Sunday, February 24, 2008

Thanksgiving in Feburary

This afternoon I was trying on new shoes. My first "real" pair of running shoes have all but lost their support. I recall wearing out soccer shoes back in the "glory days," but wearing out a pair of running shoes gives you a real sense of accomplishment.

Saturday was our second team run at lake Calhoun. I have been taking the training very lightly lately. Schedules have been pretty tight for daily training, and honestly I have been enjoying being able to focus on other things. I found out Saturday that I need to get back into it soon. We break our team up into three running abilities on team runs, so to fit where everyone is at. I thought I had time to take things easy for a while. I found out differently on Sat when my group decided to work in sprints and hill sprints to our 3.5mile workout. I knew to keep things light but the more we did our sprints the more I wanted to get into it. The second hill sprint got me. I love hills, I love to attack them. I am not ready to do hill sprints. My heart rate spiked on the second one and never really calmed down much after that. Not a big deal. Rather frustrating though. I am thankful for the extra money I spent on a heart rate monitor last year. I know my threshold and I was able to monitor where I should have been. I lightly jogged out the rest of the run and felt good to know where I am at.

I am super excited about the group of guys that will be pushing me during this season. There is a group of about eight of us that will challenge each other to greater heights. So I'll have to get back into the swing of things soon or I'll get left in the dust.

The rest of life training has me in a season of thanksgiving. Spring is ready to start cracking its thick shell and that is certainly something to be thankful for. Most exciting is the places that God has brought me to in respects to relationships that are very important to me. These endurance events have showed me to be patient, and I have applied that to many things in my life. I have never been much of a patient person. I see good or bad, what ever I see I want to react to and take action. Life has shone me to be more sensitive when I am not the only one involved in any given situation. It is amaizing the things you learn when you really strive to be less of your self and more Christlike. Simple concept, but difficult to put into action. It requires giving up. There is nothing that can't be achieved when you honestly give up and look to God for guidance. I have found surrender to be the most powerful action I could ever take. I know that great things are in store.

I look ahead to the next 10 months of my life and I am excited. Excited for the good and the bad. I doubt that it will be a smooth ride, but it will be what I make it. I pray that it will have more evidence of Gods fingerprints than mine. One day at a time. Every day every moment I have a choice.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Winter Wait

Training is back in swing. I am taking my time getting back into things. I went for my first run since the marathon last Sat. It felt great to run again. It felt even better to be training with TNT. This season of training will be very fun and different. The race is local and the team is 140 racers strong. I was curious how training would go with that many people, but it is fantastic. Our coaches have done a great job of handling all of us well and still are able to cater to all the different physical abilities. I can't say enough good things about TNT.

I am epically excited to be training with Erek Swenson and Wes Aldinger. It is extra special to be training with friends that know why I race and fund raise.

More than anything this time of year really challenges me mentally. Winter seems to drag on and the sun seems to hide more than anything. My challenges have been epically difficult this year. Loosing Adam is a difficult enough task to deal with, but when relationships in your life break down because of it, the adjustment becomes down right painful. It is interesting because loosing Adam was never painful to me, I don't think anyways? Adam understood exactly what was happening and he faced it with courage and only worried because he knew that his absence would be painful for others. I respect that, and it is what has inspired me to being better. My heart aches for him at times. I sometimes wonder what job he's working on when I see a Lakeland truck on the road and then remember that he's gone. That's weird. His faith never wavered and God comforted him and guided him through his cancer. I cannot be bitter about that. I hate cancer. I hate that any one of us is vulnerable to it. I hate that kids have to experience it. I know full well that life is not fair. So I don't expect much when it comes to the basics of life. I know that God will provide for me in any circumstance. The big picture is more important and Adam knew what that was. I am confident in what that is. I have seen amaizing things too many times to deny the awesome power of God. A loss like this is painful when your relationships around you break down. Not much in life goes according to "our plan," so why worry about it.

Healing comes with honesty and unity. Pain is born out of all of the things that honesty and respect do not represent. It is easy to have "issues" with one another when we solely focus in each other. We will always disappoint each other. That is to be expected. We are commanded to look to God for strength and wisdom and to focus on him for the answers. There is where we find forgiveness. I don't think that I take it seriously enough. I can't say that I have spent any extra time praying for situations like these in my life. I am foolish enough to sit and wait for thing to happen. I am confident that things will work out in due time.

Waiting is difficult.

Praying is what I need to do.

Be of good cheer. Do not think of today's failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost. – Helen Keller

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Oh Boy

Winter in Minnesota. This year had so much promise. Lots of snow early. Temperatures were not bad at all. What happened? There has not been too much to get excited about as of late, and that's not a bad thing. After the marathon I have not been out for any runs. The days that I could have it was -0. Just a couple of swims. Weekly broomball is enough fitness for now. So what is there to get excited about this winter.

For the Prest family it's the news that we will be bringing another boy into the family come June. My suspicions were were confirmed last Wednesday during the ultra-sound appointment. We are now 19 weeks along and have a healthy baby boy on the way. Janet has adjusted well to the news. She has been pretty nervous about having a boy but our friends and family have been calming her nerves that boys really are not that hard to raise :) She came from a family of four girls, so this will be an adjustment. We are very excited to have another baby coming into our lives.

Bijou is walking 90% of the time now. She has been taking steps since around Christmas and has taken her time to make it a full time thing. It is very fun to see her exploring her world at her new level and speed. Still an angel. Not too much for words yet. Happy all the time.

My summer training schedule just got better. It looks something like this. I am going to wing a 5k or 10k or half marathon in here or there. There is the Gear West Duathlon Sunday, May 18. It is a 5k run, 28k bike, 4k run. Good to get the race year going before the lakes defrost. I will probably find something to do in June supr of the moment (there is a baby on the way). I had thought I was going to take a year off of fund raising and not do a race for TNT. Then I went to a meeting with a friend and saw that the local Lifetime Fitness Tri is on Adams birthday July 12. So today I went to the season kick off party and signed up. It's a $2,100 frundraise and I don't have to travel. I really would have had a hard time going cold turkey from TNT anyways. I am very excited to be part of the team again and racing on Adams B-day. Sunday July 20 is the Spirit of Racine race. My first half Iron. 70.3 miles of swimming, biking and running. I am excited to challenge my endurance to a new level. August 16th is the annual sprint tri that I do with Clark and his uncle Steve every year in Waupaca Wi. I look forward to this race every year. If you are interested in trying a tri yourself this is the perfect race to get your feet wet on. To end the season Sep 7 is another half iron, Square Lake. It is a local race just north of Stillwater. Many "tri heads" rave about this race because of the clear lake water and challenging hill bike piece. I am looking forward to the challenge of this season as I ramp up to trying a full Ironman in 09.

I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to race for TNT and the inspiration and support to push myself to greater heights, both physically and mentally. I am most excited to watching our family grow and hope that all this crazyness melds together as we go. If not, my hopes and dreams of these races can wait. Not every race is perfect and timing is everything.