On the Way

9:01 miles. Time 1:25:32. Pace 9:29.

Friday morning I got on the scales and weighed 198 pounds. This is a loss of 7.6 pounds from my initial 205.6. I lost 7.6 pounds in six days. While that seems great at first glance, it’s too much, too fast. Several people tell me it’s probably just water-weight and will slow down soon. Kim tells me I’m eating too few calories and it is not healthy. Since she is rarely wrong, and I learned long ago to trust her instincts and wisdom, I’m altering my plan from 1500 calories a day to 1800-2000 calories a day. I will keep monitoring the weight-loss rate.

I am keeping up with my calories on a website called The Daily Plate. You get to it by first going to http://www.livestrong.com, and then following the links. It is completely free. It has a hug database of foods, including restaurant foods, and exact calories. I just started this yesterday, and it informed me that I should be taking in 2200 calories per day while I am training. See, Kim is always right.

I ran my long run yesterday afternoon with my great friend Clarke Oldham. He is an excellent trainer and offered to run with me to help me reach my goals. He established the pace and kept me moving, and when it was all done we ran 9:01 miles in 1 hour 25 minutes 32 seconds, for a pace of 9:29 minutes per mile. I still had a little in the tank when it was over, and this was running at the end of a long Sunday filled with meetings, on the fuel from a lunch eaten five hours previously, and without my mandatory can of Red Bull. If all those other thing had been in place, I think I could have done even better.

A 9:29 pace would bring me across the line in the half-marathon in 2 hours and 1 minute. So my immediate goal is to get rid of that 1 minute. Clarke was encouraging. If I can maintain my training regimen and keep losing the weight (at a slower pace), I hope all the goals will be met.

I’m learning a few things about myself in all this. I’m re-learning the power of community. Without Kim’s daily love and inspiration, as well as her willingness to count those calories along with me, I could not do this day after day. Caleb and Chandler never fail to ask me if I ran and how I did. They may not realize it, but those simple questions warm my heart and make me want to do it…for them. Clarke’s willingness to forgo his own goals (he is an extremely talented runner who could run this race much faster than he will be with me) is a true example of friendship and generosity. I cannot thank him enough. The people at church who follow this blog are all so encouraging, many of them asking me on Sunday how things were going. John, as always, is a constant source of grace. All these, and so many more, make such things possible. Community. I talk about it a lot. In matters of faith it is indispensable. Turns out it is indispensable in running and living a healthy lifestyle as well.

I am also learning that the limits I experience in matters of eating and running are largely self-imposed. It is amazing how quickly I can think my way out of doing what I know I need to do. Likewise, with a shift in thinking, it is amazing how much more I can do. One cannot only train the body. One has to train the mind as well.

And this is where those spiritual disciplines come into play.

More on that later…


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