is half way to my goal.  I’ve thought a lot about halves recently. Celebrating 22 years of marriage at age 44—I’ve been married half of my life.  Depending on what life expectancy calculator you use, I have lived just a little over half my life.  What will I manage to do in the second half that I haven’t done in the first half?  Hopefully lots of things but given how much I’ve already crammed in, it will be interesting to see what happens.  Finally, this week we will be running half miles at half marathon pace for our track workout.  So, half is a good thing.  And with my focus on positivity, I always see the glass as half full rather than half empty.

So, I stopped here yesterday and I’m picking up on Monday morning with the remaining three topics.  So far, the key is that 1,000 miles in just 173 days has changed how I look at the importance of running, the way I run, the way I see running interacting with the rest of my life, being positive, and being the employee, father, and husband I am supposed to be. 

I hope that others find a similar return from their running or other fitness activities in terms of how it can improve their well-being and their basic outlook on life.

So, on to the last three topics.  I ran the workout yesterday as 3 and 10.  I also put 3:10 as my time for the Philadelphia marathon.  I would love to hit 3:12:08 (a 7:20 pace the whole way).  To get myself down into the 3:10 range, I would have to take off another 3-4 seconds per mile.  The 7:20 per mile is something I’ve held for 20 miles.  Just have to hold it for the last 6.2.  And taking another few seconds per mile off, we will see.  But the key here is that I turned to scripture for some inspiration from 3:10.  I noted Acts 3:10 in the missal yesterday.  “they recognized him as the one who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were filled with amazement and astonishment at what had happened to him.”  (From the USCCB website.)  In any case, this is at the end of a story about Peter and John curing a man who was “crippled” from birth.  He had been begging for alms all his life.  The man’s feet and ankles were described as growing strong.  This story about strength and being helped by faith and by saintly individuals rings true with me.  The strength in light of my running is obvious.  But there is emotional strength as well.  And there are the many people—coaches, fellow bloggers, friends—who have helped with both physical and emotional strength over the years.

What did I hear in church yesterday?  It was the feast of Corpus Christi.  It was interesting as the Old Testament reading mentioned manna, a food the Israelites were not familiar with.  In the Gospel reading, the idea of real presence (the Catholic belief that we participate in the body and blood of Jesus through the Eucharist) was explained—another story of a food that the people were unfamiliar with.  The homily given by our Deacon explained that well.  And it reminded me of connecting the dots between readings.  And he even used the phrase nourishing the soul to talk about what the Eucharist does.

Finally, the comment about purposeless and timelessness.  The program is OnBeing.  It is a program about religion and philosophy.  The host was interviewing someone who was talking about play.  I was listening to this after my run and thinking about running as play.  Is it?  It is purposeless?  In the scheme of wanting to run a faster marathon, no.  In the scheme of weather my running matters to anyone other than me?  It is pretty purposeless.  And although I can say that I was looking at my watch occasionally while running yesterday, it was a time of relative timelessness.  Talking without worry about how long it was taking.  And sometimes running in silence.  The last mile and a half or so was that way. Just running.  On the NCR trail there are some notable things to see but it is quite possible to lose one’s sense of time and place.  It really is an incredible meditative experience.  Especially when running at a pace that was enough to be “work” but not so much that I was breathing hard. 

So ends my epic blog entry.  Now, it is time to get on with a new day.  A new run.  A new attitude.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Friendship and Faith

So, I have had two runs in very warm and humid weather since the track workout I wrote about on Tuesday.  I ran 8 miles on Wednesday morning and 4.3 miles this morning.  Nothing fast.  Just steady.  Character buidling as one social media post described it.  Just moving along.  Up to 972 miles.  That keeps me on Missouri Route 42.  Within striking distance of 1000 miles by Sunday.  If I do reach it on Sunday that will be a full week ahead of when I hit 1000 miles last year.  I'll comment more on that over the weekend.

In any case, a social media friend posted #RunWithFaith.  I run with faith.  I use writing about running to ponder my faith.  I use the things I write about to test my faith.  But I don't know how mnay people run with faith. I would love to know if more do.  That is a group I think I would get along well with.  And what does running with faith mean to each of us?

I also had a friend today who asked how do her firends define good friends.  I wrote "Good friends can be comfortable together in silence."  My firend, returned that sometimes words are unnecessary.  I agree with her.  I would actually frame it somewhat differently.  Instead of saying sometimes words are unnecessary, I would say "I know I am really close to a friend when presence is all that is necessary."  That is a much stronger way of saying what I was thinking.

Presence--just being together.
Presence--not worrying about what comes next in the conversation or when it will come next.
Presence--comfort of knowing someone is there.
Presence--not needing anything more than knowing the person is there because I understand the other person cares without the other person having to say anything.
Presence--knowing that there is a feeling of warmth without words.
Presence--listening to the other person break and taking hope and joy in simply sharing life.
Presence--knowing that there is grace to share.

That is what I get from a deep friendship.  There are very few with whom I have that.  And of course it does not mean that conversation isn't important even with the closest of friends.  But the key is that conversation is completely unnecessary.  Especially in the deepest matters.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Visitation and My Healthy

Since the last time I wrote I have had two VERY different 7.5 mile runs.  On Monday, a slow and steady 7.5 miles around the north side of the city and Towson.  Keeping the legs moving.  Today, 7.5 miles that included a 400, 800, 1200, 1600 and back down again (only one 1600) ladder with the pace around 1:45/lap the whole time.  Good pacing.  Good friends.  Crazy hot and humid weather.  Soaked even running shirtless.

Where do the 15 miles leave me?  At 959.7.  For the first time in many weeks, I am just under an average of 40 miles per week.  Still, I have nothing to complain about.  I managed to continue to keep myself within range of 40 miles per week despite my crazy digestive week.  Where does that put me on my virtual pilgrimage?  On Missouri Route 42 (still) in Meta, MO.  Yesterday I would have been in Vienna, MO, where the Catholic church is Visitation parish.

When I think of the Visitation (when Mary went to visit her much older cousin Elizabeth and John the Baptist--with whom Elizabeth was pregnant--jumped in her uterus when he recognized the presence of Jesus in Mary) I think of several things: togetherness, family, recognizing the grace in others.  

And just today I discovered a new runner blog called On Fire Fitness Healthy Living ( where the author posed the question "What does your healthy look like?"  
So, I am going to take on the question of what my healthy looks like thinking of togetherness, family, and recognizing the grace in others.  As well as my general conception of what I do for my own health as part of what Mary did was for her own well being after her pregnancy with Jesus was announced by the angels.  

In any case, here are some things that are part of my healthy:

(1) Running--not always as far as I can or as far as I can, but running so I can run again tomorrow.  That has more to do with running smart than with running fast or far.  Some days call for fast.  Some days call for far.  But it is never necessarily the maximum speed or distance.  That is seeking serenity and balance given what God has given me.  And sharing that serenity and balance with others when I achieve it.  I learned in preparing for my assault on the 19 minute 5K that the running I love is the day to day goal setting.  On race day--whatever happens will happen.  But every day leading up to race day I have control over whether I make goal.  And that is a sense of balance that I must achieve and share.  

(2) Being around other runners, or at least others who care about their fitness.  An important part of togetherness.  This also includes a recognition of what others have going on that is special and what they can bring into my life.  

(3) Talking with others about fitness--this can include exercise and diet. Again, an expression of togetherness and a recognition of what those others can bring into my life.

(4) Talking with my family--especially my wife.  This is family.  Eating together.  Talking together.  Not always exercising together.  Although I have found myself teaming up with and advising young women for whom I have served at least a partial father figure role.

(5) Eating well--but not necessarily perfectly.  I don't have to count every calorie.  I can have fun with what I eat.  But if I love to make it and I make it by hand I will appreciate it a lot more.  I will talk bout it.  I will share it.  And all that contributes to an experience of goodness through food.

(6) Clearing my mind.  This comes with running for me.  It is letting go of all the ill.  It is preparing to share the grace of God that I have been blessed with.  It is hard to share grace when I am distracted by things that are not good for me and for those around me.

(7) Spending time with family--because they are part of the world with which God has blessed me. 

(8) Recognizing that family is not always blood--family is those I break bread with. Family is those I run with.  Family is those I share ideas with.

(9) Reminding myself that I am not God.  I am not in control of everything.  I am not omnipotent.  I am a finite, mortal, individual. 

To me this is healthy.  A physical health based on good exercise and good food--things that God has blessed me with enjoying and with having.  A mental health based on the ability to clear my mind.  A social health in recognizing the importance of others and spending time with others in productive and healthy ways.  And a spiritual health that recognizes my smallness in the universe but my connectedness in the universe.  The opportunity to have a big impact on some.  The need to find my place.  

Part of Mary's travels was to share grace with Elizabeth.  But as I read Luke's Gospel it seems that Mary was also spending time on this trip finding herself.  I will not compare Mary's journey on the visitation to my life in any way, shape or form.  But I will say that in my running and my definition of healthy and my search in life, I find grace, I find family, I find togetherness, and I find focus that Mary must have had and felt on her journey.  Eternal life's lessons in the stories of the noble in the Bible.  

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day Run

Today was a very nice Father's Day.  Not too hot.  Not too humid.  I ran the GBMC Father's Day 5K for the fifth year in a row.  The first three years had similar but not identical courses out in Hunt Valley.  The past two years have been from the GBMC campus.  This year's was even more challenging than last year's.  Last year's was short.  And last year's had us run up Stevenson from Osler to Charles. This year I had to run up to where the far Dumbarton fields are and then through the Roger's Forge neighborhood and back up from Dumbarton and Stevenson to the top of the hill again.  It was my first 20+ 5K in a while.

But that was okay.  After having a week missing three days of running with a combination of cramps and diarrhea and running twelve miles yesterday more or less just "because" so that I could get some miles under my belt, I felt that I didn't do horribly.  I got 3rd in my age group.  My 9 year old did nicely (31:11) for the course and my 14 year old finished.  Some days that is really all that matters.  Especially when he had a bit of a cramp and the course was so challenging.

The other thing that I achieved was a Father-Daughter team win.  Readers may wonder how I did that.  I have three sons.  I don't have any "love children".  But there is a young woman who has run this race several times with her mom.  They have never offered her the opportunity to run as a team with her mom.  So, I "adopted" her for a day.  I checked with the organizers up front.  I have mentored her in life a bit.  I have mentored her in running a bit.  And I am old enough to be her father.  So, we were a "Father-Daughter" team.  It made both our days.  My day as my sons will be a few years older before teaming up with them will help me.  Her day as she has never been able to compete as part of a team for this event before.  It shows the spirit of runners and the positive influence of running.

And, if I were to have had a daughter, there are certainly two young women I've come to know whom I would be happy to claim some positively fatherly influence on.  My son's girlfriend of three years--works incredibly hard, is wonderfully smart, amazingly is  talented at flute, and has been a great influence on my son.  Then, there is my adopted running daughter for the day.  Goal oriented.  Hard working.  Responsible.  Community oriented.  Amazingly outgoing.  Great baker.  Thinking of others.  Great runner.

How better to celebrate Father's Day than to think not only of how my father has influenced me (goal oriented, smart, get the job done, responsible, church oriented, and on and on) and to think that I have been able to see that in and share at least some of my gifts with not only my three sons but also with at least a couple of others.

To finish, the 3.1 miles puts me at 944.7 still on MO-42 headed west.  

A Muddy Run

I sit here on Sunday morning waiting for my fourth (or fifth?) GMBC Father's Day race and look back over the week of running.  I ran a track workout on Tuesday that I wrote about.  But my symptoms of something (never figured our exactly what) kept me out on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. By Friday I was feeling well enough to run 2.5 miles.  I wanted just to get my legs going again.  And I didn't have a whole lot of time since I needed to work a 10 hour day before going to a crab feast.

Then, yesterday, I went for a 12 mile run.  I was back on the NCR trail for the first time in a long time.  Easy.  Relatively flat.  Relatively straight.  I ran 2 miles alone and then 10 with a long time running friend.  It was much cooler but still a bit humid.  It was not fast.  It was just a solid effort.

The trail was a bit muddy.  Not everywhere.  But in some spots there were massive puddles that were hard to get around without getting somewhat messy.  A bit challenging to avoid potential injury.  I even posted a picture of how muddy my one leg was.  The rain on Friday had been pretty amazing.

What does the muddy trail make me think of?  Plans interrupted.  Plans having to be thought through.  Plans having to be remade.  And having to deal with the results (i.e. being a mess) afterwards.

How does that fit with me?  Certainly this past week I have had to retrhink and replan a lot in light of the symptoms I had.  How does that fit in the case of my long term running friend?  She is back from another injury.  She may have spent nearly as much time injured as uninjured in the 3 years we have been running together.  She has had to rethink a lot.  Especially with respect to running goals.

Where do these miles put me?  These miles put me at a total of 941.6—on MO 42 on the outskirts of Belle MO.  Interestingly there is a Catholic church in this little town (popuation 1535 according to a Google search).  The churh is called St. Alexander.  There are numerous St. Alexanders in the church.  St. Alexander of Jerusalem (I'm not sure if that is the one the church in Belle is named after) was a martyr who developed a large theological library.  Big on reading.  Big on information.  Steadfast in faith.