Traci and I alternate days for running as our girls (obviously) cannot be left alone for hours at a time. If I have Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Traci will have Tuesday and Thursday. The next week we swap. Running in this town is amazing. We have some favorite routes for sure. We have mentally engrained maps for 3, 4, 6.25 and 10 mile jaunts though the beautiful Azalea district and to the South Tyler Trails. Morning is best for both of us as this is the coolest time of the day and I love the feeling of getting the miles out of the way. A great feeling for both work days and weekend relaxation. Usually we set aside the weekends for our longest runs though I have managed to get a few in during the week. With three 1/2 marathons right around the corner, it’s time to consistently surpass double digits for long runs.
Occasionally if the girls are spending the night at Grandma’s on the weekend, Traci and I will run the same weekend day and which allows us to start at the same time. Today was that day for us. With our princesses off in Quitman last night and their sweet uncle Jeff volunteering to bring them to us in Tyler this morning, we were set for our longest run this training season, 13.1 miles.
We had talked through how to add 3 more miles to our 10 mile course last night on the way home after dropping off our babies (romantic kidless conversation huh?) and had it set. We came home watched a movie, passed on our usual weekend wine and were in bed by 11. It is interesting how that even with our girls in good hands both last night and all morning we still ended up going to bed at a reasonable time and getting up to run early this morning instead of sleeping late. Sacrifices of a runner I guess.
Laced up and ready, we walked out the door at 6:30, sunk our Garmin GPS watches, untangles our earbuds and began our warmup walk. We start about 1/10 of a mile down the street which is typically enough steps to stretch, get the blood flowing and wake up those deeply essential joints and muscles that are still upset that I’m up and ready to strain out every bit of their stored up energy. After a kiss from my beautiful bride and at our starting line position it was time to press start and play and get going.
You can listen to a lot in about 2 hours. I am a fan of the Austin Stone and Village Church podcasts as I believe that both of those Matts are awesome teachers. I often use my running time to feed on the Word as that is one of may favorite ways to absorb it. I listened to part 2 and 3 of Matt Chandler’s (Village Church) series on the book of Colossians and then some good ol’ Jack’s Mannequin. Our path took us through the rich folks neighborhoods, down Sunnybrook, across Broadway, down Donnybrook, across the Loop, 5 miles on the trails and then back the way we came.
The temperatures were fine, not great; About 75-80. My ankle joints start yelling at me around mile 11. After enduring the full milage I popped some ibuprofen, drank a cold water and 2 small glasses of chocolate milk. Uncle Jeff was soon to arrive with my 2-still-in-pajamas cuties. Traci finished a few minutes after sporting her “I was successful and made it” smile which I always hope to see and am so proud of. This chick is good!
From there we had breakfast, got cleaned up, cuddled with our girls and were off to Grace to worship our great God. So thankful that Christ is who He is! What a freeing and captivating truth. Rarely do tears flow from my dried-up eyes while proclaiming my thankfulness in song, but today was an exception. If you were in front of me I apologize for my tone deficiencies as it is tuff for me to be on pitch when I’m choked up. Some days I just get overwhelmed by His love. The greatest days are the ones when you can praise Him at the top of your lungs when your world continues to crumble.
Now the girls are napping and ribs are on the grill. Onions, tomatoes, garlic and peppers are roasting in the oven for homemade salsa. Octoberfest in hand, Redskins vs. Cowboys at 7 and Traci is making homemade Butterfinger ice cream. Family day at its finest.
How great is our God? How great is our God indeed!