Monday, December 5, 2016

11/28 - 12/4

I'm so fat I can barely train, and I am gaining weight every day. I did do some running last week before my adipose tissue shut me down. Monday it was raining and cold so I went to Twin Rivers where I did some weight lifting and ran 2.7 miles on the dreadmill. Tuesday I was determined to bust out a big one and get my weight back under control so I ran 8.76 miles. Unfortunately, I woke up the next day heavier than the day before despite being temperate with the food. 

Wednesday, I ran another 3.42 miles but I had to shut it down because my weight was causing knee pain. I think it is Gerald Johnson's fault, but I haven't figured out how. I lifted weights and tired not to eat too much but woke the next day heavier.

Thursday, I took off from running so my knees could get better. I traveled to DSU and swam 

850 breathing 3, 5, 7, choice by 50s
150 easy
16 X 50 @1:30 descending by sets of four. I did 44, 41, 39, 37 - 35
2 X 400 small paddles
100 easy
200 easy
total: 3,850 yards = 3,518 meters.

Friday, I determined to get things right. I left the house planning on running 16 miles, but because of being so overweight, I had to call it off at 8.01 miles of running and 2.95 miles of walking. I only ate twice yet I was heavier Saturday morning.

Sunday morning I was heavier. I only ate twice  that day.

This morning I am the heaviest I have been in years!!!!!

Darn it Gerald Johnson!!!!!

Please pray for me because I am not in a good way right now. I am beginning to believe something is seriously wrong with my body. I have lived in this body for 60 years so I kind of know it. It is not responding the way it always has.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

More Fish Pond Haikus

a pelican dives
seeking the fish farm's bounty
a swimmer breaths, sees

a flock of geese dive
they seek the fish farms' safety
a struggling man swims

workers seine the pond
swimmer follows the harvest
he swims clean water

Monday, November 28, 2016

11/21 - 11/27

Swimming slowed to a crawl and running crawled to a full gallop during the past training cycle. Monday I skipped the pool because I needed a big run to get the right stagger of hard/easy efforts so I could go long on Thanksgiving Day. I did 8.3 miles with some quality intervals thrown in.

Tuesday I went to DSU during lunch. I saw Tabatha there, the new girl at Masters who used to lifeguard at the pool years ago when she was a student there. We did a few sets together. I swam

750 warm up
8 X 50 @ 1:15 
6 X 150 with a floating fast 50 (1 -3 X 2) @3:00
20 X 100 @ 2:00
750 small paddles
total 4,800 yards = 4,387 meters.

Later that day I shuffled 3.55 miles.

Wednesday I did a lot of napping and some preparation for Robert Roberts funeral. I ran 3.26 which included a trip to the hospital track where I did some tire flipping and box jumps. In the afternoon I lifted weights benching 150 X 3 three times. 

On Thanksgiving Day, I left the house at 9:30 and started shuffling towards Hillbilly Heaven. I ran 15.69 and walked 1.2 for a total of 16.89 foot miles. I even managed to be temperate in my food consumption. I was right proud of myself.

Friday was dedicated to one thing: preaching Robert Roberts funeral. I prepared in the morning, made my way to Indianola after lunch, preached the service at 3:00 o'clock, and arrived back home at about 5:30.

Saturday, I did an easy run back to the hospital track where I did some squats, box jumps, and tire flips. I intended to lift weights, but the egg bowl and an unexpected request knocked all of that in the head. Mississippi State had a big win over Mississippi. I cried.

For the week, I 

swam 4,387 meters,
ran 34.19 miles,
lifted weights once, and 
walked 2.6 miles.

For the year, I have now run 1,042.72 miles and swum 824,850 meters.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Fish Pond Haikus


swimmer yearns to work
while ducks swarm off the pond--
summer will return


ducks fly overhead
wings circle the pond below
a sole swimmer glides


yellow leaves drift down
a cool wind drives geese above
the swimmer steps in

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Haikus 20 and 21

Fall Swimming

Haiku 20

lonely pool sits quiet
leaves clutter the green bottom
one man swims alone

Haiku 21

no more clear the long pool
shortened days make water chill
a lonely man swims

Monday, November 21, 2016

11/14 - 11/27

I feel like I am almost back in terms of running although my weight is still high. But it was a good cycle and I am beginning to make the shift from swim centered to run centered training. Usually that shift has taken place already, but the warm weather has kept me in the outdoor water much longer than usual. Thank you, Lord.

Monday I went to Twin Rivers and since I ate myself out of my new wetsuit over the weekend, I went skins in 64 degree water. I only did 1,200 meters before I tapped and then shuffled 2.31 miles.

Tuesday I decided to focus on a longish run so I did not bother with the pool. I ran 8.08 miles with some hard quarter miles thrown in. I intended to lift some weights but got lazy and didn't do it. 

Wednesday I was back at the pool, skins, and the water had risen to 65. I did 1,300 meters and then ran 2.3 miles. Finally, I did my only weight session of the week and benched 145 for five reps.

Thursday I did a rare double dip, maybe the only one ever in the fall. I hit Twin Rivers for 1,100 (water 66) and then made my first trip to DSU in at least seven months. The water felt pretty warm compared to my outdoor swimming. We did

600 warm up
800 12:38
2 X 400 decline 1-4 by 100 (r :40)
50 easy
600 9:06
50 easy
2 X 300 decline 1-3 by 100
200 cool down
total: 3,700 yards
total for day converted to meters = 4,481

Friday was long run day. I did a run/walk workout and totaled 15.7 miles as 13.5 miles running and 2.26 miles walking.

Saturday Penny and I went to Jackson shopping with the Johnson's. Gerald and I did some walking. I didn't get to count any of the indoor stuff, but outdoors I totaled 5.01 miles.

For the week, I

swam 6,981 meters,
lifted weights once,
ran 28.44, and 
walked 9.71 miles.

Now I am over 1,000 miles running for the year and the swim total is 820,463 meters.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

I Have to Be Strong

I have heard it 163 times. I bet you have too. Maybe you've even said it yourself. Every time someone dies, someone I know, I hear a survivor say, "I have to be strong for whomever."

Question: Where does this idea come from?

Another question: Whom does it help if we are "strong"?

Answers: The idea that we "have to be strong" does not come from the Bible. As far as I can tell, it is not even written in the works of Shakespeare or the writings of Dante, nor was it said by the famous Don Quixote. Yet is gets repeated over and over and over by people who burden themselves with the idea that they are doing their loved ones good by "being strong." Please rethink this notion.

Yes, there is a passage that could be interpreted as supporting the "being strong" thing. Romans 15:1 states

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (KJV)

What this verse is saying is that we should be patient with the failings of others, not that we should be strong for them. This distinction is shown in the New International Version's translation of the same verse:

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.

This becomes even more clear, at least in my mind, when we look at mourning in the Bible. As far back as Genesis, I fail to encounter the "being strong" thing but instead I find a heavy emphasis on mourning. For example, upon Jacob's death the Bible says that "Joseph fell up his father's face and wept" (50:1). At Jacob's burial, the Word of God reads that "they mourned with a great and very sore lamentation and he made mourning for his father seven days" (50:10).

David mourned for the deaths of Bathsheba's child, for his son Absalom, for Saul and Jonathan, for Abner. Even Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:35). Take note that no one backslid when "Jesus wept," no one went back and refused to follow, no one was disillusioned. Instead they noted how Jesus loved him (Lazarus).

When I was a boy, we had a tomcat who was insane. Really, he was a sociopath, the most violent, dangerous feline I have ever know. I remember Dad having to run him out of the house with a broom because he got stirred up and wouldn't settle down but kept attacking anything that moved. He was banished to the outdoors where he roamed away from home sometimes days at a time. He always returned with terrible wounds to his head and he would lie around on the back stoop, stinking because of his infections. There was no taking him to the vet. You did not dare touch him, but left him food and left him alone for your own safety. He did not want your touches or baby talk or any of the other interactions that most cats year for.

He lived like that a couple of years, and then early one summer day we discovered him dead on the back steps. That morning, my mother sat down at the kitchen table and wept for William the insane, mean, dangerous cat. Now, fifty years later it remains my favorite memory of Mom and the most perfect, poignant, noble example of how she was and is and how she raised me and us. Thank God she did not get the memo about "being strong." I really believe that experience translated, transferred something into my soul, something that remains there until this day. Anyone who knows me very well, is aware that I am a fool for cats. I can't help it; it's just the way I am; it's the way my mom made me.

Please remember that when a loved one dies, no one benefits from you "being strong." Your children or grandchildren or whoever is near you need to see your weakness, your tears, your humanity. Instead of being comforted by a brave face, you will be connected by your common humanity by being weak, by being broken, by being a person. Jesus said, "My strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 2:9).

When my dad passed, I went through a long period of mourning. Several months after his death, my truck broke down and I instinctively, habitually reached into my pocked for my phone to call him. When things go wrong, who you gunna call? For me, it was always Dad. Before I could began to punch in the numbers, his absence was thrust upon my consciousness in a powerful and profound way. It was not a good day. It was a day of tears and sorrow.

Gradually, the tears became fewer and farther between. More often than cry, I laugh at memories of him being himself, of him being the unique individual he was. Those around me rarely saw my tears then or my laughter now. My granddaughter was one of the few who did. At one gathering, who hugged me and told me she was sorry. I wept. I am sure I did her no harm that day. She remains the most thoughtful, considerate, sweetest child I have ever known.