April 29, 2013

My Morning Run, Fourteen Gifts

It's been two weeks since the Boston Marathon. One of the most thoughtful things I heard in the aftermath of the bombings was by Ambry Burfoot, editor at Runners World. He was 0.7 miles from the finish line when they stopped the race. At first he didn't know what to think but after hearing the details he offered his perspective, "every mile out there was a gift". How true. Just to be able to walk or run is a gift that a few people had, at least temporarily, taken away from them by a couple of cowardly idiots. 

This mornings run was a make-up from the one I tried on Friday–and failed at–and missed on Saturday.  It's finals week and my only final of the day is at 12:30. Plenty of time of a morning run. It was beautiful morning and great run. My first 14 miler in some time. I ran an out-and-back route along the old rail road bed north of town that spans 12 miles from east of Charleston to the center of Mattoon. I started my run at mile 3.

The beginning of my run at mile marker 3.

 Mile 1 of my run.

 My mile 2. This section of the trail cuts through the Charleston Golf and Country Club. You can see two grounds crew workers (my dream job) approaching in their red work cart.

 The buildings in the background are the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center campus. Nice to be so close to an Emergency Room, just in case.

 My mile 5. The mile markers are handy but they don't agree completely with the GPS in my phone. Oh, well. They were likely installed as part of an Eagle Scout project.

A good example of what Illinois looks like without corn or soybeans. Boring

My mile 6. I'm not sure why I including this picture.

 Nearing my mile 7. Passing over the bike trail, is Interstate 57 or, as I like to call it, the Blues Highway since it runs from Chicago to Memphis. (Others call it the Cocaine Corridor for the same reason.)

 My mile 7, turn around point. To the south are the hotels and fast food chains catering to the I-57 travelers. 

 Heading back eastward towards Charleston. The sun is in my face but the wind is at my back!

 Oh, look. A cemetery. Avoiding those for as long as I can is one reason I run. Stress reduction is the other main reason.

 On the trail, near mile 8, is this gazebo build by a local prairie grass organization that grows, what else, prairie grass along side the bike trail. This guy in the military and says he walks the trail with a backpack for training. Good for him!

 It's been a wet spring. That "pond" is really farm land and need to dry out before it can be planted. I don't know how farmers live with Mother Nature. Last year it was too much rain in April and not enough in August. 

 That's a dead skunk on the side of the trail. Keep moving. 

And there's trustworthy Raja waiting for me back at mile 3 or my mile 14. 

April 27, 2013

My Morning Run, Temple Trip

No actual run today. After my last day of classes, I tried to get a run in yesterday afternoon but that was a failure. My legs were too tired from Thursday's hills. After my recovery nap, Lesa and I drove to St. Louis. We ate at 5 Guys, of course. It must have been new because they forgot our order and the patties were thicker and smaller than usual. Still delicious. Our hotel was, well, not delicious. The Extended Stay America near the STL airport is a good deal but just barely. As Lesa said, the sign in out non-smoking room should have read "Thank-you for not smoking... anymore".

Saturday morning we anxiously left the hotel, drove straight to Panera for bagels, and then to the temple to help with baptisms for the dead. At the temple ran into President and Sister Bankhead. He joked about us being called as temple workers. Good one.

Bishop Gosnell drive home with us. He asked how I liked not having a calling. I didn't dare answer him, but he truth is....

We followed a weak rain storm home so the lawn mowing, like the long run, will have to wait until Monday.

April 25, 2013

My Morning Run, Papa John

Today is Dad's birthday.I like the name John. It's my dad's name. I miss my dad but I'm grateful for all he gave me. What opportunities I had growing up. What a great example he set. Geez. He was a great father. 

John is also my given name. It's the name of one of the original apostles. This morning I began a study of the Book of Revelations. I like this perspective on the book as stated in the New Testament institute manual, The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles.

"Christ’s visit to Patmos was not just a personal reaffirmation of his reality to the apostle John. It was a revelation of himself to the saints of God in one of the blackest moments of the church’s history. We who enjoy the comfort and peace of the twentieth century cannot fully fathom the comfort and courage that must have come from Patmos. We think of the book of Revelation as a mysterious, baffling work. To them it must have been glorious, for not only did it split the darkness of those terrible times with the brightness of Christ’s person, but it revealed a Savior still living, still loving, still triumphing over the power of the satanic forces. As John said in his opening words, it was “the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Towards the end of my morning run it dawned on me that the few inspirational thoughts I have usual come in the morning and that I should document them. So periodically, I will post thoughts with the title My Morning Run. This will includes thoughts from my morning scripture study, morning runs, or anything else that comes to me in the morning.


So, here's a picture from today's morning run. (No that is not our house but, based on the type of stone used, it was built about the same time.) Signs of spring along with a sign of 4th Street, the street I've run up and down more often that any other in Charleston. Fourth Street reminds me of Positively Fourth Street by Bob Dylan which has some pretty witty, cutting lyrics that make me chuckle. On another note, I laughed during my morning run when I heard Cake sing,

"I don't want to jump in unless this music's thumping
All the dishes rattle in the cupboards when the elephants arrive."

I've had Cake songs on my running playlist from the beginning. When I hear these lyrics, I always picture a quaint little kitchen being over run my wild elephants. And, that makes me laugh.