Running a Marathon.

I am a runner.

      This past March, I participated in my first ever Marathon in Little Rock.  The training schedule is a commitment in its own before even making it to the start line for a whopping 26.2 miles.  Training began in mid September and ran through the entire winter all the way up to March 6th.  I enjoy running in the cooler months, as it makes it more bearable  versus the heat and humidity of an Arkansas summer.

      Training for the 2011 Little Rock Marathon was not an easy task, and I had my share of ups and downs.  When training for that kind of distance, it is hard not to run into injuries.  In late November, while building up into the 15 mile range, I experienced a stress fracture in my right leg.  At that point it became clear that I wouldn’t be able to run for the next six to seven weeks to allow it time to heal.  The only way to stay in shape was to join a gym and hit the bikes. I could not help but feel discouraged as I looked at the schedule during that time of injury and see the mileage I was to build, slowly slipping away.  I knew I would have a lot of ground to cover to make up for missing those six weeks.  But with help and encouragement from my family, friends, and most importantly God, I was able to gain a  full recovery.

Little Rock Marathon 2011 Finishers Medal

It was just a month before the race,  and the 2011 Marathon finishers medal had revealed to the public and what a beauty it was.  This was a mega medal and would become my prize for crossing the finish line.  The coolest part about the medal is that the globe center spins.

On Saturday March 5th I was able to get my hands on one displayed at the Marathon Expo in the Little Rock State House Convention Center.  After inspecting its coolness, I was even more determined and focused at the feat ahead of me the next morning.

Race day arrives and I am feeling good about my chances at completing my Marathon in about 4:30:00 as planned.  I am so excited that as I await in my designated coral for the start command, going through a pre-race check of my equipment I noticed I had forgotten to fill up my water bottle.  I smiled and laughed inside with God about the blunder.  But of course he took great care of me at the start by providing bottled water at the first aid station I came to.

Running past the Little Rock State Capitol

Since having the injury, I had backed off of trying to complete the Marathon in a set goal time limit.  That non focus enabled me to relax and enjoy the ride.

The crowd is always guaranteed not to disappoint in cheering and encouraging all the participants. They energized me throughout the course and helped me to the finish line.  I enjoyed interacting with the crowd with an occasional high-five and woot woot back at them.

As I ran, I always made sure to thank the volunteers that sacrificed their Sunday to help us navigate safely around the course.  With out them none of this could have been possible.

      My run through the course was comfortable through about mile twenty-three.  At that point my thighs started cramping.  I had to stop running for the first time since the start of the race and rub in some pain relieving gel.  I continued, but struggled through the last remaining three miles to the finish line.

      Seeing the finish line was the most amazing sight.  I couldn’t help but smile, raise my arms in victory as the crowd cheered for us, and as I crossed the finish line, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride as I kept telling myself, “You did it, You did it”.

2011 Little Rock Marathon Finish Line


An entertaining start to the day.

I love a good thunderstorm!

I awoke to the sound of distant thunder this morning.  I hurried around in the kitchen so that I could get out of the door before the bottom fell out of the sky, but was unsuccessful to say the least.  Walked out of the garage about the time it started raining buckets.  I still smiled as I walked back into the house from grabbing the newspaper, because I love rain, and I love a good storm.

What an amazing drive to work this morning as I followed the storm to the east.  The lightning was putting on one marvelous show and I felt like I had a front row seat.  My insurance agent would be comforted to know that I did look at the road on occasion while watching the lightning bounce across the sky.  A Popcorn and a Coke please, time to sit back and enjoy the show!

As a child, I believe I must have loved rain and storms.  Not sure, you ask?  Well, that was a long time ago in my eyes.  I was accustomed to my fair share of rain while being raised in the Swindon, England area.  More so than what we receive here in Arkansas.  Absolutely two different climates!  Now don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t foggy and rainy all the time like the old tale would have you believe.  Humidity and heat like we have here in Arkansas is non-existent in England.  It can get rather warm over there these days, but without the humidity it can be quite bearable.

I can still remember our arrival in the U.S. as a child, the day we landed in Chicago, Illinois.  It was early September, so you can imagine what awaited us as we exited the plane on to the asphalt to board a bus to the terminal.  Yes, MAJOR HEAT!  Wow, I remember the heat, to this day, hitting my face and experiencing something I had never felt before.  What a rude awakening to our new home, the United hot States of America.

Welcome to my World!

So here I am at the crossroads of where everyone that has started a blog has stood.  After initially setting up my blog page, it comes down to the monumental first entry.

I have thought about doing a blog for some time now, as I have enjoyed reading some friends blogs on occasion.  I guess it came down to wondering, “Do I really have that much to say, and would anyone even read this”?  I have come to reason with myself that the answers to those questions really does not matter.  Writing is therapy!  Being able to release our occasional thoughts and concerns is a way to get rid of carrying them.  So either way my blog is a win win situation.  I am excited about this journey and I am hopeful to find the time to be able to log in from time to time and record my thoughts.

As it turns out, today I’m handed an opportunity for my first topic.  Something that I know absolutely nothing about. GOLF!  I’m not talking about the Masters either (a coincidence that it was played today).  Seems that this kid that was playing on the course today where we live would be a long way off from ever playing professional golf. (trying to find humor)  I am setting up my blog page this afternoon when I hear the sound of breaking glass in the garage.  I knew we had taken a hit from a golf ball from the 7th green.  A couple of years ago an apartment complex / golf course was built next to our home.  Although a city road exists between us and the 7th green, it does not prevent many golf from landing in our yard.  I have an amazing collection of golf balls if anyone is interested in buying any.  Need cash for repairs!  I was able to find the kid responsible for the damage and get his information to help pay for the damage.  The funniest part of the conversation was when he asked “If the damage is expensive, would you consider splitting the cost since you built next to the course?”  At which point I pointed to a date etched into the concrete drive of 1993.  I told him that as he could see, we had been here long before the course complex was ever thought of.  And if I am guessing by looking at the youth of this kid, that the house was here before he was born.  So tomorrow it’s off to find a repair and its cost.

On a great note.  We got an invitation to a pre opening of a new burger joint in our hometown of Conway, AR yesterday.  Wimpy’s Burgers & Fries will be opening its doors tomorrow for the first time.  Saturday we got a sneak peek into an amazing and delicious hamburger.  Wimpy’s Burgers offer many toppings, all-inclusive in the price of the burger, which makes it difficult to get your mouth open wide enough to indulge.  That is a good problem to have though.  Their shakes are to die for too!